Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Formulating for dry skin: Adapting the basic lotion (version 3, less greasy)

If you're the type who likes a less greasy feeling lotion, there are a few ways you can reduce that feeling in your lotion. Most of these options can be found in the heated oil phase as we switch one oil for another, one butter for another, and add a few esters and fatty alcohols. Let's take a look at those ideas, then figure out how to use them in a dry skin product.
  • IPM is an ester that makes our products feel less greasy. Adding as little as 2% in the heated oil phase of our lotion can reduce the feeling pretty dramatically. IPP is also an option here, although less easy to find at our suppliers' shops. 
  • Cyclomethicone is a a silicone that can make products feel more powdery. I generally add 2% in the cool down phase. 
  • BTMS-50 is an emulsifier that makes our products feel more powdery and drier. 
  • Behenyl alcohol is a fatty acid that feels a little drier to me. 
  • Astringent oils like hazelnut, avocado, grapeseed, and many exotic oils feel drier on our skin. Mango butter feels less greasy than cocoa and shea butter. 
So if we make a few small replacements, we can make a product that feels much less greasy on our skin!

We know for dry skin we want lots of humectants, some occlusive ingredients, and emollients. I'm going to keep the allantoin at 0.5% in the heated water phase and 2% dimethicone in the cool down phase as my occlusives, but I'm removing the cocoa butter as it can feel quite greasy on our skin and replace it with 5% mango butter.

For our humectants, I think I'll go with 2.5% sodium PCA (for a change, use sodium lactate if you don't have it), 3% honeyquat (in the cool down phase), and 2% glycerin (heated water phase). In the water phase, I'll keep the aloe vera at 10%, but I think I'll use 10% chamomile hydrosol and 10% lavender hydrosol. Let's go with Phytokeratin as my hydrolyzed protein at 2% in the heated water phase. It has a nice mix of film forming and absorbing proteins, so it's good for dry skin.

Choosing an oil is a lot more difficult because we want to pick something that feels astringent but also contains high levels of linoleic acid or GLA. Grapeseed oil looks like a good choice, but it has a very short shelf life - as low as 3 months - and I really don't like making a product with an oil that could go rancid in a few weeks! Hazelnut and avocado oil don't contain enough linoleic acid, so they aren't good choices. Looking at the exotic oils, I can see a few that fit the bill, so I'll choose borage oil and use that at 11% in my lotion. (You could also choose evening primrose, cranberry, or rosehip oil. See this post for more ideas!) I'll use 11% borage oil and 2% IPM. (I have 15% oil in this recipe, so I'm using 11% borage oil, 2% IPM, and 2% dimethicone to make up the 15%).

I'm choosing to use Polawax at 6% as my emulsifier in this recipe as it will make the recipe feel much more powdery, and I think I'll use behenyl alcohol at 3% as it feels drier to me.

27.5% water
10% chamomile hydrosol
10% lavender hydrosol
10% aloe vera
2.5% sodium PCA
2% glycerin
2% Phytokeratin

11% borage or evening primrose oil
5% mango butter
2% IPM or IPP
6% Polawax
3% behenyl alcohol

2% dimethicone
2% panthenol
3% honeyquat
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% preservative (I like liquid Germall Plus)

Please use the basic lotion making instructions for this product. If you are using a different preservative, follow your suppliers' recommended amounts and process for adding to the product.

Let's say this version is still too greasy for your skin. What can you do? You can switch your emulsifier for Incroquat BTMS-50, which will make it feel very powdery indeed. You can add 2% cyclomethicone to this mixture and remove 2% from somewhere in the oil phase (perhaps reduce the borage to 9% or reduce the mango butter to 3%?).

If there are ingredients you don't have - like behenyl alcohol - switch it for something similar that you do have, like cetyl alcohol or stearic acid. If you want to learn more about formulating lotions and making changes, I encourage you to start at the beginning of the learning to formulate series and hit "newer post" at the bottom of each one to continue through the series!

Related posts:
Men's products: Formulating a drier feeling product
Men's products: Formulating a drier feeling, light lotion (facial moisturizer & after shave lotion)
Men's products: Formulating a drier feeling lotion with esters


Anastasia said...

In the description, you say to add the IPM to the heated water phase. In the ingredients list, it's in the heated oil phase. Which one?!? :)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Anastasia! IPM is an ester and it always goes in the heated oil phase. Sorry for the typo - I've corrected it!