Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Learning to formulate: Modifying creams!

The recipe I posted yesterday for a foot cream can be modified in so many different ways, it would take us weeks just to get through those variations we could make using soybean oil as the main oil! It's all about your preferences and supplies - what you see here reflects what I have in my workshop, what's available to me locally, and the skin feel I prefer in my products.

What I made yesterday was a humectant heavy foot cream with greasier feeling oils and occlusive ingredients. I know my best friend isn't a fan of the humectant heavy foot cream - she says her feet feel cold with all that moisture on it - and I know she likes the drier feeling oils in her products. She's also a fan of the menthol-eucalpytus-camphor blend (I call it her Vicks blend) and likes to have something that slips and glides more easily (so cetyl alcohol is my first choice here). So this is a version I made for her for her poor trashed feet (she dances and has had two operations on them, so you know she has to take care of them well) and another version. The key difference here is that I took into consideration her preferred skin feel - fewer humectants, less greasy oils - and her fragrance preferences - the Vicks Blend. (Both of these versions contain break downs of each ingredient I've used for this product, so I encourage you to click on the links for more formulating fun!)

So let's say you want a less greasy version of this product - what can you substitute? I'll post the recipe again and let you think about it because after all, the point of this series is to help you learn to formulate! (I did mention there'd be a quiz, right?)

35% water
10% aloe vera
10% peppermint hydrosol
3% glycerin
3% sodium lactate

3% menthol
10% soybean oil
10% cocoa butter
7% emulsifier
3% stearic acid

2% panthenol
2% dimethicone
0.5% preservative

Time's up! Pencils down! 
How could we modify this to be a less greasy cream?
  • We could alter our oils and butters. Check out the emollient posts or the comparison charts for some ideas. 
  • We could add some IPM or IPP to the mix (usually 2% but you can go as high as 5%). 
  • We could use esters instead of oils. They tend to feel drier than our oils. 
  • We could switch emulsifiers. BTMS-50 feels drier than Polawax. 
  • We could add cyclomethicone to the cool down phase for a powdery after feel. 
  • We could try another fatty alcohol - like cetearyl alcohol - which feels a little waxier. And as we've seen in the past (just one example), we can make the product "oil free" by removing all the just use fatty alcohols and acids to behave as emollients. These will feel less greasy than our oils and butters. 
  • We could look at adding astringent ingredients like witch hazel, grapeseed extract, rosemary extracts, alcohol, and other astringent ingredients in the water or cool down phases. (I wouldn't go with alcohol as it is very drying, but the others are good choices. Plus witch hazel offers a cooling sensation, which is good for foot care products.) 
So what did you come up with? What combinations of oils and butters and other ingredients do you think would make a drier feeling product? Post your ideas and comments and we'll do some tweaking based on what you think would make a drier feeling cream tomorrow!


Madeaj said...

Here's my take on making it drier. I was thinking of something for my stepmother who has sensitive skin. Menthol is too strong for her. She likes rose and citrusy scents, so I was thinking of using a rose hydrosol or the Melissa from the Herbarie.

Honeyquat is supposed to be less sticky so I changed out the glycerin. So do you think this would work as a drier feeling cream?

35% water
10% aloe vera
10% peppermint hydrosol – Melissa or rose hydrosol
3% glycerin – honeyquat or hydrovance
3% sodium lactate

3% menthol take this out completely - meadowfoam oil for sensitive skin
10% soybean oil – fractionated coconut oil? Sesame oil? Apricot kernel oil? Not sure I'd change the soybean because of the good stuff in soybean and the other dry feeling ingredients. I wouldn't want the cream too dry. I want a silky feel.
10% cocoa butter – mango?
7% emulsifier - Xyliance (the herbarie)
3% stearic acid – cetyl alcohol (something simuliar)

2% panthenol
2% dimethicone
0.5% preservative

Madeaj said...

I have another suggestion. I am trying to come up with a silky dry cream for my sister and was wondering if adding Dry-Flo in the cool down is a good way to make a drier product?

Anonymous said...

if you are using a sole emulsifier e.g xyliance at 7%, then why add stearic acid at 3%
surely it defeats the object of using just one emulsifier and i don't want to use stearic acid as it is palm based
thank you for your comments
my xyliance cream is also separating slightly, what would be the reason for this?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Anonymous. Please rewrite your comment with your name or I will have to delete it. Stearic acid isn't an emulsifier; it's a thickener. And it can help make lotions stable. Please send me your complete recipe and complete process - with your name on it - and we'll troubleshoot your recipe.

Mary Walton said...

Hi Susan
Thank you for your reply and for any advice you can give, love your contribution. I know that stearic acid is a thickener, I just want to use an emulsifier and no other waxes (especially one made with palm oil.)
Recipe is
20% liquid oils
7% xyliance
5% glycerine
4% shea
3% squalane
1% naticide
1% essential oils
0.25% dehydroxanthan gum
water >100%

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Mary. I've included your question in today's Weekend Wonderings! The short answer is that you don't need to include a thickener in a lotion if you don't wish to use one.