Sunday, May 9, 2010

Formulating facial moisturizers for wrinkled skin

If you have dry, wrinkled skin, we can modify yesterday's recipe for dry skin by including a few more of those things wrinkled skin likes. Wrinkled skin likes emollients, surface smoothing agents, anti-oxidants, and AHAs, so let's get that into our lovely facial moisturizer.

Water phase: We can keep the water phase pretty much the same - with one exception. We really should include a cationic polymer like polyquat 7 or honeyquat. (Honeyquat is also a humectant, so it's a bonus ingredient!)

Why didn't I include a cationic polymer in the dry skin moisturizer? I didn't really think about it. This would be a great inclusion in any facial moisturizer for any skin type. So modify yesterday's recipe with 3% honeyquat or polyquat 7 in the water phase and remove 3% of your liquids.

Oil phase: Again, you'll want to choose really moisturizing oils with linoleic acid (if you have a damaged skin barrier) or oleic acid for extra moisturizing. Choose oils with great phytosterols (anti-inflammatory) and anti-oxidant levels, like cranberry, pomegranate, or sea buckthorn oil (I hate writing sea buckthorn oil as I know that annoying man from that annoying company will post something hoping for free advertising in the comments, but it really is an awesome oil). Pomegranate oil is showing great promise in reducing the destruction of collagen, which is a real benefit to wrinkled skin.

You can even choose something like rice bran oil - nicely balanced for oleic and linoleic acid, and it contains a polyphenol called ferulic acid, which might help with the appearance of skin aging and age spots, or soy bean oil, which is a fantastic moisturizing oil with a lot of Vitamin E.

A quick note on carrot tissue oil: It contains ß-carotene, which is the precursor to Vitamin A, which may help with sun damaged skin. It may make your face more orange, so consider using it at no more than 2% to 5% in a lotion.

We'll keep our emulsifier and thickener the same, although you could use BTMS if you are using a greasier oil or like a drier moisturizer.

Cool down phase: This is where it gets exciting for wrinkled skin! We know that AHA is great for sun damaged or wrinkled skin, so we can include it in the cool down phase. Start at 0.5% and see how your skin reacts. (And if you're using a cleanser and toner with AHA, you don't want too much, right?) You can use something like Multifruit BSC as your AHA at up to 3% in the cool down phase. I'd suggest starting at 1% to see if your skin can handle it.

And we want some extracts in here. Green tea extract at 0.5% in the cool down phase (or the liquid at 5% in the water phase) is a great addition, as would be grapeseed extract. Both of these contain proanthocyanidins and proanthocyanins, which play a role in the stabilization of collagen and maintenance of elastin in our skin. Grapeseed is more astringent than green tea extract, so choose what works for your skin best. Both are good anti-oxidants, but let's include some Vitamin E to really increase the anti-oxidizing power!

We'll keep our hydrolyzed protein - choose what you like - and the panthenol. And, of course, our preservative.

Let's take a look at this moisturizer!

31% water
20% aloe vera
20% lavender or other hydrosol
3% glycerin
3% cationic polymer like polyquat 7 or Honeyquat
2% hydrolyzed protein of choice
0.5% allantoin

12% oils of choice
4% e-wax or Polawax
2% thickener

0.5% green tea extract
0.5% grapeseed extract
2% panthenol
1% Vitamin E
0.5% to 1% preservative of choice
up to 3% AHA in the form of AHA powder or Multifruit BSC (remove 3% from the water phase)

Let's say you have oily wrinkled skin - what are you to do? Join me tomorrow to formulate an oily skin moisturizer!


Tina Svetek said...


I have recently found your blog and instantl fell in love :) Thank you for al the effort you are putting in it, there are soooo many interesting and useful information for a hobby cosmetic maker.
I do have one question though - I read a couple of your facial moisturizer recipes and the percentages (water phase, oil phase and cool down phase) don't add up to 100%.. Did I just added thing up wrong or is there a mistake?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Tina. As I mention in today's Tuesday Wonderings, I messed up on the math. It happens...

MJ said...

Thanks. I followed your recipe, but used Cetyl-Alcohol as the thickener and substituted licorice and chamomile extracts.

The end result was very foamy. What might I have done wrong? I expected it to be a cream, not a foam.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi MJ. It should be a cream, not a foam. Can you please send me your complete recipe in percentages along with your process? I can help further that way. (Although I have a feeling it's the way you mixed it...)

Susan L said...

Hi, I have made this cream twice. The first time I tried to use my KitchenAid to whip the mixture. This didn't work well as there wasn't enough in the bowl. The cream was very loose and did not remain emulsified in the heat. The second time I used my immersion blender. The resulting cream had a very soft mousse-like texture. I absolutely love the feel on my face; my skin feels very soft and smooth. The only issue I have is that it really doesn't smell very nice. I'd love to know what could be done so it would have a more neutral odor. The recipe is use is posted below. I love this blog and will be attempting more recipes soon!

28% water
20% aloe vera
20% lavender hydrosol
3% glycerin
3% Honeyquat
2% Silk Peptide powder
0.5% allantoin

12% rice bran oil
4% Polawax
2% Cetyl Alcohol

0.5% green tea extract
0.5% grapeseed extract
2% panthenol
1% Vitamin E
0.5% Liquid Germall Plus
3% Multifruit BSC

Thanks, Susan

Sarah said...

Hi Susan, I have been reading about your experiments with multifruit with lots of interest but hope you can clarify. In several recipes you either use btms as the emulsifier or suggest btms as an alternative tot he emulsifier where multi fruit is also being used, but in another post you mention that it does not work well with cationics. In several recipes you also use multi fruit with the quays which are also cationic so I am confused a little. Did the btms work ok with the multi fruit and in the recipes where the quays were used did they have any noticeable reaction with them? I am going to be testing a few recipes with multi fruit and will use a variety of different emulsifiers initially without quays and will let you know how I get on. Many thanks

Sarah said...

Ooops my computer is spelling for me I think - that should read Quats not quays - sorry

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Sarah. I haven't found any problems using the Multifruit with BTMS, and, in fact, don't remember writing that they can't be together! (I did - it can be found here, but I don't remember it!) I have been using Multifruit for a few years in this way, and I haven't found any problems in separating or bad smells or anything like that! Can you let me know your experiences if you make something with the quat and Multifruit in it as it might just be a lucky fluke that I've had no problems!

Sarah said...

Hi Susan, Thank you so much for taking the time to reply.
I tested the following recipe with differing emulsifiers BTMS, Glyceryl stearate with SSL, Olivem 1000 and Ceteryl glucoside.

Oil phase
4g Rice bran oil
4g Soy bean oil
4g Squalane
2g Cetyl alcohol
4g Emulsifier from the above list
5g Niacinamide Vit B3 powder

Water phase
25.5g Distilled water
20g Lavender water
10g Aloe vera juice
5g Allantoin
3g Sodium lactate 60% sol

Cool phase
1g Microkill COS
2g Panthenol
5g Polyquat 7
0.5g Vitamin e
5g Multifruit BSC

The thinnest of the products was the cetearyl glucoside, the btms, olive 1000 and the glyceryl stearate products had a god viscosity with olive being the thickest. The btms cream looked fine at first but on day 5 when I look there is separation with approx 10% of the product as a clear fluid at the bottom. Now I need to remake it, to see if I didn't mix it enough or if it does the same thing. The good news is I haven't had any issue with the multi fruit in the other creams or in some emulsified scrubs I used it in after reading about your love affair with these products, and I have to say my skin has never been as soft! Thanks Susan.

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,

After reading your whole blog archive from back to front (multiple times to really absorb all the information), I started formulating hesitantly with simple toners. I have now moved up the fomulation ladder to the lotion level thanks to your enriching information. Thanks a lot.

You've also inspired me to take a "scientific" approach to the formulation: this weekend I tested my emulsifiers one by one by making an identical recipe and only changing the emulsifier.

Today I've made a lotion as a gift for my mother who's 79 years old:

Heated water phase:
71% water
5% niacinamide
1% glycerine
1% urea
0,5% allantoin

Heated oil phase:
Lamecrème (emulsifier): 4,5%
Cetyl Alcohol: 2%
Borage oil 5%
Camellia oil 3%
Shea butter 2%
vitamin e 0,5%

Cool down phase
Alpha bisabolol 1%
Panthenol 2,5%
Paraben based preservative 1%

Thanks for providing me with all the knowledge that helped me create this recipe! I'm happy with the end result: it feels rich and soft when applying it, it leaves a smooth, hydrated but non-greasy afterfeel, it makes the skin look very supple and tight. I suppose something an older lady may like. Hope my mom will.

I wish you a lot of success with your workshops at the Conference,

B from Brussels,Belgium