Monday, April 30, 2012

Formulating for dry skin: Moisturizers

How does a moisturizer differ from a lotion? A moisturizer is an emulsified product, like every other lotion, but they tend to have a higher water phase than other lotions. Generally moisturizers are 80% to 90% water, which means we have a 10% to 20% oil phase, which isn't huge when you consider that we need an emulsifier in the mix. So we'll end up with maybe 10% to 15% oils in this product, and a lot of water soluble ingredients.

Before we continue, I'm going to suggest that you take a look at these posts. I know it's a lot of work, but it will help you understand better why we're using the ingredients and methods we're using for this recipe.

What ingredients can we use in products for dry skin (part 1)
What ingredients can we use in products for dry skin (part 2)
Creating a basic lotion for dry skin 
Adapting the basic lotion recipe for dry skin (version 1)
Adapting the basic lotion recipe for dry skin (version 2)
Adapting the basic lotion recipe for dry skin (version 3)
Learning to create facial moisturizers (part 1) - huge list of moisturizers at the end of this post
Learning to create facial moisturizers (part 2)

The general idea is that we want to use an 80% water recipe for a moisturizer so we don't have something too thick or draggy on our skin. (If you have really dry skin and want a larger oil phase, may I suggest using a 70% water lotion recipe with a lower amount of butter and thickener.) Let's take a look at the basic recipe and then a few ideas of how we can tweak it!

77.5% water
2.5% humectant of choice
0.5% allantoin
2% hydrolyzed protein

8% oils
4% emulsifier
2% thickener

0.5% to 1% preservative
2% panthenol
0.5% extract
0.5% another extract

Consider your oils first. (Click here for ideas for oils for dry skin!) Since you're only using 8% to 10% (leaving out the thickener), you could use an exotic oil. Cranberry or borage might be a nice idea as both are good for help skin's barrier mechanisms repair quicker. Do you want to use a thickener? I like to use cetyl alcohol for moisturizers as you want to reduce the drag on your skin, but you could use cetearyl alcohol for a more waxy and occlusive product or cetyl esters for a slightly thicker and more glidy product. (Click here for a post on thickeners.) If you want a more powdery feeling product, use BTMS-50 as your emulsifier. Otherwise, use the emulsifier you prefer and make sure you're using the right amount. 4% is based on Polawax - you may need to adjust your recipe if you're using something else.

For the water, we could substitute a number of different things like hydrosols, water soluble extracts, and cosmeceuticals. We know we want to have an occlusive ingredient, so you could use 2% dimethicone, a bit of cocoa butter, or allantoin. Since I want my oil phase to be all exotic oil, cocoa butter and dimethicone are out, so I'll use 0.5% allantoin in the heated water phase. I want a film formers, so I'll use hydrolyzed protein.

And I need humectants. I have 2% panthenol in the cool down phase, but I could still include something in the heated water phase. Since we know humectants are essential for dry skin, I'm going to use 5% total. Consider a combination of humectants to keep the product from being sticky with too much glycerin or sun sensitizing with too much sodium lactate. Consider 2.5% sodium lactate with 2.5% glycerin, or 2.5% sodium lactate with 2.5% sodium PCA, and so on. I think I'm going to use 2.5% glycerin with 2.5% sodium lactate in this product.

I really like water soluble extracts, so I think I'll use 5% liquid green tea extract and 5% calendula extract in the heated water phase, and I think I'll use 10% aloe vera, 10% chamomile hydrosol, and 10% lavender hydrosol.

For the extracts, I think I'll go with 0.5% chamomile extract and 0.5% banana extract in the cool down phase, and 2% niacinamide (heated water phase).

43% water
2.5% sodium lactate
2.5% glycerin
0.5% allantoin
2% hydrolyzed protein
10% aloe vera
10% chamomile hydrosol
10% lavender hydrosol
5% liquid green tea extract
5% liquid calendula extract
2% niacinamide

8% cranberry oil
4% Polawax
2% cetyl alcohol

0.5% to 1% preservative
2% panthenol
0.5% powdered chamomile extract
0.5% powdered banana extract

Use the general lotion making instructions for this product. As usual, if you don't like something in the recipe, substitute it for something you really love or leave it out and add back that much water. (Do not leave out the emulsifier or preservative. Substitute your emulsifier or preservative of choice.) If you have another liquid extract you love, substitute that for the green tea or liquid calendula. Use any oil you like - these are just suggestions.

If you are interesting in learning more about formulating your own products from scratch, click here for the start of the formulating lotions series and hit "newer post" when you get to the bottom of each page.

Join me tomorrow for more formulating for dry skin as we consider a few other things we could do with a facial moisturizer!

Related posts:
Using cosmeceuticals in our facial products
Using cosmeceuticals in facial products: Tweaking a dry skin moisturizer
Formulating facial moisturizers for dry skin


melian1 said...

instead of a thickener in the oil phase, could i use pre-neutralized carbomer or xanthan gum in the water phase? or would they do something totally different?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Melian! Sure! It's going to give you a different skin feel, but it'll probably be very nice!

Hrithik said...

Anyone know better face wash for oily Acne Skin?????