Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Duplicating products: Lush's 9 to 5 cleanser

In this post (where you can suggest a product for duplication), soapilyever after suggests:  LUSH, a no rinse facial cleanser called 9 to 5. here are the ingredients: Water (Aqua), Almond Oil (Prunus dulcis), Stearic Acid, Fresh Dove Orchid Extract (Dendrobium), Everlasting Flower Absolute (Helichrysum stoechas), Ylang Ylang Absolute (Cananga Odorata), Triethanolamine, Cetearyl Alcohol, Perfume, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Okay, let's take a look at each ingredient individually. As usual, click on the link to find out more about each ingredient.

Water (Aqua): Our solvent.

Almond oil (Prunis dulcis): A light feeling oil with a shelf life of 9 to 12 months. I'm not sure if this is sweet almond oil as it has a different name.

Stearic acid: A thickener that makes a product more like a cream. Generally used at 1% to 3% in products.

Fresh Dove Orchid Extract (Dendrobium): The dove or pigeon orchid most common in Malaysia and Singapore. It only smells for two days! You can find generic orchid extract at some suppliers. It is claimed to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles, behave as a humectant, moisturize, soothe, and condition skin. It can be found as a water soluble or oil soluble extract and the suggested usage is 3% to 8%. I think it's probably used here at lower levels because it comes after the stearic acid.

Everlasting flower absolute (Helichrysum stoechas): This is helichrysum, not the marsh cudweed we saw in another product. It is supposed to be an anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, astringent, and anti-allergy ingredient, as well as stimulating cell regeneration. There isn't a ton of information out there to support the claims, and it's a really expensive ingredient!

Ylang Ylang Absolute (Cananga Odorata): Essential oil that offers anti-spasmodic and calming properties.

Triethanolamine: Added at 0.1% to increase pH. Combine with stearic acid to create a soap based emulsifier. (Click here for slightly more information.)

Cetearyl Alcohol: A fatty alcohol that thickens our products and has a more waxy feeling than cetyl alcohol.

Perfume: Makes it smell pretty.

Methylparaben, Propylparaben: Preservatives.

So what can we learn from the ingredient list? This is an oil in water lotion used for cleansing our face. Any oil in water lotion would do, but that's not the point of this exercise!

We see the emulsifier is likely to be TEA combined with stearic acid. I don't like that combination, so for now we'll use something like Polawax, e-wax, or BTMS-50 as most of us don't really have those ingredients just lying around the house.

I think the orchid extract could be replaced by an extract of some kind - choose one you like- and I'll add a humectant to the mix because it can act in that capacity. Choose one you like - tamarind seed extract, glycerin, sodium lactate, sodium PCA, honeyquat, and so on - and add it around 1% to 2%.

How do we figure out how much to use of each ingredient? I'm not really sure where the 1% part of the list starts. It could be below stearic acid with the extracts or it could be with the helichrysum. I'm going to guess the orchid extract is found at 1% or less, so I'll consider this where the 1% category starts. I guess the cetearyl alcohol comes in around 1% or so, so I know I'll need water, almond oil, stearic acid, and emulsifier at more than 1%, and the rest of the ingredients at 1% or less.

I know this is supposed to be very liquidy, so I'm looking at something like a 80% water recipe, on par with a moisturizer. So let's take a look at how to create a possible duplicate for this recipe.

2% humectant of choice
78.5% water

10% almond oil (sweet almond oil, if you want, or another light feeling oil)
3% stearic acid
1% cetearyl alcohol
4% emulsifier

1% fragrance or essential oil (optional because it's on your face)
0.5% to 1% preservatvive

Use the basic lotion making instructions for this product. Substitute any oils you like in place of the almond/sweet almond oil. If you want something a little heavier and more moisturizing, choose a heavier oil. If you want something drier feeling, choose a drier feeling oil and use BTMS-50 as your emulsifier.

Why did I use 4% emulsifier for 14% oils (so it should have been 3.5%)? Because I find anything with less than 4% emulsifier tends to be a little less stable.

So there you have it. A possible duplicate for this Lush product. It's a pretty simple product, but it sounds like it would work really well as an oil cleansing type product.

Join me tomorrow for Korres Milk Proteins 3 in 1 cleansing emulsion, then we're off to do a little series on HLB emulsifiers before returning to more duplicating!


soapilyeverafter said...

thanks you so much! i am going to try making this tonight! woo hoo! you are the best :)

Naomi said...

I'm loving this series. I like to know the whys and your explanations are so educational. I don't know if anyone ever told you this, but you and your blog are the BESTEST!

Pam said...

I think I am missing something. The product says cleanser yet I don't see any cleansing type ingredients.

Ged said...

Pam, most cleansing lotions are in fact ordinary lotions and the only surfactant is the emulsifier (here the TEA soap, I guess). So they wash off (mostly) but are better removed with a facecloth (or the lates rage, an expensive muslin cloth!), but they don't foam.

What I'd like to know from Susan (and anyone else) is if they've tried to make a lotion cleanser, but added a little surfactant at the end. I've tried this, but don't like the consistency (thin) I've ended up with.

Anonymous said...

This is simply amazing. Thanks so much! I hope you do a replication of LUSH's "georgous" facial moisturizer.

Zafirah said...

Hi there! I'm from Malaysia and I'm new in this homemade skincare area. I find that your blog is very helpful for me. Thanks for great posts!

p/s: tried this duplicate cleanser and it turned out great for me! But I used 5% of my emulsifying wax and omit the 1% cetearyl alcohol because my E-wax consist of PEG-20 Stearate and cetearyl alcohol. The consistency is satisfactory with me and it cleanse my make up very well. I simply LOVE it!

Abby said...

I made this recipe some 5 days ago, with a few modifications.

I reduced the water and added 15% SCI(its all I have along with slsa atm). I also added 6% emulsifier(4%montanov, 2%BTMS 50)... But that was because I got "scared" of the montanov 68 and just felt like I had to add BTMS50 for luck or something;) I also added some chamomile extract, birch extract, aloe x 10 and silk extract for kicks.All at .5 percent.

Because of the extra emulsifier,I think, the result is a very thick cream that needs lots of coaxing to get out of the bottle. So next time I'll use less emulsifier/put it in a pump bottle or jar.

I've only been using the cleanser for 5 days but I really like this version. Before this I never used a facial cleanser as I'd always get flaky red patches, breakouts or tight skin etc. (for the past 5 years I've been using just water.) So far this hasn't happened and it feels like my skin is smoother too. Maybe this is just a placebo effect but I definitely notice a difference when applying my BHA and AHA gels now. I used to just let them sit on my face but now I really need to wash them off after 20 min. Or it's too much (as in my face stings bit).

not sure if I can add an update later, but if that's okay I'll try and add a follow up in a month or two.