Friday, July 10, 2015

Six ingredient lotions: Pomegranate & witch hazel facial moisturizer for men

It seems like I can't turn around without seeing an ad for men's products these days. From pomades to moustache waxes to moisturizers to beard conditioners, it seems like it's hipper than ever for men to use products. And rightly so! Men like and deserve to be moisturized and protected! I have a whole section for men's products on the blog - check it out here! - but I haven't added to it for a while, and thought it was time to take a look at making a moisturizer for men.

We can generalize about men as much as we can generalize about women, which is to say that we can't. For every man who loves patchouli and musk, there's a guy huffing Clementine cupcake or chocolate. What I have noticed is that guys seem to prefer drier looking and feeling products that don't leave a sheen on the skin, hands, or nails. I go into great detail in this post - and a few posts after it - about how to formulate a drier feeling lotion, which will be the basis for this lotion.

What kind should we make? I wrote about a few products that men might like last week - check out this kukui nut & babassu oil with Ritamulse SCG - so let's make a facial moisturizer!

When it comes to a drier feeling and looking lotion, we have two main choices for emulsifiers: Incroquat BTMS-50 and Ritamulse SCG. Both will produce a less shiny appearing and less greasy feeling product than those formulated with Polawax or e-wax. Although I've already made a drier feeling lotion with Incroquat BTMS-50 in this post, it really is the best choice for this product. Ritamulse SCG would be lovely, but it'll produce a much thicker product than one with BTMS-50, and my husband doesn't want a "goopy feeling" on his face, which this could have as a thicker product. As well, BTMS-50 is a skin conditioner, which means you will get extra moisturizing and a softer feeling face after using this emulsifier!

If you want to modify this with Polawax or e-wax, just use the 4% in the recipe below. Yes, I know it's higher than the 25% rule, but 2.5% emulsifier leads to an unstable product for this recipe! I don't say ask this of you very often, but please just trust me on this! 

The easiest way to keep a lotion feeling less greasy is to choose less greasy feeling oils and esters. As much as I adore soy bean oil, this is not the application for it! For moisturizing one's face, I turn first to the lighter feeling oils like fractionated coconut oil, pomegranate oil, squalane, and so on. For this recipe, I think I'm going to use pomegranate oil because it contains a ton of punicic acid, which has been shown to help regenerate skin cells, offers anti-inflammatory properties, and can help with wind chapped or sun burned skin. It also feels very light and less greasy feeling than some of our other oils.

Seriously, if you haven't tried pomegranate oil yet, I encourage you to do so. It isn't cheap - it's one of the most expensive oils - but it has so much to offer! Just order an ounce or two and try it. I apologize in advance to getting you hooked on it! 

If you don't have pomegranate oil, think about using something very light like the few things I've listed above or an ester. Esters are a great choice. I've made a version of this with cetearyl ethylhexanoate that my husband really liked!

When I'm formulating for men's skin, I think of the damage shaving can cause. It can create nicks and cuts and very tender spots, and I want to do anything I can to help that feel better. One of the first ingredients I turn to is panthenol. This ingredient that we can add to the cool down phase of our products has been shown to help with inflammation, increased wound healing, improving skin's barrier repair mechanisms, and reduces redness. I'll use this as my main humectant at 5% in the cool down phase of my product to help with all those issues.

I also have to think about using non-comedogenic ingredients. My husband hates it that he breaks out from using products. Pomegranate oil is listed as a 0 to 1, so that works.

As a note, the comedogenic scale is not the end all and be all for information on whether you'll break out. It's a good starting point, but it's not for sure you will or will not break out. For instance, I break out with any natural oil or butter, while others can take a bath in cocoa butter and shea butter and feel great. You have to keep records about what bothers your skin! 

I want him to have an occlusive layer on his skin to protect it from the world, but I don't want to use cocoa butter as it will definitely make him feel like he has goop on his face, and it'll likely make him break out. I'm thinking allantoin here as my occlusive ingredient at 0.5% in the heated water phase. Dimethicone might be a nice choice as well, but I'm thinking allantoin will also act as a moisture binder and skin softener.

What else could we use to moisturize that won't feel thick and goopy? Hydrolyzed proteins are a great choice here. I'm thinking I'll use lupine protein because it is drier and silkier feeling (to me) than the other proteins, it offers a reduction in transepidermal water loss, and it can penetrate into our skin. You can use any other protein you have - this is the one I like today!

And finally, I think I'm going to add 15% witch hazel to the mix. This ingredient is both an anti-inflammatory and astringent that has good wound healing effects.

Finally, we'll modify the basic moisturizer recipe with these ingredients to see what we have in the end! (From this post...)

64% water
0.5% allantoin
3% lupine protein
15% witch hazel

10% pomegranate oil
4% Incroquat BTMS-50

0.5% liquid Germall Plus
3% panthenol

Use the general lotion making instructions for this product. You could add a fragrance to this at 0.5% in the cool down phase, if you wish. Essential oils would be nice here, too. I don't fragrance my products for the face as neither me nor my husband like it, but you can, if you wish.

How could you modify this? So glad you asked! Join us tomorrow for more fun creating moisturizers!

Related posts:
Men's section of the blog! 


Valerie said...

Hi! I ADORE your blog! Thank you so much for everything you do! Where do you get your witch hazel? I cannot for the life of me find an extract without alcohol. I want to try it for the tannins so I'm not looking for steam distilled.

nablyle said...

Thank you for this recipe! I have been a fan of your blog for some time now without making anything, but I am going to try this recipe for myself (sadly, my husband does not moisturize), as I like a lighter feel lotion. I would like to add extra ingredients to make it more of a serum, so how do I add Niacinamide and/or N-Acetyl Glucosamine - NAG? I believe both come in a powder form from Lotioncrafter.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Valerie! I get mine at Voyageur Soap & Candle, which I understand has a titch of alcohol in it.

Hi nablyle! Check out this post I wrote on making a serum with NAG and niacinamide. Niacinamide can be heated, but I can't remember off the top of my head if NAG can...

nablyle said...

Thanks! Oh and to add the 0.5% essential oil, in your past posts, you advise reducing something to offset the addition of something else so that it equals 100%. Does that apply here as well? if so, what should I reduce? I really would like to add some essential oil to it!
Also, is pomegranate oil the same as pomegranate seed oil? (I can only find the seed oil at formulator sample shop). I am ordering all my ingredients and am excited to make this. I will let you know how it turns out!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Nablyle. Yes, it's the same. Yes, when you add an ingredient, you remove the equal amount from the water phase. If you want to add 0.5% essential oil, then remove 0.5% from the water amount.

Valerie said...

Hi, Susan! I messaged Voyager Soap & Candle to ask about the alcohol content in their witch hazel distillate. It's around 11-14% which is what drugstore brands seem to be around. In your post about witch hazel you said to be aware of the drugstore stuff because it loses tannins so they add in the alcohol. Does that mean the witch hazel from Voyager Saop & Candle is packed full of tannins and alcohol, so it's like super duper astringent? I also have been searching your blog for a post about alcohol, like ethanol alcohol, not the fatty ones. I either hear it's fine in a proper formulation or that it's too damaging to skin to bother. Do you already have a post on your thoughts on this? Thank's so much for your reply!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Valerie! I haven't found theirs to be astringent, funnily enough. I've been using in in my products for all skin types, and no one has commented on it. I don't use alcohol in my products because I can't stand the smell and I've never really found a reason to use it.

Hmm, I wonder if I have to switch my witch hazel now...

Valerie said...

Man, witch hazel is a tricky one. I have either seen it with 11-14% alcohol (witch hazel extract), no alcohol but with grapefruit seed oil (witch hazel extract toner) or one with .15% benzoic acid (but steam distilled). Does any of those sound better than the others to you? I might just give up on witch hazel at this point and try to find something else with similar benefits. Seems like I can't get the good stuff without quite a bit of the bad stuff.

I'm going to email this company and see what they say. They claim their alcohol free witch hazel has astringent qualities ( ) but they do steam distilling from what I can tell. I was under the impression steam distilling destroys the tannin (which are what I thought gave it the astringent qualities) so they have me very confused. You can order samples from them and they also do custom formulations with different preservatives from what I can tell so far. Seems promising. I'm not sure if they'll even sell to an individual and not a company but I'm mostly hoping they can give me some answers so I can keep looking for that perfect witch hazel extract.