Friday, March 5, 2010

Formulating with extracts and oils - facial moisturizer for dry skin

Let's play with our extracts and oils to come up with a really decadent light facial moisturizer for someone with dry, aging, weather damaged skin. (For the post on basic facial moisturizers, click here...)

Let's start with our oils and butters. I don't like to use butters in a facial moisturizer because it can bother a lot of people and it can make it far too thick! Okay, no butters in a facial moisturizer so we'll have to find our occlusion elsewhere. (If your skin can tolerate dimethicone, it's a fantastic occlusive ingredient!)

So what oils do we want? We're looking for something very moisturizing, slightly occlusive (although we can get that by including 0.5% allantoin), full of phytosterols and polyphenols good for dry and aging skin. I don't think something very dry will work well for dry skin, so we want to either balance dry and oily or just go for the oily. What fits that requirement?

Any of the exotic oils would be good for your skin, so let's choose three and see which one fits in!

Borage oil is nice. On the up side, it contains GLA, which helps with skin's barrier repair and reduces transepidermal water loss (TEWL). It can help increase skin's hydration and flexibility, repair light and weather induced skin damage, and reduce inflammation. The ellagic acid offers a reduction in the destruction of collagen, an increase in the regeneration of skin cells, and thickening of the skin. On the down side, it's a more expensive oil and it can feel dry.

Pomegranate oil is also a good choice. On the pro side, it is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-microbial. It can increase skin's elasticity and help repair weather damaged skin. It also contains ellagic acid to help with reducing collagen destruction, but also contains gallic acid, which is a good wound and burn healer. The phytosterols are very high, giving us great moisturizing and anti-inflammatory features. On the down side, again it is an expensive oil and can feel dry on the skin.

Sea buckthorn is another oil to consider. On the pro side it offers a ton of phytosterols for anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties. It has palmitoleic acid, which helps heal wounds and scratches, and lots of Vitamin E, which is moisturizing and anti-oxidizing. The carotenoids can offer photo protective properties. It not a dry feeling oil and has a good shelf life. But it's low in linoleic or gamma-linoleic acid, which is something we want to help with skin's barrier repairs.

You know, I think I'll choose borage oil because it is so high in GLA, so we'll get some good skin barrier repair features, and it will help with the aging part by reducing the destruction of collagen. It might make the lotion feel a little dry, but I think we can live with that knowing we have this awesome oil in it! (We'll compensate for the dryness by using emulsifying wax instead of BTMS and adding cetyl alcohol instead of stearic acid.) And although it can be a bit on the spendy side of things, it isn't as expensive as sea buckthorn can be! (If you don't have borage oil, choose an oil you know your skin will love and add that in the same percentage in the oil phase.)

So now the extracts (you could choose this in any order you wish...I just went with oils first!). Which ones to choose? For aging skin, we want something that will help with fine lines (if possible), elasticity, and photo-aging. What about chamomile? It's exfoliating and it will help with reducing TEWL. On top of it, we'll get good soothing and a help with the elasticity of our skin. And what about comfrey? It contains allantoin - so we won't include that in the recipe - and beta-carotenes that will help with sun or post-sun exposure. We also get the benefit of the AHA like qualities of rosmarinic acid. I think we have two winners!

I think I'll include 15% chamomile hydrosol as well to boost the soothing qualities of this lotion in the water phase.

What about a humectant? For a facial moisturizer, sodium lactate is right out because it can make skin sun sensitive, and glycerin might be a little thick for this. I could go with sodium PCA at 1.5% or something like honeyquat at 2% or 3%. Since humectants are never a bad thing for someone with dry skin in a humid climate, I'm going with both - 1.5% sodium PCA and 2% honeyquat in the water phase. (Again, choose humectants your skin likes - tamarind extract, glycerin, or Hydrovance are all good choices here.)

And I always put a hydrolyzed protein into a facial moisturizer. In this case, I'm going with silk amino acids - they are small enough to penetrate the skin and offer moisturizing from within. I'll add it at 2% of the water phase. I could also use something like Phytokeratin at 2% - it has some small molecule proteins that will penetrate the skin, and some larger ones to film form.

I have to have panthenol at 2% in the cool down phase as it's simply too good for our skin to leave out, and, of course, my preservative at 0.5% (Liquid Germall Plus). I'm going fragrance and essential oil free here as I don't think we want a smell on our faces all day.

So what do we have? We've chosen our ingredients to offer anti-inflammatory, soothing, moisturizing, and anti-oxidizing qualities. We're choosing ingredients that are good for weather damaged skin and trapping in moisture. We want to use the light moisturizing recipe so it won't be too heavy.

47% water
15% aloe vera
15% chamomile hydrosol
1.5% sodium PCA
2% honeyquat
2% silk amino acids

8% borage oil
4% emulsifier - Polawax, e-wax, or BTMS
2% cetyl alcohol

0.5% to 1% preservative
2% panthenol
0.5% chamomile extract
0.5% comfrey extract

There you have it. A facial moisturizer for dry skin containing all kinds of wonderful extracts.

Join me tomorrow for a round up of all the recipes containing extracts we've looked at over the last six weeks!


Naomi said...

I love this recipe! I'm going to make this for my mom tonight. She lives in Hawaii, so this sounds perfect for her, and I have all the ingredients. Regarding hydrovance... what if any would be the downside of using it? I have honeyquat, so would it be good to combo it with the hydrovance?

Also, since she lives in Hawaii, I would love to include some kind of sunscreen. Has this been a topic yet? I have raspberry seed oil, which is reputed to have spf qualities, or can I just add some sunscreen into the lotion?

Meaue said...

Thanks for formulating with us "women of a certain age" in mind! I'm not weathered, but do have that aging thing going on!! Definitely going to give this one a go!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Naomi. You can use hydrovance in this recipe instead of honeyquat or combined with honeyquat if you like. There is no down side to using hydrovance, although it can possibly cause some pH drift over time. I don't tend to use hydrovance a lot because I don't find it convenient to buy it, but I do like it as a humectant - and you know I'm a big fan of humectants. So feel free to add it in as well!

Click here for my post on hydrovance.

As for sunscreens, I have posted on this topic, under the post "Please don't make your own sunscreen!" You could add sunscreen, but without adequate testing, you'd never know if it truly worked.

You could add some oils with reputed sunscreen qualities - rice bran oil, avocado oil, hazelnut oil, or shea butter - but please let her know that although they might offer possible spf qualities, that you haven't been able to test it. (Can you tell I take this very seriously?)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Meaue. I'm not weathered, but my skin is getting to that certain age as well (although I'm still acne prone and oily, so I have all the fun and excitement of wrinkles and redness! Yay me!) I really like this moisturizer, and I'm happy others like it as well!

Naomi said...

Thanks Susan! I missed your post on sunscreen. I always tell my mom to wear sunscreen, but she's from the older generation where they didn't use sunscreen as readily as we do now. So, I'd like to try to sneak in sunscreening properties where I can for her. She only goes out in the car, to the store, etc, but in Hawaii, that's still a lot of sun.

Meaue said...

I made this yesterday but had to sub rose geranium hydro and used Hydrovance in place of sodium PCA - incredibly awesome moisturizer! I made a small (8 oz.) batch and the only thing I had to mix with was a frother, so my cream turned out almost like meringue... very light and fluffy. This one is an absolute keeper!!

Eye Cream Review said...

Thanks for the recipe, extracts and natural oil from the plants and other herbal ingredients helps reduce wrinkles and fine lines.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

The various ingredients have some great qualities - anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidizing, moisturizing, and so on - but no one should be making claims that it will reduce the appearance of lines or wrinkles as I have not had it tested or reviewed!