Sunday, December 10, 2017

Series from a question from Patreon: What's a cosmeceutical? What's an active? And how much can we use of these things in combination? Part four - considering a formula

Let's analyze a potential formula here to see if I can include all the ingredients I want. In yesterday's post, we set out a list of things to consider when making something, and I'll review that after we consider all our products...

If I were to make an oil free gel for my rosacea prone skin, what ingredients might work together?

1. Niacinamide and n-acetyl glucosamine: I'm using this combination to help reduce sebum production and increase hydration in my skin by boosting production of hyaluronic acid. I know niacinamide needs a pH around 6, so that limits the other ingredients I could use.

I can't use most forms of Vitamin C as they generally need a more acidic pH, but I might be able to use tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, which is an oil soluble version, as it doesn't need a specific pH level. I could also use magnesium ascorbyl phosphate as it doesn't need a lower pH. I couldn't use AHAs as they also need lower pH ranges, although I might be able to use something like a fruit acid complex that can handle a pH of 6.

Related posts:
Adding Vitamin C to a product
Chemistry Thursday: All about acids

2. Hydrolyzed protein: I can't use this ingredient in most gels as it'll break down the viscosity, so I can't use this with Sepimax ZEN, Ultrez 20, or Aristoflex AVC, to name a few. (It might work with Siligel, which can also handle pH 2 to 11, so that's an option.) I like this for the film forming properties, but I might be able to get the same effects using something like sea kelp bioferment or seaweed extract, so I'll keep that in mind.

3. Panthenol: I love this as a humectant, film former, and wound healer*, and it's pretty much compatible with any gelling system I might like to use.

Eek, wound healing is a claim, so you can't say that about a product. But given I'm not selling it and I'm making something for me, I'm allowed to consider those kinds of claims. 

4. Sodium lactate: I love this humectant for my oily, acne and rosacea prone skin as it's not sticky, and it's very effective. But it doesn't play well with gels that can't handle electrolytes, so I can't use it with Ultrez 20, Sepinov EMT 10 (at more than 1%), or Aristoflex AVC. It will play nicely with Sepimax ZEN or Siligel, so those are options.

5. Allantoin: One of my favourite ingredients, this is a great barrier protectant ingredient that helps with soothing skin. It plays nicely with everything!

6. Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate: I think I want this ingredient in my product, and it'll be the only oil soluble ingredient in the product. I think Vitamin C would help with promoting a more uniform complexion for me, so I could use it at 2%. All the gels I'm considering will incorporate 2% oils, so this may be a good choice for me. There are other Vitamin C ingredients I could consider, but almost all of them require a lower pH or can't play well with water.

7. Antarcticine: This ECOcert ingredient is used at 3% to 5% in the water phase of a product to help increase hydration and reduce the appearance of fine lines or wrinkles. It can handle a pH of 3.5 to 7. (Lotioncrafter*)

8. Hyaluronic acid: I like this humectant in my products at 0.1% as it isn't sticky like glycerin and works very well to hydrate my skin. It can thin out gels, so I don't want to use it at over 0.1% in something like Aristoflex AVC. It works with many different pH levels.

9. Aescin: This is an interesting powder derived from horse chestnut extract that works as an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory that can reduce redness, something those of us with rosacea battle with every day! (It's also a good anti-oxidant.) It can be used at 0.2% to 2% in the cool down phase of the product, but we have to dissolve it in glycerin, propylene glycol, or propanediol 1,3 before adding it. I've used the powder from Lotioncrafter* and the liquid from Formulator Sample Shop* (1% to 10%). It's great in under eye and foot care products, too.

9a. I have to include glycerin, propylene glycol, or propanediol 1,3 in this formula to dissolve the aescin. I'll include that if I'm using the powder. 3% to 5% will be more than enough. I think glycerin will be too sticky, so propanediol 1,3 it is!

10. I could use a nice extract here to help with inflammation and redness, something like powdered chamomile extract at 0.5% or chamomile hydrosol at 10%.

11. I could include an anti-oxidant, too, although I have one in the form of aescin, so why double up?

Let's review what I have here. If I want my central ingredient to be the niacinamide and n-acetyl glucosamine combination, I need my pH to remain around 6. If I want to create a gel, I think I'll go with Sepinov EMT 10 as it creates really nice, slightly creamy feeling products. With this ingredient, I can't use hydrolyzed proteins as that will thin it too much, and I can't go over 0.5% sodium lactate powder or about 0.8% sodium lactate liquid. Panthenol is good to go, as are the rest of the ingredients. They all fall within the proper pH ranges and work well together. Nothing is doubling up on the effects of something else, and none will cause something else to fail.

Do we have too many exfoliants? Hmm, n-acetyl glucosamine can exfoliate gently, as can allantoin, so we're okay .

What might my product look like?
  • I have to substitute the hydrolyzed proteins for something like 2% sea kelp bioferment. 
  • I'll use 0.5% sodium lactate, 0.1% hyaluronic acid, and 3% propanediol as my humectants. 
  • I'll add 0.5% allantoin and 2% panthenol as soothing ingredients. 
  • I'll use 0.5% aescin in 3% propanediol 1,3 to start. 
  • I'll add 0.5% powdered chamomile extract. 
  • I can use 2% n-acetyl glucosamine with 4% niacinamide with 2% tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, 3% Antarcticine. 
  • Oh, and I want the tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate to act as a Vitamin C. 
  • And I'll make it up using Sepinov EMT 10. 
Do all the ingredients actually work or do I have some "fairy dust" in here? I don't think so. I think there's some lovely sound science for each of these things.

Join me tomorrow to see what kind of formula I've created for this!


Paige B said...

Looking forward to the results! I definitely want to hear how this turns out for you.

Bruna said...

Hi Susan,
This is my first time writing a comment here! (I've been reading your blog since 2012!).
Just to let you know I'm loving this "cosmeceutical series".
You are amazing!
Hugs from Brazil!!!

Ashlee said...

I can't wait to see it come together and hear your thoughts on the Anarcticine. The aescin looks interesting as well, I might have to add it to my wishlist.

Caroline said...

I love the way you create a process to decide what to put in, it makes formulating from scratch so much more achievable.

You touch on different gelling agents but what's the best way to find out the difference between them, especially variations on a theme - like Ultrez 20 and Ultrez 80

BrNy said...

I too can't wait for the whole formula to come together (I was able to take a peek at it the other day when it was posted for a couple hours and was very eager to try it!) I am so making this but have a question: i have liquid chamomile extract so I'm guessing I can use that at 5% and subtract from the water phase? I have most ingredients, just missing a few. My Christmas list is getting so big LOL
Hi Bruna, I'm from Brazil too but live in Pennsylvania. So nice to see another fellow Brazilian around here. Abra├žo!

Frit said...

Definitely looking forward to seeing the results, and your take on how it turns out, how it works for you. (I also have some rosacea to deal with.)


Catherine Dorner said...

I, too, am looking forward to this new formula. Like Caroline, I find it fascinating how you think out your formulas. Thanks for posting.

BrNy said...

Hi Susan, is the post on cosmeceuticals in the new blog? I am having a hard time finding the continuation of the posts there (part 5 on.) Are they already out? Dying to look at the recipe with the cosmeceuticals you mention on that post (last post I saw was on the old blog and listed all the ingredients you would consider using on a sepinov emt lotion but no actual recipe.)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi BrNy,
As I mentioned in the post on comments - - if there wasn’t enough interaction with a series, I wouldn’t share the next post. More than 100,000 people have clicked on this post, and only seven people commented, so the series ended. I finished the series on Patreon as there was more engagement there and the question was asked by a Patreon subscriber. It will end up on the new blog as we move some things over, but it will remain Patreon only as there wasn’t enough engagement to unlock the next post for the free blog.