Monday, February 22, 2010

White willow bark extract: Formulating facial products

White willow bark extract is a great inclusion in products where you want the awesome power of salicylic acid - so let's take a look at using white willow bark extract in facial products.

Salicylic acid is recommended for oily skin, acne or blackhead prone skin, and red or inflamed skin. Since I have all of those, I use white willow bark extract quite a bit.

I like to use it in a toner, moisturizer, and cleanser. I add 0.5% white willow bark to the cool down phase of my product - after dissolving it in some warm water. You can go as high as 1.0%, but it can make you sun sensitive and red, so start low and move your way up as you determine how you like it. And start by using it in one product before including it in every facial product you use. I started by using it in my toner, then moved on to including it in my cleanser. I have since started including it in my night-time moisturizer as I don't want to get too sun sensitive.

Let's see how this works in a facial cleanser, specifically a very oily skin foaming facial cleanser (click here for that recipe, or click here for a version for less oily skin). White willow bark is especially good for people with really oily hair or skin, so it is a fabulous inclusion for facial products.

51% water
10% aloe vera
10% hydrosol of choice
2% honeyquat
3% PEG 7 olivate (water soluble olive oil)
10% SMC Taurate (liquid)
8% Amphosol CG (coco betaine)
3% hydrolyzed protein
2% panthenol
0.5% preservative (Liquid Germall Plus)
1% fragrance or essential oil (optional)
0.5% white willow bark extract

Mix together. Package in foamy bottle. Rejoice.

For very oily skin, consider using rosemary as your hydrosol. For normal to oily skin, lavender or orange blossom is very nice. For dry skin, add up to 3% water soluble oil and consider using a hydrosol good for dry skin.

For all skin types, feel free to change the SMC Taurate surfactant for another surfactant your skin likes - do not change the coco betaine as it thickens the mixture slightly and creates a milder cleanser than just the SMC Taurate or other surfactant alone.

And consider using other extracts. Rosemary would be great for oily skin, cucumber for oily or green tea for all skin types, or chamomile for skin that needs some serious soothing.

Consider using white willow bark in shaving products, like shaving lotion, a post-shaving lotion or spray, a shaving bar, or a beard conditioner. It will help prevent ingrown hairs as well as help with redness and inflammation. (In the shaving bar, just dissolve the extract into the panthenol and hydrolyzed protein. If you're using liquid extract, then you can just add it to the cool down phase).

Join me tomorrow for fun formulating with white willow bark in hair care products!


Chris said...

Hey Susan.

We don't need to heat and cool any of this? Just mix all together in pot?

Jodie said...

Hi Susan. I would like to make willow bark extract/ tincture & wondering if you know anything about what the percent of salicylic acid in such an extract might be. Or even the % of salicylic acid in these commercial-type extracts. I really haven't been able to find any reliable information on this topic. Thanks kindly, Jodie

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Jodie. I'm answering your question as today's Weekend Wonderings! The short answer is that your supplier should give you this information!

Julia said...

Hi Susan
I have just made a white willow bark extract, I bought my powder from a supplier in the UK but their is a supplier in the USA - New Directions Aromatics which is very useful as it gives the strength of the powder, I recall it is 16:1 and they give instructions on how to make a tincture. For 100ml, I add 65% glycerine, 1.3% (=20g of raw material)and boiled /cooled water. Macerated it overnight then filtered it through a fine filter. For my cleanser recipe I add 5% of the tincture to my cleanser = 1% of the raw material.

Wendy Gaechter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wendy Gaechter said...

Thanks, Susan, for all of your help and recipes. My homemade facial wash for dry skin was non-drying. Even the Neutrogena "non-drying" face wash I had been using during this cold, dry, NJ winter left a dry feeling. Below recipe is what I plan for my next and final batch (adding hydrosol). Do you feel I am wasting any of these ingredients in a product that washes off? Also, can I warm the water in order to dissolve the SMC Taurate paste more easily? I will be using honeysuckle hydrosol for my teenager's bad acne.

Water 29.50
Lavender hydrosol 10
Aloe juice 10
SMC Taurate 20
CocaBetaine 10
Peg-7 Olivate 4
Silk 2
Panthenol 2
Glycerin 5
Honeyquat PF 5
Preservative .5
Crothix 2%

Blog Administrator said...

hello, I am looking into the use of white willow bark for acne/skin treatments. I keep seeing 'white willow bark extract' but I don't seem to be getting a good indication of what that means. I purchased bulk willow bark and soaked it in 151 proof grain alcohol for 6 weeks (shaking every couple days). I now have a tincture of white willow bark that I'm not sure qualifies as an extract for the purpose of something like this. Any assistance would be appreciated and thank you in advance.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Blog Administrator! Did you take a look at this post in the extracts part of the blog? I use it as a powder, but you can get it in liquid form from all kinds of places, like the Formulator Sample Shop!

What was the white willow bark you purchased like when you bought it? Was it a powder? Did you ask your supplier how to use it?

kenna said...

Hi Susan, thank you for your wonderful blog with its wealth of information. Is there a specific reason why the SMC Taurate should in liquid form? I have the paste but not the liquid. I bought your e -book from lotioncrafter and have actually made something quite similar to this recipe (for my son's acne) except I used SLES instead of SMC Taurate and I also did not have a water soluble oil. I have sinced ordered the surfactant in paste form and would like to try it out. Thanks again!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Kenna! Thank you for your kind words. I've had the paste and the liquid, and they're both good!

For your son's acne, be careful with the oils of any sort. I have acne and rosacea and I can't handle much of anything any more. Find ways to hydrate with things like humectants rather than using oils and see if he handles that well.