Sunday, September 11, 2016

Newbie Tuesday: Facial cleansers - the pH of our ingredients

One more thing before we get to the details of our various surfactants...Let's take a look at the importance of the pH of our products.

Our skin has an acid mantle, which is a fine, slightly acidic film with a pH of 4.7 to 5.9, which acts as a barrier to bacteria, viruses, and other icky things that might penetrate our skin. This acid mantle is a result of production of amino acids and lactic acid that settles on our skin. It's a good environment for good bacteria and other tiny creatures, and they can protect us from chemical and natural attack by other tiny creatures or skin unfriendly chemicals. Out of whack pH levels can lead to an increase in scaling, a decrease in hydration, and a possible increase in bacterial and yeast infections.

We don't want to mess with the acid mantle, so we need to formulate our products within the skin's pH range - a pH of 4.5 to 6-ish is good for leave on products. We don't want to use harsh surfactants or very alkaline soaps as they can destroy the acid mantle, which leads to dry skin, reduction in the stratum corneum lipids, and lowered resistance to microbial or chemical assaults.

For facial products, shampoo, and body washes, we want to keep the pH lower than 6, between 4.5 and 5.9 for leave on products.* This means the products we are making will be acidic. Most of the ingredients I have chosen for this first part of the facial products series are acidic. (There are a few exceptions and you'll see them in the next few days...)

As a note, products like facial peels or glycolic acid masks will have a much lower pH, but we aren't formulating those things at home! 

Most of our surfactants are in the perfect zone for pH. For example, Stepan's Mild-LSB has a pH of 6.0 (10% in water), while  Stepan's Amphosol CG (cocamidopropyl betaine) has a pH of 5 to 7 when it's at 10% in water. (I'll get into more detail with you about this shortly...)

The recipes I share with you on this blog are always pH balanced so you can make them at home without having to use a pH meter. If you alter the recipe and include things that are more acidic - like AHAs - or more alkaline - like liquid soap - you will change the pH. It may or may not make a huge difference. It's hard to tell without a meter.

What about pH strips? They're okay. They offer a general idea of the pH of the product - say 5 to 6 - which can be good enough when we are making most of our products. Where they aren't great is when we get into using cosmeceuticals and extracts with wacky pHs.

Related posts on pH:
pH of our skin (part one)
pH of our skin care products
pH and the skin's acid mantle
Weekend Wonderings: You can't have alkaline skin
Adjusting the pH of our products

Other posts in this series:
Newbie Tuesday: We're making facial products! 
Shopping list
Equipment list
Let's start making facial cleansers! - Your skin type
Surfactants - what are they?

Okay, so we're ready to take a look at our surfactants! Join me tomorrow for more fun formulating facial cleansers! 

1 comment:

alia said...

i didnt know anything about formulating personal care products until i came across your blog

i learned and still learning EVERYTHING from you

you are my guru!❤

so anyways

i have too much hirsutism
so i have to wax ALOT
and when the hair comes back
it hurts and there are so many ingrown hairs too
and the skin gets irritated
here in dubai we dont take this as a medical condition
because it is extremely common every other woman has it

after ALOT of google search
i found that the following help in inhibiting unwanted hair growth

1)protease enzymes(pineapple,papaya)

2)anti-androgens(soy, licorice,saw palmatello, lavender, tea tree)

3)alkaloids(lupinus seed)-- for alkaloids to work better they need acidic environment like lemon

4) turmeric

so i wanna make something that contains all the above mentioned things or a good combination of any among these or something you know is good for this condition

that i can apply after wax or something of daily use to overcome these symptoms

should it be a concentrated serum
or a lotion or a cream or a just a concentrate of such stuff which i can add to lotions and serums

how would i make them?

i have no clue

sorry for such a long comment
but i really need your help