Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Fun with soy: Creating a foaming soy cleanser

I admit I'm totally addicted to my favourite foaming facial cleanser. It feels great on my skin, and it lasts forever! (I only need to make 100 ml every four or five months!) I've tried it with foaming silk, foaming oat, and foaming rice surfactants, and thought it was time to try it with foaming soy.

39% distilled water
20% chamomile hydrosol
15% witch hazel
10% foaming soy surfactant
5% cocamidopropyl betaine

5% honey matte
5% calendula extract (water soluble)
0.5% liquid Germall plus

Combine the heated phase in a heat proof container, like a Pyrex jug, and put into a double boiler and heat until it reaches 70˚C. Heat and hold for 20 minutes at 70˚C. Remove from the heat and replace the water that might have evaporated. Mix and allow to cool to 45˚C before adding the cool down phase. Add the cool down phase, mix well, then let cool to room temperature before bottling in a foamer bottle. This is very thin, so you really do need a foamer bottle for it. If you want to try thickening it with something like Crothix, you may thicken it slightly, but it will still be a very watery product because I don't have a lot of surfactants in it.

I'm not kidding when I say a 100 ml batch lasts me a few months. I made the last batch in October and just ran out! Only make a small batch of this - 100 grams - at a time!

Foaming soy surfactant* (INCI: Sodium Cocoyl Hydrolyzed Soy Protein) is very much like the other foaming proteins I mention above. It is a very gentle surfactant that offers substantivity - meaning it is attracted to our skin and leaves it conditioned - and it foams and lathers nicely. It can be used at up to 10% in a product. You can use it as you would any other surfactant, but I suggest using it in facial cleansers as it is very mild and doesn't leave your skin feeling stripped.

Please note, you can leave out any ingredient you wish in this product. The main ingredients of importance are the two surfactants - foaming soy and cocamidopropyl betaine - and the preservative. Everything else I've added to work with my skin type. If you have dry skin, you might consider adding a little glycerin at up to 5% in the product or maybe a water soluble oil, like PEG-7 olivate.

What do I think of this product? I really like it. It seems a little foamier than the rice one I've just finished using, but otherwise is very similar. It has good cleansing abilities, and leaves my skin feeling clean and smooth. I have to say that I'm a fan! 

*Please note, I was sent this ingredient for free from the Formulator Sample Shop. I receive no other compensation for writing about the ingredient, and I receive no compensation of any sort if you click the link above to go to their site or if you buy something from them. My opinions are my own. 


Theresa Willey said...

I love using foaming soy and I try to throw it in at every chance I get! It really adds to the product, in my opinion. Speaking of soy, I have noticed DIYers using Braggs Amino Acid (soy sauce substitute) in hair and face products a lot over the past few months. Have you heard of that? What's your take on it, do you think it does any good? Thanks so much, your blog is my daily obsession!

Danuta Kildan said...

Can I substitute it with Slsa, or Hostapon SCB (Coco-Betaine (and) Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate), DLS?

Stefanie said...

Dear Susan,

I am wondering what the PH of this product ends up being? I want to be careful about using a slightly acidic/skin PH suited cleanser of around PH = 5.5. Is there a way you would recommend for adjusting the PH to be at that level? Many thanks!

angibean720 said...

This looks wonderful... I have learned from the "experts" in group (you know the one) that we cannot safely preserve hydrosols and extracts... even with this specific preservative. Is this only for personal use? I think it looks lovely.

Leslie said...

Hi, Now that you have tried oat, silk and soy. Which is your favorite? Thanks for all you do! I have learned so much.

Anonymous said...


Do you know the usage guidelines for foaming soy, and other foaming products? Specifically, I'd like to know the minimum pH. I have avoided using these products in the past because I like to keep pH at 5 or below for shampoo, which according to this link, is too low:



Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Theresa! I've written my answer to your question in today's Weekend Wonderings. The short answer - really? The long answer - see the post!

Hi Danuta! Sure, why not? I don't know what it will feel like, but you can let us know how it works!

Hi Stefanie! It's around 5.78.

Hi Angibean720. I've never had trouble preserving hydrosols in any product I've made. Seriously. The only problems I've ever had preserving a product was one lotion when I was starting out and the ones I have contaminated on purpose for different posts over the last two years. When I saw those posts in the Facebook group, I was surprised. I wonder if they are using different hydrosols? The ones I get from Voyageur Soap & Candle are preserved...

Hi Leslie! Now that's a good question. I will write about this shortly!