Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tea tree oil: A facial wash and a toner!

As we saw from the studies on tea tree oil, using it in our facial products could help with acne. I'm going to include it in a facial cleanser with one small disclaimer - this is not an unscented product! It has a light medicinal smell, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, so you might want to consider who is using the product before loading everything up with tea tree oil. Any fragrance in a facial product can get annoying if you have to smell it all day!

I'm going to add it to my favourite facial cleanser (posted the other day, so click here) at 1% in the cool down phase. That's it! You don't need to include an emulsifier (remembering that tea tree oil is, in fact, an oil) because surfactants can emulsify a little bit of oil without problem. 1% is no problem for most surfactants!

You can choose any cleanser you want - creamy foamy facial cleanser, a cream cleanser for dry skin, a regular skin cleanser - just add it at 1% to 2% in the cool down phase. (Click on the label "facial product" to find more!)

Adding tea tree oil to a toner is a little more difficult because a toner is generally a water only product with no solubilizers. And therein lies the problem. A lot of our solubilizers feel sticky. Polysorbate 20 can feel a bit sticky, even at 1%, so I'm going to suggest something like Cromollient SCE, Caprol Micro Express, or caprylyl/capryl glucoside to avoid the stickiness. (If you don't mind polysorbate 20, use that. I'm just not a fan!) Since I already use Caprol Micro Express as an emollient in this recipe, I can just add my tea tree oil at 1% in the product during the cool down phase!

If you aren't using a solubilizer in your toner, choose one, mix in the tea tree oil, then add it during the cool down phase. Wasn't that easy?

BEWARE! Using tea tree oil in a cleanser is one thing - you're washing that off! Using it in a toner means you will smell of tea tree oil all day long. If you hate the smell of tea tree, do not do this. Or try a small amount - take something like a tablespoon of your toner and add 0.15 cc (one of those small mineral make up scoops) of tea tree oil to it and see if you like it. If you don't, don't ruin your lovely - and possibly expensive, if you've used a lot of cosmeceuticals - with the smell!

Join me in about half an hour when we'll add tea tree oil to facial moisturizers!

2 comments:

Kirsten Thomas. said...

Hi there, thanks for this. I am wanting to add essential oils to my toner. I have polysorbate 20, and am wondering what ratio I should use. I am planning to do a total of 0.5 of EO. What percentage of polysorbate should I use and premix...and then add into cool down phase? thanks so much,k

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Kirsten. Check out this paragraph in the post:

Adding tea tree oil to a toner is a little more difficult because a toner is generally a water only product with no solubilizers. And therein lies the problem. A lot of our solubilizers feel sticky. Polysorbate 20 can feel a bit sticky, even at 1%, so I'm going to suggest something like Cromollient SCE, Caprol Micro Express, or caprylyl/capryl glucoside to avoid the stickiness. (If you don't mind polysorbate 20, use that. I'm just not a fan!) Since I already use Caprol Micro Express as an emollient in this recipe, I can just add my tea tree oil at 1% in the product during the cool down phase!

Now do a quick search for "polysorbate 20" and see what turns up. I've written a lot about this topic, and you're sure to find something quickly!

Hope this helps!