Monday, May 10, 2010

Formulating facial moisturizers for oily skin

Oily skinned girls can use moisturizers, too, but they'll need some serious modifications because oils are not our friends! I've written about creating oil-free moisturizers in the past, but let's take another look at this recipe!

The key to making an oil free moisturizer is - wait for it - not to use oils (you also need a heart to live!). We need to find other ways to moisturize our skin without increasing our sebum levels or causing break outs. Fortunately, we can do this with extracts, hydrosols, cationic polymers, hydrolyzed proteins, humectants, and other ingredients.

Water: I'd exclude water entirely and focus on liquids like aloe vera (film forming, soothing) and witch hazel (astringent, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and stabilizer for collagen and elastin in our skin). The hydrosols are also great inclusions.

Oily skin: Rosemary, clary sage, or neroli.
Acne prone skin: Chamomile, honeysuckle, and lavender (anti-inflammatory).
Rosacea prone skin: Chamomile, honeysuckle, lavender, and definitely witch hazel.

We like allantoin for oily skin - heck, we like it for all skin types - and I'd suggest including a film forming hydrolyzed protein as opposed to a low molecular weight one as we need all the film forming we can get! (Something like oat protein is a better choice for film forming than silk protein.) 

Cationic polymers: We can use these as film formers, conditioners, and humectants. Try something like honeyquat to fulfill all three requirements. (This is a must for oily, wrinkled skin!)

Humectants: Glycerin is a great humectant, but some people with acne or rosacea type skin might find it makes them break out, so consider using sodium lactate or sodium PCA at 2%. You can also use hydrovance at up to 3%. If you have oily resistant skin, then include glycerin at up to 3%.

Hold on a second! I have no idea where I got the idea that glycerin can cause break outs and I'm re-researching this right now! I don't think I'm right! Look for an update here soon...

Oil phase: We aren't really using oils here - we'll use cetyl alcohol as the "oil" in this product at a low level - 2%. BTMS will make the moisturizer drier, and it's always my first choice for an oily skin product. You could also use 2% e-wax. We really don't need a ton of emulsifier in here - I'm using it as a moisturizing and conditioning agent for oily skin - so I'm not following any rules about how much to add. I just like the feel of this combination.

Cool down phase: This is the fun bit! Which extracts should we use? We can choose from a ton of different ones as we don't mind a little - or a lot - of astringency. We want to focus on anti-inflammatory ingredients for acne and rosacea prone skin, and astringency and anti-oxidants for resistant skin. (Click here to see the list of extract posts!)

Resistant skin: Green tea, grapeseed, and rosemary.
Acne prone skin: Honeysuckle, white willow bark, comfrey, chamomile, cucumber.
Rosacea prone skin: Chamomile, cucumber, and chrysanthemum.

For my rosacea prone skin, I love a combination of chamomile and green tea (for the aging part), and you can use two extracts at 0.5% each!

For aging skin, throw in a little AHA at up to 3% (or use something like Multifruit BSC). For acne prone and rosacea prone skin, white willow bark or salicylic acid at 0.5% to 3% will work well for anti-inflammatory purposes.

MODIFIED CATIONIC OIL-FREE FACIAL MOISTURIZER FOR OILY, RESISTANT SKIN
WATER PHASE
20% aloe vera
40% hydrosol of choice
22% witch hazel
2% hydrolyzed protein (high molecular weight)
3% honeyquat or polyquat 7
3% glycerin
0.5% allantoin

OIL PHASE
3% BTMS
2% cetyl alcohol

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% panthenol
0.5% powdered extract (green tea, rosemary, grapeseed)
0.5% powdered extract (green tea, rosemary, grapeseed)
0.5% -1% preservative

MODIFIED CATIONIC OIL-FREE MOISTURIZER FOR ACNE PRONE OR ROSACEA TYPE SKIN
WATER PHASE
21% aloe vera
40% hydrosol of choice
22% witch hazel
2% hydrolyzed protein (high molecular weight)
3% honeyquat or polyquat 7
2% sodium lactate or sodium PCA
0.5% allantoin

OIL PHASE
3% BTMS
2% cetyl alcohol

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% panthenol
0.5% powdered extract
0.5% powdered extract or salicylic acid
0.5% -1% preservative

MODIFIED CATIONIC OIL-FREE MOISTURIZER FOR OILY, AGING OR WRINKLED SKIN
WATER PHASE
20% aloe vera
40% hydrosol of choice
20% witch hazel
2% hydrolyzed protein (high molecular weight)
5% honeyquat or polyquat 7
3% glycerin
0.5% allantoin

OIL PHASE
3% BTMS
2% cetyl alcohol

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% panthenol
0.5% AHA or Multifruit BSC at 3% (reduce water by 3%)
0.5% powdered extract (green tea, grapeseed, rosemary)
0.5% -1% preservative

I hope you've enjoyed this posts on making moisturizers for your skin type! Now you've got a facial cleanser, toner, and moisturizer!

Join me tomorrow for the first of a series of posts on creating hair care products! First up, the chemistry of your hair!

Quick note: If you are having trouble with this recipe, please increase the BTMS-50 to 4% and see what happens then. Have a read through the comments to see what others are saying. I'm afraid I don't know what to suggest to make it work better. Please make sure you are using the cetyl alcohol as well! 

24 comments:

Meaue said...

Oooh! Looking forward to the hair care posts! You should give us a "supply list" so we can make sure to have some stuff.... I already know I'm out of SCI!

TheSoapGallery said...

I have really learnt a lot since subscribing to your blog! And I agree with the poster above.. maybe a little preparatory buying list? hehe I'm out of polyquat and panthenol for sure ;p

Birgit said...

I have tried this recipe twice now. I've calculated and recalculated the formula but the moisturizer still comes out a runny. Is it suppose to be that way??? I hate to throw it away. Any suggestions??
Please let me know
I'm dying to use it with my new toner (thanks for the recipe:) )!!
Birgit

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Birgit. Which one did you use? Did you follow it exactly or did you substitute something in the recipe? What was your method? Did you heat and hold?

These moisturizers are meant to be liquidy - they are facial moisturizers, so I want them to have glide and feel light on your skin - and quite thin. If you want something thicker, you can make some changes to the recipe to thicken it up or you can go with some other moisturizers on this blog. I'm happy to make some suggestions.

Birgit said...

Hi,
Ok, runny may not be the right word (I thought about that after I wrote it yesterday). What happens is separation. I left it sit overnight and this morning the foamy part (I blended the formula with a whip attachment on my blender - usually works fine for my lotions) sits on top and there's liquid on the buttom and the two won't combine.
Yes, I did heat and hold and I used the water in oil method.
Here's what I used 21% aloe, 40% lavender hydrosol, 22% witch hazel, 2% hydrolyzed oats, 3% honeyquat, 2% sodium lactate, 0.5% allantoin, 3% BTMS, 2% cetyl, 2% panthenol and some powdered extracts which I dissolved in some of the warmed liquid and added during the cool down phase.
I seems to me the formula doesn't want to combine and emulsify properly.
What do think??
Thanks so much!!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Birgit. I make this recipe regularly and I haven't had problems with separation, so we need to figure out what's going on here!

1. Are you using BTMS-25 or BTMS-50?

2. If you're getting foam, you're whipping it too much. I've found lotions containing BTMS don't need a lot of mixing - a lot of conditioners with BTMS-50 can be mixed by hand only and they stay emulsified. Maybe try using the paddle or mixer attachment on the mixer and avoiding the foam?

3. BTMS doesn't go through phase inversion, so it's just as well to add the oils to the water phase as it is to add the water to the oil phase. But it shouldn't matter in this case...

Let's try something different as I don't want to sound like I'm doing the typical tech support of "turn your computer off, now turn it on again" or "is the computer screen on?" kind of thing (can you tell my computer whiz husband gets a lot of tech support questions?).

I'm wondering if you up the BTMS to 5% and see if that stays emulsified? And mix it less with a mixer attachment? And perhaps adding the oil to the water phase instead? Hmm, I feel like there's something more I can suggest here...I'm trying to think of my own process and see what I do to make this moisturizer!

I'll do some thinking and get back to you, as I feel like there's something I'm missing but I don't think it'll come to me staring at this screen!

Birgit said...

Hi,
I just checked out the BTMS and it's not BTMS 50, just the regular type (if there's such a thing?!?) INCI: Behentrimonium, Methosulfate & Cetearyl Alcohol.
I hope this helps. Next time around I'll add the oils to the water and use my stick blender. I'll wait to see if you come up with anything else, although I'm ready to try again (but I might be out of aloe, have to check on that one ;(
Thanks so much!

Birgit said...

Hi,
Just wanted to see if you've come up with anything else. As I wrote in my previous post I didn't use the BTMS-50. I did check your substitution page...but you lost me on that one... :) any thoughts??

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Birgit. I won't have time to re-formulate this for BTMS-25 as I don't have any in the house and don't really need to own it, so I can't do anything than offer a theoretical way you could modify this. You won't get good emulsification in a lotion with BTMS-25, so I wouldn't suggest using it with any lotion type stuff.

You can try making this recipe with emulsifying wax at the same levels, which should work. It won't feel as dry as the moisturizer with BTMS-50, but it will emulsify and be light.

Birgit Biehl said...

Hi,
thanks I'll try that and I'll remember to order some BTMS 50 next time I place an order.
Keep up the blog I devour it almost daily :))

Julie said...

It's not the BTMS 25, I also had problems with this recipe and I used BTMS 50. I made the one for oily, acne prone skin. I'd say at the end, it was hardly thicker than water. I didn't have polyquat or allantoin so I left those out. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly. It wouldn't emulsify, left the water part on the bottom and a creamish barely thicker than water part on the top.

It felt nice when I mixed it up and dripped it on my hand and rubbed it in, but there was no saving this, I had to throw it out. I even melted some extra cetyl alcohol and BTMS and threw it in during the cool down phase because I saw how thin the emulsion was and knew it wasn't going to be thick enough, but that didn't help either. I'm going to try what Susan said, to up the BTMS to 5%, but I'm also going to up the cetyl alcohol to 3 or 4%. Since I don't have polyquat, I'll use glycerin instead since its thicker than replacing it with water which is what I did last time. I really hope this works, the recipe looks awesome and I need a light moisturizer!

If I can get this to work, I'll post what I did for anyone else who had problems with this recipe.

Brandi Yates said...

I made some and it emulsified for me. I mixed with a blender for 3 minutes and again when it was cooler. I used btms 50 like the recipe.

Laura said...

Dear Susan,

please help me. I can't use honeyquat, please say me what is the altenative ingredient?
thank you
Laura

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

The alternative is listed in the recipe right beside the honeyquat.

Brandi Yates said...

It emulsified but it has since became really runny. How thin is it supposed to be? I have 16 ounces and would like to know if Ive done this right.

sldh said...

Just wanted to add my own thoughts on this one - I've been making the acne/rosacea version (with some variations) of this recipe for a couple years, but last summer for some reason when I poured the two phases together I ended up with the oil phase floating to the top and forming a solid film. Not knowing the solution, I held a short funeral and then tossed it out. The next time I made it, I got the same result - but I put it back on the heat until the oil phase melted again (I believe the water just wasn't hot enough and instantly cooled the cetyl alcohol), then mixed it constantly until it cooled to room temperature. It ended up being a little frothy, but now I have a stand mixer and will try mixing with the paddle attachment instead of a stick blender. It's a labor of love as I absolutely cannot live without this stuff in the summer!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Brandi. Sorry I missed your comment! It's supposed to be the thickness of a facial moisturizer, which is to say quite runny.

Hi sidh! Did you heat and hold the two phases before combining? How did you mix it?

Sherry said...

Hi Susan, I wanted to add that I, too, am having issues with the acne prone oily skin moisturizer. I have tried making it twice, both with separation after it sits for a few hours. I used BTMS-50, used a stick blender, and heated and held for 20 minutes. In order to ensure the wax was the same temperature as the water phase (because there was so little of it the first time I did it, it instantly cooled the minute I removed it from the double boiler!), I poured the water phase into the oil phase without removing the oil phase from the double boiler.

I only had an issue with frothing in the beginning but as I continued to blend as it cooled, the mixture became thicker and the froth was no longer an issue. It was still a runny mixture, but I see now that was intentional with this recipe. It was such a lovely consistency as I continued to blend it and as it cooled... but both times I made the recipe, I would bottle it up and come back to it many hours later only to find it was separated. :(

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Sherry. I don't know what to suggest. Could you increase the BTMS-50 to 4% next time and see what happens? Perhaps even 5%? I'm not sure what to suggest as I haven't had these issues and I'm not sure why I'm getting it right at home in my workshop but others aren't. Are you using the cetyl alcohol? (Just curious...)

Sherry said...

Hi Susan, it actually says "Cetyl Alcohol NF". Is that the same thing? If that's correct then I'll definitely try upping the BTMS-50 next time I try it and I'll let you know how it turns out.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Sherry. Cetyl alcohol NF is cetyl alcohol. The NF means "national formulary" meaning that it contains the ingredients set out by the NF.

Let me know how it works out. I hate it when things don't work and I don't have a solution for them!

Danuta Kilar said...

I came back to this subject looking for something. BTW I made this moisturizer (for oily skin) probably 6 times, following Susan instruction, Every time it comes out perfect even when I make some changes. BMTS-50 is the best emulsifier. Never any problem with it, :)

electrikat65 said...

In this particular recipe, when you say "witch hazel" you do mean the liquid stuff you buy at the drugstore and not the extract you buy from a supplier right?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi electrikat65! Check out the links in the post for witch hazel to see my comments about drug store versus suppliers' witch hazel!