Sunday, November 21, 2010

Men's products: Formulating a drier feeling lotion with esters

Esters are a quick and easy way to reduce the feeling of greasiness in our lotions. Most of them spread very well - better than oils - and will feel lighter on our skin. So let's take a look at which ones we can use in an after shave moisturizer for men!

There are three esters I love in my products - ethylhexyl palmitate, cetearyl ethylhexanoate, and C12-15 alkyl benzoate. All of them are considered non-comedogenic and light, and each will impart less greasiness than a similar weight oil. C12-15 alkyl benzoate offers occlusion without heaviness, whereas cetearyl ethylhexanoate can help reduce transepidermal water loss, something that can be increased by nicks and cuts after shaving. You can substitute the ethylhexyl palmitate for dimethicone, if you're not a fan of the silicones, or use it at up to 5% to increase the silky feeling of the lotion. I'm not using it in this recipe because I'm looking for the barrier protecting and repairing qualities of the C12-15 alkyl benzoate and cetearyl ethylhexanoate, but you can use it in place of either one.

IPM or IPP is a great choice in a non-greasy after shave lotion as it reduces the feeling of greasiness even further, but if you have issues with pimples or acne, leave it out. I'd use it at 2% in a non-after shave product in the oil phase.

So let's take a look at putting together a light feeling lotion with esters! You'll notice I increased the esters or oil phase by 10% - I did this because I want maximum protection for after shaved skin and because it will feel quite light with 20% esters.

51% water
10% aloe vera (optional)
2% sodium lactate or sodium PCA
2% polyquat 7 (or 2% honeyquat in the cool down phase)
0.5% allantoin
2% hydrolyzed protein

10% cetearyl ethylhexanoate
10% C12-15 alkyl benzoate
3% cetyl alcohol
6% BTMS-50

2% dimethicone
0.5% salicylic acid or white willow bark
0.5% to 1% preservative
0.5% fragrance (if you're using it just as an after shave)

Use the general lotion making instructions for this product.

If you want this to feel even lighter, consider removing the cetyl alcohol (and increasing the water amount) or replacing it with cetyl esters. You can make this thicker by adding stearic acid in the place of the cetyl alcohol. 

Join me tomorrow for fun formulating a pre-shave product for men or women! 

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