Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Formulating for your skin type: Body butter for oily skin

Point of interest...This is actually a picture of a whipped shea butter, but I was getting bored of using the same pictures over and over again!

This might seem like a bizarre concept, adding more oils to your oily skin, and for some people with really oily skin, this might be a very bad idea, indeed! If you are like me, your body skin tends towards the normal to dry (especially when I'm not wearing long sleeves in the winter), so you might just need this as a spot moisturizer for your elbows or arms or other specific areas. If you are finding you generally have oily skin with dry patches, this is more of a sign of a damaged skin barrier than having dry skin.

So this is a post for normal to oily skin. The very oily amongst us can use a body butter, but might find it way too oily! If you have spot dryness, like I do with my elbows, then make yourself the dry skin version and use that. I find it works well.

Here are our goals for body butter for oily skin...
Humectants galore, with an emphasis on lighter, possibly astringent oils, and a possible switch to using BTMS as the emulsifier for a drier feeling. We want to use more astringent extracts. Occlusion can be achieved by using allantoin and dimethicone with fewer butters.

Water: You can use lovely hydrosols like lavender, orange blossom, clary sage, and rosemary - all of which are great for oily skin. Consider something like chamomile or lavender for the rosacea type (if you have acne, then you want tons of anti-inflammatories as well, but there is the potential for break-outs using a product with lots of oils!) And always consider using aloe vera for the moisturizing and film forming, as well as the anti-inflammatory properties.

Humectants: Sodium lactate is our first choice because it behaves as an exfoliant and skin barrier repair ingredient as well as a humectant. We want to choose glycerin or another humectant like glycerin, honeyquat, or sodium PCA at 3%. This way we can get moisture to our skin without having to add a ton of oils!

Hydrolyzed proteins: I'd suggest using 2% of any hydrolyzed protein you like to offer film forming and moisturizing without oils.

Allantoin: We want to form a barrier and since cocoa butter is probably right out, allantoin at 0.5% in your water phase will help with that goal!

Oils & butters: For the oils, we want to choose more light, astringent oils that contain linoleic acid or GLA, so hazelnut, borage, evening primrose, grapeseed, and hempseed are good choices (click here for oil links). Consider using apricot kernel oil for oily skin - it's light, slightly astringent, has high levels of linoleic acid, phytosterols (for inflammation), and Vitamin E. Or consider soy bean oil. It offers great levels of linoleic acid, Vitamin E, and phytosterols, and it is very moisturizing to skin.

I haven't mentioned fractionated coconut oil much, although I love this oil! It's very light and moisturizing, although it is considered comedogenic by some scales. I would suggest trying this oil in combination with a light oil like apriocot kernel or soy bean oil to make it feel even lighter!

You can use whatever oils you want in an oily skin body butter. The key is to use light oils that won't feel too heavy on your oily skin.

And we come to the butters. Mango butter is usually what I'd recommend for someone with oily skin (like me) because it is a drier feeling butter. Cocoa butter will occlude and shea butter has great phytosterols, but both can feel very greasy on our skin. Having said this, if you have really oily skin, you want all the lovely astringent things, but if you have just plain old oily skin, then the odds are an astringent might feel too dry for you. So add the butter your skin likes best. I'm going to reduce the butters to 5% of the recipe - so it's really not so much a body butter as a very thick lotion.

Emulsifier & thickener: You can use BTMS if you like a drier feeling body butter or e-wax (Polawax) for a greasier feeling butter. I always include cetyl alcohol as a thickener in body butters because I want some serious glide over my skin. Plus it offers oil-free moisturization for oily skin.

IPM: This ester will make your body butter feel less greasy. Add it at 2% in your oil phase.

Finally the cool down phase...preservative, fragrance oil, and extracts!

Extracts: The oily skinned girl has many choices for extracts, it all depends on your skin type. For oily skin, rosemary, honeysuckle, grapeseed, cucumber, strawberry, and green tea extract will all offer astringency. If you're trying to combat inflamed skin, then green tea, chamomile, and rosemary would be great choices. (Remember to stay away from chrysanthemum extract if you are rosacea prone.) If you have wrinkled or pigmented skin, papaya might be a good choice as it is a fantastic exfoliator that will help skin shed. It can be a bit much for some skin types, so start at 0.25% and see how you handle it.

Silicones: We are trying to build occlusion here without a ton of butters, so adding dimethicone to your body butter will give it good slip and glide, and will offer an occlusive layer. Adding cyclomethicone will give your body butter a powdery after feeling.

30% aloe vera liquid or water
15.5% hydrosol of choice (chamomile or lavender are very nice!)
2% sodium lactate or sodium PCA or honeyquat
3% glycerin
2% hydrolyzed proteins of choice (I like oat protein)
0.5% allantoin

20% oils - soy bean oil
5% shea butter (or butter of choice)
8.5% emulsifier (e-wax, Polawax, or BTMS
3% cetyl alcohol
2% IPM

0.5% extract of choice
0.5% extract of choice
2% dimethicone
2% cyclomethicone
0.5% preservative (liquid Germall Plus)
1% Vitamin E
1% fragrance or essential oil

As you can see, there isn't a huge difference between a dry skin body butter and one for oily skin. Both contain the same levels of oils and butters - in different ratios - and we're including almost the same amount of heated water phase ingredients.

The differences between various lotions, creams, and body butters generally comes from the specific ingredients you change - oils, butters, extracts, hydrosols - not in the ratios in which we use them. The dry skin body butter will be much thicker, thanks to the increased butter amount, whereas the oily skin body butter will be thinner because of the increase in oils.

If we were to include all light oils, it would be less occlusive and more glidy. If we were to increase the butters, it would be more occlusive and less glidy. Take out the silicones and it's less occlusive and less oily (if you want to leave them out, increase your oil amount by up to 4%).

As a point of interest, here's a link to a light lotion without butters the oily skinned person might enjoy.

So it all comes down to the types of ingredients you choose.

Join me tomorrow for fun formulating anhydrous scrub bars for your skin type!


Naomi said...

I am learning so much from you! I'm still figuring out how to determine the correct amount of emulsifier (I use polawax or BTMS).

So in this formulation you are using 7.5% ewax.
The oils are:
20% soy bean oil
5% shea butter
3% cetyl alcohol
2% IPM
= 30% * 25% = 7.5%

What about the 4% 'cones and 1% vitamin e? Wouldn't that make the total oils 35% and therefore the ewax needed at 8.75%?

Does a high emulsifing % affect the texture of the product?

Thanks again for letting me pick your brain!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Eek! Thanks for the catch, Naomi. I messed up on the e-wax amount - it should have been 8.5%, not 7.5%! I've adjusted the recipe to reflect that. You can use 8.75% to compensate for the Vitamin E, but I've honestly found being off by 0.5% either way isn't usually a huge deal if you're including something like cetyl alcohol to help with thickening.

Yes, a high emulsifier amount will affect the texture of the product, making it thicker and a bit more waxy. This is one of the reasons people use the HLB system to make their own combinations - e-wax can feel a bit waxy, BTMS can feel a bit dry - so they can adjust the skin feel as they like.

Naomi said...

Ahhh... I read your write ups on the HLB system. May be something I'll look into down the road when I get more experience, but for now, I'll stick with the complete emulsifiers waxes.

Brian said...

I'm trying to make my formulation, which has

3% Cetyl Alcohol
3% Hazelnut oil
5% Macadamia Oil
3% Fractionated Coconut Butter
3% Isopropyl Myristate 3%
2% olive oil
3% Shea Butter

1% 34. Xantham gum – 1%
6% E wax 6%
10% Aloe
and other nutrients less greasy/sticky.

Do you have recommendations?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Brian. You might want to use the xanthan gum at 0.1% to 0.3% - anything higher than that can cause flocculation or creaming (also known as an epic lotion fail).

What's fractionated coconut butter? What preservative are you using? What are you using for the rest of your water phase - water, hydrosols, and so on? I guess the question is what is the goal of this product? It looks like a lotion - not a lot of butters - so you'll be making something about medium weight.

Hazelnut and macadamia nut oils can feel very dry - combined that with IPM and you might have more dryness than you like. If you're going for a seriously dry feeling, you could use BTMS as your emulsifier or add 2% cyclomethicone (feels glidy at first, dries powdery).

Let me know and I'll offer what help I can!

Buttcrack Obama said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sherry said...

Hi Susan! Can this recipe be whipped? Maybe it's not necessary given that it's already lighter in oils and butters to begin with, but I just love the whippy texture so I thought I'd ask. :) I wanna pipe it in with an icing tip!

To be honest, I have super oily facial skin and scalp but I think my body is actually more on the dry side, so if this particular version of the recipe can't be whipped I might actually try using more butter! I bought a ton of ingredients yesterday and today for my first recipes, and I can't wait to start making things thanks to your blog!!