Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Newbie Tuesday: Facial cleansers - creating a recipe

Yay! The day is here! We're creating a very basic facial cleanser recipe for each skin type, which you can try out, then modify it with all kinds of interesting ingredients over the next few days. Then we can get together next Tuesday to look at what you thought of the product and what changes you'd like to make.

If you don't care about reading all of this and just want to get to the base recipes, click here for the PDF

When creating a recipe, we need to consider what we're making and why we're making it. What's the goal for a foamy, lathery, and bubbly facial cleanser?

For all skin types, we want to feel we've cleaned our skin and removed any make-up, sebum, grime, or grease tht might be there. Skin should feel conditioned and moisturized after rinsing, with a fresh, clean, dewy feel afterwards.

As an aside, when formulating any product, consider the other products with which it could be used. For instance, for a cleanser, are you using a toner or moisturizer afterwards? A serum or oil? We'll talk more about this in this series...

There are some specific things for specific skin types...

For oily skin types, we definitely need something that makes it feel our skin has been cleansed well, we want something that will gently clean our skin without making it feel too stripped. We want moisturizing and conditioning without oils. We definitely need something that makes it feel like our skin has been cleaned of the sebum or oils, but not something that makes it feel stripped.

As someone with rosacea, I know that using anything with oil in it will drive my skin insane, so I'm suggesting that this skin type moisturize without oils, using things like aloe vera and witch hazel, or condition using cationic polymers, like polyquat 7 or honeyquat. We want to reduce inflammation with ingredients like witch hazel and chamomile.

For acne prone skin types, we might consider using astringent, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidizing ingredients, like chamomile, grapeseed, or rosemary extracts. We could also use things like salicylic acid, but I won't be covering that in this series of Newbie Tuesday posts.

For normal skin types, we want something that will gently clean our skin without making it feel too stripped or dry. Moisturizing with or without oils and conditioning with cationic polymers are generally a good idea.

For dry skin types, we want something that will gently clean our skin without making it feel drier. We want to moisturize with or without oils, and we want to condition our skin. We want an emphasis on increasing mildness in our surfactant mix - we'll learn about this later this week - and we want to make sure we have loads of humectants, like glycerin.

With these goals in mind, how do we get to our end product? We start with our surfactants. You met these foamy, bubbly, and lathery ingredients yesterday and learned which ones would be good for your skin type. I'm recommending these ones, but you are free to use whatever you wish! The key in formulating a lovely skin cleanser is to use the right type of surfactants in the right amount. In general, I use about 40% surfactants in a facial cleanser for oily or normal skin, 25% to 30% for dry skin.

Where did I get those percentages from? When I read through various cosmetic chemistry books I own and searched through countless recipes, it seemed to me that 40% was a good level that would offer good cleansing but not too much detergency. It meant I could use a lot less of product x than I had been using from store bought products - they might be as low as 10% - and I never made a product that had been irritating to my skin on paper or in the shower!

You might recall we talked about active ingredients in the surfactants post yesterday. (You don't need to remember this stuff, it's just so you get why I'm doing what I'm doing...) If I'm using 10% cocamidopropyl betaine at 30% active we have 3.33% active surfactant in the product. If I use 15% C14-16 olefin sulfonate, I have 5.85% of that in the product. And if I use 15% DLS at 32% active, I have 5.25% active ingredient. So in the end, that combination would result in having 14.43% active surfactants in the product, which isn't a lot.

Which surfactants will we be using? As I mentioned yesterday, here are some choices. You can make other choices, and I encourage you to ask all the questions you want in the comments below about other choices.

We will not be using liquid soaps like castille in these recipes as the pH is in the alkaline range. You are welcome to do so, but I won't be offering information or suggestions on how to use it as I'm just not that familiar with making those kinds of modifications to it.

All skin types:
Cocamidopropyl betaine (secondary surfactant)
Decyl glucoside
Disodium cocoamphodiacetate (secondary surfactant)

I won't be using decyl glucoside in these base recipes, but we will talk about it later. 

Oily skin:
C14-16 olefin sulfonate  (Bioterge AS-40)
Disodium laureth sulfosuccinate

Normal skin:
LSB (Disodium laureth sulfosuccinate and sodium lauryl sulfoacetate)
BSB (Scroll down)
SMO or SMC taurate

Dry skin:
BSB (Scroll down)
Sodium laureth sulfate (SLeS)
SMO or SMC taurate
Foaming silk, oat, soy, apple, or other amino acids

Why am I including cocamidopropyl betaine with every surfactant mix? Because it's a great ingredient for increasing mildness. All surfactants annoy our skin and strip it of oils. By including an ingredient that increases mildness, we reduce that irritation. (I'll get into this more in tomorrow's post!)

What else do we have to include in a facial cleanser? Water and a preservative. 

I'm using Liquid Germall Plus for these cleansers, but you could choose a few other ones, just make sure they work in water only products. Have a look at this comparison chart or check out the preservatives section of the blog.

When it comes to products that contain water, you must always use a preservative. There is no negotiating here - use a preservative or please don't make the product. I want you to make products that are safe, and a big part of that is using a good broad spectrum preservative at the suggested usage rate. For liquid Germall Plus that's 0.1% to 0.5%.

Related posts:
Why use a preservative?
What you need to know about making any product (part one)
What you need to know about making any product (part two)

Why do we use water at all? Isn't it just a waste of space in the bottle? No. Every ingredient has a safe as used amount, and we can look to see that cocamidopropyl betaine starts to get irritating at levels of 33% or so (although I can't find anything for DLS mild except the comment that it is "gentle even up to higher concentrations"). If we used 90% surfactants - assuming we are using 10% something else like glycerin or preservatives - we would exceed those safe as used rates quite easily and cause irritation. As well, we don't want something really foamy for our face, and 90% surfactants would be like a bubble bath in the sink every morning...and we want stuff that will rinse off easily to prevent that tight and dry feeling after cleansing!

Finally, it saves us money. Distilled water costs maybe $2.00 for a gallon or 4 litres, which is way cheaper than a surfactant that might be upwards of $20 a litre!

A thought about using tap water: Please don't. You can boil it and do other things to it, but if you have metals in your water they can mess up the preservation and other ingredients (click here for more information on metals and oils) You can use a chelating ingredient like EDTA or citric acid to bind those metals so they can't wreak havoc on our products, but it really is easier to get distilled water or reverse osmosis water or another water that doesn't contain those metals rather than spending money on chelating ingredients! I like chelating ingredients and use them, but I start with distilled water every time. And yes, you should heat and hold distilled water because the heating and holding process isn't just about killing bacteria, it's about getting your ingredients to the right temperature and same temperature if you have two phases.

What about essential or fragrance oils? We'll be addressing this shortly, but the short answer is that I don't tend to use anything fragrant in my facial products as I find having a smell on my face all day drives me nuts. If you do wish to use some, please use only a titch - start with 0.1% and see how you like it. As well, don't forget that fragrances and essential oils can alter the viscosity of your product, so use it before you add the Crothix so you can adjust how much you use.

A note on Crothix: Crothix is an excellent thickener for surfactant products. It brings mildness and emolliency to the product as well. We use it at up to 2% in the cool down phase after the product has definitely come to room temperature and after the fragrance or essential oils are added.

For the first batch of this recipe, please only make 100 grams or 4 ounces of this product. We're making a tester batch to see what you think of it. Whenever you make a new product, always make a small batch to see what you think of it. You may love this product, you may hate it, but the point is to try making it so you get a sense of what you like and don't like, and how you can change that skin feel.

You cannot make this recipe by volume. It will not work properly. You need to use a scale. (Click here to see the suggested equipment for this series.)

To convert this recipe from percentages to weight, substitute the word "grams" for the percentage sign, then make that. So for cocamidopropyl betaine at 10%, you'd substitute "grams" for % and come up with 10 grams in this product. If you do this, the recipe will make 100 grams. As for using ounces...just use grams. It really is a pain in the bum to use ounces.

If you have to use weighed ounces, you can convert it by thinking of all the ingredients as a percentage of 4 ounces. So 10% cocamidopropyl betaine works out to 0.4 ounces (10% of 4 ounces = 0.4 ounces), and so on. It's more annoying than converting to grams, so I'm really encouraging you not to use this measurement.

Related posts:
Converting recipes from percentages to weight

You cannot make this recipe by volume. It will not work properly. You need to use a scale. (Click here to see the suggested equipment for this series.)

15% LSB
15% BSB
10% cocamidopropyl betaine
3% glycerin
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

54.5% distilled water

up to 2% Crothix, if desired

Package in a pump bottle

10% BSB
5% SLeS
10% cocamidopropyl betaine
5% glycerin
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

69.5% distilled water

up to 2% liquid Crothix

15% C14-16 olefin sulfonate
15% DLS
10% cocamidopropyl betaine
3% glycerin
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

56.5% distilled water

up to 2% liquid Crothix

Weigh the surfactant phase of the product into a container and mix. I suggest using a fork and mixing so you don't get a ton of bubbles. It's not the end of the world if it gets bubbly, but you'll have to wait a few days for the bubbles to go down.

These two bottles looked like they had the same volune when bottled, but a few days later, when the bubbles settled down, the difference is obvious! 

When the product is uniform, add the water, then mix again until it is blended. Again, try to avoid too many bubbles.

Add the Crothix 0.5% or 1% at a time. Mix well with the fork. It will likely fall to the bottom, so I suggest stirring from the bottom to make sure you're integrating the Crothix. If it isn't thick enough, add another 0.5% to 1%.

If your product is thick enough for your preferences, you don't need to add Crothix.

For oily skin, don't go over 2% as it can feel a little too moisturizing. For other skin types, you can go as high as 5% if you wish, but this will be very very moisturizing. If you can't get the visosity you want right now, it's okay. This is why we have pump bottles! And remember, we're adding more things to this product tomorrow, some of which will increase the viscosity.

Once you've made this product, I want you to make some notes about it...
How does it feel on your skin?
Was the product too thick or too thin?
Do you like the lather, the foam, the bubbles?
Is it too bubbly, too foamy, too lathery?
How well did it rinse off?
How did your skin feel after rinsing off? Dry, greasy, moisturized, and so on.

Please share your thoughts in this post so we can all share together before making some modifications for the product next week. Please note which recipe you followed when offering feedback.

Okay, that's way too much for today. Join me tomorrow as we take a look at a few things we can include in our product!

And click here to get a copy of the recipes in text format to make them easier to read while creating! 

The posts in this series, if you've missed them...
Newbie Tuesday: We're making facial products! 
Shopping list
Equipment list
Let's start making facial cleansers! - Your skin type
Surfactants - what are they?
Meet your surfactants
pH of our surfactants


alia said...

can i use only surfactant as a shampoo or body wash or face cleanser
i mean if i just mix foaming soy and/or foaming silk in water and clean my hair with it
will that be wrong
will it be like a clarifying shampoo
will it be bad for both skin and hair

are there any olive derived surfactants

plz help
i am lost

Unknown said...

Susan, thank you so much for going into great details about cleansers and surfactants, and for sharing your knowledge. I am really excited to follow along with this series! I have been a long time lurker of your blog and have enjoyed learning from you (my recent favorite recipe is your cream cleanser - it's fantastic). I am just across the "pond" from you on the Island, hopefully one day I will get to one of your classes at Voyageur.



Arismac said...

Susan I am having a little trouble purchasing some of the ingredients in Australia that you refer to in your recipes. I really have the need to make a solid foaming lotion bar with a pH of about 6.0 to distribute to my senior citizens who are destroying what is left of their skin with high pH CP soaps.

Which of your wonderful books should I be purchasing and reading to discover how to do this?

Many thanks

Carol Ann said...

I made the cleanser for dry/sensitive skin using the 2% crothix because I like a thicker cleanser. It was a nice clear product. There was minimal lather, I could tell it was there but no large bubbles. It rinsed off easily. I waited a few minutes before using my toner to see how my skin felt - it definitely needs some conditioning ingredients added. I think this is a great start and I will continue to build on this base recipe.
Thank you, Carol Ann

pat bortolin said...

Thank you Susan for all the great info. on creating a Facial cleanser. I have normal skin type and formulated my wash with 40% surfactants, including: Cocamide Dea, Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate and Cocamidopropl Betaine along with distilled water and Aloe Vera gel juice, Glycerin, preservative and White Grapefruit E-oil. The wash came out very clear and just the right viscosity without having to add Crothix, a dime size of the soft foam was all that was needed to cleanse and hydrate my skin, it felt literally "PERFECT"!! I did not apply moisturizer for the day for testing purposes and now just found out that I can use half the amount of moisturizer afterwards, so very happy thanks to you :) :) :)

Brynna Stefanson said...

Made my cleanser today, though I think I made some errors with my ordering. I wound up with straight up Disodium laureth sulfosuccinate in my normal skin kit rather than LSB, so I hope that shouldn't be too much of a problem. I also only have tiny little foamer bottles, so I had to use two for 100g. I think my measuring out could stand to be a bit more accurate, so today I'll be ordering some scale calibration weights and reading up on chemistry measuring best practices. Too early to wash my face yet, but it felt like a lovely thick foam on my hands, and it will be interesting using a foaming facewash again.

Thanks so much for this series!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Thank you all for your feedback!

Hi Alia. I'm sorry but I don't think I get what you're asking? Foaming soy, oat, rice, and so on are surfactants. You could wash your hair with them, but they aren't very effective shampoos for most hair types. If you want to put pure foaming oat, soy, rice, etc. on your hair with no other ingredients, it would be clarifying as it doesn't contain conditioners. (I think you might want to take a look at the hair care section and see what it means if a shampoo is clarifying or moisturizing or conditioning. It's an interesting topic.)

I haven't seen any foaming, bubbly, or lathery surfactants derived from olives. In the end, though, does it matter from a chemistry perspective? Not really...

Hi Kaylee! I'm so glad you like the cream cleanser. Are you playing along for these recipes?

Hi Mac! I can't remember if you and I had a conversation by email before or after you wrote this? Check out the shampoo bars in the hair care section or do a quick search for "body bar" or something like that to see the ones I make with SCI as the basis of the product. Think of a cleansing bar that is emollient, not a lotion bar that foams, and you'll see what I mean!

Hi Carol Ann! Thank you for sharing! Have you tried the version with the cationic polymer and humectant yet? What did you think?

Hi Pat! This is awesome! How are you feeling about it a few days later?

Hi Brynna! That's okay that you only have DLS. If you find it a bit too oil reducing for your normal skin, try it at 10% and add 5% more water to the mix. Have you tried it yet??? I'm dying to know what you thought!

I'm putting everyone's comments about the products in this post for Tuesday, September 20th, 2016. (The link won't work until then...)

Brynna Stefanson said...

I like it. A big change from the face wash I have been using (SpectroJel), which I had always rubbed in with a dry face. Doesn't work so well with this! Now that I have this figured out, it still seems a little thick with 1.2 g Crothix in. I think tomorrow I'll try the batch with the cationic polymer, and reduce the Crothix a bit. So far it seems to be treating my skin well. I do an oil cleanse before my other cleanser, and this seemed to take that all off without leaving me dry or with residue.

And armed with some knowledge looking at the SpectroJel ingredient list, how is this a cleanser? Nothing in there that I can identify as a surfactant. I see myself reading a lot of labels and trying to puzzle things out in the future.

pat bortolin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan said...

Hi Susan,
Thank you for the Face Cleanser recipes - I made the recipe for Dry/Sensitive skin. I live in Calgary, so not only am I in a dry climate, but I have dry skin also, so double parched here!
Here is my feedback on the basic recipe (no additives):
How does it feel on your skin? - I really liked how mild it felt. I used it to remove my makeup at the end of the day, and there was no irritation around the eyes, which is really important since I don't like to have to use an eye makeup remover AND a facial cleanser.
Was the product too thick or too thin? - I found it a bit thick, but that is because my scale jumped from 0 to 2 when adding the Crothix. (time for a new scale!) so I was at the max right away. I will probably put only 1 % in the next batch.
How was the lather, the foam, the bubbles? - Perfect, actually. I don't like a lot of bubbles on my face. I found it to be a nice, rich, creamy lather, without many bubbles.
How well did it rinse off? I used warm water to cleanse with, and it rinsed off quite well. With the reduced Crothix next batch, it will probably rinse even better!
Skin feel after rinsing off? - Skin felt clean, and smooth. Not tight, but feeling like I will need a moisturizer to follow.

I have been using Cetaphil in the past because it is mild and rinses off clean. I think this will be a great replacement. I love how easily my makeup rinses off, with no racoon eyes left behind :). Looking forward to adjusting it a bit with some additives!

Thanks again! Looking forward to tomorrow!!


Stephanie Cloud Seery said...

I ended up using a different surfactant for part of mine because of availability issues. Here's what my recipe looked like:

Facial Cleanser
15g LSB
5g SLSa
10g cocamidopropyl betaine
5g glycerin
0.5g liquid Germall Plus

10g Aloe Vera liquid
51.5g distilled water
3g Hydrolyzed oat protein
.5g Silk peptides
.5g Helichrysum and lavender essential oils

No crothix was necessary, I was happy with the texture of the overall product. I know you don't like essential oils around your face, but helichrysum is alleged to be good for aging skin and lavender is that catch all oil that's good for everything. And they smell nice together, which is the awesome thing. I also made a bottle of this with petitgrain essential oil for my daughter who likes mild citrus and floral scents and she loves it so far! Very gentle, no residue afterwards, but your skin doesn't feel dried out and itchy.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Pat! I noticed you deleted your comment about how it felt a few days later. Did you want to revise that? I was excited to see you followed up your thoughts, but if it's not accurate, please let me know what we can change!

pat bortolin said...

LOL Susan you asked me to follow up in a "few days", only 1 day passed, thought I should wait a bit.....will definitely follow up by weeks end :)

pat bortolin said...

Hi Susan I am back with a follow-up to my cleanser for normal skin that you developed and I must say it has been very consistent with the PH of my skin....very pleased at how non drying it is and how a little goes a long way. Thank you once again smarty pants :)

lilscrappers said...

Thanks to DropBox the link to the text version is missing and I am struggling to keep finding my spot to follow along as a belated beginner. Is the link still findable somewhere on the blog and I simply haven't discovered it?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I've updated it.

Tendo said...

Hi Susan,

thank you for the treasure trove of information! I am new to formulating and absorb details from your blog religiously!! I live in Uganda (East Africa) and can barely find any of the surfactants you recommend (BSB, LSB etc) I currently only have decyl glucoside, cocamidopropyl betaine, sucrose cocoate and sodium cocoyl amino acids at my disposal.

I am unable to find the post on using decyl glucoside in facial cleansers, please help.

Thank you,