Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Formulating facial moisturizers - silicone based

A lot of the commercial moisturizers you see are pretty silicone heavy, and we know silicones are a great way to offer barrier protection (dimethicone) and behave as surface smoothing agents for aging skin. I can guarantee if my mom likes a moisturizer, it's likely to be quite silicone heavy. They offer quite a lovely skin feel - smooth and glidy - and some good protective qualities. Silicone moisturizers won't sink into your skin, which can be a benefit for women with sensitive or oily skin because it doesn't add to the oils.

If you're making a silicone heavy moisturizer, your emulsifier of choice is generally BTMS. It's designed to emulsify large amounts of silicone, plus it will give a drier feel and offer conditioning benefits. (Some of the suggested formulations from Croda have 3.5% BTMS with up to 20% silicones!) In this case, we aren't heavy with silicones, but we have definitely gone over the 25% rule for Polawax. If you want to use another emulsifier, you'll have to re-calculate the amounts - for instance, 5% for Polawax and remove 1% from the water phase - to include the increase in the oil phase.

You can take pretty much any moisturizer you like and substitute the silicones for the oils and the BTMS for the emulsifier and have a silicone based moisturizer.

If we take a look at the aging skin moisturizer from the other day, we can substitute the 12% oils of choice for 12% dimethicone, 6% dimethicone and 6% cyclomethicone, or a percentage of dimethicone with some oils. We could get quite fancy with go with our 12% oils and add up to 5% dimethicone (remove from the water phase, don't increase the BTMS) to the mix in the cool down phase.

I'm re-formulating the aging skin moisturizer to include some lovely oils we want for things like improving skin's barrier protection (like evening primrose or borage) and moisturizing with the dimethicone. You can choose any oils your skin likes.

You can use cyclomethicone as well - it offers a lovely smooth and glidy feeling, really soft on your skin - but it is volatile and can evaporate quickly, so you aren't getting much moisturizing from it. But it will "detackify" any ingredients like glycerin or other sticky things, so you can add more humectants and get the same skin feel. And we know aging skin loves humectants!

24% water
20% aloe vera
20% lavender or other hydrosol
3% glycerin
3% cationic polymer like polyquat 7 or Honeyquat
2% hydrolyzed protein of choice
0.5% allantoin

10% borage or evening primrose oil
4% Incroquat BTMS-50
2% cetyl alcohol

0.5% green tea extract
0.5% grapeseed extract
2% panthenol
5% dimethicone
2% cyclomethicone
1% Vitamin E
0.5% to 1% preservative of choice
up to 3% AHA in the form of AHA powder or Multifruit BSC (remove 3% from the water phase)

Join me tomorrow as we embark on a series about hair and hair care products!


Tara said...

Are BTMS-50 and BTMS interchangeable in your recipes?

Mich said...

YEAH! I am trying this today!
Will let you know how it works out.
Thank you so much!
You are the best Susan!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

BTMS-50 and BTMS are interchangeable as emulsifiers in lotion recipes, but not in hair care recipes. BTMS-50 has 50% active ingredient; BTMS-25 has 25% active ingredient. If you are using BTMS-25 or (BTMS), then you'll want to increase the amount by double to ensure you have enough behentrimonium methosulfate in the conditioner!

Anonymous said...

I did this silicone based recipe and it felt way too dry for I had used jojoba oil. So I did it again and changed all the ingredients that had the least bit of tanin of felt astringent and put coconut oil in there. As well I omited the cyclomethicone. It was better but still dry so I intend to use polawax in the next recipe.. any suggestions? Susan? Anyone? Thanks a lot!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi anonymous. This is designed to be a dry feeling moisturizer, so you might want to try another moisturizer recipe so here's the first post of the series I wrote on moisturizers, and you can just hit "newer post" when you get to the bottom of each one to get to the next one. If you want it to be greasier, then I'd suggest not using BTMS as the emulsifier and choosing greasier oils. Hope this helps.

Johanna said...

Hi Susan! Well I did it again and I like it a lot better without the BTMS. Only it feels a tiny bit too waxy for my taste so I thought of removing the shea butter and lowering the polawax to 4%. Do you think this would help? Or would I be missing out on occlusion?

Here is the last recipe I made:

32% water
32% Chamomile hydrosol
2% hydrolyzed oat
3% glycerin

12% coconut oil
2% Shea butter
2% cetyl alcohol
5% Polawax

1% chamomile extract
3% Honeyquat
2% panthenol
3% dimethicone
1% Germall plus

I want to thank you very much for I enjoy tremendously making these creams. I also feel independant and free from the big companies that ask astronomical amounts of cash just so they can finance their marketing to sell to more people. What you have given us(at the risk of sounding cliché) is priceless! I tell ya, I really enjoy my brand new fishing rod :O)

Nedeia said...

Dear Dear Dear Susan, you are the answer to my prayers!!!

I will try BTMS-25 in the oily face silicone based moisturizer that I am planning to make for myself :)

I had no idea that BTMS (50 or 25) can emulsify that much silicone!

is there a recomended usage % for cyclomethicone (Decamethylcyclopentasiloxane) and dimethicone (1000cs) in face products? I know that I have asked this before in a post, but I forgot where exactly and I am unable to find it (I just discovered how to subscribe to comments, so this time I will keep track of it!)

My goal is to make an oil free moisturizer that can also be used as a primer for foundation. And I'm oily with large pores, so silicones would be awesome <3

Nedeia said...

@Johanna - is this lotion formulated for face or hands/body? I have found that coconut oil in face application can be comedogenic. My oily face also feels way much better when I use less emollients (cetyl alcohol is an emollient), so now I use it (if I feel like using it) at 1-2 %.

Just wondering, do you feel this lotion to be also a bit too sticky? I am having troubles figuring out how much of other humectants to use in order to keep it sticky-free (for example I use less than 3% glycerin - I go for 2%, for sure all of my other plant extracts have glycerin in there; I also use sodium lactate at 2% , excellent for my skin).

another question: germall plus - is it liquid germall plus? I know that its usage rate is 0.1% - 0.5% (I always use it at 0.%)

Marjolein said...

I had to come back to this post for i made it again today
And my.. This is my HG AWSOMESKIN lotion
Nothing beats this thanks again for this formula!!

rita said...

I made this moisturizer today, and absolutely love it! It was my first time using BTMS 50, but it will not be the last. It feels so elegant and luxurious. I didn't have the oat protein or the allantoin, will get some and try that next time. I used sunflower oil as my oil, and it doesn't feel dry at all. Thank you for a great blog Susan, I've learned so much :) Hugs Rita from Norway!

Wendy Gaechter said...

Made this today. Didn't use the hydrosol because I didn't have it. Used 5% green tea liquid extract. I used .5% multifruit. I love the feel of it, and would like to keep this recipe, BUT it doesn't smell pleasant. I suppose I can add more lavender EO next time. Does anyone know what is giving it the smell? It wasn't anything in cool down because I could smell it beforehand. Borage Oil? Primrose?

Wendy Gaechter said...

I think I found out what the smell was. I used honeyquat instead of Polyquat and put it into the heated phase!