Friday, November 19, 2010

Men's products: Formulating a drier feeling lotion

As I mentioned the other day, it seems like the men who contact me want drier feeling lotions - but then again, so do a lot of women. I tend towards the greasier side of the the lotion spectrum, so let's take a look at a few ingredients and tweaks we can make to create a drier feeling lotion.

Let's start with our emulsifier. Incroquat BTMS-50 should be your first choice in emulsifiers for drier feeling lotions. It has what's called a "powdery" feeling on your skin, and it'll condition as well, so that's a bonus. It can also act as the conditioning and moisturizing ingredient in oil-free moisturizers. Polawax, e-wax, and most of the combinations we can use in the HLB system will all feel much greasier than BTMS-50.

We should also consider the oils we're using to make our lotions feel more powdery or dry. You'll want some drier feeling or astringent oils, like hazelnut, macadamia nut, or grapeseed oils. If you want something light, consider fractionated coconut oil - it's not low on the greasiness scale, but it rubs in well and will feel very light on your skin. Or consider the exotic oils. Most of them contain a lot of tannins and will feel dry, like evening primrose, borage, cranberry, pomegranate, and so on. They're more expensive than regular oils, but you won't need much.

You'll want to choose mango butter or kokum butter, as both are considered astringent, although they'll both feel greasier than any oil you choose.

And you'll want to consider some esters. 2% IPP or IPM can make a world of difference in your lotion - it's considered an ester that makes other oils and esters feel less greasy. You can go as high as 5% in your lotions, but I would find that way too non-greasy for my tastes!

Or consider some esters. Cetearyl ethylhexanoate, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, and ethylhexyl palmitate are all considered low greasiness esters. And they all feel very light, which is a bonus.

Click here to see the list of oils, butters, and esters.

If you're looking to create a barrier, consider using dimethicone or allantoin instead of cocoa butter. Cocoa butter, although lovely, will add major greasiness to your product. Consider using 2% dimethicone as the barrier ingredient and 2% cyclomethicone to offer a more powdery feeling to your product. Using 0.5% to 1% allantoin in your heated water phase can add a huge amount of barrier power to your product, but make sure you dissolve it well!

We need a humectant here. I'm going to use honeyquat at 3% to offer some conditioning and humectant properties, but you could use 2% sodium lactate or 2% sodium PCA. I wouldn't use glycerin here as it could make it feel a little sticky, and we're trying to make something that feels lovely and powdery, not sticky. If you want to use sodium lactate or sodium PCA, add it in the water phase and ignore the part about the honeyquat in the cool down phase. Add 1% more water to the mix to compensate.

Finally, I'm going to add cetyl alcohol to this lotion to give it some glide without tons of greasiness. If you wanted to make this into a cream, you could use stearic acid to give it more body. If you wanted to make this a lighter lotion, I'd suggest using cetyl esters, but don't use vanilla fragrances with it! You could also use cetearyl alcohol, but it will feel more occlusive and a little more waxy.

So let's put this all together to make a drier feeling lotion. First, as per Frank's request in this post, we'll look at a basic lotion, then a lotion with some modifications!

72% water
2% to 3% humectant (sodium lactate will feel drier than glycerin, but you can use that here, too)

3% cetyl alcohol
10% oils
5% butter (optional, just increase oils to 15% total)

0.5% to 1% fragrance oil (optional)
0.5% to 1% preservative

For this recipe, make sure you choose the drier feeling oils and butters I mention above.

Follow the basic lotion making instructions for this recipe.

55.5% water
0.5% allantoin
10% aloe vera or other hydrosol (optional)

6% Incroquat BTMS-50
3% cetyl alcohol, stearic acid, or cetyl esters
5% mango or kokum butter
10% macadamia nut, hazelnut, grapeseed oils or other exotic oils of choice
2% IPM or IPP

2% dimethicone
2% cyclomethicone
0.5% to 1% preservative
0.5% to 1% fragrance or essential oils
3% honeyquat
1% Vitamin E (anti-oxidant, optional)

Follow the basic lotion making instructions for this recipe.

This should make a medium weight lotion that feels dry, depending upon the thickener you use. As a note, you can take your favourite lotion recipe and substitute the suggestions I've made here rather than trying a new lotion recipe from scratch!

Let's take a look at making a lighter and drier feeling, quickly sink-in-able lotion tomorrow!


Lori said...

Hi Susan, First, thanks so much for your wonderful blog. I worked up the courage to formulate my first lotion, but it separated. I used the first recipe above as a starting point...15% oils, 72% water, 2% sodium lactate, 5% BTMS-50, 3% Cetyl alcohol, 1% preservative Cap 5, and 2% essential oils for fragrance. I heated and held at the appropriate temps, added preservative at the appropriate temp, etc. and it still separated. Any ideas on what I might have done incorrectly? Since I'm using essential oils to fragrance, would you heat them with the oil phase? Thanks for all you do, Lori

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Lori! I'm sorry I missed this comment from a few weeks ago. Which one did you use? Is this your complete recipe? What oils did you use? What is Cap 5 preservative? And what essential oils did you use? Let me know and I'll see what I can do.

Lori said...

Thanks for your response Susan. I used 72% aloe juice, a 15% combo of oils (hemp and fractionated coconut oil), used lavender and clove essential oils at 2% total, 5% BTMS-50, 3% cetyl alcohol, 2% sodium lactate, and preservative cap 5 at 1%. I purchased Preservative cap 5 from TKB Trading which states: The INCI for the product is: Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Hexylene Glycol. The Caprylyl and Hexylene Glycols are the liquid carriers. I followed your lotion making suggestions, ie, heated and held, temps, adding water to oil phase, etc. mixed and mixed but eventually the oil would separate. :( I'm obviously doing something wrong - just don't know what. I added the essential oils and preservative at the cool down phase. I heated the sodium lactate with the water-wasnt real sure about that. I thought I would try this recipe to begin with since I want a very light lotion. Again, thank you for your time...Lori