Thursday, September 30, 2010

Experiments in the workshop: Min-maxing your toner.

I do love my toners (do a search and you'll be a little overwhelmed), primarily because I use it as both a toner and a moisturizer as my oily, rosacea prone skin really doesn't like oil based lotions or sera! So I decided to get into the workshop and see just how many interesting things I could include in my toner at once!

To min-max a character in Dungeons & Dragons means to get the maximum benefits for the minimum cost, so you generally get a character who is a serious bum kicking machine. Some call this "munchkining" your character - hence the name of the game "Munchkin". I did mention I was a serious geek, right? 

I'm basing it on this recipe for a toner for oily, rosacea prone skin, which is my favourite all time toner recipe! (Click here for the post on why I'm using the ingredients I'm using!)

TONER FOR ACNE OR ROSACEA PRONE SKIN
HEATED PHASE
26% water
30% witch hazel
25% chamomile hydrosol
10% aloe vera liquid
2% sodium lactate
2% hydrolyzed protein
0.5% allantoin

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% panthenol
0.5% white willow bark or salicylic acid
0.5% chamomile extract
3% honeyquat
0.5% preservative (I use Germall Plus)

I'm sure you can see a millions ways to tweak this recipe - change the hydrosol, change the extracts, change the humectants, add some esters - so I'll share with you what I did with this one!

I'm happy with my heated phase, so I'm not taking anything out, but I will be reducing the water as I add various ingredients. I've decided I'm including the following: Multifruit BSC, salicylic acid, and Caprol Micro Express (CME). Why?

Multifruit BSC is a type of AHA you can add at 5% to 15% in your creations. I've chosen to use it at 5% in this creation because I haven't really used AHAs on my skin - my focus has been more on stopping the rosacea than helping with wrinkles - so I'll use it at 5% to see how my skin likes it.

I generally use white willow bark instead of salicylic acid, but this time I thought I'd use salicylic acid at 2% in this recipe. And yes, you can dissolve it in warm water instead of alcohol!

The combination of the AHA and BHA (salicylic acid) should help exfoliate my skin really really well, so this will be an interesting experiment.

I'm also playing with Caprol Micro Express, a new ingredient I received from Saffire Blue (but it's not on sale there yet, so you'll have to click on the link above to get it from Lotioncrafter). It's an ester with the INCI of PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides (and) Polyglycerol-6 Dioleate (and) Glyceryl Caprylate/Caprate, and it's used as a microemulsion creator for room and linen sprays (use it as you would polysorbate 20). But it's also a nice water soluble ester that can be used as a moisturizer. You can use any water soluble ester you like in this toner - I've created a recipe here with an ester - but I thought I'd use this one as I was debating including an oil soluble ingredient or two. (I decided not to do it, in the end.) This will offer non-occlusive moisturizing without the oils that might annoy my skin.

For the extracts, I'm going with 5% liquid green tea extract (you can use 0.5% powdered extract) because my shoulder hurt and I couldn't get the powdered extract box down from the high shelf, and I'll include my usual chamomile extract at 0.5% (which, fortunately, was on the counter!). I switched the chamomile hydrosol for lavender hydrosol because I'm out of chamomile, and I thought I had enough with the powdered extract.

So let's take a look at this recipe now!

MIN-MAXED TONER
HEATED PHASE
11.5% water
30% witch hazel
25% lavender hydrosol
10% aloe vera liquid
5% liquid green tea extract
2% sodium lactate
2% hydrolyzed protein
0.5% allantoin

COOL DOWN PHASE
3% Caprol Micro Express or another water soluble ester
5% Mutifruit BSC
2% salicylic acid
2% panthenol
3% honeyquat
0.5% chamomile extract
0.5% preservative (I use Germall Plus)

Weigh the heated ingredients into a Pyrex jug and put into the double boiler. Let heat until it reaches 70˚C. Remove from the heat and allow to cool down to 45˚C to 50˚C, then add the cool down phase. Allow to cool down completely, then bottle. 

You can put the powdered extracts and salicylic acid into a little container, then add a little of the heated phase to it and mix well. Add to the cool down phase with the other ingredients. 

I am having a love affair with this toner! I'm surprised that in a little over a week I'm getting comments on my skin. My mom keeps asking what I'm using - the toner in the bathroom! try it! - and co-workers have said I don't look as tired as normal. (I am still suffering from those lovely headaches, so it's little wonder I'm looking tired). I didn't think these small amounts of ingredients would make such a difference, but they do! 

10 comments:

Tara said...

So does the salicylic acid dissolve well in the cool down phase rather than the the heated phase? Everytime I've used SA, I've found that it crystallizes a few weeks later - such a pain!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Tara. I use some of the heated water phase to dissolve the salicylic acid and then I add it to the cool down phase. I could add it to the heated phase as well - this post is an example of what I did this time. When I do this again, I'll get the heated water, dissolve the salicylic acid, then return it to the heated water phase because salicylic acid dissolves better in heated water than cold water. I haven't noticed any crystallization yet and it's been about a month! But I'll keep you updated!

Tara said...

I also thought it because I read in one of your posts that green tea shouldn't be used in an acidic medium? What is your source of SA? I purchased mine from makingcosmetics.com.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Tara. You are correct! You have a fantastic memory!

I mentionin this post - green tea: proanthocyandins and anthocyanidins - that green tea doesn't like to be used in acidic environments. Honestly, it didn't cross my mind when I was making my toner. I just wanted both the green tea and the Multifruit for what each brought to the mix! I've tested the pH and I'm around 6 with this product, so it's good for the green tea.

Thanks for reminding me of this!

I bought my salicylic acid from the Personal Formulator. I haven't found a source in Canada yet.

Tara said...

Thanks Susan. I have purchased some SA from The Personal Formulator as well. Maybe it is better?

Sarah said...

Hey Susan, this is great! Just a bit of confusion for me as I am new at the various pH levels. doesn't SA need a pH of 3-3.5 or so? How does that work if your overall toner is at a 6?

I am hoping to make a SA blend/gel for an infected area, more like a spot treatment. Any recommendations? I was hoping to find something that I can use with Aloe Vera gel in it.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Sarah. I can't recommend a product to treat a medical condition, so I really can't help. As for pH, where did you see that salicylic acid needs a pH of 3? If you could send it along, that would be great!

Sherry said...

Hi Susan. I'd love to make this toner when I make your creamy cleanser for acne and rosacea type skin. My question is, if I use 2% salicylic acid in my toner, is it a bad idea to put exfoliating ingredients into my cleanser? Should I replace the white willow bark extract that you called for in the cleanser in order to avoid over-exfoliation?

If I do change the recipes a bit, do you mind if I send the edited ones to you for some feedback? Thanks so much!

Birgit said...

Susan,

I have not been making many anhydrous recipes before, but this one looked good, and I had just received a whole bunch of lovely extracts in the mail, so I decided to give it a go. Plus, my skin really felt like it needed a pick-me-up. So this is what I made:
HEATED PHASE
11% water
29% rose water (as I only had witch hazel with alcohol)
19% lavender hydrosol
9% 10x aloe vera liquid
2% each liquid extract - green tea, chamomile, licorice, hibiscus, calendula.
2% lactic acid
2% hydrolyzed oats
did not have any allantoin, so skipped that.

COOL DOWN PHASE
3% polyglyceryl oleate (only ester I had)
5% fruit acid complex
1% ea aspen bark extract and white willow bark
2% panthenol
3% glycerin (did not have any -quats at home)
1% helichrysum extract
2% leucidal liquid (hoping that will be enough as I only made a small batch for myself)

Thoughs:
positives: goes on with a nice glide, feels awesome on my skin, smells pleasant.
negatives: looks pretty muddy - both color, and consistency is a bit foggy, too, and develops a slight (oily?) layer on top. I'm sure you can tell right away what went wrong (I am suspecting oleate or glycerin).
I have been using it by swiping it over my clean face with a cotton pad but it seems a bit of a waste. Could I make it thicker with e.g. xantan gum and use it as a light moisturizer?
So in general I am pretty happy with the product (especially as it was first time I made anything even similar to this), but could probably tweak it a bit to make it nicer-looking.

Cheers,
Birgit

Birgit said...

And, yes, I read all your gelled toner recipes, but do not have ingredients for those, hence the question on whether I can just gel a ready toner with xanthan gum. Maybe I will just try it and see what happens.