Friday, December 28, 2012

Facial scrubs: Creating the base of an oil based scrub

Making an oil based scrub for your face is pretty simple. Get some oils, pour them into a container, add some exfoliant, you're done. The hard part is choosing which oils and exfoliants to use.

I tell the kids in the groups this all the time. It takes maybe 5 minutes to make an earring, but it can take hours to find just the right combination of beads! Choosing the right combination of things - that's the craft in craftsmanship! 

Take a look at this recipe - it really is just that easy!

98% liquid oil of choice (I love sunflower and olive oil mixed together...)
0.5% to 1% Vitamin E
1% essential or fragrance oils (optional)

Mix your oils together well, pour into a clean jar, then add your exfoliant. You can make a large batch of this and put it into jars, or small batches that you use just after making.

We have included an anti-oxidant - the Vitamin E - to help retard rancidity. We haven't included a preservative here as this is an anhydrous product, and you don't need preservatives in anhydrous products unless they are exposed to water. But wait...this will be exposed to water because you will be putting wet hands into the product! Then we need a preservative! There are a few choices for preservatives for oil only products - Liquipar Oil and Phenonip (I prefer Phenonip).

If you are using Phenonip in your product, you will need to heat the oils up to 70˚C or 158˚F so it can dissolve properly. I don't know about Liquipar Oil, but it seems that it would need the same treatment. 

If you wish to include a preservative, add it at 0.4% to 0.8% for Liquipar Oil and 0.5% to 1% for Phenonip and remove an equivalent amount of oil.

As an aside, if you are using this at the sink, you probably won't be putting your wet hands into the product. If you haven't used a preservative and are worried about this, use a spoon or some other implement to stir the product then put it on your face. I like large popsicle sticks from the dollar store, but you can get all manner of lovely implements at your local supplier, like these boomerang spatulae or scoops! (Click here to see Voyageur Soap & Candle's selection. I'm not endorsing them specifically, but I do like what they have!)

Related posts:
Water activity and sugar/salt scrubs

Which oils do you wish to use? It depends upon your skin type, your preferred skin feel, and the comedogenicity level of the oil.

If you have dry skin, odds are good you can use whatever oil you wish. If your skin is damaged in some way, then you might want to consider using something filled with linoleic acid, like soy bean oil. (click here for a lengthy post on formulating for dry skin).

If you have normal skin, you are a very fortunate person indeed! You can use any emollient you choose for this product. If you have chapped or wind annoyed skin, consider using an oil with high levels of linoleic or gamma-linoleic acid, like soy bean, borage, evening primrose, or rice bran oils.

If you have oily skin, definitely consider the comedogenicity of an oil before using it. Mineral oil is considered non-comedogenic, as are some of our esters. (Check out this post I wrote on making a facial serum for oily skin for more information on suggested oils.) Avoid things like my beloved soy bean oil or cocoa butter on acne prone skin.

There is so much interesting information on comedogenicity out there. Look for an updated post shortly! 

Related information:
As for skin feel, that's really up to you. Some of us don't mind greasiness and some want our products very dry feeling. Some of the less greasy oils with decent shelf lives include a lot of the exotic oils including borage, evening primrose, kukui, or pomegranate oils, to name a few, and oils like hazelnut, macadamia nut, or avocado oil. You can add IPP or IPM to your product to reduce the feeling of greasiness, but these can be comedogenic ingredients.

Join me tomorrow as we look at a few different combinations of oils before we add our exfoliants!

Related posts:
Emollients: Oils, butters & esters
Frequently asked questions
Skin chemistry

Back to basics: Oil based scrubs
Back to basics: Modifying the oil based scrubs
Chemistry of our nails: Oil based scrubs
Body scrubs - oil based scrubs

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