Sunday, March 10, 2013

Weekend wonderings: Chemical and physical exfoliants together in a facial scrub, using sodium lactate, making shampoo, and hair treatments

In this post, Julie asks:  I was wondering if it would be too abrasive to use a chemical exfoliant together with a physical exfoliant? I'd like to do a SA surfactant based facial scrub with a gentle exfoliator, like jojoba beads or something. What do you think?

It depends upon your skin type. I've tried it and it wasn't good for me, but I have rosacea prone oily skin that can be quite sensitive at times (thanks all those years of Retinol for acne!). If you want to use both a physical and chemical exfoliant in your product, start low. Maybe 1% AHA with half of the physical exfoliant you would normally use to start? I regularly use 5% Multifruit BSC in the jojoba bead surfactant scrub and Wanda loved it, so it can be done, but start low and work your way up!

Listen to melian! In this post, she comments that she found exfoliating a few times a day while testing her products wasn't a good idea! 

In this post, I found a few great comments that I had missed. Sciarretta Farms asked: I live in the desert where the sun is extremely strong. Should I completely avoid sodium lactate in my lotions or moisturizers, even at 2% or lower, since it might make me sun sensitive?

If you don't trust yourself to measure less than 3%, I'd say yes. Don't take the chance. I know this is only personal experience, but I haven't had problems using it at 2.5% even during the summer months. I'm a very white girl and I haven't found it changed my sun sensitivity at all. But if you're in a climate where you are exposed to the sun pretty much all year round, you might want to give it some serious thought. It is a really nice humectant with so many great qualities, and it's inexpensive, so it is a nice inclusion in your products.

In the same post, Organa said: I have a doubt, everyone says that shampoo is very simple to do, but in my opinion this is not so, adding surfactants in small amount will not make foam, add up to a lot will leave your hair dry, if added additives such as silicone between 2 and 3% will take place and the foam glycol distearate 2% with silicones will further reduce the foam without saying that distearate is a product that would need a good viscosity for it not precipitate . which is why many use pearlizing ready? What is the solution to solve these problems?

Shampoo isn't an easy thing to make. I can offer you a recipe, but you have to figure out what ingredients you can find and which ones work for your hair type. You will have to experiment to find the skin/hair feel you want for the product. I don't mind a thin one or an overly thick one, but you might use way too much if you don't thicken it well. So there's a ton of things to take into consideration.

Choosing the right ingredients really is the key to any product. If you choose surfactants that don't foam or lather well, you won't have good foam or lather. f you add just about any emollient - oil, ester, thickener, or pearlizer - you will reduce the foam and lather, which could be pretty low to begin with. So my suggestion is to find a surfactant combination that you like, one that offers the foam, lather, and cleansing you want, then add the moisturizing stuff.

Also consider that you will be adding a conditioner to your hair after using the shampoo. My hair doesn't feel great after using my favourite shampoo bar, but it's been cleaned and isn't too bad. I add my conditioner, and my hair feels fantastic after washing!

May I make a suggestion? Try making a really basic shampoo, like this one. Surfactants, water, maybe the thickener, definitely the preservative. And see how it works for your hair type. You may hate it, you may love it, but you will be getting back to the basics, which is choosing the types and concentrations of surfactants. I'm not saying this is the answer to your problems, but it might be easier to start from scratch to see what kind of products you could make.

Related posts:
Substitutions: Surfactants

In this same post, Wendy asks: I love using coconut oil as a pre-treatment, but I am currently using silicone products in my hair. My question is, if silicone leaves a waterproof coating on the hair, how affective would a coconut oil pre-treatment be on hair that is already coated with a silicone based product (such as your Anti-frizz spray or serum)? 

Silicones form a coating on your hair, but it isn't an impenetrable coating, as is unfortunately demonstrated on my head when I fail to use enough anti-frizz spray on humid March days. (I can use it in my conditioner, my leave in conditioner, and my frizz spray and I still get huge hair when it rains, which demonstrates that water droplets can penetrate the silicone layer.) Some people portray silicone coating as if it were a plastic wrap encasing the hair strand, but that isn't true. Think of it more as a layer on top of your hair, like Scotchguarding something. It's coated with a light layer of stuff to repel water, but it isn't encased in it. This means things can go in and out of the barrier without problem. If you put coconut oil over this layer, it'll still penetrate your hair strand.

Related reading:
Silicone hair products: Not so bad after all (Curly Girl! I was so surprised to find this because it seems like the curly girls who visit this blog hate silicones!)

Have a wondering? Pop on over to this post and share your thoughts! I look at all the comments you write, but I will check there first on the weekend to find topics for this series! 


melian1 said...

just want to say that everyone should read the links you post inside the blog post, including the comments! i have found more excellent information from reading other folk's questions and your answers. just fantastic.

Organa said...

Hello Susan thanks for the reply, you are a fantastic person, I have another thing to ask, I used a base of simple surfactants (lauryl, cocoamido, Dea, Carbomer), used as exfoliating polyethylene spheres, they float just now tried remove the carbomer and yet they contnuam floating, not falling too wanted the viscosity that could throw a lot of product out during application, the strange thing is that particles of mica not float balls and polyethylene float.

Michele Clarke said...

As a super curly haired girl, I just don't understand why people dislike silicones for curls. It's a must IMO for smoother curls.

rzonis said...

When formulating shampoos recently, I found that what I thought was the shampoo drying out my hair wasn't. It turns out that what I was feeling as dryness was actually my hair feeling rough because the (relatively)high pH of the shampoo was lifting the hair cuticles. I lowered the pH below 4.0 without changing any thing else in the formula, and the "dryness" I thought I was feeling went away completely.