Saturday, January 29, 2011

Eye cream - attempt number one

I've been asked many times to help make an eye cream, so I thought I'd give it a go. I haven't used eye creams in the past as I find they tend to be greasy and get all over my eye lashes and bug the heck out of me, so I thought I'd figure out how to make one that isn't greasy and wouldn't do that. (Note: This picture isn't of the eye cream as I've been using it out of a small Pyrex jug and putting plastic wrap over it and that isn't very pretty. So I put a picture of a whipped butter here to break up the text a little. But this would be what it would look like in a container!)

What do I want in an eye cream? I want something that is light and sinks in nicely. I want something that isn't greasy but is very glidy and spreads nicely. I want something with some active ingredients that can help with inflammation and, I hope, aging skin.

My first thought was to deal with the non-greasiness first and the lightness would eventually follow, which means planning my oil phase. The first ingredient I think about when I'm trying to reduce greasiness is BTMS-50 as my emulsifier. As we know, this emulsifier leaves behind a powdery feeling in the lotion, and that's what I want.

My next thought is about the oils I'll be using. I could use esters like cetearyl ethylhexanoate or ethylhexyl palmitate as they spread very well and offer lightness, but I want some active ingredients in there and I don't have any cosmeceutical type things I can add, so I need to use my oils for their properties. As much as I love esters, they don't offer those phytosterols or polyphenols I think essential for this kind of product.

I'm not planning to include a butter as I need something that is light, so I think about my oils. Most of the exotic oils are light and non-greasy, so which ones to choose. I considered quite a few, but eventually chose to use squalane and pomegranate oil. I chose squalane because our skin soaks it up quickly and it offers some nice glide and moisturizing. I chose pomegranate oil because it has the highest amount of phytosterols of all our oils, which means it offers great anti-inflammatory properties, and it has fatty acids that can improve skin's elasticity and stimulate regeneration. The polyphenols in pomegranate oil have been studied and ellagic acid has been found to reduce the destruction of collagen, regenerate skin cells, and offer thickening our skin. These are all amazing qualities for our eye area.

I decided to use cetyl esters to thicken this eye cream as it would be lighter and thinner than using cetyl alcohol. It would feel glidier with the cetyl esters, and this is a bonus.

And I wanted to include isopropyl palmitate (IPP) in the mix to reduce greasiness. I could have used IPM in its place, but IPP is less comedogenic than IPM and I don't want to have break outs on my upper cheeks! Oh, and IPP can behave as a penetration enhancer, which means my lovely active ingredients will have some assistance in reaching deeper into my skin layers.

I've also decided to add cyclomethicone in my cool down phase to help increase glide and silkiness.

Okay, so that's the oil phase. What do I want in my water phase? As I mentioned, I don't own any cosmeceutical ingredients, so I want to choose each ingredient to maximize its offering to the eye cream benefits (which are only theoretical and I'm making no claims about them!).

I know I want some green tea in the mix because it not only behaves as an anti-oxidant, which is fantastic for facial products, but it contains a ton of polyphenols - proanthocyanidins - that play a role in the stabilization of collagen and maintenance of elastin in the skin. They are being studies as water etention reducers, and capillary protectors. It also contains some lovely flavonoids that can help with UV damage, inflammation, and wound healing. I'm going to use 5% liquid green tea extract in my cool down phase.

And I thought I'd include some Multifruit BSC as well in the cool down phase as a form of AHA (click on the link to read more about AHAs as it's too long to repeat here). I'm going to add some panthenol as a humectant and film former. I'm adding Phytokeratin to the mix to behave as a film former and moisturizer. I'm adding honeyquat to the mix because it will offer skin conditioning and behave as a humectant.

Instead of water, I want to use a hydrosol, and I've chosen chamomile hydrosol because it is anti-inflammatory and soothing. I'm going to be adding witch hazel to this mix because it is an astringent anti-inflammatory hydrosol that can offer a feeling of cooling to the product (and some people expect a cooling feeling from an eye cream). Plus it contains more of those lovely proanthocyanins that can help with the stabilization of collagen and maintenance of elastin in the skin. And I'm going to use a little water, mainly because I ran out of chamomile hydrosol and I didn't want to use more than 20% witch hazel in the mix.

So here's what I came up with after all this thinking...

20% chamomile hydrosol
20% witch hazel
10% water
2% Phyokeratin

6% BTMS-50
2% cetyl esters
10% squalane
10% pomegranate oil
2% IPP

2% cyclomethicone
5% Multifruit BSC
5% liquid green tea extract
2% panthenol
3% honeyquat
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
0.5% Vitamin E

Please use the basic lotion making instructions to make this product.

So what do I think? I've been using this for a few days and I really like it. It dries to a matte finish and feels like it sinks in quickly. It doesn't leave a feeling of greasiness on my under eye area or eye lashes, and it's easy to apply. mom thinks it's too heavy. She wants something lighter for her eye cream, but likes it as a night cream for her dry, aging skin. I think it's too heavy as a moisturizer for my oily, rosacea prone, aging skin, but she likes it.

So I'll try again. What will I change? I'll take out the cetyl esters, reduce the BTMS-50 to 5%, remove some of the oils, and increase the hydrosols. So join me tomorrow to see how that turns out!


Marnie said...

I think this is a wonderful idea. Your formula sounds like a good one as it would be perfect for both day (under eye make-up) and at night as it wouldn't creep up and make your eyes puffy in the morning.

Willowdale said...

I'm about to whip this up! Did you ever get around to Eye cream attempt number two?

Tammy said...

Hi Susan,

I asked a few months ago about a lotion failure that I experienced (twice!!) using dimethicone. You responded that you couldn't see a reason for the failure. I haven't gone back to that formula, but last night I tried an eye cream based on yours. I used 2% cyclomethicone in the cooldown phase and the emulsion failed!! I have only had failures when I've tried to incorporate a silicone and my record is not good -- 0 for 4 so far >:(

I use Optiphen Plus as my preservative and I know some people have trouble with it. I'm wondering if you have heard of any incompatibility between Optiphen Plus and silicones. I'm trying to figure out what the problem is. I bought some Germall Plus and will try again but I wanted to know if you had any thoughts on the matter.


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Tammy. I'm not sure what I said before, but are you including the cyclomethicone in the oil phase for the amount of emulsifier you need to use? I can't think of any reason this should be happening, unless you have an emulsifier that can't handle silicones, like Sucragel. Optiphen can be an issue for any lotion, not just ones with silicones. This is one of the reasons I don't recommend this preservative. Are you adding the Optiphen and the cyclomethicone at the same time? Have you used cyclomethicone on its own without that preservative?

Can you be more specific about the recipe of mine you used? Did you add the cyclomethicone as an extra oil or as a substitute for another one?