Saturday, December 29, 2012

Facial scrubs: Creating the base of an oil based scrub - specific examples for dry and normal skin

Since this product is all about the oils, taking time to choose exactly the most awesome oils for your skin type is a good use of your time! We took a look at a few possible choices yesterday - let's see some examples today!

As a quick aside, I know it's tempting to include dozen different oils at small amounts into this product, but I would suggest you start with two or three oils you really like and modify it once you've tried it and see how your skin reacts. If you use 2% this and 3% of that, you won't know what made you break out or what felt amazing! So let's keep our choices to a maximum of three oils for these examples and the first time you make the product! 

But first, a thought. It is just fine to choose an oil you have in the house and use that at 100% of the recipe, leaving out the Vitamin E, essential oil, and preservative if you want to make something for right now. And it might be that there is one oil that you love so much that you want to use it neat. That's wonderful! Go for it! There are times when we can't afford another oil, we don't have time to wait for the supplier to ship another oil, or we're just too impatient to wait another minute for a lovely facial scrub! Okay...back to the post...

A final aside, if I go over each oil in detail, this post will never get written, so may I suggest a trip to the emollients section of the blog to see the individual posts for all the oils, butters, and esters? If you want to know more about the chemistry of our oils, check out the top part of the emollients section, download the PDF on oil chemistry and polyphenols, or check out the Back to BasicsLotionmaking 101, or Formulating & Creating Lotions e-books for more information. 

What is the goal of this product? We want to create a nice blend of oils that will remain on our skin to moisturize and soften after we've exfoliated.

Let's say you have dry skin. You're all about the exfoliation because the desquamation of your skin is messed up, meaning your skin cells slough off in a sheet and look ashy or white as a result. We want to use either mechanical exfoliation - click here and here for part 1 and part 2 of the posts on mechanical exfoliants - or chemical exfoliation (which we'll talk about shortly when we get to scrubs with water) to help this process along. As well, we want to choose oils that softening and moisturizing. In general, I'd go for one oil high in linoleic acid and one high in oleic acid for those qualities.

Ideally, we'd add an occlusive ingredient, like dimethicone, allantoin, or cocoa butter into a product for someone with dry skin. Allantoin is right out as it is water soluble, but we could put a bit of cocoa butter or dimethicone into the mix. Adding cocoa butter will make the product thicker, so we'll only try a bit of it.

As a note, these blends would be great for normal skinned people as well. But you can use anything you want, can't you? Lucky ducks! 

99% rice bran oil or sesame seed oil
1% Vitamin E

Using either of these oils will give us a nice balance of linoleic and oleic acids, as well as phytosterols that will reduce redness or inflammation. You can use 99% of one oil or 50% of one and 49% of the other. This will have a life span of at least six months and up to a year, so you could leave out the Vitamin E, if you wished. Both of these oils are about a medium level of greasiness.

5% cocoa butter
10% sea buckthorn oil
83% kukui nut oil
1% Vitamin E (optional)
1% essential oil (optional)

Kukui nut is pretty high in linoleic acid and feels quite dry, so this blend will be a drier feeling product.

Please note: If your sea buckthorn is particularly orange, try it on your skin neat for a few days to see if there is staining. The stuff I get doesn't seem to stain my skin, and I would hate to receive an email from you saying you look like an Oompa Loompa!

45% avocado oil
48% fractionated coconut oil
5% cetearyl, cetyl, or behenyl alcohol (thickener)
1% Vitamin E (optional)
1% essential oil (optional)

Heat and hold this version until all the thickeners have melted and you have a uniform product. You may be able to whip this version, depending upon the other oils you've chosen. Otherwise, let it cool to 45˚C or 113˚F before adding your Vitamin E and/or essential oil

I chose avocado oil because it is absorbed by our skin and because it is filled with oleic acid to provide some serious moisturizing and softening. I chose fractionated coconut oil because it will balance the slightly heavier feeling of avocado oil and will feel really nice on your skin.

The fatty alcohols are included to be a thickened product, but they also moisturize and leave a bit of a film on your skin after washing.

If you want to learn more about using fatty alcohols with our oils, check out these posts on the topic, although I'd go with 5% instead of the 20% I tended to use in these experiments!
Whipped shea without butter - cetyl alcohol
Whipped shea without butter - esters and cetearyl alcohol

Using fatty alcohols or acids as moisturizers is a great choice for oily skin, and we'll get to that tomorrow! 

40% fractionated coconut oil
38% soy bean oil
10% cyclomethicone
10% dimethicone
1% essential oil (optional)
1% Vitamin E (optional)

If you've heated your product, please wait until it reaches 45˚C or 113˚F before adding the dimethicone and cyclomethicone and fragrance/essential oil. (There isn't a need to heat this, but some people might like to include a preservative, so I make this suggestion for them!)

Wow! This is a bizarre mix of ingredients, eh? I thought I'd use fractionated coconut oil as a light, almost ester like ingredient and the soy bean oil for all those lovely fatty acids and polyphenols it brings to the mix. Dimethicone is an approved barrier ingredient and it will offer this property to your skin after rinsing. Cyclomethicone and dimethicone are a great combination for our faces and we see them all the time in commercial lotions. You really don't need Vitamin E in this mixture as it has a life span of a year - leave out the soy bean oil and you've got at least two years! - but it is a nice softening ingredient. (Soy bean oil has a ton of Vitamin E, so really, you can leave it out.) This mixture will feel greasy on your skin. If you want it to feel less greasy, consider using an ester like cetearyl ethylhexanoate or ethylhexyl palmitate. Both of these will give the product a less greasy feeling and a shelf life of up to 2 years!

Here's the great thing about making a product like this - you can make up whatever combination you wish. If you like the idea of using esters, then use them. If you hate silicones, leave them out. If you adore a short lived oil like grapeseed, use it instead. The only way to create something really awful is to add a water based ingredient to the mix.

Consider using one of the not-really-butter butters like shea-aloe, aloe butter, green tea butter, avocado butter and so on as the base of one of these scrubs. (I call them not-really butter butters because they aren't true butters like cocoa, mango, or shea. They are hydrogenated oils that are turned into butters by saturating them.) The one to your left is avocado butter, which has a very earthy smell! Or just add some Lipidthix to your oil combination at 5% to 10% before heating and holding for a bit. (Click here for some examples!)

Create your own not-really-butter butter with a little Lipidthix! Click "newer post" to see my experiments! 

Remember that the shelf life of your scrub will be the shelf life of the shortest lived ingredient. If you use grapeseed oil or unrefined hemp seed oil, that'll be 3 months. Use only shea butter, you're looking at 2 years. We add the Vitamin E to retard rancidity - if you don't want to use it or don't have any, that's fine, make the scrub without it, but make sure you are aware of the shelf life. Rancidity starts long before we can smell it!

Join me tomorrow to create a base for oily skinned people (like me!).

Related posts:
Can we substitute one oil for another?
Question: How to heat and hold our ingredients?
Heating, holding, freezing, and thawing our ingredients
Shelf lives of our ingredients (part 1)
Question: Can we use oils from the grocery store in our products? 
Why do we heat and hold if we aren't using water? (scroll down a bit)


sfs said...

Susan, do you worry about putting all that oil down the bathroom sink drain? You don't clog up your drains?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

No, not really because I'm using so little. A manicure scrub will last me months of constant use and a facial scrub uses less! Plus, my dad was a plumber and he taught me some awesome declogging skills! :-)

Bajan Lily said...

Hi Susan,
Dry blend 3 looks particularly creamy. Does it stay that way or revert to a more familiar looking oil texture when cooled and combined with scrubby bits?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Bajan Lily! I found this blend stays quite white and creamy looking because of the cetyl alcohol, although the last batch was a bit greeny as my avocado oil was quite green, although it was refined! I liked the cranberry seeds in this one as it offered the nice red colour from the seeds. I didn't take a picture of the scrub, but I will next time I make it!