Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Newbie Tuesday: Facial cleansers - additions to the base recipe

Wow, that was a lot to take in yesterday, eh? We took a look at formulating a few base recipes for facial cleansers for some different skin types. Today, we'll look at the ingredients we used and a few others we could try using in this recipe.

Here's the base recipe we developed for normal skin...

15% LSB
15% BSB
10% cocamidopropyl betaine
3% glycerin
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

54.5% distilled water

up to 2% Crothix, if desired

This looks to be a nice recipe - I really like the version for oily skin - but I think it could use a few more additions to the mix. The main reason for the inclusions I'm adding today are all about increasing the mildness of the product. As the Dothraki might say*, it is known that all surfactants irritate our skin, so our goal is to reduce that irritation by adding moisturizers, humectants, anti-inflammatories, and more.

*I'm not sure that the Dothraki from Game of Thrones are really big on increasing mildness in facial cleansers, but I can never resist the opportunity to share my love of the book and TV series! 

We'll take a look at two ingredients you can add to yesterday's recipe, and I'll make more suggestions when we meet again next Tuesday to share our thoughts about the recipes we made.

Why did we include glycerin in this recipe? It's a humectant, and these are a face's best friend. Humectants draw water from the atmosphere to our skin and help hydrate it, which makes it feel softer and reduces transepidermal water loss. There are so many choices, but I generally think of glycerin when it comes to rinse off products.

I love sodium lactate, but it doesn't have a place in a cleanser as it rinses off. Save this one for your toner. I love panthenol, too, but if you're using a toner or moisturizer after the cleanser, save it for those products.

Hyaluronic acid is pretty awesome, but way too expensive for something we're washing off our face. Hydrovance is an interesting inclusion, but it can cause pH drift and can wash off with rinsing, so it's better for a leave on product.

I'm starting to use propylene glycol a lot, and it's a good choice for a rinse off cleanser, so try that at 3% to 5%. You could use hexylene glycol or butylene glycol at 3% as well. If you can get it, Zemea's propanediol is a good choice at 3% as well. You can go as high as 10% with it, but I encourage you to try it at 3% first, then go up from there.

My favourite humectant for a facial cleanser is glycerin! It's inexpensive, effective, and doesn't rinse off. The down side is that glycerin can feel quite sticky for leave on products, but when used in a facial cleanser as high as 10%, you should be left only with the feeling of hydration.

As someone with dry skin, humectants are essential as your have lower hydration levels than other types. You want to include them in every product you make. In a cleanser, if you can handle 5%, try 7.5% then 10% and see what you think!

As someone with nornal or oily skin, humectants are definitely your friend, and I encourage you to use something like glycerin at 3% or one of the other choices at the suggested usage levels as you can really tell when you don't have it in the product.

What about some of those other things I had you buy? There are quite a few things there we can use to modify our facial cleanser. Don't worry - we'll get to them, I promise!

Cationic polymers or positively charged conditioning agents like polyquaternium 7 (polyquat 7) are fabulous additions to facial cleansers as they offer that moisturized feeling without using oils.

I'm using polyquat 7 at 3% in the surfactant phase as it acts as both a humectant and a conditioner to make my skin feel moist, hydrated, and fresh.

Honeyquat is a great choice to be used at 3% in the cool down phase of your product to act as a conditioning agent and a humectant. And you can get all kinds of wonderful quaternized proteins, like rice, soy, baobab, and so on in these facial cleansers. Use them at 2% to 5% in any phase you wish.

I absolutely adore these ingredients, and I encourage you to always include a cationic polymer or quaternized protein in any surfactant based product you make. I have found that as little as 2% can make a world of difference between good and freakin' awesome!

I'm encouraging you to use 3% of your chosen cationic polymer in the surfactant phase of your recipe to see what you think.

You can do two things at this point...
Option A: You can get out yesterday's recipe for your skin type and add 3% cationic polymer/quaternized protein to it. Mix it well, but not enough to get loads of bubbles, and enjoy. What I mean by this is you can actually just get the product you made from yesterday's recipe and add 3% of your chosen cationic polymer.

Option B: You can click here for a PDF with the modified recipe for your skin type and re-make the facial cleanser. The only difference between yesterday and today is the 3% cationic polymer.

So how do we add these things without messing up the recipe too much? 
Normally, when we add something to a recipe, we remove a bit of the water. If we have 54.5% water in the normal skin recipe and we want to add 3% polyquat 7 to the mix, we add the 3% polyquat, then remove 3% from the water, leaving us with 51.5%. Why do we do this? To make sure the recipe adds up to 100%.

If you go with option A above, you'll have a total of 103% for your recipe.
If you go with option B above, you'll have a total of 100% for your recipe.

What happens if the recipe isn't 100%? Isn't this a really big deal? 
For the most part, being over or under a bit - say up to 10% - isn't a big deal for a cleanser recipe. In these recipes, we're using the maximum amount of liquid Germall Plus at 0.5%, so we know the product is preserved well, which is always the biggest concern. Having said this, we really want to get to 100% as much as humanly possible because it does make life easier when we're figuring out things like the amount of preservative or emulsifier to use.

I'll let you take that in for a moment. Did I just say it's okay to be more or less than 100%? I told you yesterday that you could make this recipe cold, and now this? Is it opposite day? I need to pause for a moment to gather my thoughts....

We will compensate for those additions in future versions of the recipe or you can get the modified version of the recipe here, in this PDF.

The posts in this series, if you've missed them...
Newbie Tuesday: We're making facial products! 
Shopping list
Equipment list
Let's start making facial cleansers! - Your skin type
Surfactants - what are they?
Meet your surfactants
pH of our surfactants
Facial products - the base recipe

Please share your thoughts about this modified recipe in this post, and we'll take a look at all of it next Tuesday, September 20th. 


Susan said...

Hi Susan,
I modified the recipe for dry skin, and liking the results. To the surfactant phase, I added 3% Polyquat 7 and increased glycerin to 4%. I reduced Crothix to 1%. I like the soft, clean feeling on my face, not dry or tight. I am thinking this is going to be my new favorite facial cleanser!
Thank you for the series :)

Julie said...

Hi Susan,

I made the facial cleanser for normal skin identical to your recipe and added the polyquat 7 at 3%. The consistency was good the first day then it seemed to have become more liquid the second day. It is normal or am I imagining things? I did not add crotix just to see what I would get without it. In a pump bottle and distributing in small quantity for the face, I like the consistency. The feeling was nice on my face. My skin felt clean afterward and did not feel tight, but looked a little dry. A little moisturizer was all I needed. I can't wait to try the toner!
I was also curious and used the cleanser as a shampoo. I really like the feeling and it rinsed off well. For a shampoo, I would make it thicker so it would not run down between my fingers before I have time to apply it. But otherwise, it was much better than my last try at making shampoo.

I really enjoy the newbie series!


Carol Ann Elisen said...

I've modified the dry/sensitive formula by adding the 3% polyquat 7. I'm not noticing a huge difference from the preview I left after the first basic formula. My face feels clean but I find it still needs something more for conditioning/hydrating. I'll be following it up with a great toner and moisturizer so maybe the face wash does not need to be so moisturizing?
Carol Ann

Kath Collard said...

Hi Susan,

I made the cleanser for dry skin as per the percentages advised but with surfactants available in Australia (maybe my research skills are poor but I simply could not locate exactly what was named on the list). The basic recipe was a nice viscosity after adding thickener. Application was enjoyable with a perfect amount of foamy lather, no eye irritation on removal of eye makeup and washed off easily. After my face had dried, I felt my skin would benefit from moisturising as it felt a tad dry.

Version 2 of this recipe was to increase Glycerine to 10% and add Aloe Vera Gel at 5%. This recipe felt different on application in that the product felt like it had "body" even though the viscosity appeared only slightly thicker than Version 1. Once again there was no eye irritation and the product washed off very well. My skin felt soft and slightly more hydrated. I have been oil cleansing for some time which may cloud my feelings on this cleanser somewhat. I will attempt a Version 3 with the addition of Polyquat 7 to see if I can detect any difference.