Sunday, November 18, 2012

Experiments in the workshop: Making an eye cream (part 3)

Wow, this eye cream is taking a while to create, eh? But good things come to those of us who wait...Click here to see part one (heated oil phase) and part two (heated water phase) if you want to follow along. 

I thought we'd take a look at some cosmeceuticals we could use in our eye cream before we create our final recipe. I've decided my goal is to make something that will help with dark circles and inflammation, but you could just as easily choose different goals - reducing the look of fine lines, soothing irritated eyes, or just generally moisturizing your eye area - and use different ingredients.

Again, as a reminder, we can't make claims about our products. We can choose ingredients we hope will accomplish a goal - speed up our skin's barrier repair, reduce transepidermal water loss, reduce inflammation - but we cannot make that claim about the final product. 

What the heck is a cosmeceutical? It's an ingredient that is chosen for its ability to do something specific, like anti-aging or reducing inflammation. There are hundreds to choose from, so let's take a look at a few that might work well in our product. (This is not a complete list. Click on the link to see some other cosmeceuticals.)

I know for a fact that I want to include panthenol in this product. I'm sure you've noticed I use it a lot, and that's because it offers quite a lot of well studied properties to my products. It behaves as a wound healer, anti-inflammatory, and humectant. I use it at up to 5% in the cool down phase of my products as it is heat sensitive. In this product, I'll use it at 2% as that is a goodly amount!

Phytonadione claims to be good for under eye circles, but there aren't any studies showing this to be valid. Use it at 2% to 5% in either the heated oil phase or the cool down phase. (I have very little information about this ingredient.)

Beta glucan is a good film former and anti-inflammatory that might have some properties that offer a reduction of the look of fine lines by increasing collagen production. It is an anti-irritant, which could be a very good thing for the under eye area that seems to get abused by putting on make-up, removing make-up, and rubbing our eyes when we're sleepy. You can get some of these benefits by using hydrolyzed oat protein as well. Check your supplier's suggested usage rates for beta glucan. I'd use the hydrolyzed oat protein at up to 5% in the heated water phase of the product.

DMAE might be interesting at 1.5% to 3% in the cool down phase of the eye cream. It's claimed that it can reduce skin sagging and increase firmness. It can improve the overall face texture of aging and photo-damaged skin.

And I'm wondering if MSM couldn't find a place in this eye cream? It does offer some anti-inflammatory properties and it can keep collagen fibres bouncy and elastic, but I wonder if the blood vessel dilation and possibly slight odour might make it less attractive? And it can oxidize things...Hmm, not sure...

I'm going to be using two cosmeceuticals as I don't want to overload my product the first time I make it. After all, if I have ten different ingredients in the product, how do I know which one is working for me? And it might be that I don't like the combination of oils or something else about the product the first time I make it, so why put a bunch of spendy ingredients into a first time eye cream? In my cool down phase, I used panthenol at 2% and an ingredient called Revital-Eyes at 5%. (More on this ingredient tomorrow!)

2% panthenol
5% Revital-Eyes
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

If you don't want to use anything in place of the 5% Revital-Eyes, add 5% water to the heated water phase. Or use your favourite extracts or cosmeceuticals in its place in the correct phase.

All righty then! Let's take a look at the full recipe!

10% aloe vera
10% witch hazel
11% chamomile hydrosol
2% hydrolyzed silk protein
2.5% sodium lactate
5% calendula extract (water soluble)
25% water

8% Ritamulse SCG
3% behenyl alcohol
11% macadamia nut oil
5% arnica oil

2% panthenol
5% Revital-Eyes
0.5% liquid Germall Plus 

Use the basic lotion making instructions to make this product. 

What do I think of this eye cream? I really like it. I've been using it since early October and it feels very nice going on - not too greasy - and good the next morning. I have no problems with it being all greasy on my eyes or eyelashes, which is nice, 'cause there's nothing more annoying than having oil on your eye lashes weighing them down or making them droop into your line of sight. It's got a slightly powdery feeling, but it still feels moisturizing. Has it reduced dark circles under my eyes? I think it has, but that could also be that I'm taking better care of myself lately and getting more sleep. (Check out this post on confounding factors.) In general, I really like this product. I've given it to my best friend and I hope to have her review here shortly.

Wanda reports on the eye cream, "I like it. It is not greasy and feels moisturizing. Doesn't feel heavy for under my eyes." Unfortunately - for the purposes of this product at least - Wanda doesn't have dark circles under her eyes, so we weren't able to see if that worked on her! 

*As a note, I received a bunch of ingredients for free from the Formulator Sample Shop. I have not been paid to like the ingredients, and I made it clear to that company that I would be offering my honest opinion of the ingredients on the blog. If I say I like the ingredient, it's because I really do like it! 

Join me tomorrow as I take a look at this ingredient, Revital-Eyes, then we'll do some tweaking of this recipe. (And to help, are there ingredients in this recipe that you lack? We can tweak it to suit those ingredients!) 


Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Susan. I've done scads of eye serums and creams over the years and have never seen/felt/noticed any results with k vitamin. I've seen some great results with caffeine though. It's got toning and firming properties that are great for the eye area. Also, arnica might be worth a try for dark circles (although the documentation on that is a bit spotty)

sfs said...

I would really like to see you formulate a cream or lotion with DMAE. I have tried various times without success. It always breaks the emulsion. I have successfully put it into an anhydrous formula but I don't know if that has any benefits at all since DMAE is water soluble.
Lise, I too have used vit K in eye creams without a noticeable effect. It is too expensive to play around with without seeing a dramatic improvement!!

Robert said...

Based on our own product experience and literature reports of severe irritation with the use of Vitamin K1 (also known as phytonadione) in an eye product I would not include this ingredient in an eye product (or any other cosmetic product for that matter).

In 2006 Vitamin K1 was banned in France by the health regulator who reported twelve extreme allergic reactions. Six of the sufferers had to be hospitalised. “Cosmetic products that include K1 can represent a serious threat to human health,” an official statement from French Health regulator said at that time.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Thanks for the information! Robert, can you provide some links to the things you quote? I think it would make great reading!

Robert said...

My reference for the ill effects of Vitamin K in a cosmetic product can be found in an April 2006 cosmetics newsletter:

This article validated the consumer complaints we had been receiving every few months about our Dark Circle Diminishing Gel which had been introduced in the fall of 2002. The gel contained a combination of 1% Vitamin K1 and horsechestnut seed extract in a standard gel base.

At the time of introduction a number of competing products contained Vitamin K and we were not aware of any ill effects. After all, what could be more harmless and natural and better for you than a vitamin?

In fact this product became quite successful in the U.S. marketplace and it was written up in the Jan. 2003 edition of HAPPI magazine:

But every few months we received a complaint of eye irritation - some seemed quite bad and beyond the ordinary that one would expect of a cosmetic product.

After receiving 4 or 5 such complaints we discontinued the product in 2005 attributing the problem to the Vitamin K.

Whether Vitamin K is as harmful as I think it is, I don't really know. I have not seen a lot of confirming studies. Nevertheless, based on my experience, I would not use Vitamin K again in a cosmetic product.

Brandi Yates said...

I purchased regu age from theherbarie. Have you tried this and would I add it the same as the revital eyes? Thanks!

Heather Behan said...

Hi Susan, As a newbie I really appreciate all the wonderful information you provide - thank you so much!

In response to your request for feedback, I've just made an eye cream from your recipe (and tweaking suggestions, as I didn't have all the ingredients in your final recipe)and I am delighted with the result! I wanted an eye cream to above all not creep into my eyes and irriate them, to glide on easily and sink in quickly without too much playtime and then to remain hydrated-feeling. It more than does all this - I love it!

Here's what I used: (in %)

51 own cucumber infused water
10 aloe vera
10 witch hazel
2 glycerin
2 hydrolyzed oat protein (I let
3.5 slip in by mistake so left
out the honeyquat I was going
to add!)

6.5 grapeseed oil
5.5 evening primrose oil
2 cetyl alcohol

2 panthenol
1 cucumber extract
1 vitamin E oil
1 hydrolyzed silk protein
0.5 arnica extract
12 drops Geogard 221 (for own use)
4 drops cucumber f.o.
2 drops lemon e.o.
2 drops sweet orange e.o.

Best wishes, Heather

Caysee Haywood said...

Hi Susan
First of all I need to say thank you thank you thank you! I love your passion and dedication to formulating products! I made this eye cream exactly like your recipe...It turned out amazingly..I like the way it smells, soaks into the skin and actually my sister uses it all over her face as a facial moisturizer. The only thing I have a question about is it doesnt seem to glide on easily..Is there something I can change to help me have it do so?
Thanks so much for your time