Thursday, May 3, 2012

Formulating for dry skin: Moisturizers continued

Wow, I'm really overscheduling myself when I don't have time to write posts in the morning! I must work on my boundaries! 

What else can we do with a moisturizer for dry skin? Yesterday we made a nice moisturizer filled with wonderful oils and humectants, and you can tweak this to your heart's content. Let's take a look at a few combinations of oils, humectants, and other ingredients you might try! (Click here for what ingredients could we include in our products, part one and part two!) I'm going to suggest an oil, an occlusive, a humectant, and maybe something else to give you an idea of some tweaks you might like to try! (I've removed the allantoin to allow for other barrier ingredients!)

78% water
2.5% humectant of choice
2% hydrolyzed protein

8% oils
4% emulsifier
2% thickener

0.5% to 1% preservative
2% panthenol
0.5% extract
0.5% another extract

VERSION ONE: Inexpensive ingredients
Humectant - 2.5% glycerin or 2.5% sodium lactate
Oil - soy bean oil
Thickener - cetyl alcohol
Barrier - 0.5% allantoin

VERSION TWO: More expensive ingredients
Humectant - Tamarind seed extract
Oil - Borage, cranberry, evening primrose oils
Thickener - cetyl esters or behenyl alcohol
Barrier - any of them

VERSION THREE: Less processed ingredients
Humectant - honey
Oil - any one you wish
Thickener - you'll probably want to leave this out and include 2% of another oil
Barrier - cocoa butter (up to 5%) or allantoin 0.5% in the heated water phase

VERSION FOUR: More occlusive product
Humectant - any you choose
Oil - Rice bran, sesame, or wheat germ oils feel more occlusive than soybean or sunflower
Thickener - Cetearyl alcohol feels more occlusive and slightly waxy
Barrier - include 0.5% allantoin, 2% dimethicone, and up to 5% cocoa butter

VERSION FIVE: Acne prone skin
Humectant - sodium lactate is good for acne prone skin
Oil - I wouldn't use an oil, I'd use something like cetyl alcohol for the entire oil phase
Thickener - you're using cetyl alcohol already!
Barrier - 0.5% allantoin - don't use more oils! 2% dimethicone might be a good choice in the cool down phase
Extracts - honeysuckle, grapeseed (although it'll turn the product brown!), witch hazel at up to 10%

VERSION SIX: Wrinkled or aging skin
Humectant - whichever you want, but use up to 5% and remove 2.5% from the water amount
Oil - Any of the oils that someone with dry skin might like!
Thickener - any of your choice
Barrier - 2% dimethicone - silicones are great for aging skin.
Extracts - consider using up to 2% AHA, green tea, and anything that contains anti-oxidants. (I encourage you to click on the link above!)

VERSION SEVEN: Sensitive skin
Humectant - glycerin is generally good for sensitive skin
Oil - choose whichever one works for you
Thickener - again, choose what works for you
Barrier - any of them should work
Extracts - include things to reduce redness and inflammation, like chamomile extract or hydrosol, lavender hydrosol, witch hazel

I hope I've offered you a bit of information for creating moisturizers for dry skin. There are so many variations on ingredients, and the only way you'll know what works for you is to make a version of the moisturizer and see how you like it!

Have we exhausted what we can do for dry skin? Not really, but I need your input as to what we should do next! Let me know! 


Leman said...


I loved reading about these detailed latest posts about dry skin even though I have an oily skin! When you have exhausted dry skin, how about a similar series of posts for oily skin!!

Tara said...

Do you have interest in researching about a post for dimethicone copolyol?

Anonymous said...

So when you say for the acne version to just use cetyl alcohol, you still use an emulsifier (like E Wax)?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Leman. I started writing these posts because people complained that most of my products are for oily skin, mainly because that's what I have. I think it's a good idea, though!

Hi Tara! Yes, I do!

Hi Anonymous. You always an emulsifier in a product that contains water and oil. For more information, please read my post what do we need in a lotion?