Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Newbie Tuesday: How to turn your facial cleanser into an exfoliating facial cleanser

So you've made a facial cleanser you really like. What's next? Let's turn it into an exfoliating cleanser! There are two ways we can exfoliate - using chemical exfoliants or physical exfoliants.

Physical exfoliants are ingredients like loofah, jojoba beads, sugar, salt, fruit seeds, and anything that removes dead skin by abrading it. For facial products, we want to stick to less scratchy things like jojoba beads, baking soda, clay, dermabrasion crystals, or bamboo exfoliating powder, to name a few things.

As we're making a water based product, anything that can dissolve or become water logged is right out, so leave out the sugar, salt, coffee grounds, shells, baking soda, and some seeds.

Okay, you could create a saturated solution of dissolved salt or sugar in your container, then add more as that additional amount wouldn't dissolve, but you'd be left with a cleanser so salty or sticky, you'd hate it. If you want to try it for super happy chemistry time fun, let me know! (Check out this link on solubility to learn more!

There are a few great choices for a scrub...

Jojoba beads: These are little spheres of jojoba that come in different colours and different sizes. The smaller ones are suitable for your face, the larger ones for the rest of your body. I tend to use the 60/100 in a facial product. I've used them at up to 5% in a product, but you will have to tinker to see what you like. These don't dissolve in water or oil, but they can melt, so don't use them in anything that isn't around room temperature.

Clay: This a great choice as a very mild exfoliant. They're easy to add to our facial cleanser at up to 10%, but I suggest starting at 5% and see what you think. There are loads of great choices from kaolin clay for oily skin, rhassoul for sensitive or dry skin, glacial clay for all skin types, and Dead Sea mud, to name a few. If you're using clay, make the product, add 5%, mix well, then decide if you still need a thickener. I've found that just about every facial cleanser I've made with clay didn't require thickening after I'd added it.

Aluminum Oxide - Dermabrasion Crystals: These are white aluminum oxide crystals I found at Lotioncrafter (although they might be found at other suppliers). They are used at 1% to 10% in your water or oil based products. They are 120 size grit (102 microns). Lotioncrafter advises we shouldn't use AHAs or retinoids on reddened skin. (For more information visit Lotioncrafter* and read the listing.) I recommend using 3% to start, then work your way up as these can be really exfoliating!

Pumice: It comes in many grades, from very fine to coarse. It might not be the best choice for facial products, but it is lovely for foot scrubs. It isn't water or oil soluble and can be added to warm or even hot products. Consider the fine pumice on par with sand. Start with 1% to 2% and see what you think before adding more.

If have I have to make a suggestion about what to use in your facial cleanser, I'd suggest jojoba beads. You can get them in all sizes and colours, but I generally choose the 60/100 size, which is the smallest I could find at my suppliers. I use them at 5% in my favourite recipe, and I find they are just scrubby enough for my oily, rosacea prone skin. These will float to the top of your bottle, so be prepared to shake it up every use. (There are ways to suspend these beads, and we'll get into that discusssion soon...)

As a note, jojoba beads are not those little plastic microbeads that are being banned everywhere. They are little beads created out of jojoba wax! 

The quick summary is this: Make the facial cleanser you like, then add a suitable amount of physical exfoliant. Start with the suggested amounts I list above, then add 1% more at a time untl you reach the scrubbiness level you like. Please don't also add a chemical exfoliant - something like papaya extract, pineapple extract, AHAs, Multifruit BSC, salicylic acid or BHA, honeysuckle extract, or willow bark extract - as it can be too exfoliating, which is not a pleasant sensation and can damage your skin. (Besides, we'll be getting into chemical exfoliants next Tuesday! If you want to run ahead, check out this post - chemical exfoliants!)

I'll be sharing a few recipes based on those you said you liked over the next few days before we get into chemical exfoliants next week!

Please share your experiences with making these scrubs in the comments below. What worked? What didn't work? What can we troubleshoot together? I'm eager to hear your thoughts!

Blog posts specifically related to making facial cleanser scrubs:
Physical exfoliants (part one)
Physical exfoliants (part two)
Adding physical exfoliants to the cleanser base
Creamy exfoliating cleanser with jojoba beads (for dry to normal skin)
Creamy exfoliating cleanser with jojoba beads (for oily or sensitive skin)
Facial cleansers: Using the surfactant base to make scrubs (part one)

If you'd like to play along or if you've missed a post, here's a listing of the complete series...
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 the surfactants
pH of our surfactants
Facial products - the base recipe


Kaylee said...

I have a question about the jojoba beads. I see above that the 60/100 is the small size. What do those numbers mean? I have some jojoba beads that are 20/40, but does that mean they are smaller or larger than the 60/100?


Alex Dehoff said...

I am very interested in your thoughts on keeping larger particles in suspension! I can't figure out any way to keep exfoliants suspended in a shower gel type of product unless I make the product unbearably thick. WSP carries a suspending shower gel base that is filled with tons of tiny bubbles- almost like a carbonated drink.

Missy Wehling said...

This is the recipe that I used for the exfoliating scrub:
15% SCI
10%SLSa (powder)
5% Cocamidopropyl betaine

44.5% Distilled water
10% Aloe
2% Polyquat 7
3% Oat protein

2% Panthenol
3% Microdermal abrasion crystals (Lotion Crafter)
0.5% Liquid Germal Plus

I used SLSa powder because I wanted a thicker product to help keep the crystals suspended in the scrub. I didn't have to add any Crothix to this recipe. I did find though that my eyes are sensitive to the SLSa. It didn't burn but I could feel irritation to my eyes from using this scrub on my face. It was not "scrubby" enough for me at 3% crystals but I can tell that the crystals have stayed suspended. I think I would add more crystals next time and decrease or leave out the SLSa.

Neha Kedia said...

Hello Susan

Can we use baking soda in an emulsifying sugar scrub as a cleansing agent

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Neha. No, baking soda isn't a cleanser. It's an alkaline ingredient that can act as an exfoliant in a sugar scrub.