Monday, January 16, 2017

Newbie Tuesday: Creating a facial toner (part three) - introduction to cosmeceuticals

When last we met - which was a while ago, sorry! - we were looking at modifying a basic toner recipe using humectants, hydrolyzed proteins, cationic polymers, and more. This week I'd like to take a look at modifying the recipe further using what we call cosmeceuticals.

What's a cosmeceutical? They're "cosmetic products with properties very similar to a pharmaceutical product (drug-like benefits)". (p. 295, Handbook of Cosmetic Science and Technology.) In other words, they are active ingredients we add to our products to offer a specific benefit, like anti-aging, creating a more uniform skin tone, alleviating acne, and so on. You can never make a claim that the product you make with those ingredients will fix, heal, or repair anything, but that doesn't mean you can't include ingredients in your products that might be of benefit. Ingredients like co-enzyme Q10, niacinamide, or MSM would be considered cosmeceuticals.

You already know of my love of allantoin, and we've already been working with it in our toners, but it's a great example of a cosmeceutical or a cosmetic ingredient that offers all kinds of benefits, like protecting our skin from the elements or increasing the water content.

How can we add these kinds of ingredients? First check to see if they're water or oil soluble. Toners are all about the water, so our ingredients have to be water soluble. If they aren't, then check to see if you can use something else or if you could add something to the toner that would make them more soluble. Or consider using it in something more suitable, like a serum or a moisturizer.

I'm having a love affair with niacinamide. Studies have shown that 2% in a facial moisturizer can increase skin's keratin, ceramides, and barrier lipids which results in a reduction of transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and an increase in collagen synthesis. 2% can result in a 23% reduction in sebum production and pore diameter. It can reduce hyperpigmentation of age and sun spots. And it can reduce the damage from environmental causes, which reduces the irritation, inflammation, and skin redness from things like the sun, cold, or weather as well as application of straight SLS.  Even at 5%, there's a lack of irritation and redness on our faces ('cause sometimes niacin can make our skin flush, but not at 2% or 5%). It can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and decreases skin blotchiness and "pebbling" or roughness on facial skin. It also behaves as an anti-inflammatory and enhances skin's barrier functions.

It is a water soluble, heat tolerant ingredient, so you can use it in the heated phase of a product, and it's suitable for toners. I generally use it at 2% in the heated phase or dissolved into a little warm water that I add to my toner.

Related post: Making a facial toner with niacinamide

Niacinamide works very well with n-acetyl glucosamine, so I've been using that at 4% in toners lately. It's a bio-identical ingredient that can reduce hyperpigmentation in the skin, that can also increase hydration by increasing the production of hyaluronic acid in our skin.

Related post: Making a water in silicone serum

We could also add a water soluble oil, something like PEG-7 olivate or water soluble olive oil, that's been modified to mix easily with water. Adding 3% to a toner can offer some great moisturization for skin that likes oils without having the hassle of using a sticky solubilizer.

Related post:
Oil free gel moisturizer with water soluble olive oil
Making a facial cleanser with water soluble olive oil
As a note, there are so many links to making things with this ingredient in the post above, so check it out if you're interested in learning more!

An ingredient I'm asked about a lot is salicylic acid, which is great for acne prone skin. Unfortunately, it dissolves very poorly in water - 1 gram dissolves in 460 grams of water, and that's not even close to the 0.5% to 2% we want to use in a product - but works well in alcohol or glycols, like propylene glycol, so if you wanted to use it, you'd have to first mix it with one of those ingredients, then add that to the toner and mix well.

For instance, you can dissolve about 2 grams of salicylic acid in 10 grams of alcohol or propylene glycol, then add to that to the toner.

On top of knowing how to dissolve SA, you do have to consider how to reduce the pH of the product as well, as it should have a pH of around 3.5, so you'll need to get a good meter and find different ways of reducing the pH, like using citric acid.

If you're interested in learning more about incorporating salicylic acid into your products, please visit this post in which I included a whole bunch of links from Friday, January 13, 2017.

Personal Formulator FAQ 
UL Prospector article about using salicylic acid

If you don't want to go through all the hassle of using salicylic acid, consider using another version of the ingredient. Would something like willow bark extract, which is water soluble, work in this product? Yes, it would, and you can get it as a powder or a liquid, both of which are easy to incorporate into a water only product. When I have a powder, I use it at 0.5% in the cool down phase. Use a little water to dissolve it, then add it back to the product and mix well. The down side is that you do end up with a toner that's a little on the brown side, but it won't show up on your skin that way. If this really bothers you, consider getting a liquid willow bark extract that is clear, like the one you see here, that can be used at 2% to 5%.

Related post: Formulating facial products with willow bsrk

What if we wanted to add something like co-enzyme Q10, an oil soluble cosmeceutical that behaves as an anti-oxidant that promotes collagen and elastin synthesis? Because it's oil soluble, you'd need to use a solubilizer like polysorbate 80, caprylyl/capryl glucoside, or PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil to incorporate the it into the water soluble toner, but I'd like to suggest saving something like this for a serum or moisturizer as these solubilizers can feel quite sticky on the skin when used like this. If you really want to make a toner with this kind of ingredient, my suggestion is to dissolve the powder into a light oil like squalane or fractionated coconut oil, then mix that with the solubilizer at equal parts - which may or may not work, depending upon the oil and solubilizer you use, so consider starting at 1:1 then moving to 2 parts solubilizer, one part oil, and so on until it mixes in well.

Having said this, when we start working with gels, you'll see how we can incorporate a bit of oil soluble ingredients into them to create oily gels, gelled toners, and other spot treatments. 

There are so many ingredients we could use in a toner, and it could take me all year to go through them one by one. We'll take a look at a few tomorrow, but I'd love to hear what interests you! Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

If you'd like to play along or if you've missed a post, here's a listing of the complete 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?
Meet the surfactants
pH of our surfactants
Facial products - the base recipe
Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser (part one) - physical exfoliants
Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser (part two) - physical exfoliants
Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser by adding chemical exfoliants
Modifying your facial cleanser into a foamer bottle recipe
Creating a facial toner (part one)
Creating a facial toner (part two)

If there's an asterisk beside a link, it means it'll take you away from my page to a supplier of those ingredients. These are not affiliate links; I receive nothing from these companies for clicking through or buying anything. As usual, I'm sharing where I get my ingredients from awesome suppliers.

Join me tomorrow as we look at a few cosmeceuticals we can include in our toners.

1 comment:

Pepper7 said...

I have made 3 toners with Salicylic acid and only one turned out well. The one where I dissolved it in alcohol first. Margi