Saturday, August 14, 2010

Esters: Making a facial serum


Esters are a great inclusion in a facial serum to increase its ability to spread nicely over your skin and to decrease the feeling of oiliness. If you're a person who can't handle oils on your skin, esters can be a way to get some emolliency and occlusion without having to worry about break outs!

Let's take a look at the serum for dry skin (found in this post). Click on the link if you want to see how this recipe was developed and why I included the oils I did! 

FACIAL SERUM FOR DRY SKIN
20% squalane
20% soybean oil
20% camellia oil
10% evening primrose oil (20% for very dry skin, reduce the squalane by 10%)
10% borage oil
10% sea buckthorn oil
10% rosehip, carrot, or other oil that looks nice to you

So let's say you have dry skin and want some occlusion. You could add some C12-15 alkyl benzoate into the mix to decrease the feeling of greasiness and increase the spreadability of the serum, while increasing the occlusive nature of it. Which oil to switch out? Well, it depends on your skin's needs. (Again, click on the link above to see why I used the oils I did in this serum!) I added the camellia oil to increase the lightness and moisturization of this serum, so you could use up to 15% C12-15 alkyl benzoate here to make the serum feel even lighter and more occlusive. 

Or you could add some cetearyl ethylhexanoate in place of the camellia oil at up to 25%. You won't get the same level of occlusivity - so you could do something like 10% C12-15 alkyl benzoate and 10% cetearyl ethylhexanoate - but you will get the feeling of lightness and a decrease in the greasy feeling. 

Or you could substitute it for the soybean oil, which is a very greasy feeling but light oil, although I really do like the phytosterols and linoleic acid levels in that oil and included it because it would be great for helping the skin's barrier abilities to repair, but we have the evening primrose and borage oil for those qualities as well. 

If you wanted to make a light feeling, less greasy serum, you could make the following recipe...

FACIAL SERUM FOR DRY SKIN USING ESTERS (an example recipe)
20% squalane
20% soybean oil
10% C12-15 alkyl benzoate
10% cetearyl ethylhexanoate
10% evening primrose oil (20% for very dry skin, reduce the squalane by 10%)
10% borage oil
10% sea buckthorn oil
10% rosehip, carrot, or other oil that looks nice to you

Why not use something like IPM, an ester that makes everything feel less greasy? Because it's quite comedogenic and can make most people break out in blackheads! If you have skin that can handle it, add it at 2% and make the original recipe feel less greasy. If your skin can't handle it, the other esters are great inclusions! (As a note, isopropyl palmitate is very much like isopropyl myristate - IPM - but has a much lower comedogenic and allergic potential, but is still considered comedogenic. More on this ester in the coming days!) 

If you're interested in making a facial serum for oily skin, please click here! You can substitute the esters for any of the oils in that serum as well!

And if you're interested in making a facial lotion bar, you can substitute the esters for the fractionated coconut oil in this recipe to get a much drier feeling bar that offers some occlusivity - if you're using the C12-15 alkyl benzoate! 

Join me tomorrow for more fun formulating with esters when we take a look at a facial lotion bar! 

4 comments:

Lissa said...

Thank you Susan. Today's entry gives me ideas to mull over in formulating a facial serum. I've nailed my OCM cleanser(with help from your blog) now am working on a serum recipe. One from winter and one for summer.... love that I have the option of tweeking a formula just a little to work for different seasons. Honestly, you've given me the encouagement to try.
Lissa

Lissa said...

sorry for the crappy spelling
L

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,

I just saw this ingredient on the Voyageur website and was wondering if you've every used it? I searched and couldn't find a post. Castorlatum. I'm wondering if it could be used in a serum or in place of a carbomer? I'm interested to hear what you think.

Thanks! Nicole

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Nicole! I've never used it, but I understand it is a petroleum jelly substitute using castor oil and wax. I don't think you would want to use it as the base of a serum as it's more like Vaseline and that would feel kinda weird all over your face! But that's just my opinion...