Friday, September 10, 2010

Esters: Ridiculously moisturizing body wash with esters (opaque)

It seems to me that everyone is on a quest to make a moisturizing body wash. There are a few ways to make a body wash more moisturizing - follow the guidelines for increasing mildness in surfactant based products by reducing the concentration of the surfactants, choosing milder surfactants, and adding irritation mitigators like conditioning agents, silicones, oils, and so on. Let's focus on making a really moisturizing body wash by adding irritation mitigators like esters!

I've made a few body washes with oils and irritation mitigators in the past... you'd think we'd exhausted all the possibilities! But you'd be wrong! (And as a point of interest, all of these things apply to increasing the emolliency and reducing the irritation of all surfactant based products, including shampoo, bubble bath, and facial cleansers.)

Which esters you choose will depend upon a few things. If you want a clear product, then PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate, cocamide DEA, and glycol distearate won't be your first choice as these are opacifiers and pearlizers. If you don't like esters, you might want to consider using cationic polymers and oils to get more moisturization.

So let's take a body wash recipe I already really love and tweak it. I'm choosing my favourite combination - body wash with SCI - and I'll tweak that to make it super mega moisturizing!

37.5% water
5% SCI
15% cocamidopropyl betaine
20% LSB (or other anionic surfactant of choice)
10% aloe vera
3% glycerin
3% condition-eze 7
2% hydrolyzed protein

2% panthenol
1% fragrance or essential oil
1% liquid Crothix (may not be necessary!)
0.5% to 1% preservative
colour, if desired

I've already included some mild surfactants, a cationic polymer (in the form of condition-eze 7), and an anti-irritant (Crothix), but I want to make this even more moisturizing! I think I'll increase the SCI to 10% to make it even thicker and more bubbly, so now I need to pick an ester. (If I'm using SCI with stearic at 10% I won't get a clear product; if you use SCI without stearic at 10% you will get an opaque product. But an opaque product seems to give the impression to the user that it is more moisturizing, so a pearlized product actually works in our favour in this case.)

I like PEG-7 olivate a lot for body washes as it adds emollience well in a clear product. Since that doesn't matter, I can use it or not use it. I might want to save it for a clear product.

Glycol distearate is a great opacifier, pearlizer, and moisturizer, and since I don't care about opacity, this would be a great inclusion. Normally I get frustrated with this ingredient because I really have to work to melt it, but I have to melt the SCI so I can do this all at once. I don't want to use this at more than 2% because I've found it can end up in a white precipitate at the bottom of the bottle if I use more!

PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate is a great inclusion in an opaque body wash! It feels very moisturizing and won't have an impact on the foam or lather. We can use it at 2% to 10%, but I'd keep it around 3% to 5% because at higher levels it will have a slight impact on the foam.

Crodamol STS is a great emollient and will produce clear surfactant systems. We can include this at 3% if we want.

Cromollient SCE is another great emollient that produces clear surfactant systems. We can include this at up to 3% in our body wash.

We are already including Crothix - which is an ester - to thicken our mixture (and yes, you might still need some Crothix even with the 10% SCI with stearic acid and the glycol distearate if you're using fragrance oils that thin the mixture).

So what should we choose? I'm thinking I might use PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate at 3% as it is a great emollient, glycol distearate as a good moisturizer and thickener at 2%, and Cromollient SCE at 3% as another emollient. So I'll have to remove 8% from the water phase, which will make this a much thicker body wash than the original. I'm keeping my cationic polymer at 3% because I love the skin conditioning features. Okay, so what do we have now as a recipe?

Because I'm really loving the effect of white willow bark in my previous body wash with esters, I'll add that again and increase it to 1% in the cool down phase.

33% water
10% SCI with stearic acid
10% cocamidopropyl betaine
10% LSB (or other anionic surfactant of choice)
15% aloe vera
3% glycerin
3% condition-eze 7
2% hydrolyzed protein
3% PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate
2% glycol distearate
3% Cromollient SCE

2% panthenol
1% fragrance or essential oil
1% white willow bark
1% liquid Crothix (may not be necessary!)
0.5% to 1% preservative
colour, if desired

1. Weigh the SCI and cocamidopropyl betaine into a container and put into a double boiler. Stir occasionally until it is melted.

2. Weigh the rest of the heated phase into a container and put into a double boiler. Stir occasionally until it is the same temperature as the SCI and cocamidopropyl betaine.

3. Combine the two containers and mix very well until it is a homogenous solution. Don't stir too vigorously or you might end up with tons of bubbles that take some time to get to the top of the bottle!

4. When the mixture reaches 45˚C, add the cool down phase. Again, don't mix it too vigorously!

5. Let this sit until it comes to room temperature before bottling. This way you can tell if you need more thickening.

Wow, what a creamy, thick, opaque body wash! I'm having a love affair with this product! Again, the colour isn't that great thanks to the inclusion of the white willow bark, but it's a magnificent feeling product. (If you want something that doesn't have that hint of brown-ness in it, you can use 1% salicylic acid instead.) And you have to love any body wash that smells like cupcakes! 

Join me tomorrow for fun formulating a clear body wash with our esters! 


sfs said...

Will the salicylic acid or willow bark solubilize without alcohol?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Yes. I don't use alcohol in this recipe - I use warm water to melt the white willow bark and it works well.

Here's the post on salicylic acid.
Here's the post on white willow bark.

Naomi said...

I am so going to make this!!!

Naomi said...

I made this and love it so far! I didn't have the glycol distearate but when I read "pearlizer" I took a look at the bottle of foam booster/pearlizer from WSP I purchased a while back and haven't used yet and, yep, Glycol Distearate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamide MEA, Laureth-7, Water. Anyway, I was lovin' your SCI body wash with oils, so what do you think about adding oils to this formulation?

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan, this is the best body wash ever. I've made it a few times now, but I think I'm doing something wrong. I weigh out the ingredients, 100 grams total, melt them down, combine them, it comes out perfect. I just don't wind up with 100 grams of products, it's usually between 80-85grams. Do you loose that much water in the heating phase from evaporation and should I add more water to compensate? or is this normal?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Aesthete! You can add more water into the mix (I usually have some in a kettle boiling in the workshop to add more) or you can leave it alone. It's up to you. If you like it at the lower water level, then don't add extra water.

You can lose a lot of water from the surfactants waiting for the SCI to finally melt. Most of our surfactants are about 30% active surfactant and 70% water (give or take), so we just end up with more surfactant and less water in the body wash. I don't see this as a bad thing - we have something more concentrated and it's still within the guidelines of the amount of surfactants we use!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Naomi! Sorry I missed your comment from quite a few weeks ago. You can add oils to this mixture, but keep it under 5% and leave out the esters because our surfactants can only emulsify so much!

blondiee82 said...

I know sometimes your recipes don't add up to exactly 100% (give or take a little), but I can't get this one to add up anywhere close...85.5%. Am I missing something?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi blondiee82 (hey, you have the same name as my lovely dog!) I have to refer to my notes in the morning because I know there's something missing there, but I have no idea what it could be. I know I have too little aloe vera there and the surfactants aren't totalled to the amount I normally use. I guess I really was sleepy that day! Thanks for catching that error.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Blondie! I realized I left out the added water and aloe vera I used in my second try at this recipe and posted the original one that I thought was too thick! Either way, it's a very moisturizing body wash, but I've updated the recipes. Thanks again for catching that!

Anonymous said...

Made this for the first time and love it! I have dry skin and live in the Sonoran Desert, so I really need something this moisturizing. Couldn't find LSB anywhere, so I used BSB (from Voyageur) and honeyquat instead of condition-eze. Used Rice Flower and Shea Fragrance Oil (also from Voyageur), which adds a nice, but not overpowering, scent. Found it was plenty thick, so I skipped the Crothix. Scaled the recipe to 600g total (actually 594g, since I didn't add 6g of Crothix) and got slightly more than 16 fl. oz.

Ann said...

Hi Susan, I love your blog it’s so informative and since I am new to making my own skincare products, extremely valuable. This is my first post.

I can’t get the following ingredients so I left them out or substituted:
SCI with stearic acid
PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate
Cromollient SCE
White willow bark

10% SCI- without stearic acid
10% Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate (instead of LSB)
2% Hydrolysed oats
2% Silk peptide powder
2% Calendula extract
3% Olive esters
0.5% liquid Germall plus as preservative
3 drops green dye
Essential oil blend for dry skin
Cut and a shave fragrance oil
I used 2ml Shampoo ultra thick which is similar to the crothix, to thicken the body wash slightly.
Followed your instructions exactly for making it and was pleased with how it turned out. The silk peptide powder has a strong smell so I had to add extra essential oils and fragrance to mask it. The hydrolysed oats gave it a beige cast so I added some green dye. The body wash was creamy and lathered very well (you only needed a small amount). My skin felt moisturised after using it. My husband also tried it and he had no complaints so it must have been good! said...

Hi Susan
I use a concentrate liquid soap base for shower gels, just adding fragrance of choice. Can I add moisturizing goodies to it? The base comes from Brambleberry, and I dilute it 3:1 with distilled water. Bramblebery website lists the ingredients as:

Common Name: Aqua/Water/Eau, Sodium laureth sulfate, Cocamide DEA, Propylene glycol, Salt, Cocamine oxide, Cocamidopropyl betaine, Glycerin, Citric acid, Polyquaternium-7, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Magnesium chloride, Magnesium nitrate

thank you
sally Jorgensen

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Sally! This is a question for your supplier, Brambleberry. It will depend on whether they've add more preservative to compensate for additions or not.

P&C Fisher said...

Hi Susan, I made a body wash very similar to your SCI one, and it turned out creamy and nice and thick, but then 2 days later it was the consistency of water...any idea what may have happened or why? I mean it worked the same but noone wants watery body wash.

Thanx in advance

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Crystal! Without your complete ingredient list, including the fragrance or essential oil you used, I can't really help. Please provide me with your recipe in percentages and I'll see what I can offer. I have a feeling that you may have used a fragrance or essential oil that thins out the recipe, something with vanilla can do it quite easily.

Paige B said...

I'm curious; intuitively, I would expect anionic (LSB or other anionic surfactant) and cationic (condition-eze 7 or other quat) ingredients to be incompatible. I have seen some documentation that specifically states that a charged ingredient can be used with cationics, but a quick search revealed nothing about LSB. So why is there not just charge exchange between the two ionic ingredients? Doesn't mixing the two oppositely charged ingredients just negate the substantivity of the quat (there is so much more surfactant that it is unlikely all the anionic material would be neutralized)?