Wednesday, February 24, 2010

White willow bark extract: Formulating skin cleansing products

I do love body wash, and I know I've already tweaked this recipe a thousand times, but let's take a look at including white willow bark extract in our body wash! Why would we want to use it here? It works well for oily skin, acne prone skin, and aging skin to reveal new and lovely cells on the top layer...but it may actually work well for keratosis pilaris, those little bumps you get on the back of your arms and legs.

I'm not a doctor, so anything that looks like I'm making a health related claim is merely a suggestion, not a claim or cure! There is no guarantee that any of the recipes or suggestions I post on this site will work for your specific ailment.

About 40% of the adult population and 50% to 80% of the adolescent population has this condition. The body produces too much keratin, so it surrounds the hair follicle and entraps it in the pore. This causes hyperkeratinization (too much keratin), which forms those hard little bumps in the skin. It is worse in the winter months, due to low humidity. Those little bumps can contain ingrown hairs because they can't grow up and out of the pore. There is no cure, just some things to soothe or improve skin texture.

BHA (also known as salicylic acid) and exfoliation, as well as moisturization, are recommended for this condition. Coconut oil has also been suggested as a good moisturizing ingredient. (This will not emulsify well in a body wash, so I'm thinking a nice oil based scrub, emulsified sugar scrub, or a scrub bar would be the best way to use this oil. Or just keep it in your apres bath or shower body lotion!)

So what is our goal? To include exfoliating and moisturizing ingredients in our body wash. We are definitely going to include 0.5% to 1% white willow bark to start (you can increase this to 2% when you see how you tolerate it). And using a poofy thingie in the shower will increase that exfoliation. (You could even add some exfoliating beads in clay or jojoba form and suspend it by making a gel!) So now we need to get some moisturizing in there.

We can add moisturizing to a body wash a few different ways. We can include lovely conditioning agents like condition-eze 7 or honeyquat, we can include hydrolyzed proteins like cromoist or hydrolyzed silk proteins, and we can include oils, either water soluble or emulsified with something like polysorbate 80. I always include panthenol in my body wash at 2% as a film former, humectant, and skin healing ingredient. And I'm going to be using hydrovance in this recipe as urea can be good for this condition, so let's use it as an active ingredient and a humectant! (We're not removing the glycerin as a humectant as it is a very good one and because it helps our bubbles be more bubbly!)

Or we can add oils. You can add oils and emulsifiers to make a moisturizing body wash. You can use water soluble oils at up to 3%. You can add a thickener like EZ Pearl to refat the surfactant mixture, or you can do what I'm going to do in this recipe, which is add 1% Crothix (or thereabouts) to thicken the body wash, which also offers moisturizing and anti-irritating. Remember when you add oils or re-fattening ingredients, you'll find less lather. But we'll just encourage everyone to use the scrubby poofy thing in the shower to make it more foamy!

So we have our ingredients - let's make a nice moisturizing and exfoliating body wash!

16% water
10% aloe vera
10% chamomile hydrosol (or other hydrosol, or water)
15% coco betaine
15% Amphosol CG
15% BSB or LSB or mild enough for babies cleanser
3% glycerin
3% honeyquat or polyquat 7
2% hydrolyzed protein
3% hydrovance
3% water soluble oil - I'm using PEG-7 olivate

2% panthenol
1% fragrance oil
0.5% preservative
1% white willow bark

1% Crothix.

Heat all the ingredients and mix well. When the mixture reaches 45˚C, add the cool down phase ingredients. Dissolve the white willow bark in a little warm water before adding. Mix well again. Let sit overnight to reach room temperature and to let the bubbles rise to the surface. Add 1% Crothix if you need more thickness. It shouldn't require 2%, but if you are using a fragrance oil that reduces the viscosity, add it 1% at a time until you get the viscosity you like.

Join me tomorrow for fun formulating with MSM!

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