Saturday, March 5, 2011
Learning to formulate: Facial moisturizers continued...
There are a number of different recipes you can use for a moisturizer recipe (see yesterday's post for more information), and since I've already tweaked the heck out of the 80% water recipe, I'm going to start here with an 85% water recipe and work with this for these posts.
BASIC FACIAL MOISTURIZER RECIPE
COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% to 1% preservative
This would make a fine moisturizer with a light to medium consistency, depending upon your oils, butters, and thickeners. As usual, your choice of oils will make all the difference. If you choose heavier oils, this will be heavier. Choose lighter ones, you'll get a lighter product. If you have dry skin, you'll want to increase the oils in your product; if you have oily skin, you'll want to choose some "oil free" emollients like esters, fatty alcohols, or fatty acids.
And your choice of emulsifier is important. If you want a matte finish, your first choice should be Incroquat BTMS-50 (and you can probably eliminate the thickener as well, which is a bonus). If you want something a little greasier feeling, then Polawax or e-wax should be your first choice.
So let's see how we can tweak this a little to be a very light, matte feeling moisturizer. Today I'll offer some suggestions for normal skin.
Water phase: I can use all water here, but it seems a pity when there are all the lovely hydrosols, proteins, extracts, and so on that can take this moisturizer from good to freakin' awesome!
I always like to include some aloe vera in my products for moisturizing and reducing inflammation, and I find 10% is a nice level. And I like to use a hydrosol that will help with the same issues. Rose is great for controlling sebum, lavender for soothing, chamomile for anti-inflammation and soothing, rosemary for controlling really oily skin, and so on. Couple this with a nice extract suitable for your skin type and you've got a great combination that will benefit your facial skin.
Humectants are vital in a facial moisturizer. We can get some great moisturizing from our emollients, but humectants add that touch of non-oily moisturizing we want throughout the day. We have tons of humectants from which we can choose - glycerin, sodium lactate, sodium PCA, honeyquat, panthenol, tamarind seed extract, and more - and I like to use them at 3% to 5% in a moisturizer. If you have acne prone skin, sodium lactate is a good choice as it can help with acne as well as decreasing transepidermal water loss and stimulate ceramide synthesis. But it can make you sun sensitive, so use it at 2.5% or less. Glycerin is another fantastic humectant that can accelerate the recovery from damage to our skin's barrier system as well as draw water to our skin, but it can feel a bit sticky, so let's use that at around 3% or so.
Hydrolyzed proteins are good film formers and moisturizers, and some behave as humectants. Adding these at up to 5% in our water phase increases moisturization and film forming properties.
And there's more (I'm sure you have your favourite additives, so why not suggest them in the comments?) you can add to the water phase. If it's water soluble and can handle heat, then throw it in and see how you like it.
Oil phase: Choose one really good oil and try that in your first moisturizer to see how you respond to it. There are so many good choices - I'm going to work with pomegranate oil because it offers a ton of really nice polyphenols, phytosterols, and fatty acids I consider great for our skin. You can use any oil you want, but for the purposes of this post, I'm going with something considered a dry oil.
For the thickener, cetyl alcohol is always my first choice when it comes to facial products. We want maximum slip and glide and as we know, stearic acid doesn't offer those properties to a lotion.
For the emulsifier, I'm going to use BTMS-50 to offer a dry feeling and matte finish.
Cool down phase: This is where we'll put our panthenol, extracts, and so on into the mix. I'm going to add 5% green tea extract (liquid) and panthenol to the mix, so I'll have to remove 7% from the water phase to compensate.
So let's take a look at our recipe...
BASIC FACIAL MOISTURIZER RECIPE FOR NORMAL SKIN
10% aloe vera
10% rose hydrosol (or another hydrosol)
2.5% sodium lactate
2% hydrolyzed silk protein (or any other protein)
8% pomegranate oil
4% Incroquat BTMS-50
2% cetyl alcohol
COOL DOWN PHASE
5% liquid green tea extract
0.5% to 1% preservative
So there's an idea for a moisturizer for normal skin. It should feel light and less greasy on your skin with a matte finish. You can add whatever you like to it to make it more suitable for aging skin or acne prone skin or sun damaged skin - just remember to start off simple and work your way to more complicated when you see how your skin responds!
Join me tomorrow for more fun formulating moisturizers!