What are the goals for dry skin types when it comes to surfactant based cleansers? We want to remove oils and other debris from our skin, but in the case of the dry skin type, we need to replace those oils to reduce dryness and leave behind a feeling of clean and freshly washed skin.
Let's take a look at our surfactants first. We know we need cocamidopropyl betaine (Amphosol CG). As an amphoteric surfactant, it increases mildness and viscosity, and it is always a great addition to any surfactant mix. So what else can we use?
SCI is lovely and creamy feeling, but it will thicken the mixture, so we want to stay at 10% or lower or use it at higher levels in a cream based cleanser.
SMC or SMO taurate is a great cleanser for dry skin as it helps to thicken other surfactants and offers gentle oil removal. It has a great skin feel. The down side is that it is a high foamer and latherer, so we don't want to use this as the bulk of our cleanser or we'll have a face full of bubbles that is hard to rinse off.
If we are looking at using blends, something like BSB or Plantapon LGC Sorb contain ester carboxylates that are substantive to our skin and hair, so it feels conditioned.
And consider using one of the non-ionic surfactants like cocamide DEA (ethanolamides) or PEG-7 cocoate (alkyl glucosides, monoglyceride) to thicken and re-fatten your product. Or Crothix, which is a great anti-irritant ingredient.
Because we want to increase the moisturizing and re-fattening of our skin, we want to include some great humectants, some moisturizing and conditioning ingredients, and possibly some water soluble oils to make our skin feel less dry when we're finished.
I've increased the glycerin to 5% in this recipe. Yes, I know this will make it more bubbly, but glycerin is the humectant of choice for dry skin!
Okay, so let's take a look at a basic facial cleanser recipe...
10% aloe vera or other hydrosol
20% anionic surfactant (SCI at 10% and another surfactant, or a baby type blend)
10% cocamidopropyl betaine (amphoteric surfactant)
3% re-fattening ingredient like cocamide DEA, PEG-7 cocoate, glycol distearate, or a water soluble oil at up to 4% (remove 1% from water phase)
2% hydrolyzed protein of choice
0.5% another extract
0.5% - 1.0% preservative of choice
up to 2% Crothix
If you have wrinkled skin, consider using an AHA product in this body wash - for instance, 3% Multifruit BSC or Phytofruit and removing 3% of the water amount. If you have really dry skin, you can increase the moisturizing ingredients higher still - say 10% for a water soluble oil - but if you are applying moisturizer afterwards, there's kinda no point!
If you want to use this in a foamer bottle, I suggest taking out all the thickeners and increasing the water so it makes up about 65% (it's at 44% now). I know it won't add up to 100%, but if you just increase the water to 65% and add the rest of the ingredients, it will work well.
Yes, I have a thing for foamer bottles! They're so cute!
Join me tomorrow for some ideas on creating a creamy facial cleanser for dry to normal skin!