Let's start with our oils and butters. I don't like to use butters in a facial moisturizer because it can bother a lot of people and it can make it far too thick! Okay, no butters in a facial moisturizer so we'll have to find our occlusion elsewhere. (If your skin can tolerate dimethicone, it's a fantastic occlusive ingredient!)
So what oils do we want? We're looking for something very moisturizing, slightly occlusive (although we can get that by including 0.5% allantoin), full of phytosterols and polyphenols good for dry and aging skin. I don't think something very dry will work well for dry skin, so we want to either balance dry and oily or just go for the oily. What fits that requirement?
Any of the exotic oils would be good for your skin, so let's choose three and see which one fits in!
Borage oil is nice. On the up side, it contains GLA, which helps with skin's barrier repair and reduces transepidermal water loss (TEWL). It can help increase skin's hydration and flexibility, repair light and weather induced skin damage, and reduce inflammation. The ellagic acid offers a reduction in the destruction of collagen, an increase in the regeneration of skin cells, and thickening of the skin. On the down side, it's a more expensive oil and it can feel dry.
Pomegranate oil is also a good choice. On the pro side, it is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-microbial. It can increase skin's elasticity and help repair weather damaged skin. It also contains ellagic acid to help with reducing collagen destruction, but also contains gallic acid, which is a good wound and burn healer. The phytosterols are very high, giving us great moisturizing and anti-inflammatory features. On the down side, again it is an expensive oil and can feel dry on the skin.
Sea buckthorn is another oil to consider. On the pro side it offers a ton of phytosterols for anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties. It has palmitoleic acid, which helps heal wounds and scratches, and lots of Vitamin E, which is moisturizing and anti-oxidizing. The carotenoids can offer photo protective properties. It not a dry feeling oil and has a good shelf life. But it's low in linoleic or gamma-linoleic acid, which is something we want to help with skin's barrier repairs.
You know, I think I'll choose borage oil because it is so high in GLA, so we'll get some good skin barrier repair features, and it will help with the aging part by reducing the destruction of collagen. It might make the lotion feel a little dry, but I think we can live with that knowing we have this awesome oil in it! (We'll compensate for the dryness by using emulsifying wax instead of BTMS and adding cetyl alcohol instead of stearic acid.) And although it can be a bit on the spendy side of things, it isn't as expensive as sea buckthorn can be! (If you don't have borage oil, choose an oil you know your skin will love and add that in the same percentage in the oil phase.)
So now the extracts (you could choose this in any order you wish...I just went with oils first!). Which ones to choose? For aging skin, we want something that will help with fine lines (if possible), elasticity, and photo-aging. What about chamomile? It's exfoliating and it will help with reducing TEWL. On top of it, we'll get good soothing and a help with the elasticity of our skin. And what about comfrey? It contains allantoin - so we won't include that in the recipe - and beta-carotenes that will help with sun or post-sun exposure. We also get the benefit of the AHA like qualities of rosmarinic acid. I think we have two winners!
I think I'll include 15% chamomile hydrosol as well to boost the soothing qualities of this lotion in the water phase.
What about a humectant? For a facial moisturizer, sodium lactate is right out because it can make skin sun sensitive, and glycerin might be a little thick for this. I could go with sodium PCA at 1.5% or something like honeyquat at 2% or 3%. Since humectants are never a bad thing for someone with dry skin in a humid climate, I'm going with both - 1.5% sodium PCA and 2% honeyquat in the water phase. (Again, choose humectants your skin likes - tamarind extract, glycerin, or Hydrovance are all good choices here.)
And I always put a hydrolyzed protein into a facial moisturizer. In this case, I'm going with silk amino acids - they are small enough to penetrate the skin and offer moisturizing from within. I'll add it at 2% of the water phase. I could also use something like Phytokeratin at 2% - it has some small molecule proteins that will penetrate the skin, and some larger ones to film form.
I have to have panthenol at 2% in the cool down phase as it's simply too good for our skin to leave out, and, of course, my preservative at 0.5% (Liquid Germall Plus). I'm going fragrance and essential oil free here as I don't think we want a smell on our faces all day.
So what do we have? We've chosen our ingredients to offer anti-inflammatory, soothing, moisturizing, and anti-oxidizing qualities. We're choosing ingredients that are good for weather damaged skin and trapping in moisture. We want to use the light moisturizing recipe so it won't be too heavy.
FACIAL MOISTURIZER FOR DRY, AGING SKIN WITH COMFREY AND CHAMOMILE EXTRACTS
WATER PHASE47% water
15% aloe vera
15% chamomile hydrosol
1.5% sodium PCA
2% silk amino acids
8% borage oil
4% emulsifier - Polawax, e-wax, or BTMS
2% cetyl alcohol
COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% to 1% preservative
0.5% chamomile extract
0.5% comfrey extract
There you have it. A facial moisturizer for dry skin containing all kinds of wonderful extracts.
Join me tomorrow for a round up of all the recipes containing extracts we've looked at over the last six weeks!