Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Esters: Using PEG-7 olivate in shampoo

If you're a greasy haired girl, you'll avoid oils like I avoid Brussel sprouts on Christmas Day. But don't avoid esters - PEG-7 olivate and other water soluble oils aren't out to increase your greasiness and spoil that good hair day. Using it in small amounts can offer some emolliency and shine to your hair, so give it a try!

You already know how awesome SCI feels on your hair - creamy, foamy, and luxurious - but the oily haired girls need to avoid the stuff with stearic acid or suffer the wrath of the greasies! We can adapt a recipe for shampoo with SCI to be more emollient, which is a benefit for those of us with so-called greasy roots and dry ends. (This recipe is originally from this post, so if you want to see why I'm using the ingredients I'm using, please click here.)

CONDITIONING SHAMPOO FOR NORMAL HAIR WITH SCI & PEG-7 OLIVATE
HEATED PHASE
48% water
10% cocamidopropyl betaine
10% SCI (without stearic acid)
5% surfactant of choice (SLeS, SMC Taurate, a blend, and so on)
10% aloe vera
2% glycerin
2% hydrolyzed protein
5% PEG-7 olivate

COOL DOWN PHASE
3% cationic polymer like honeyquat or polyquat 7
2% dimethicone
2% panthenol
0.5% to 1% preservative
1% to 2% fragrance or essential oils
(up to 2% Crothix - when cooled down - optional)

For oily hair, I'd suggest using 5% SCI (without stearic acid) and 10% surfactant of choice (C14-16 olefin sulfonate or a sulfosuccinate like DLS mild) for more oil removal. As well, oily haired girls might want to leave out the dimethicone and conditioning agents if you're finding your hair doesn't feel squeaky clean after washing: Save those for your conditioner (this also means it's now a clarifying shampoo).

If you're a dry haired girl, you can add PEG-7 olivate to any of your shampoo recipes for increased emolliency, but you might want to use something a lot more oily if you have really dry hair!

You can find all the shampoo recipes listed on this page.

Join me tomorrow for using a bunch of different esters in your conditioners!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Esters: Using PEG-7 olivate in foamy surfactant products - body wash

You know how much I love my foamy and lathery surfactants, so let's add some PEG-7 olivate to a body wash to enjoy the reduction in irritation, slight increase in thickening, and increase in moisturization!

We're all on a quest to find body washes that don't leave us feeling all dry and stiff after a shower - PEG-7 olivate to the rescue! (Click here to find out why our skin feels that way!) Something like glycol distearate (a glycol ester) can offer emolliency and a reduction in irritation, but it'll leave your product opaque, as can some of the other emollient surfactants like PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate, cocamide DEA, and myristamine oxide. Using something like PEG-7 olivate (or another water soluble oil) will leave your products crystal clear, providing you're not using a polar fragrance. As well, it can emulsify small amounts of oils, so if you want to use a little more essential oil (at a safe rate) in your product, you'll be able to do that without having to use polysorbate 20.

As a note, not all water soluble oils or esters will leave you with a crystal clear product. I know the jojoba esters we used in the exfoliating facial wash made it quite cloudy. Check before making huge batches if the clarity is important to you.

Let's take a look at a body wash I made recently with myristamine oxide, a cloudy but emollient concoction that feels really moisturizing, and clear it up with PEG-7 olivate. If you look at the original recipe, you'll see I have PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate and myristamine oxide in there, so I've removed those, added 5% PEG-7 olivate, and added 5% to the water phase. If you have dry skin, you can increase the PEG-7 olivate to 10% and reduce the water by 5%.

MOISTURIZING BODY WASH WITH PEG-7 OLIVATE
12% cocamidopropyl betaine
16% BSB
12% C14-16 olefin sulfonate
35% warm distilled water
10% aloe vera liquid
5% PEG-7 olivate
3% polyquat 7
3% glycerin
2% cromoist
2% panthenol
0.5% preservative (liquid Germall Plus)
0.5% extract of choice
up to 2% Crothix (optional)
up to 2% fragrance or essential oil (use at safe levels)

Mix the surfactants together well, then add the rest of the ingredients (except the panthenol, preservative, and extract) and continue to mix. Try not to get too many bubbles. Heat a little water and dissolve the extract into it. Add the panthenol, extract, preservative, fragrance and colour. Let cool to room temperature, then add the Crothix 1% at a time until you reach the desired viscosity.

You aren't restricted to using PEG-7 olivate to this recipe - this is just an example. Try it with any of your favourite body washes. Ones with SCI will be especially creamy and emollient when you add some PEG-7 olivate to the mix. And you can mix this with the other esters I've mentioned above for a super, creamy, moisturizing body wash! 

Join me tomorrow for fun formulating with PEG-7 olivate in shampoo! 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Esters: Using PEG-7 olivate in facial products

PEG-7 olivate (or indeed, the other water soluble esters like sunflower, jojoba, macadamia nut, and so on) are great additions to facial products. They offer increased emolliency and moisturization and a reduction in irritation, which are always great qualities, and those of us with oily skin can often enjoy the benefits using oils without feeling more greasy or breaking out horribly.

FACIAL CLEANSERS
I like to include PEG-7 olivate in facial cleansers to give me that wonderful feeling of moisturization and a decrease in irritation from the surfactants.

I used PEG-7 olivate and jojoba esters in this exfoliating facial cleanser (this version is for normal and normal, wrinkled skin types and this one is for oily or sensitive skin types) and in many of the regular and foaming facial cleanser recipes. In this facial cleanser for dry skin, I've found that 3% is a great place to start with PEG-7 olivate, but you can increase it as high as 10% if you have really dry skin. And in this creamy facial cleanser for dry skin or these versions for normal and oily skin, you can substitute the PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate with PEG-7 olivate and get a nice, emollient skin feel.

MOISTURIZERS
As I mentioned yesterday, PEG-7 olivate is a great inclusion in moisturizers for all skin types, but it's especially good for those of us with oily skin who need some moisturizing but don't want something that will increase our greasiness! Take a look at my oil-free moisturizer with water soluble oils or this cationic oil-free facial moisturizer. In the latter recipe, substitute 5% to 10% of the water phase with your PEG-7 olivate. Or this oil-free gel based moisturizer using PEG-7 olivate!

If you have a favourite moisturizer and want to try a little PEG-7 olivate in it, just substitute it for your oils and make your lotion as normal.

TONERS
I like to use PEG-7 olivate in my toners for that feeling of moisturization and slight occlusion (although it's not occlusive, it feels occlusive), especially during the winter and summer when I feel a lot drier than normal. If you take a look at this basic recipe, it's easy to see how we can include PEG-7 olivate without a lot of effort. (As a note, adding this ingredient to a toner might make it dry skin friendly!)

SWIFT'S BASIC TONER RECIPE
up to 85% water based ingredients like aloe vera, hydrosols, and witch hazel
3% to 5% humectants
3 to 5% film formers and cationic quaternary polymers
3% to 5% moisturizers
2% panthenol
up to 1% extracts (including allantoin)
up to 1% preservative

So let's say we want to make a summer toner filled with loads of aloe vera, hydrosols, extracts, and other goodies for oily skin that is mostly resistant to break-outs. Here's an idea for a recipe (originally from this post, and there are other ideas located there).

ROSEMARY AND GREEN TEA TONER FOR OILY, RESISTANT SKIN
HEATED PHASE
21% water
30% witch hazel (the kind without alcohol)
25% rosemary hydrosol (or other hydrosol of choice)
10% aloe vera liquid
2% sodium lactate
2% hydrolyzed protein
3% honeyquat
0.5% allantoin
5% PEG-7 olivate (or other water soluble oil)

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% panthenol
0.5% powdered rosemary extract
0.5% green tea extract
0.5% preservative (I use Germall Plus)

I've reduced the water amount by 5% and included my PEG-7 olivate in the heated phase. That was easy, eh?

And you can use it in a gel - it plays well with gels, and you get some emollience. I created a gel based toner in this post, and it's easy to modify by adding removing 5% from the witch hazel, lavender hydrosol, or aloe vera amount and adding your PEG-7 olivate. This is really more of a moisturizer, to be honest, as you can leave it on and enjoy the cooling, moisturizing feeling.

OTHER WATER BASED SPRAYS
I also like to include the PEG-7 olivate in my cooling spray for the summer. It offers some nice emolliency and helps to solubilize the peppermint essential oil. (Polysorbate 20 works to emulsify it as well but it can leave the mixture cloudy and it feels a tad sticky on the skin in the summer heat!) You can find the original recipe below along with a few other water based spray recipes in my post on Hydrovance. (Feel free to play with other humectants in this recipe - I just wanted to use the Hydrovance that week!)

SUMMER COOLING SPRAY MODIFIED TO INCLUDE PEG-7 OLIVATE
30% witch hazel hydrosol
25% lavender hydrosol (or another hydrosol of your choice)
16% water
10% aloe vera liquid
5% PEG-7 olivate
5% hydrovance
3% honeyquat
2% panthenol
2% hydrolyzed protein
0.5% extract (I use chamomile)
0.5% preservative (I use Germall Plus)
1% peppermint essential oil

Here's another version of the summer super extra aloe-y sun spray - just remove 5% to 10% of the water phase in favour of the PEG-7 olivate.

Join me tomorrow for fun using PEG-7 olivate in body washes and the day after for shampoos!

We're on the road again!

Raymond and I are taking a much deserved camping holiday on the Oregon coast, leaving today and we might be back on Thursday or Friday (we haven't decided yet). It's going to be a little cold, but I understand Portland is a mecca for us crafty types, so there's much fun to be a had. We need to buy some sleeping bags and a cooler, then we're on our way.

Any suggestions for fun on the coastal or Portland areas? Crafty shops, interesting stores, good food? Comment as I will be checking while we're away!

In the meantime, I'm still posting every day, but won't be able to respond to your comments or e-mails until I return. So keep them spam and obscenity free and everyone'll be happy! (I will be checking my mail and the blog on my iPod and if there's too much garbage, I'll have to move to moderating the posts, so everyone play nice!)

See you when we get back!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Esters: PEG-7 olivate (or olive oil PEG-7 esters)

As you can tell by the name, PEG-7 olivate is derived from oleic acid, which, in this case, comes from olive oil. It seems that what you'll find at your supplier is OlivEm 300, a brand name for the product from B&T in Italy. It's a polyethylene glycol ester, which means it's considered a surfactant with a hydrophilic head and lipophilic tail.

PEG-7 olivate is an odourless and clear to pale yellow ingredient with a pH of 5 to 7, an HLB of 11, and a shelf life of three years. It's soluble in water and alcohol and dispersible in oils. It can be used as a light solubilizer for other ingredients like essential or fragrance oils, and it plays well with gels! Although it's a light feeling ester, it isn't a non-greasy one like cetearyl ethylhexanoate or IPP, and won't reduce the feeling of greasiness in your products. (If you use PEG-7 olivate instead of olive oil in your creations, it will feel lighter and less greasy than the same product with olive oil, but it doesn't feel less greasy on its own.)

I am a huge fan of this ester because you can use it in just about everything! It's used as an emollient, lubricant, anti-irritant, solubilizer, and thickener. It won't reduce foaming in your lathery surfactant products, and it will offer slightly creamier feeling suds, emolliency, and "oil free" moisturizing. It also acts as a thickener, although the thickening I've experienced has been very minor and I wouldn't consider it a true thickener like Crothix or glycol distearate. In my experience, it will thicken water based products, like toners or make-up removers slightly. And as an anti-irritant, it will increase the mildness of your foamy surfactants to make for a more gentle facial or body cleanser.

PEG-7 olivate is a fantastic inclusion in hair care products - shampoo, conditioner, leave in conditioner, styling gels - as an "oil free" moisturizer. You can use it in your cleansers as an additional cleansing ingredient - it's safe for your eyes! - and you can use it in toners or water based body sprays to increase the emolliency.

You can use this in a moisturizer as your oil portion to create an "oil free" moisturizer.

You're probably wondering why I keep putting "oil free" in quotation marks. No, it's not "use quotation marks randomly day" - although there really should be a day for that! - it's because it's not really an oil but our bodies react to the esters as if they were oil. People with oily skin and hair generally tolerate esters better than oils and are less likely to feel more greasy as they would with regular, non-esterified oils. Don't you love the word "esterified"?

Is it really water soluble olive oil? No. Unfortunately, we lose all those lovely phytosterols and polyphenols that make olive oil such a great oil, but we do get the benefits of oleic acid in a water soluble form. Oleic acid tends to be very moisturizing, softening, and regenerating to our skin. It offers some anti-inflammatory properties and can mimic our natural sebum. We'll get these features in PEG-7 olivate, which means we can make a toner or body wash more moisturizing!

If you can't wait until tomorrow to start formulating with this ester, check out this recipe from the Herbarie for the Fruit & Flowers Make-up Remover! This is an amazing recipe, and my favourite for make-up removal products. You can leave out the calendula extract - it's nice and soothing, but if you don't have it, it won't ruin the product to exclude it. Try this recipe. You will never buy another make-up remover!

Join me tomorrow for fun formulating with PEG-7 olivate in toners and facial products!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Esters: PEG or polyethylene glycol esters

You've seen these esters around, with names like PEG-7 olivate or PEG-12 laurate, but what the heck are polyethylene glycol esters?

Point of interest: What we've been taking a look at for the last week are called alkyl esters, just one of the many types of esters! There are a ton of different types - I can't cover them all as this will become the "ester blog", but we'll go over the major categories!

PEG stands for polyethylene glycols or ethylene glycols, which are esters that have undergone a reaction with polyethylene glycol to create an ester that is water soluble and might behave as an emulsifier. This process is called ethoxylation and is an industrial process in which ethylene oxide is added to a fatty acid or fatty acid alcohol, and in the end non-ionic surfactants are produced. (Remember that surfactants are not necessarily foamy or lathery - there are many categories.) Surfactants have a hydrophilic (water loving) head and a lipophilic (oil loving) tail, which means they can help emulsify themselves or other oil based ingredients we might want to include in our water based products.

Generally, a PEG ester is named like this - PEG-# something-ate. The # stands for the number of polyethylene glycol molecules that have been reacted and the something-ate is the fatty acid with which it was reacted. So if we see something like PEG-12 laurate, it means 12 molecules of polyethylene glycol has been reacted with 1 molecule of lauric acid (C12 fatty acid, generally from coconut oil or palm kernel oil). The number is important - as the number increases, the water solubility increases. Something like PEG-8 oleate will be more water soluble than PEG-6 oleate, and PEG-10 would be more water soluble still.

Most of what we see are low ethoxylated esters like PEG-7 olivate, PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate, and PEG-12 laurate. (We will see higher chain lengths in things like PEG-150 glycol distearate when we get into the glycol and glyceryl esters, which tend to be used as thickeners, opacifiers, and emulsifiers.) These PEG esters behave as emollients, moisturizers, anti-irritants or mildness increasers, and can confer slipperiness to things like shampoo, body washes, and bubble baths! Some of them behave as very mild cleansers, which is why adding something like PEG-7 olivate to a make-up remover works so well!

The neat thing about using PEG type esters is the impact they have on our products. They don't hydrolyze in water and don't support mould growth, which makes them a great inclusion in any product where you're using water. (Hydrolysis is one of the mechanisms of rancidity, so having something that doesn't hydrolyze means you are less likely to see rancid oils and icky products!). They also form clear solutions with your surfactants - you won't get that when you emulsify that little bit of oil with something like polysorbate 80.

So when you see something called a "water soluble oil", it's probably a PEG ester (or possibly a PPG ester, which is a polypropylene glycol ester, which we'll be discussing soon) derived from that fatty acid or triglyceride.

There are PEG esters that are called an ethoxylated triglycerides and they're similar to the PEG esters, but they tend to be named things like PEG-20 almond triglycerides. You'll also see things like PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate, which are glycol or glycerol esters, which are created through a different process. And we have things like polysorbate 20 or 80, which are alkyl carbohydrate esters. All of these are considered water soluble surfactants and solubilizers or emulsifiers. We'll be taking a look at these shortly. 

Let's take a look at one of favourite PEG esters tomorrow - PEG-7 olivate!

As a final thought, why is it everything I do comes down to surfactants, even when I don't plan on it? I guess I'm just a surfactant junkie!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Esters: Tweaking yesterday's hand lotion into a body lotion

Yesterday we made a hand lotion using our esters...today we'll take a look at making a body lotion by tweaking those ingredients.

How is a body lotion different than a hand lotion? I like my body lotions to be thicker and more occlusive. So I'll switch the cetyl esters for cetyl alcohol and change and increase the butter. I think shea butter will give me that occlusion I want and I'll up it to 10% to increase the thickness of the lotion. As I mentioned yesterday, I miss my occlusion, so I'll add my silicones back into the cool down phase at 2% cyclomethicone and 2% dimethicone. Because I've included these, I can remove the ethylhexyl palmitate as a substitute. But I want to use it because my body lotions have to be cupcake scented, so I'll substitute that for the cetearyl hexanoate because it doesn't play well with vanilla based fragrances.

I'm out of powdered green tea extract, so I'll use the 5% liquid in place of some of the water, but I'm still keeping the aloe vera, which is both a skin conditioning ingredient and a humectant, and I'm keeping the chamomile. I am changing my humectant because I like glycerin in my body products: I don't mind the slight stickiness. I'll use it at 3% because I already have the aloe and panthenol as additional humectants. I'm still using my chamomile hydrosol and powdered extract as I really like what they offer to the lotion.

Finally, I've increased the emulsifier to compensate for the extra butter and silicones.

BODY LOTION WITH GREEN TEA, CHAMOMILE, AND ESTERS
HEATED WATER PHASE
29% water
10% aloe vera
10% chamomile hydrosol
5% liquid green tea extract
3% glycerin
2% protein of choice (I'm using oat protein)

HEATED OIL PHASE
15% esters - 10% C12-15 alkyl benzoate & 5% ethylhexyl myristate
10% shea butter
3% cetyl alcohol
2% IPP or IPM
8.5% emulsifier (BTMS, Polawax, or emulsifying wax NF)

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
2% panthenol
0.5% chamomile extract
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% to 1% preservative
(This doesn't total 100% because of the difference in preservatives!)

Use the general lotion making instructions for this product.

This is definitely a thicker product with incredible spread and glide. I'm always surprised at the spreading ability of the esters - I swear this gets easier to spread as I rub it into my skin, rather than harder! If you want something lighter, you can use the babassu oil in here (did I mention I'm having a love affair with this stuff) and remember you can leave out the silicones and add a silicone substitute.

Join me tomorrow as we delve into the fascinating world of PEG- esters!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Esters: Using esters in hand lotions

We took a look at using esters in facial moisturizers, so let's take a look at using esters in our lotions and creams!

Why use esters in a lotion? Esters take a long time to go rancid, so your lotions would have at least a year long shelf life (depending upon the other ingredients). They tend to be lighter than oils, so they're perfect for summer time or non-occlusive lotions. And they feel less greasy, so they're perfect for hand lotions, especially if you want one to use at work or around the house when you're touching other surfaces. Oh, and if you like a really white lotion, you'll get that with the esters as most of them - if not all - have no colour.

How do we use esters in a lotion? Exactly as we'd use the oils, added to the heated oil phase.

But wait! If you're making your own emulsifier using the HLB system, you will need to re-calculate your emulsification amounts as the HLB of most esters is higher than those of oils.

Which ones to use in lotion? Why all of them, of course! You can use any of the esters we've covered in the last few weeks in your lotions, although you might want to save the PEG-7 olivate for water soluble applications!

So let's take a look at our basic lotion recipe and make into something light and awesome using esters! You can make this recipe and use one or two esters in the oils phase, but I think we need to tweak it to create something really interesting!

BASIC LOTION RECIPE WITH ESTERS
HEATED WATER PHASE
70% water

HEATED OIL PHASE
15% oil - choose 1 or 2 esters you like
5% shea or mango butter
3% cetyl alcohol
5% emulsifier (BTMS, Polawax, or emulsifying wax NF)

COOL DOWN PHASE
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% to 1% preservative
(This doesn't total 100% because of the difference in preservatives!)

Instructions for lotion making can be found here.

So what are the goals of our lotion? If we're making a hand lotion, we want something that glides nicely over our skin, something that feels occlusive, and something that feels light and non-greasy.

I'm going to use five of my esters - C12-15 alkyl benzoate, cetearyl ethylhexanoate, and ethylhexyl palmitate, cetyl esters, and isopropyl palmitate. The C12-15 alkyl benzoate and cetearyl ethylhexanoate are my oils - those will offer non-greasy feeling slip and glide as well as emolliency. (The C12-15 alkyl benzoate is occlusive, so it will take the place of the occlusivity I might get from my dimethicone as well.) The ethylhexyl palmitate is replacing the dimethicone I'd normally use in a recipe (for those who don't like silicones). The cetyl esters will replace the cetyl alcohol as my thickener, and the IPP will offer a little more non-greasiness to the mix. You could use Super Sterol in this mixture - I don't have much of it, and I'm saving it for sera, facial moisturizers, and lip balms, but it would be a really nice addition. And you can substitute IPM for IPP.

Because I want something lighter, I'm going with 10% cetearyl hexanoate and 5% C12-15 alkyl benzoate. If you want something a little thicker and more occlusive, you can switch the numbers or use half and half.

What else do I want to tweak here? Because we aren't getting those lovely fatty acids with all their wonderful properties from our oils, we want to consider including a few things to offer those possible healing, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing qualities we would normally get in our vegetable based oils. Instead of shea butter, I think I'll use my babassu oil. It'll thicken up the lotion but feel very light and non-greasy. You can use shea or mango butter for a slightly thicker and slightly more occlusive lotion, but I'm having a love affair with babassu, hence the inclusion in this lotion! I want to include some oat protein for the film forming properties and panthenol for the hygroscopic and wound healing properties. I'll use both of these at 2%.

I like my aloe vera, so I'll use 10% and remove that from the water phase, and I think I'll go with chamomile hydrosol for the anti-inflammatory properties at 10% as well. In the cool down phase, I think I'll include some green tea extract for the anti-oxidant properties (use at 0.5%) and more chamomile at 0.5% for extra anti-inflammatory properties. As usual, you can play with your favourite extracts. If you have something like liquid green tea extract with a suggested use of 5% in the water phase, just remove that much water and use it! And if you have something like green tea butter, you could use that in place of the shea, mango, or babassu oil as a double duty kind of product!

Oh, wait! I need a humectant! I think I'll go with honeyquat at 3% in this recipe, but you could use any humectant of your choice - 3% glycerin, 2.5% sodium lactate or sodium PCA, 3% Hydrovance. I'm choosing honeyquat because it offers skin conditioning and behaves like a really nice humectant.

A quick note: If you're using BTMS-50 or honeyquat in this lotion, remember you can't use Tinosan preservative with cationic ingredients. 

Okay, so what do we have? We've increased our oils amount by 6%, which means we need to increase our emulsifier to about 25% of the oil phase. With a total oil phase of 29%, we need to use about 7.5% emulsifier. (Click here to see my post on how much Polawax to use!)

HAND LOTION WITH ESTERS, GREEN TEA & CHAMOMILE
HEATED WATER PHASE
34% water
10% aloe vera
10% chamomile hydrosol
2% protein of choice (I'm using oat protein)

HEATED OIL PHASE
15% esters - 10% cetearyl ethylhexanoate & 5% C12-15 alkyl benzoate
4% ethylhexyl palmitate
5% babassu oil
3% cetyl esters
2% IPP or IPM
7.5% emulsifier (BTMS, Polawax, or emulsifying wax NF)

COOL DOWN PHASE
3% honeyquat
2% panthenol
0.5% green tea extract
0.5% chamomile extract
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% to 1% preservative
(This doesn't total 100% because of the difference in preservatives!)

Use the lotion making instructions linked above for this lotion!

If you want all the goodness of the vegetable oils in this lotion, you can add something like sunflower oil mixed with the esters to get the properties you like. If you want to use silicones, then you can remove the ethylhexyl palmitate and add the 2% dimethicone and 2% cyclomethicone to the cool down phase (and add another 1% to your emulsifier amount).

This is a highly tweakable recipe for a body or hand lotion. It'll end up being quite light but slightly occlusive. It should have a shelf life of at least a year - the protein and the extracts have one year shelf lives - and you don't need to include the Vitamin E to retard rancidity because all the oils have two year shelf lives, including the shea butter.

So what do I think of this lotion? I love it! It's very light and non-greasy, and you can rub it in for a few minutes without it getting hard to spread, but I really do miss using my vanilla based scents. I think most of my favourites are vanilla based, and it was really hard to find something that wasn't. In the end, I went with pina colada and it does smell lovely. (And I can still smell the fragrance on my skin the next day, thanks to the fragrance fixing abilities of the C12-15 alkyl benzoate.) I really like it as a hand lotion, but I think I want something slightly more occlusive for a body lotion.

If I were to tweak it for that purpose, I'd add at least 5% more butter (probably shea), add my silicones back (2% cyclomethicone, 2% dimethicone), and switch the 10% cetearyl ethylhexanoate for something that can tolerate vanilla. Oh heck, let's just make the body butter tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Esters: Formulating with Super Sterol

Super Sterol can be used pretty much anywhere you'd use a regular oil, but as it is a lot more expensive, you might want to save it for those products where you want some serious moisturizing and skin barrier repair, like a facial moisturizer or serum.

In this serum for dry skin, we switched the camellia oil for C12-15 alkyl benzoate to increase to occlusive properties and cetearyl ethylhexanoate to increase the dry, silky feeling and reduce the greasiness from the other oils. If we add some Super Sterol to the mix, we can increase our skin's barrier repair abilities and make it feel a little drier still.

We could switch out the squalane as we're adding the Super Sterol to increase the moisturization level or add it as the 10% miscellaneous oils at the end of the recipe. Or change it for one of the oils you know your skin doesn't like!

FACIAL SERUM FOR DRY SKIN USING SUPER STEROL
20% squalane
20% soybean oil
10% C12-15 alkyl benzoate
10% cetearyl ethylhexanoate
10% evening primrose oil (20% for very dry skin, reduce the squalane by 10%)
10% borage oil
10% sea buckthorn oil
10% rosehip, carrot, or other oil that looks nice to you

Super Sterol is a great addition to a facial moisturizer, and can be used for the entire oil phase in this recipe. If you're using BTMS-50, you will get quite a dry feeling lotion, so feel free to switch it to e-wax or Polawax if you want something a little more glidy. If you want to keep the BTMS-50 for the dry feeling but still want glide, consider adding 2% to 5% ethylhexyl palmitate, which is a great substitute for dimethicone in your body care products, and increase your emulsifier by 0.5%.

BASIC FACIAL MOISTURIZER RECIPE
WATER PHASE
77.5% water (you can replace 10% to all of the water with hydrosols or aloe vera)
2-5% humectant of choice
0.5% allantoin
2% hydrolyzed protein

OIL PHASE
8% oils
4% BTMS-50
2% cetyl alcohol

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% to 1% preservative
2% panthenol
0.5% extract
0.5% another extract

Super Sterol is a great addition to anhydrous products, too! Consider using Super Sterol in a body oil - you could use it in an oil based body spray like this one or this one with exotic oils, or substitute it for one of the esters in an ester based body spray.

Join me tomorrow for more formulating fun with esters as we make a hand lotion!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Esters: Super Sterol esters

Super Sterol is a brand name for the product C10-30 cholesterol esters, and it's produced by Croda. It's derived from wool wax and shows excellent spreading and excellent adhesion properties. It is a clear, white to yellow, odourless oil like substance that is quite thick compared to other esters.

Our stratum corneum lipids contain cholesterol, about 20% to 25% of the lipids are cholesterol and another  5% to 10% are found as cholesterol sulfate. You'll also find cholesterol in our sebum. C10-30 cholesterol esters have a natural affinity for our skin as the cholesterol is such a big part of our natural lipids, so it's a good skin conditioner and moisturizer with repair abilities.

It's soluble in oils and insoluble in water, but it can absorb up to 50% of its weight in water, like lanolin and has some emulsifying properties.

I've used this before in a lipstick base. Although it felt very nice on my lips - one of my favourite recipes for a lip balm - it was a little soft and needed more waxes. Because it has no flavour, it's a great addition to a lip product, and the adhesion will help keep your colour on longer!

Its suggested use is from 2% to 10% but it can be used at up to 100% in a creation (although at that point, you're really just re-bottling the product!). As this is a good skin repair product, consider using it in your facial serum for dry skin, in a whipped butter or lotion bar intended for chapped skin, or a balm. You can include it in your lotions and creams or any other emulsified product as you would another oil or ester - this would be fantastic in a facial moisturizer or a product intended for really trashed skin. This would be fantastic in a product intended for your nails - a cuticle balm or lotion - as it contains lanolin.

Join me tomorrow for more fun with esters when we formulate with Super Sterol esters!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Update to the Links to Lists section

If you look under the section entitled "Links to Lists", you'll see there's a change - I've updated the oils & butters section to be emollients - oils, butters & esters to include links to the posts I've been writing on esters. (I'm only allowed 10 pages, so I have to use them sparingly!)

If you don't know about that section of the blog, I'd suggest taking a few minutes to see what's in it! If you're looking for information on a certain surfactants, check under surfactants to see if I've done a post on it. If you're looking for information on hair care recipes, clicking on hair care will bring up all the recipes I've written on shampoo and conditioners and all the ingredients that go into those products along with the chemistry of the products. If you're interested in botanical ingredients, check out what's behind the extracts title! And if you're interested in learning more about formulating for your skin type or wonder what fatty acids you'll find in your sebum, check out the skin chemistry link.

And finally, if you'd like to learn more about the youth groups my husband and I offer at the library and how to donate to them, click on the information about our youth groups (and how to donate) link.

I will be updating this section periodically with new posts and even new groups - I have to get the links to lotion making information and anhydrous products updated, but both sections are so huge - so keep watching that section of the blog!

Esters: Using cetyl esters in hair care products

If you're making a conditioner, consider using cetyl esters in place of the cetyl alcohol to make a thinner product. You can substitute it 1 for 1 with cetyl alcohol in any conditioner recipe. 

Cetyl esters are a great inclusion in a leave in conditioner where you want the boosted substantivity of the cationic quaternary compound without the thickening cetyl alcohol can provide. 

LEAVE IN CONDITIONER WITH CATIONIC POLYMERS, CETRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, AND CETYL ESTERS
HEATED PHASE
2% Incroquat BTMS
2% condition-eze 7 or celquat H-100 or honeyquat (cationic polymer)
2% cetrimonium chloride (for detangling)
2% cetyl esters
4% glycerin (humectant, makes the mixture thicker, which is nice)
1% aloe vera (I don't know if this little makes a difference, but I use it anyway)
1% hydrolyzed protein (I use cromoist)

COOL DOWN PHASE
1% panthenol
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
1% fragrance oil
.5% to 1% preservative (I use liquid germall plus)
water to 100%

Weigh the BTMS, cetac, glycerin, aloe vera, and water into a heat proof container and put into a double boiler until the ingredients melt. Mix well and leave to stand until the temperature reaches 45C, mixing occasionally. Add the hydrolyzed protein, panthenol, cyclomethicone, dimethicone, fragrance oil, and preservative at this time, and mix well. When the mixture is at room temperature, bottle in a spray bottle.

SWIFT'S FAVOURITE LEAVE IN CONDITIONER WITH EXTRACTS AND CETYL ESTERS 
HEATED PHASE
47% water
2% Incroquat BTMS
4% glycerin
2% cetyl esters
11% aloe vera
10% lavender hydrosol
2% hydrolyzed oat protein

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% polyquat 7 or honeyquat
2% cetrimonium chloride
2% panthenol
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
0.5% powdered rosemary extract
1% fragrance oil
0.5% to 1% preservative (I use liquid Germall plus at 0.5%)

Use the general or alternate instructions for making conditioners. 

As a note, if you're making a conditioner and don't want to use silicones, you can substitute oils in place of those silicones or an ester! Ethylhexyl palmitate is a good substitute for dimethicone, so you can use it at 2% to 4% in place of the silicones, or consider using something like PPG-3 benzyl ether myristate, also known as Crodamol STS, an ester we'll be meeting shortly! 

Join me tomorrow for fun with Super Sterol esters! 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Point of interest: Aloe vera and the viscosity of foamy surfactant products

I've always wondered why the foamy surfactant based products we've made in our craft groups - bubble bath, body wash, shampoo, and facial cleansers - weren't as thick as those I made at home. I thought it was thanks to my use of volume measurements instead of weighted measurements - yeah, I know, I tell you not to do this, but I did weigh out each of the ingredients to figure out the volume measurement - but I was wrong!

I was leaving out the aloe vera, which is vital to the thickening of our products. I didn't really think about it much; it's a matter of cost when it comes to making bubble bath or body wash with 25 youth! It really is cheaper to use water than aloe vera, and in a bubble bath, does it matter that much? Apparently, yes!

Aloe vera contains electrolytes, like salts, and those help thicken our surfactant mixes. And we know from the way salt interacts with surfactants through the salt curve, the more electrolytes in a mix, the more thickening we'll see. So leaving out the aloe vera means we have fewer electrolytes, which means less thickening.

So if you're making any of the recipes for body wash, bubble bath, shampoo, and so on from this blog and leaving out the aloe vera - which I generally use at 10% - your products will be less viscous than those that include it. This is especially obvious in the daily shampoo recipe, which contains a really low level of surfactants. If you include the aloe vera, 2% Crothix (possibly 3%) will thicken it nicely. If you don't, you'll have to use up to 5% to get the thickening you expect from a shampoo.

So what do you do if you can't use aloe vera due to sensitivities, allergies, or just a desire to avoid humectants for frizzy hair?

You can thicken your mixtures with Crothix, PEG-150 distearate, glycol distearate, or other thickeners suitable for surfactant mixtures at a higher level. This might depress your foam, but it will increase the mildness of the product.

You can add more surfactants to the mix to increase the concentration, which kinda defeats the purpose of something like a daily use shampoo or a mildly cleansing body wash, but can work for a bubble bath.

You can create a gel with something like Amaze XT, a polymer, or xanthan gum.

Or you can add some salt to the mixture. You can do this by adding salt and following the salt curve, or you can add some surfactants that are a little more salty, like cocamidopropyl betaine or SMC Taurate!

Esters: Using cetyl esters in body care products

As I mentioned yesterday, you can use cetyl esters as a substitute for cetyl alcohol in pretty much any creation. You will find you have a slightly silkier, definitely thinner, lotion when you make this substitution.

As a note, if you're using BTMS as your emulsifier, you probably won't notice a difference in the silkiness or the viscosity of the product as BTMS-50 contains cetearyl alcohol, which overrides any of the changes with its dry, powdery feeling. If you're using Polawax or e-wax as your emulsifier, you'll notice the difference! 

I've been enjoying cetyl esters in anhydrous products, like this complicated balm. I wanted something stiff but not too stiff, and cetyl esters gave me those qualities over the cetyl alcohol. And you can add it to a whipped butter to make something like aloe butter, shea-aloe, soy butter, or another hydrogenated butter to make those butters more stiff, like you'd have with mango butter or shea butter.

WHIPPED BUTTER WITH CETYL ESTERS
75% hydrogenated butter or shea-aloe or aloe butter
5% cetyl esters
20% esters of choice or 15% oils and up to 5% IPP or IPM
1% fragrance oil (optional - remove 1% from the oils or butter)
1% Vitamin E (optional  - remove 1% from the oils or butter)

I love cetearyl ethylhexanoate in a whipped butter, but remember it doesn't like vanilla fragrances, so you can use C12-15 alkyl benzoate or ethylhexyl palmitate if you want to use an ester as your oil. You can add up to 5% IPM or IPP to make this a less greasy product if you're using oils

OOPS! I didn't finish this post before publishing it! Or perhaps I didn't save the changes? It's been a very weird week. 

Cetyl esters are great in facial moisturizers as they will thicken the mixture but not too much, add some emolliency along with some slip and glide. If you take a look at this basic recipe for a moisturizer, it's an easy switch to use cetyl esters as the thickener! If you want to use cetyl esters in this cationic facial moisturizer recipe with C12-15 alkyl benzoate from the other day, you won't see a really big change if you're using BTMS as your emulsifier, but you will notice it in anything using Polawax or emulsifying wax.

Try them in a hand or body lotion for a more glidy but still tenacious skin feel. I like using cetyl esters in this recipe - body lotion for silly women who refuse to cover up in the winter - because I can use it as a body or hand lotion. Again, you can substitute it for cetyl alcohol for the same amount.

Join me tomorrow for fun formulating with cetyl esters in conditioners!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Esters: Cetyl esters

Cetyl esters are an interesting ingredient indeed! Composed of a number of esters of saturated fatty alcohols and saturated fatty acids, they can contain a number of different esters in one product, including cetyl stearate, cetyl myristate, cetyl palmitate, myristyl myristate, and myristyl stearate. They are derived from vegetables, and you know you have cetyl esters when you see the cetyl esters NF INCI name. Cetyl esters can be used anywhere you might use cetyl alcohol, although they will offer different qualities from the fatty alcohol.

Cetyl esters have an HLB of 10 - whereas cetyl alcohol has an HLB of 15.5 - and they can take up to 2 days to full thicken your lotion or cream. They're often called a replacement for spermacetti or "synthetic spermacetti", but this is kinda irrelevant to us because spermacetti hasn't been used in years, especially by homecrafters! It has a faint odour and bland taste, and is incredibly resistant to rancidity with a shelf life of almost 5 years. Like all the esters we've met so far, they're insoluble in water but soluble in oils. Interestingly enough, cetyl esters are soluble in boiling alcohol, so they might be a suitable ingredient in alcohol based deodorants. They have a melting point of 43˚C to 47˚C. They may or may not be incompatible with strong acids or bases (I found contradictions in this piece of information) and the suggested usage is a 1% to 7% in your oil phase.

You might find cetyl esters under the trade names Crodamol SS, Ritaceti, and Liponate SPS.

Cetyl esters are used a lot in formulating anti-perspirant and lip balms commercially because of that bland taste and anti-tack properties. They can be used in place of cetyl alcohol in conditioners - they offer slightly less conditioning but they will make the conditioners thinner, which is kind of a bonus if you're using 7% BTMS-50!

Using cetyl esters in a lotion or cream in the place of cetyl alcohol will give you a glidier, silkier feeling and a thinner product.

An important note: In products where I've combined cetearyl ethylhexanoate and cetyl esters, I got a weird synthetic smell from vanilla based fragrances. I have tested both the cetearyl ethylhexanoate and the cetyl esters and have come to the conclusion that it's the cetyl esters. (I don't know why this is!) So please use caution when using these esters with anything that contains vanilla!

Join me tomorrow for formulating fun with cetyl esters!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Esters: Using ethylhexyl palmitate in your creations!

I've said it a hundred times so far, but esters are a great way of increasing the feeling of dryness or reducing the feeling of greasiness, increasing the lightness and spreadability, and decreasing the thickness of your lotions or butters.

So let's take a look at a really greasy product - body butter with shea and other oils intended for oily skin - and use some of our new esterific friends to make it lighter and less greasy!

MODIFIED BODY BUTTER FOR OILY SKIN
WATER PHASE
30% aloe vera liquid or water
15.5% hydrosol of choice (chamomile or lavender are very nice!)
2% sodium lactate or sodium PCA or honeyquat
3% glycerin
2% hydrolyzed proteins of choice (I like oat protein)
0.5% allantoin

OIL PHASE
20% oils - soy bean oil
5% shea butter (or butter of choice)
8.5% emulsifier (e-wax, Polawax, or BTMS)
3% cetyl alcohol
2% IPM

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% extract of choice
0.5% extract of choice
2% dimethicone
2% cyclomethicone
0.5% preservative (liquid Germall Plus)
1% Vitamin E
1% fragrance or essential oil

In this recipe, I'm going to substitute the silicones with 2% ethylhexyl palmitate because it's very similar to dimethicone, but I'll move it to the oil phase. I'll keep the IPM - you can use IPP instead, if you want - and I'll substitute half the oils with ethylhexyl palmitate and keep 10% of the soy bean oil as I really like what it offers my skin. So I need a total of 12% ethylhexyl palmitate, 10% soy bean oil, and 2% IPP (already included in the recipe). I could use cetearyl ethylhexanoate or C12-15 alkyl benzoate, but I really want to use a cupcake-y kind of fragrance oil and we know the former doesn't play well with vanilla! 

Because I'm keeping my oil phase the same, I don't have to change the emulsifier amount. I'm using Polawax here, but you can use e-wax or BTMS-50 if you want. 

I think I'll play with my cetyl esters instead of cetyl alcohol - use cetyl alcohol if you don't like or don't have cetyl esters - and I'm keeping the cyclomethicone because I don't have a substitute for it. 

As for extracts, I really like chamomile for my reddened skin and since I just bought wheat grass extract, I think I'll use that. (It's supposed to help "soothe, moisturize and revitalize the appearance of dry, cracked or raw skin" and that's always a good thing if I'm using it on my trashed elbows! Look for a post on this extract shortly!) 

Okay, so let's take a look at our modified recipe...

BODY BUTTER FOR OILY SKIN WITH ESTERS
WATER PHASE
30% aloe vera liquid or water
15.5% hydrosol of choice (chamomile or lavender are very nice!)
2% sodium lactate or sodium PCA or honeyquat
3% glycerin
2% hydrolyzed proteins of choice (I like oat protein)
0.5% allantoin

OIL PHASE
22% oils - 10% soy bean oil, 12% ethylhexyl palmitate
5% shea butter (or butter of choice)
8.5% emulsifier (e-wax, Polawax, or BTMS)
3% cetyl alcohol or cetyl esters
2% IPM

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% extract of choice (chamomile)
0.5% extract of choice (wheat grass)
2% cyclomethicone
0.5% preservative (liquid Germall Plus)
1% Vitamin E
1% fragrance or essential oil (I'm using Clementine Cupcake from Brambleberry!)

As you can see, it's really easy to switch oils for esters and vice versa - you don't need to change your emulsifier or change the amounts you're using - but they will make a big difference in the skin feel of the lotion. 

Join me tomorrow for fun with cetyl esters! 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Revisited: Summer time product ideas with esters!

We're breaking records in the Fraser Valley with temperatures up to 32˚C, and I'm cranky. (Lest you doubt it's hot, we're breaking records from the 1930's!) I don't like the summer temperatures unless I'm camping or at the lake, so I need to find things to make the summer just a little bit less annoying. Yeah, I know, some of you live in hotter areas of the world, but I'm really a 20˚C to 22˚C kind of girl. It was hotter in July at times - up to 37˚C to 39˚C - and I was crankier then! But we do get a chance to enjoy shrimp boils with local corn - did I mention Chilliwack is corn country? - so there's an up side!

Esters are great substitutions for heavier oils and butters in your lotions or creams, and I'm finding the body oils with the esters a much better choice for this time of year. If you like the occlusive nature of something like cocoa butter but don't want the heaviness, consider using a non-occlusive ester like ethylhexyl palmitate (more on that shortly) or a low occlusive ester like cetearyl ethylhexanoate. If you want something occlusive but not heavy, consider using C12-15 alkyl benzoate.  If you want something less greasy for summer, consider adding IPM or IPP to the mix or substituting an ester or a lighter oil in your products (for instance, fractionated coconut oil). And to lighten up your lotion bar, consider using esters in the place of the oils and something like cetyl esters to replace some of the butters!

Here's a post I wrote recently on summer time product ideas...

Esters: Ethylhexyl palmitate

Ethylhexyl palmitate (also known as octyl palmitate) can be found under the brand names of Ceraphyl 368 (ISP), Crodamol OP (Croda), or Tegosoft OP, amongst others.

It's a clear, colourless, almost odourless ester derived from coconut or palm oil. It's a medium spreading ester - it's a low viscosity, medium surface tension ester that is better than C12-15 alkyl benzoate and on par with dimethicone or fractionated coconut oil. In fact, it can be considered a good dimethicone equivalent for skin care products, so if you're looking to replace silicones in your non-hair care products, consider ethylhexyl palmitate. It's non-occlusive, but is considered comedogenic and acnegenic when used at higher levels.

You can use it at 1% to 50%, but 5% is considered the usual amount. At 40% to 50% it's considered mildly irritating; at 2.5% to 2.7% it's considered minimally irritating to all but the most extremely sensitive skin.

Ethylhexyl palmitate is generally used in foundations and mineral make-up powders as a binder, as well as lipsticks and lotions or creams. It's used a lot as a solvent for sunscreens as it won't interfere with the active ingredients. (But remember, don't make your own sunscreens!) Try using it in a body oil spray, lotion bar, or balm to increase the silky feeling and decrease the greasiness.

Join me tomorrow for fun formulating with ethylhexyl palmitate and other esters!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Esters: Formulating with IPM and IPP

I'm a big fan of both IPM and IPP - I generally add them at 2% in a lot of my creations to make it feel slightly less greasy (although I do like a greasier feeling lotion, IPP and IPM offer just enough reduction to stop me from leaving huge greasy fingerprints on my iPod touch!). You can use them up to 5% in a lotion for this effect, or even higher for something like a less greasy feeling body spray (I use 33% in this body spray for something really non-greasy feeling).

In a recent post, I used IPM to reduce the greasiness of the whipped soy butter. You can use either IPP or IPM at up to 5% to make it feel even less greasy. (Seriously try this recipe. It is really light and airy and feels dryish but still moisturizing on your skin. Switch the soy butter for another hydrogenated butter like aloe or green tea butter - and it might be less airy, but still pretty awesome!)

Here's an example of how to use IPP in a body butter (click the link for the original post)!

BASIC BODY BUTTER RECIPE
WATER PHASE
60% water
2% sodium lactate or glycerin

OIL PHASE
10% oils
15% shea butter
6% emulsifier
3% cetyl alcohol

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5 to 1% preservative
1% fragrance or essential oil blend

I know if I use shea butter, this will feel quite greasy. And normally, that's how I like it. But let's add a little IPP and cetearyl ethylhexanoate to give it a less greasy, more silky feeling. You can use C12-15 alkyl benzoate as your oil as well, but I thought it'd be fun to use the cetearyl ethylhexanoate. (Although this means I can't use Cream Cheese Frosting or Clementine Cupcake as my fragrance as cetearyl ethylhexanoate doesn't play nice with vanilla based oils. How about some Pearberry instead?)

And because it's summer, I'm upping my humectants because I like those this time of year. We'll increase the glycerin and keep the sodium lactate at the same level (more than 3% can make you sun sensitive, and we don't want that during these hot months!). So let's add 3% glycerin and keep the 2% sodium lactate! You can use another humectant of choice.

BODY BUTTER RECIPE WITH SHEA BUTTER AND ESTERS

WATER PHASE
36% water
10% aloe vera
10% chamomile hydrosol
2% sodium lactate
3% glycerin

OIL PHASE
10% cetearyl ethylhexanoate
15% shea butter
7% emulsifier
3% cetyl alcohol or cetyl esters
2% IPP or IPM

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% IPP or IPM
0.5 to 1% preservative
1% fragrance or essential oil blend 

The original body butter is very thick and occlusive - this will be thick and occlusive but feel drier and slightly less thick . If you wanted to make it feel drier still, you could use BTMS-50 instead of Polawax or e-wax as your emulsifier. You'll notice I didn't include any silicones in this recipe - I love dimethicone or cyclomethicone at 2% each in this recipe, but I thought I'd leave them out to see the effects of the cetearyl ethylhexanoate and the cetyl esters. It is very glidy and silky - I think I can leave them out of this recipe permanently! 

And you'll notice I've increased my emulsifier. This is because I've added the 2% IPP or IPM - yes, I should have gone to 6.5%, but my little scale that measures in 0.1 grams has died and so I can't figure out if something's between the 6% and 7%. 

I use IPP and IPM a lot in my hand lotions as I want all the goodness of the greasier oils - the linoleic acid found in sunflower and rice bran oil are great for trashed hands - but I don't want to leave greasy fingerprints everywhere. Adding 2% IPM or IPP isn't going to make your hand lotion completely dry, but it's enough that it feels like it sinks in quickly and doesn't leave a greasy feel. Adding 5% will make it feel drier still. Here's an example of my winter hand lotion and a summer fun body lotion! And here's a less greasy version of a hand lotion

As I mentioned above, I'm a huge fan of IPP and IPM, and to list all the recipes that might include it would take all day! So I'll suggest doing a search for IPM if you're interested in seeing more examples (the search button is in the upper left hand corner of the blog). 

Join me tomorrow to meet another ester - ethylhexyl palmitate! 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Esters: Isopropyl palmitate

Isopropyl palmitate is related to isopropyl myristate (IPM), the difference being IPP is derived from palmitic fatty acid (C16) and IPM is derived from myristic fatty acid (C14). (Click here for the chemistry of esters!) Since we're a little more familiar with IPM, we'll end up contrasting and comparing the two at some point, so here's some information on IPM (original at this post). Both are generally derived from coconut or palm oil.

Isopropyl myristate or IPM (C17H34O2) is considered a short chain ester that feels dry on our skin and won't impact the foam in our surfactant mixes. It's an astringent emollient that can be used to reduce the feeling of greasiness in our products. It's used as a penetration enhancer to help our active ingredients diffuse into our skin better or more easily. It works well as an anti-tackiness ingredient, reducing residue on our skin from our products (like the whiteness from a deodorant or the soaping effect of a lotion). It's a low viscosity ester with a lowish surface tension, so it's considered a very good spreading ester. It has low to no odour, so it won't have an impact on your fragrance choices. Use it at 1% to 5% in your creations.

Isopropyl palmitate or IPP (C19H38O2) is considered a short chain ester that feels dry on our skin and won't impact the foam in our surfactant mixes. It's an astringent emollient that can be used to reduce the feeling of greasiness in our products. It's used as a penetration enhancer to help our active ingredients diffuse into our skin better or more easily. It works well as an anti-tackiness ingredient, reducing residue on our skin from our products (like the whiteness from a deodorant or the soaping effect of a lotion). It's a low viscosity ester with a lowish surface tension, so it's considered a very good spreading ester. It has low to no odour, so it won't have an impact on your fragrance choices. Use at 1% to 5% in your creations.

Huh. Interesting. So they're pretty much the same? Both have HLB of 11.5, both are very good spreading, non-greasy feeling emollients, and both are used as anti-tackiness ingredients. So why use IPP?

Comedogenicity. Both IPP and IPM are considered comedogenic with a rating of about 4 - very comedogenic and possibly acnegenic for some skin types - but IPP can be less comedogenic when mixed with other oils and esters.

IPM used neat has a comedogenic score of 4, very comedogenic. Mix it with something like mineral oil at any ratio, and it remains about a 4. IPP starts off as a 3 to 4 when used neat or at up to 50% of a creation. But mix it with mineral oil - 1% to 25% IPP - and the comedogenicity drops dramatically to around 1.3.

Why is this? I've done a ton of reading and I've found nothing that helps me understand why IPP is less comedogenic than IPM. My guess is that it has something to do with the original fatty acid - myristic acid is more comedogenic than palmitic acid - but I can't say this for sure!

Having said this, having 1% to 5% of a comedogenic ingredient likely won't make you break out. On your face, if you have really acne prone skin, this small amount might be enough to cause some trouble, but few of us will find it problematic for our body skin.

So in general, IPP can be used in place of IPM for most creations, but you might want to consider using IPP if you're making a facial product or for sensitive skin!

Join me tomorrow for fun formulating with IPP and IPM!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Esters: Using C12-15 alkyl benzoate in facial moisturizers

A facial moisturizer is the perfect place to use C12-15 alkyl benzoate or cetearyl ethylhexanoate as they're lightweight, emollient, non-comedogenic, and non-greasy, meaning we get the benefits of an oil without the possible drawbacks like blackheads or break-outs. And the increased occlusivity of C12-15 alkyl benzoate is always great for facial products! Let's take a look at the cationic facial moisturizer and see how we can tweak it with this ester!

BASIC CATIONIC FACIAL MOISTURIZER RECIPE
WATER PHASE
77.5% water (you can replace 10% to all of the water with hydrosols or aloe vera)
2-5% humectant of choice
0.5% allantoin
2% hydrolyzed protein

OIL PHASE
8% oils
4% BTMS-50 (or Polawax, if you want more greasy feel)
2% cetyl alcohol

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% to 1% preservative
2% panthenol
0.5% extract
0.5% another extract

The one down side of using esters is the lack of polyphenols, phytosterols, and all the other good and lovely things you might find in an oil or butter, so we'll have to make up for this somewhere else. If you're a dry skinned person, you could use 50-50 combination of C12-15 alkyl benzoate or cetearyl ethylhexanoate to create a very light, less greasy moisturizer that still has some of those qualities of the exotic oil. For instance, a facial moisturizer with 5% borage oil and 3% ester will give you an emollient product with the wonderful GLA that helps repair our skin's barrier functions.

If you're an oily person, this recipe with an ester means fewer breakouts and much less greasy product! (For some ideas on formulating oil-free moisturizers, click here.) You'll notice we normally don't use any oils in these kinds of moisturizers, but using an ester will offer emolliency without the fear of break-outs! You can use either ester (or one of the esters we'll be looking at in the coming days) to create an emollient and possibly occlusive product without worries about comedogenicity!

Join me tomorrow to meet another ester - isopropyl palmitate!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Esters: Making a facial serum


Esters are a great inclusion in a facial serum to increase its ability to spread nicely over your skin and to decrease the feeling of oiliness. If you're a person who can't handle oils on your skin, esters can be a way to get some emolliency and occlusion without having to worry about break outs!

Let's take a look at the serum for dry skin (found in this post). Click on the link if you want to see how this recipe was developed and why I included the oils I did! 

FACIAL SERUM FOR DRY SKIN
20% squalane
20% soybean oil
20% camellia oil
10% evening primrose oil (20% for very dry skin, reduce the squalane by 10%)
10% borage oil
10% sea buckthorn oil
10% rosehip, carrot, or other oil that looks nice to you

So let's say you have dry skin and want some occlusion. You could add some C12-15 alkyl benzoate into the mix to decrease the feeling of greasiness and increase the spreadability of the serum, while increasing the occlusive nature of it. Which oil to switch out? Well, it depends on your skin's needs. (Again, click on the link above to see why I used the oils I did in this serum!) I added the camellia oil to increase the lightness and moisturization of this serum, so you could use up to 15% C12-15 alkyl benzoate here to make the serum feel even lighter and more occlusive. 

Or you could add some cetearyl ethylhexanoate in place of the camellia oil at up to 25%. You won't get the same level of occlusivity - so you could do something like 10% C12-15 alkyl benzoate and 10% cetearyl ethylhexanoate - but you will get the feeling of lightness and a decrease in the greasy feeling. 

Or you could substitute it for the soybean oil, which is a very greasy feeling but light oil, although I really do like the phytosterols and linoleic acid levels in that oil and included it because it would be great for helping the skin's barrier abilities to repair, but we have the evening primrose and borage oil for those qualities as well. 

If you wanted to make a light feeling, less greasy serum, you could make the following recipe...

FACIAL SERUM FOR DRY SKIN USING ESTERS (an example recipe)
20% squalane
20% soybean oil
10% C12-15 alkyl benzoate
10% cetearyl ethylhexanoate
10% evening primrose oil (20% for very dry skin, reduce the squalane by 10%)
10% borage oil
10% sea buckthorn oil
10% rosehip, carrot, or other oil that looks nice to you

Why not use something like IPM, an ester that makes everything feel less greasy? Because it's quite comedogenic and can make most people break out in blackheads! If you have skin that can handle it, add it at 2% and make the original recipe feel less greasy. If your skin can't handle it, the other esters are great inclusions! (As a note, isopropyl palmitate is very much like isopropyl myristate - IPM - but has a much lower comedogenic and allergic potential, but is still considered comedogenic. More on this ester in the coming days!) 

If you're interested in making a facial serum for oily skin, please click here! You can substitute the esters for any of the oils in that serum as well!

And if you're interested in making a facial lotion bar, you can substitute the esters for the fractionated coconut oil in this recipe to get a much drier feeling bar that offers some occlusivity - if you're using the C12-15 alkyl benzoate! 

Join me tomorrow for more fun formulating with esters when we take a look at a facial lotion bar!