Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Formulating a cream cleanser for dry skin

I like cream cleansers. They feel really nice on our skin going on and we don't generally get that annoying tightness after rinsing. But they don't tend to play nicely with oily skin because of all those wonderful re-fatteners and oil based moisturizers. If you have dry skin, you're in luck, though!

If you have wrinkled skin, feel free to add AHA in the form of the powder (start at 0.5% to 1% if you aren't sure how your skin will react) or as Multifruit BSC or Phytofruit at 3%, if you don't have it in a moisturizer or toner you'll use after this cleansing product. You have the cationic polymers and humectants your skin likes in here, so this is suitable for your skin type.

25% SCI
20% cocamidopropyl betaine
25% BSB or SMC or SMO Taurate
10% C12-15 alkyl benzoate
6% stearic acid
5% PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate
5% honeyquat
2% Crothix
3% glycerin
0.5% extract of choice
0.5% to 1% preservative of choice

Weigh the SCI, stearic acid, and cocamidopropyl betaine in a container and put into a double boiler until it is well melted. In a second container weigh the rest of the ingredients except the Crothix, preservative, and extract and heat in a double boiler.

When the SCI is completely melted, mix the two containers together and put back to heat, stirring well but not too vigorously until you can see it is incorporated.

Remove from the heat and stir. When it reaches a temperature of 45˚C, add the preservative and Crothix and stir well. Put into jars and let cool.

Why are using these ingredients for this product? SCI is a great surfactant for dry skin and feels really lovely and creamy. Plus it turns it into a creamy product instead of a liquidy product. The cocamidopropyl betaine is the best solvent for melting SCI, plus it increases mildness. BSB is a great blend of surfactants suitable for very mild cleansing. If you're using SMO or SMC taurate, it will feel even more creamy and conditioned on your skin. Stearic acid is our moisturizer and it works very well with SCI.

I've included the C12-15 alkyl benzoate, stearic, and PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate as my moisturizing and re-fattening ingredients. You can use a light oil for the C12-15 alkyl benzoate (like fractionated coconut oil, shea oil, or any of the high linoleic acid oils like sunflower, soybean, apricot kernel, sweet almond, borage, and evening primrose oils or other speciality oils in its place) and you can use cocamide DEA in place of the PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate. If you don't have cocamide DEA or PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate, feel free to add more light oil, another type of light oil, or just leave it out.

I've used the honeyquat and glycerin as humectants and film formers here. I didn't use my hydrolyzed protein because I was out of it at the time. Feel free to use a hydrolyzed protein here at 2% to 5% (for very very dry skin) in the heated phase.

I've included Crothix, even though we really don't need it to make this creamy, because it is a good re-fattener and anti-irritant ingredient.

If you want, feel free to add some exfoliating ingredients to this cleanser.

This is most definitely a dry skin product. Normal skin might find it a bit too moisturizing and oily skin will not appreciate it at all! So let's modify it tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

Hi Susan, can i sub the C12-15 alkyl benzoate with dimethicone or cyclomethicone instead of oil? I read somewhere that the oil would cause a soap scum effect when mixed with a surfactant. Have you ever heard of that? thank you, I've learned so much!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Aesthete! You can try emulsifying the silicones in this recipe, but they might seep out a little because the surfactants aren't great a emulsifying silicones but are good at emulsifying lighter esters and oils. I haven't heard about surfactants and oils creating soap scum - hmm, that's something to put on the research list!

Anastasia said...

I attempted to make this recipe, and it came out smelling kind of like plastic. It took the SCI mixture about half an hour to melt. I am wondering if the other mixture stayed in the double boiler too long? Would that cause a bad smell? I could put the SCI mixture in first and wait 15 minutes or so before heating the other container.

The only thing I did differently than your instructions was to mix the honeyquat in with the preservative, after the cleanser had cooled to 45c. I made that change because several of your other pages recommend adding honeyquat during the cooldown phase. The plasticy smell was there before I added the honeyquat and preservative.

Any suggestions? :)

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love this cleanser recipe! It's nice and surfactant-y, but plenty moisturizing too. I've been making it with cetyl alcohol at 6% instead of stearic acid, as I don't have Stearic acid, and it works fine. One thing I'd like to note is that I DEFINETLY did not need Crothix to thicken this. With no water and 6% cetyl(or Stearic acid, which should be even thicker) it is plenty thick already. But I wouldn't hold that against this recipe because little things can make a big difference in the viscosity of surfactant products. It's kind of a common sense thing, as well as a matter of personal taste; if you feel it's not thick enough, add thickener. If not, leave it :)

Another thing I'd like to note: this guy needs to be continually stirred as it cools. And I mean continually. The second you take it off the heat. If you don't stir thoroughly as it cools, it will become lumpy. The first time I made this I went out for a smoke break while it cooled. When I returned, the surface of the cream had crusted over. When I began stirring again, little waxy lumps dispersed themselves throughout. I then spent over an hour straining it through a screen to sift out the lumps.

If it sounds like I'm criticizing this recipe, I'm not! It is one of my favorites. I use I as my daily cleanser, but my boyfriend also uses it as a shaving cream. He likes his shaving products to have surfactants in them, as that helps keep the razor from getting clogged. It also does a nice job of protecting the skin, as it is so rich and creamy. I also use this same recipe to make a foaming bath whip/LUSH Shower Smoothy type product. I'm guessing it is the most similar to the "Foaming Bath Whip" base sold by Brambleberry and many other soap/lotion ingredient suppliers. Voyageur sells it as "Foaming Bath Butter". It's cool because you can whip the finished product with an egg beater or a spatula and it will expand, getting lighter and fluffier like meringue. For all purposes, I prefer it whipped. The texture is better and I use less of it per shower as it is less dense. If I whip it enough, a 100 gram batch nearly fills up an 8 oz jar. I've experimented with tweaking the recipe in various ways; substituting PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil for the PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate, using a combination of cetyl alcohol and cetyl esters instead of the 6% stearic acid in the recipe, and increasing the percentage of esters while decreasing the surfactants. But honestly, this recipe is perfect the way it is. I have not been able to improve on it. If using it as foaming bath whip/butter, just make a bigger batch and add fragrance :)

Sorry this review ran on so long. This recipe is so awesome I was just really excited to write about it.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Bridget. Thanks for the review! Email me at sjbarclay@telus.net to claim your e-book! Please let me know which one you want.

Christa Marks said...

OK, stupid question - Usually if I use a facial cleanser it comes in a tube that i squeeze out the product. I think most people are used to this rather than a jar. You can buy the tubes, but the problem is sealing the open end. The tube sealing equipment that I've seen is REALLY expensive. So I'm wondering if you have experience with sealing tubes and have suggestions. Alternatively, do you think people will use a cleanser from a jar without complaining? I'm thinking of the marketing issues of trying to keep a jar in the shower and opening it to get some facial cleanser vs using a tube. Hopefully this question makes sense. Thanks for your answer.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Christa. Have you tried using tottle or malibu bottles, like these ones I use from Voyageur Soap & Candle? I have no issue using things in jars, but then again, I don't sell my products so I don't know what customers expect!

Anonymous said...

Dear Susan, Thank you for your wonderful blog that I just discovered. I was looking for exactly a cleanser for dry and sensitive skin, but I want to cut down on the ingredients because I am very sensitive and the less ingredients, the less possible irritations. Right now, i am using a DYI cleansing oil made of 90% hemp oil with 10% polysorbate 80. But I would like to a) change the emulsifier to something less irritating and b) add some mild surfactant so that there is some more cleansing power. Do you have a suggestion for a super simple, very bare-bones cleanser for dry skin? Thanks so much for the incredible information you put on your blog! Stefanie

Ann said...

Dear Susan, I've just made this recipe with the following substitutions: evening primrose oil/borage oil for the alkyl benzoate; polyglucose lactylate surfactant blend; phytofruit 3%; polyquat for the honeyquat and cocamide DEA in place of the PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate. The cleanser is very thick but its also tacky/stringy- a bit like melted mozzarella. Is this the consistency you would expect? Is there anything I can do (add) to eliminate this tackiness? Love the blog and all the information you provide. Many thanks Ann.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Stefanie! Take a look at the other emulsifiers that will work with oils - caprylic/capric triglycerides, PEG-40 hydrogenated oil, Caprol Micro Express, Cromollient, and so on - and see which one you like. (Find information about all of them in this post. As for surfactants, check out the surfactants page on the blog to see the different kinds. There are some that are great for dry skin, but that's not helpful if you can't get them at a shop near you.

Hi Ann. You've made a lot of changes, so it's hard to say what the consistency of your final product should be. Mine is not tacky or stringy, but then I'm not using the cocamide DEA. You can try not using that ingredient and see what happens. Or try adding something like glycerin to make it less tacky. Dimethicone will also do that job.

Joyce Bonner said...

Can this be used as a shampoo, if not how would you modify to make it so, I am interested in making a creamed/whipped shampoo and this sounds perfect, sll the necessary ingredients seem to already be there.
Thanks much
Joyce Bonner

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Joyce! My suggestion is to make a small batch and see how you like it as a shampoo. I couldn't use it as I have oily hair and there are just too many oil soluble ingredients, but it might be nice for dry hair and scalp. I'd add a titch of cationic polymer to it for conditioning, but otherwise try it as is and see what what you think. Then report back here and let us know what you think!

Joyce Bonner said...

Hi Susan, this might sound strange, but when you melt the SCI with the C. Betaine should it be thick and pasty? I have this problem every time I melt them, The SCI seems to soak up the betaine before it even starts to melt and then it gets dry and pasty, what am I doing wrong? HELP

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

It should be thick and pasty. You can see that creaminess in the picture in this post. Are you using the other surfactants in this recipe? Can you please share with me what you're doing so it's easier to answer? Thanks!

Afriyie's Faith said...

Hi Susan, thank you so much for creating an awesome blog and for sharing your knowledge! I have very sensitive skin so I would like to make this cleanser with simple ingredients such as plant oils and extracts. How do I add the SCI to the plant oils? Would I need a preservative and emulsifier? Many thanks

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Afriyie's Faith! I've written a longer post to answer your questions, which you can find on Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

BrNy said...

I made this today with a few modifications: I used SLeS in place of the taurates, fractionated coconut oil in place of the esters, olivem 300 in place of the PEG glyceril cocoate, honeysuckle for the extract and polyquat 7 in place of honeyquat (my honeyquat stinks so I no longer use it.) I like it quite a lot, I take a small amount from the jar, wet it in my hand, work up a nice lather and apply to my face. My final product turned out pretty hard though... mango butter consistency almost, maybe a little softer. Not sure why but maybe that was due to the fact that I accidentally added 2.40g of Crothix instead of 2g (gor a 100g batch.) Could this be the reason it got hard? How did yours turn out? Thick lotion consistency or thicker/thinner? Either way I love how my skin feels soft and moisturized after washing my face so I got no complaints. I'll make it again and maybe use 1% crothix instead to see how it goes. Thanks so much for such great recipe!!! PS: though my skin tends to be acne prone it is pretty dry in the winter so I wanted to make the version with stearic acid. I'd definitely make the normal/oily skin version for the hot summer months.