Tuesday, August 12, 2014

One ingredient, five products: Cucumber extract in a more complicated toner

Cucumber extract is one of those ingredients that just sounds cooling and soothing and moisturizing, and it can provide all of that and more in our products. In our toners, cucumber extract behaves as an astringent, which is great for normal to oily skin, and as an emollient, which is great for all skin types.

In yesterday's post, we made some very basic toner recipes with liquid and powdered cucumber extract. Let's take a look at adding a few more ingredients to today's recipe.

As I always say, what's the goal with this toner? Here's the thing with this toner: I don't use moisturizer as I have really oily skin and I can't handle much oil on my face, so I design my toners to be moisturizers as well, which is why you're seeing all these moisturizers, humectants, and other ingredients. I spray it on my skin, then pat it off lightly so I can leave more of what I've sprayed on behind. If you were to make this as something to get all the cleansers off your skin before you moisturize, you don't need to use the cationic polymers, niacinamide, or humectants because you'll find those things in your moisturizer.

73.5% distilled water
10% peppermint hydrosol
5% calendula extract (water soluble)
2% niacinamide

5% liquid cucumber extract
2% panthenol
2% MoisturPlex Advanced
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

Heat the distilled water, peppermint hydrosol, calendula extract, and niacinamide to 70˚C and hold for 20 minutes. We'll want to compensate for condensation as we heated the heated phase, so measure all the ingredients and container before you heat it, and measure it when you remove it from the heat. Add enough water to get back to the original weight. Let this cool down to 45˚C. The add the cool down phase and mix well.  Cool down to room temperature, then pour into a bottle for use. I like to use a spray bottle or mister so I can spray it on my face, but feel free to use any clean and unused bottle with any kind of cap.

Why am I using these ingredients? Let's take a few minutes to see what each of them brings to the mix. As I mention above, feel free to add more or leave out ingredients you don't have. (You cannot, however, leave out the preservative. But you already knew that...)

Cucumber extract (liquid): What's the point of using a liquid over a powder? The liquid is almost colourless, and it is easier to integrate as we don't have to dissolve it in a little warm water before using. (I know that it has a dark colour there, but look at the final product above. It was diluted quite a bit!)

What could you use instead? As I mentioned yesterday, just use 0.5% powdered cucumber extract in the cool down phase of the product. Increase the amount of water you're using by 4.5% to have your recipe total 100%.

As a note, I was given my liquid cucumber extract from the Formulator Sample Shop. I have also found it at the Herbarie and Ingredients to Die For. I wasn't able to find it in Canada. Check the frequently asked questions part of the blog for the supplier listings in your part of the world for more information. 

Peppermint hydrosol: This smells lightly of peppermint and is supposed to be a good ingredient for increasing circulation, reducing inflammation, and increasing a feeling of coolness.

What you could use instead? Water, other hydrosols

Calendula extract (water soluble): This ingredient offers anti-inflammtory properties and may sooth inflamed and chapped skin.

What could you use instead? You could increase one of the hydrosols or extracts that offer similar properties. Chamomile would be very nice, as would green tea or chrysanthemum extract (for oily skin). Or you could use distilled water. It's up to you.

Niacinamide:  This powdered vitamin has been shown to decrease transepidermal water loss, decrease sebum production, and decrease pore diameter. It may reduce damage from environmental casues and reduce skin irritation, inflammation, and redness. (I encourage you to read the linked post).

What could you use instead? Allantoin is a good choice at 0.5% in the heated water phase, or leave it out.

Panthenol: This ingredient improves hydration of our skin, reduces redness and inflammation, and improves skin's barrier repair mechanisms. (Check out the post to learn more.) I'm using it here as a humectant and as a hydrator.

What could you use instead? Any of the humectants I've listed above, like glycerin or sodium lactate at 2%. However, I really encourage you to get some panthenol as it has so many uses in our skin and hair care products.

Moisture Plex Advanced (outside link): I've used this ingredient called Moisture Plex Advanced from the Formulator Sample Shop*, which is a combination of humectants and cationic polymers to add lovely moisturizing, film forming, and conditioning to the product. (INCI: Glycerin & Water & Sodium PCA & Urea & Trehalose & Polyquaternium-51 & Sodium Hyaluronate). I liked it in the cooling spray I made recently and my mom's preferred version of my eye gel, so I thought it would be a good inclusion in a toner!

What could you use instead? You could use a Honeyquat, which is a great cationic polymer (conditioning agent) and humectant at 3% or so in the cool down phase. You could use some glycerin or sodium lactate at 2% in the heated water phase and add a cationic polymer like polyquat 7 at up to 2% in the same phase to get the conditioning properties.

As an aside, if you want to learn more about toners, check out all those links in yesterday's post!

*Note: As I've mentioned before, I've been sent a bunch of free ingredients by the Formulator Sample Shop and I've been playing with them in my products. Any opinions expressed here are my own and I have not been compensated in any way to try the ingredients or share my opinion with you, other than the free ingredients. If I don't like something, I'll tell you. If I do like it, I'll tell you. Either way, my only affiliation with this company is that they have sent me some free things. I get no compensation if you shop with them. 

Join me tomorrow for more fun formulating!


Riley said...

Hi I have a quick question, instead of a double boiler can I heat and hold in a crock pot for my lotions and potions? I want to make my first from scratch lotion using your basics recipe :)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Sure! As long as ou can heat and hold at 70C for 20 minutes.

Elizabeth Aqui-Seto said...

I'll definitely be trying these recipe. Re the cucumber extract, ND in Canada carries cucumber powder extract. But of course liquid extracts are always preferred.

Susan, at 5% cucumber extract, if I use the powder mixed with some warm water, can you predict anything odd happening, other than perhaps the toner taking on a brownish colour?

Elizabeth Aqui-Seto said...

Susan, I just read your notes where you mentioned 0.5% cucumber powder extract. Ah, this sounds better. 5% would have been a mess.