As we know, dry skin needs a lot of oils, film formers, and humectants, so we'll modify our basic facial moisturizer recipe to include those ingredients. This recipe will be suitable for normal-to-dry skin as well, as long as your skin can tolerate oils.
Water phase: You can include some lovely liquids in the water phase, using aloe vera as a film former and soothing ingredient, or hydrosols like chamomile or lavender for soothing or rose for anti-bacterial properties.
Humectants are a dry skinned girl's best friend and we want to include those. We know glycerin is a great choice for dry skin types, so let's include it at 3%. We can include something like sodium PCA or sodium lactate at 2% (to avoid sun sensitivity) or Hydrovance at 3%.
We'll keep the allantoin at 0.5% because we want a good barrier ingredient in this moisturizer.
Oil phase: This is the fun part - tweaking the oil phase for your favourite oils! We definitely want to go with something light to medium weight - the heavy weight oils are only for the incredibly dry skinned - and we want to include an oil that is high in linoleic acid to help with skin's barrier repair. Since we only have a tiny oil phase - 8% - we might want to use only one oil (this is the time to break out those fancy and expensive oils!) or choose a combination of two to help fulfill our goals.
My first oil of choice for a facial moisturizer for dry skin would be squalane. It has a really long shelf life (up to 2 years) and it is one of the components of your skin's natural lipids. The one down side is that it doesn't contain a lot of linoleic acid to help with barrier repair. So let's combine it with another oil like borage oil or evening primrose oil. Both of these contain GLA, which is fantastic for skin barrier repair, along with oleic acid, which is great for moisturizing. The one down side? Borage and evening primrose can feel quite dry, so we can combine them with a more oily oil like squalane (for example).
If you want to choose a less exotic oil, rice bran oil is a great choice with a balance of linoleic and oleic acids, some great phytosterols, and squalene, or soy bean oil, which is a fantastic moisturizer filled with Vitamin E. I'd use either of these at 12% in this moisturizer.
You can choose from a variety of oils in this moisturizer - these are just my suggestions.
For dry skin, we can increase the oil amount to 10% to 12% because you really want some serious oils in there for moisturizing.
We need to increase the emulsifier if we're increasing the oils. Generally we use Polawax at 25% of the oil phase. If we increase it to 12%, we'll need to use 4%. Since we already have 4% in our basic recipe, we won't modify the emulsifier amount. I'd suggest using Polawax for dry skin. BTMS can feel powdery on our skin, and this might be too powdery for dry skin types. However, as with everything, try it and see what you like.
We'll keep the cetyl alcohol at 2% to offer a little thickening and a little moisturizing.
Cool down phase: We need our preservative - choose your favourite - and we really want to use panthenol, but we can tweak the rest. If you're using an oil with a short shelf life (6 months or less), add up to 1% Vitamin E. Heck, let's add it anyway as it's great for dry skin!
As for the hydrolyzed proteins, low molecular weight proteins are great for dry skin types as they actually penetrate the skin and moisturize from within (we have some film former from the aloe vera, so we can use the protein in a moisturizing capacity here). Silk is probably your first choice, with something like Phytokeratin (with a combination of low and high molecular weight proteins) coming in second. As with any ingredient, use what your skin likes best!
And now the extracts! You can choose from a long list of botanical extracts (like green tea, rosemary, or grapeseed as good anti-oxidants), functional ingredients like AHA or salicylic acid, or cosmeceuticals like niacinamide, ceramides, and so on.
Anti-oxidants are always a fine thing to include, so you might want to consider green tea extract, rosemary (although a little astringent), or grapeseed in powdered form at 0.5%. If you have aging or photodamaged skin, something like AHA (in Multifruit, Phytofruit, or other form, as well as powdered form) can be a good thing. (Please use it at the suggested levels for safety's sake!) I'll include green tea extract at 0.5% (or in the liquid form at 5%) and chamomile at 0.5% as it can encourage desquamation. You can use any combination of extracts you like.
So let's take a look at a dry skin moisturizer!
MODIFIED FACIAL MOISTURIZER FOR DRY SKIN
20% aloe vera
20% lavender hydrosol
2% other humectant
2% hydrolyzed silk protein
12% oils - 8% borage oil, 4% squalane
4% e-wax or Polawax
2% cetyl alcohol
COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% to 1% preservative
0.5% green tea extract
0.5% chamomile extract
1% Vitamin E
Join me tomorrow to tweak this recipe for aging or wrinkled skin!