Friday, April 15, 2011

Duplicating products: Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Angelica suggested in this post (which is where you can post your ideas for duplicatable products) that we take a look at Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate. So let's take a look at the ingredient list...

Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides: Fractionated coconut oil. It's a dry feeling very light emollient with a 2 year life span. It feels like our esters. No doubt this makes up the majority of this product.

Dicaprylyl Carbonate: A dry emollient that provides a protective film on our skin that has excellent spreadability and a velvety after feel. Sounds like an ester to me! (We'll look at how to replace this in the notes below.)

Squalene: Generally derived from olive oil, it's something we find in our skin and it sinks in nicely. Two year shelf life.

Rosa Canina Fruit Oil: Rosehip oil. Wound healing, scar reducing, and cell regenerating oil with tons of carotenoids or Vitamin A. Not great for those of us with acne prone skin.

Oenothera Biennis Oil/Evening Primrose Oil: A dry feeling exotic oil that contains a ton of gamma-linoleic acid, which is great for helping skin's barrier mechanisms repair faster.

Simmondsia Chinensis Oil/Jojoba Seed Oil: More of a wax than an oil, it penetrates into our skin through the hair follicles and creates a light occlusive layer on our skin.

Coriandrum Sativum Oil/Coriander Seed Oil: An essential oil.

Tocopherol: Vitamin E. Our anti-oxidant.

Lavandula Angustifolia oil/Lavender Oil: An essential oil.

Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil: Rose geranium oil. An essential oil.

Linalool: A component of essential oil.

Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil/Rosemary Leaf Oil: An essential oil that offers anti-oxidant properties and is good for oily hair and skin.

Citronellol, Geraniol: Components of essential oil.

Lavandula Hybrida Oil: Lavendin essential oil. Avoid during pregnancy due to camphor content.

Cucumis Sativus Extract/Cucumber Fruit Extract: This contains polysaccharides, which are great for creating a light film on our skin, but I'm not sure how it is incorporated into this product as it's generally a water soluble extract. I'm wondering if it's cucumber oil (which I found at From Nature with Love for $18.31 per ounce and people report it feels sticky). Or it could be somehow incorporated in the sunflower seed oil below.

Curcuma Longa Extract/Turmeric Root Extract: Reported to be an anti-aging agent in India, it can be used as an anti-bacterial ingredient. It can stain the skin at higher levels of usage.

Limonene: A component of essential oil.

Citral: A component of essential oil.

Sclareolide: Used as a fragrance.

Rosa Spp/Rose Flower Oil: An essential oil and fragrance.

Jasminum Officinale Extract/Jasmine Extract: An essential oil and fragrance.

Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil/Sunflower Seed Oil: A greasy, light feeling oil with a lot of linoleic acid. I think it's used here as a carrier for something else, likely the tumeric and cucumber extracts.

We have here is an anhydrous serum that should feel very light and moisturizing. It has a lot of essential oils that can be considered good for skin, and it contains quite a number of dry feeling and light oils that should feel like they penetrate quickly so we don't have a greasy shine on our faces.

How the heck do we figure out how much of what is in this? Look at the coriander oil. It's considered to have a strong aroma, so we're not going to use 10% in this product, so I'm going to suggest that's the place where we consider the miscellaneous category to start. I'm going to guess that everything below that will be at 1% or lower, especially considering the Vitamin E and lavender follow. I'm a little confused by the sunflower seed oil coming at the very end, but I think that's because it's likely in here because something else was dissolved in it and it's listed because it was a component of that ingredient.

So my main oils will be the fractionated coconut oil, dicaprylyl carbonate, squalane, evening primrose, rosehip, and jojoba oils, with the rest of the ingredients coming in at about 0.1% to 1% maximum.

What can we use to substitute for the dicaprylyl carbonate as we can't seem to find it anywhere? One of my first thought is coco-caprylate/caprate (which I've purchased but not used from the Personal Formulator). It's a medium weight, high spreading ester derived from coconuts (I know I hate that phrase, but it works here). Or we could consider C12-15 alkyl benzoate, which is a medium weight, poor spreading ester that forms a protective film on our skin. Or cetearyl ethylhexanoate (my favourite ester), which is a medium spreading, very light ester that doesn't form a film on our skin as it's considered a low occlusive. It can help hydrate our skin and reduce trans-epidermal water loss. I'm not going to consider ethylhexyl palmitate here as it can be comedogenic at higher levels (over 5%) and I think we might need more than that in the product. So cetearyl ethylhexanoate it is! All of these have a shelf life of 2 years.

I personally like to use about 10% of each oil in a product, unless otherwise directed to use less, because that seems to be an optimum amount to get the benefits. We can easily use each of these oils at 10%, with the fractionated coconut oil being the most plentiful.

We want to use about 0.5% Vitamin E and about 0.5% rosemary oil for the anti-oxidant benefits. I admit I'm always wary about using essential oils in facial products because you've got the products right under and on your nose, which means you're smelling rosemary everywhere you go! I encourage you to try this product first without the essential oils, then add a titch of one or another to see if you can handle it. These aren't inexpensive oils, so you don't want to add a ton and find the product is wasted! (Try smelling the rosemary first to see if you can handle it, then add it 0.1% at a time to see if you like it.)

I'm really not sure what to do about the cucumber and tumeric extracts. We can't use powdered versions because they won't dissolve, and I don't want to buy cucumber oil because it's super expensive. (I think the cucumber has something to offer the product.) I think I'll leave these two ingredients out because I don't want to encourage you to spend a fortune on something that probably works out to 0.5%.

Here are my thoughts on a place to start. If you have acne prone skin, substitute the rosehip oil for something else, like more evening primrose, borage, or another dry feeling oil good for acne prone skin. If you want to add the essential oils, remove the percentage from one of the oils and add it a bit at a time. I'm not saying essential oils can't be good for your skin, but you might be smelling lavender and rose all day long!

50% fractionated coconut oil
10% cetearyl ethylhexanoate
10% evening primrose oil
10% squalane
10% rosehip oil
9% jojoba oil
0.5% rosemary essential oil or rosemary oleoresin extract
0.5% Vitamin E

You don't need to heat this. Just pour all the ingredients into a bottle with a small pump and enjoy.

And if you're curious about the shelf life of this product, I'd say 6 months thanks to the evening primrose and rosehip oil, but you aren't going to want to make that much because it's a serum. I'd make a 100 gram batch to start (heck, you could half all the ingredients and make a 50 gram batch as a tester or even a 25 gram batch because it is awfully expensive) and see if you want tweak the oil amounts or add the essential oils.

Join me tomorrow for more fun duplicating products!


Angelica said...

Thanks so much for your thoughts! Cetearyl ethylhexanoate sounds like a great substitute.

Simone said...

Hi Susan,
Just saw that AromaZone has Dicaprylyl carbonate in stock.

SnSkaggs said...

I can't find Cetearyl ethylhexanoate anywhere. Any tips?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Check out The Personal Formulator. That's where I get mine!

Matilda said...

Hi Swift,

I don't have any cetearyl ethylhexanoate. Is it essential to thsi product or could you please suggest an alternative?


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Matilda. I make some suggestions for alternatives in the post, but I suggest visiting the post on cetearyl ethylhexanoate and see what might have similar skin feel and benefits. I think an ester is important in this product as you need a non-greasy and light feeling base to give you the skin feel of it.

Anonymous said...

Hello -- has anyone tried duplicating this product using the formula provided in this post? I'm curious how it turned out. Thanks!

Teegan Curitz said...

Where would one get all of this. I used to loce The midnight recovery produt... but Keilhs tests on animals ... so thats the end of that love affair

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Check out the FAQ for information on suppliers in your area.

Christina said...

I made this recipe almost exactly and I have been using it morning and night for a couple days and I already feel a difference! Great job!