Sunday, June 10, 2012

Emulsifiers: Creating a moisturizer with Ritamulse SCG (part one)

As I mentioned the other day, we can take adapt recipes using one emulsifier to use another, so let's do that with a facial moisturizer. I think Ritamulse SCG will make a nice facial product because it's a bit more powdery than Polawax or emulsifying wax, so let's see what we can make here!

I'm using my basic facial moisturizer recipe for this and tomorrow's post. Let's take a look at it! (If you want to see other recipes or see how I came to this recipe, click here!)

75.5% water
2-5% humectant of choice
0.5% allantoin
2% hydrolyzed protein

8% oils
6% emulsifier
2% thickener

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

We've made one big change here! Because I'm using Ritamulse SCG instead of Polawax, I have to change the amount of the emulsifier. I'm increasing it to 6%, which means we have to lose 2% from the water phase of the product. I know, I know, I've been using 8% Ritamulse SCG in all my lotions, but 6% could work in this application. There are ways to create a more stable emulsion - Tara suggests using 0.5% xanthan gum (I think in the oil phase), the Herbarie suggests adding 1% to 2% white rice powder or hydrolyzed oat flour, or we can make sure we have something like stearic acid or cetyl alcohol as a stabilizer. I'm going to use 2% cetyl alcohol in this recipe to ensure it remains stable, to give it some slip and glide, and to behave as an "oil free" moisturizer.

If you are an oily person like me, you can use things like cetyl alcohol and esters to moisturize and call it an "oil free" moisturizer. More about this concept here...

So what do we want to include in this moisturizer? I've made some suggestions for dry skinned people here and here, and for oily skinned people, we might want to use all esters or fatty alcohol for the oils. If I were to make this for my oily, breakout prone but still aging skin, I might try something like this!

40% water
10% aloe vera (to help with inflammation)
10% chamomile (to reduce redness)
10% witch hazel (to increase astringency and reduce inflammation)
2.5% sodium lactate (good for acne as well as a humectant)
0.5% allantoin
2% hydrolyzed protein (I like oat protein)
2% niacinamide
2% MSM

6% esters - 3% cetearyl ethylhexanoate and 3% ethylhexyl palmitate
6% Ritamulse SCG
4% behenyl alcohol

0.5% to 1% preservative
2% panthenol
0.5% Vitamin E
2% liquid strawberry extract

Follow the basic lotion making instructions to make this product. But make sure that you mix the product until it reaches the cool down phase and add that phase when the product is under 45˚C or 113˚F because it could curdle the lotion if you add the preservative at a higher temperature. Mix until the product reaches 30˚C or 86˚F.

As a note, cetearyl ethylhexanoate has been shown to be an occlusive ingredient that helps prevent transepidermal water loss, so I'm including it in this lotion as an occlusive and moisturizing ingredient. I'm using ethylhexyl palmitate because it feels like dimethicone, slick but powdery, which is always good in a facial moisturizer. If you want a similar skin feel without using esters, consider fractionated coconut oil as it is very light feeling and has low comedogenicity or use dimethicone in the cool down phase in place of the ethylhexyl palmitate. Behenyl alcohol is a great choice as it makes the moisturizer feel quite matte and powdery, but you can use cetyl alcohol, too. I don't recommend cetearyl alcohol for this moisturizer as it can feel too waxy on your skin! (Although that might be something you'd want for the winter to be more protective. I found it was too much for my tastes!)

When it comes to moisturizers, this is where I like to use cosmeceuticals. For my moisturizer, I have been using niacinamide quite a bit lately and I'm loving it! I add it at 2% in the heated water phase to dissolve it, and I'm finding it works really well in my toner. I also tried MSM in the heated water phase at 2% and really liked it for my oily skin. It's recommended that we use an anti-oxidant with MSM, so I'm including 0.5% Vitamin E in the cool down phase. The 0.5% allantoin is good as an occlusive ingredient. As an oily skinned girl, using something like dimethicone isn't a bad idea but cocoa butter would make me break out like silly, so I turn to allantoin as my occlusive ingredient. And I'm going to use some strawberry extract* - this extract is recommended for oily skin to help with sebum production and large pores - at 2% in the cool down phase. If you have the powder, use 0.5% powdered strawberry extract in your cool down phase. Or choose any extract you like to include here. If you use less then 2%, add the difference to the water phase.

If you don't have any of these cosmeceuticals, don't fear. Just remove them and make up the difference with added water. Your moisturizer will be thinner than those with the extra ingredients because you'll have more water, but it'll still be awesome! 

Be careful when adding powdered extracts to facial moisturizers. Sometimes the colour of the extract can remain on your skin after application. As much as I love grape seed extract, I really don't need to have a purple-brown hue to my skin! Save those strongly coloured extracts for your toner or cleanser.

And remember, when you are using botanical ingredients, always use the higher level of preservative recommended by the manufacturer because they can be hard to preserve. Powdered strawberry extract is notoriously hard to preserve, so make sure you follow all the guidelines when using it. Or don't use it at all. I'm finding the liquid stuff much easier to use than the powdered stuff!

So what do I think? I love this. I really recommend using the behenyl alcohol if you can get it as it adds a nice slightly powdery, slightly matte finish to the product. So far it's looking good from a preserving point of view.

*In the interest of disclosure, I was sent a bottle of liquid strawberry extract from Formulator's Sample Shop to try, so I'm experimenting with it here.*

Join me tomorrow as we adapt this recipe to a few different skin types!

Related posts:
Emulsifiers: Adapting recipes to use different emulsifiers
Esters: Using C12-15 alkyl benzoate in a facial moisturizers


Nedeia said...

If I were to use dimethicome 1000cs in a facial / body product, would it be OK? At what percentage?

I also use nicotinamide, I love it !!

Tara said...

I actually use xanthan gum in the water phase. I don't think it is oil-soluble ;-)

Kathy said...

Susan - I made this formula - "Facial Moisturizer for Oily Skin using Ritamulse" last night as I wanted a day time moisturizer that wouldn't leave me greasy by the end of a long day. I LOVE the result. I didn't have Niacinamide or MSM so left them out and the result was great. The Behenyl Alcohol does leave a nice matte finish. It did turn out fairly thick but I like it a lot. Thanks.