Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lotion: Speciality ingredients

So far we've been making basic lotions, tweaking the ratios of the various ingredients to get what we want, but there are other ingredients you can add to lotions that will change the thickness, texture, and glidi-ness (yes, I know this isn't a word, but it fits!) I'm making up a short list here that will give you an idea of some of my favourite lotion additives (some of which you will have seen in the other posts) and their usage rates. If there's an ingredient I didn't include, please comment and I'll make this list grow!

Ingredients are soluble in oil, water, or alcohol. If an ingredient is oil soluble, it means it plays well with oil based creations (for instance, a lotion bar) without an emulsifier. If an ingredient is water soluble, it means it will work in a water based creation (for instance, surfactant systems or toner) without an emulsifier. Both of these will be soluble in lotions because we are using an emulsifier. The guidelines about solubility are about creations that are only one thing or another. (I don't have anything on the list that is only alcohol soluble...)

Cationic polymers (conditioner): These include Condition-eze (polyquat 7) and honeyquat. Great additions to surfactant systems to add conditioning without oil. As they are cationic, not great in a lotion if you are using a non-ionic emulsifier (emulsifying wax), but fantastic with a cationic emulsifier (BTMS). A great humectant! Celquat H-100 comes in a powdered form, and it helps to form a gel at 1%, and can thicken a surfactant based creation.
Water soluble ingredient. Add to cool down phase below 50C.
Use at up to 5% in lotions, surfactant systems, and water based creations (I like it at 3%).

Cyclomethicone (silicone): Adds a silky feeling to lotions and leaves a powdery feeling. Helps your hair dry a little quicker and good for anti-frizz creations. (It is volatile and evaporates quickly).
Found in liquid form. Oil soluble ingredient. Add to cool down phase below 50C.
Use at up to 2% in lotions, surfactant systems, and oil based creations.

Dimethicone (silicone): Adds glide to lotions and acts as a protective barrier layer for lotions and hair care products. Great for anti-frizz products.
Found in liquid form. Oil soluble ingredient. Add to cool down phase below 50C.
Use at up to 2% in lotions, surfactant systems, and oil based products.

Hydrolyzed proteins: You can choose from a number of different hydrolyzed proteins - silk, corn, wheat, soy, oats, and so on - and the one you choose is really about what you like. The proteins are film formers that will trap in moisture. Awesome for pretty much any product you want to make (if you've read all these posts, you'll see I put it in everything!)
Liquid and powdered form. Water soluble ingredient, Although you can sneak the liquid form in small amounts into things like lotion bars.
The powdered form can be used in mineral make-up bases (eye shadow, blush, and foundation). Add to cool down phase below 50C.
Use at up to 2%.

Hydrovance (humectant): A great humectant that isn't sticky, so it's great in toners and other very light applications. Can cause some pH drift, so it's not the best choice for newbie formulators!
Liquid form. Water soluble. Add to cool down phase below 50C.
Use up to 50%, but I'd suggest no more than 3%. Not suitable for oil only creations.

IPM (isopropyl myristate - an ester): Adds emolliency to a a moisturizer or apres bath spray. Lotions will feel less greasy and allows for better skin absorption. It is non-volatile, meaning it doesn't evaporate.
Liquid form. Oil soluble. Add at up to 5% in the oil phase. Not great for facial products as it can aggravate acne.
(I use this at 2% in every one of my lotions!)

Panthenol (vitamin): Vitamin B5 helps build strong hair and helps cell repair in skin.
Liquid and powdered form (I prefer the liquid form as it is easier to add to things like toners and surfactant systems).
Water soluble ingredient. Add to cool down phase below 50C.
Use at up to 2%. Not suitable for oil only creations.

Sodium lactate (humectant): A great, inexpensive humectant that does not thicken surfactant or lotion mixtures. It helps with cell proliferation at under 3% and is exfoliating at over 3%. It's a mild AHA, so it's good for wrinkles and acne, but you don't want to use it over 3% because it can make you sun sensitive.
Liquid form. Water soluble ingredient. Add to your water phase.
Use up to 3% to avoid the exfoliating and sensitizing properties.

And yes, there are hundreds of ingredients you can add - various AHAs, thickeners, other emulsifiers, and so on - but these are my main additives. If you have a favourite ingredient you want to know more about or share with others, comment below!


Vanessa said...

Hi Susan,

Why do you add the dimethicone during cool down if it isn't volatile? Can't you add to the heated oil phase? Thank you in advance!

Vanessa R said...

Hi. I left the question above. I am posting again with my google account so that I can receive emails about follow up comments. Thanks again!


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Vanessa. I choose not to add my dimethicone to the heated phase because it can get goopy and weird at times, and I don't get that effect when I add it to the cool down phase. (Yeah, I know, such scientific language, eh?) I don't have issues adding it to the cool down phase, so I continue to do it. A lot of what I read when learning how to formulate had dimethicone in the cool down phase, so it's how I've always done it. Feel free to alter the recipes to use it in the heated oil phase, if you wish.

Venus Lim said...

Hi Susan,

I would like to add Salicyclic acid in my lotion and cream for my acne skin but I face the problem below:
1. Salicyclic acid has limited solubility in water
2. Salicyclic acid destroyed the viscosity that i have built up!

May I know if there is any specific method to deal with salicyclic acid so that it can both dissolve well and does not destroy my cream?

Thank you very much!


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Venus! How are you dissolving the salicylic acid? If you're using alcohol, know that it can mess with your emulsions.