I made a 0.2% retinol and 3% Vitamin B3 moisturizer formula a couple years back, being young and naive it needs a bit of work. It works well and stability is good as confirmed by HPLC, but it needs to be more moisturizing and it seems to cause a small percentage of people break out.
It's designed to help prevent blemishes from forming and overall improve skin quality, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.
Ingredients in order of %
Ewax (Montanov 68 better?)
Safflower Oil (High linoleic)
Shea (White refined)
Vitamin B3 (niacina..)
S Lactate (could it increase risk of outbreaks?)
Green Tea Extract (does this actually do anything?..)
Vitamin E (alpha)Goals
1. More moisturizing. The lack of occlusives besides shea and ewax leave a lot to be desired, also retinol by itself can feel a bit drying even though niacinamide and glycerin counters some of it. One interesting (and expensive) option would be to add a ceramide/cholesterol/linoleic/stearic acid blend. And/or adding Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Hyaluronic Acid or even silicones.
2. Reduce the amount of lipids (20%), shea could be comedogenic. Increasing overall tolerability to make it work well for most skin types.
3. Increase potency without significantly adding to risk of side effects. E.g. add Rosehip oil as it contains natural retinoids? N-Acetylglucosamine as it synergizes with retinol to improve hyaluronic acid synthesis and decrease hyperpigmentation?
4. Make it synthetic preservative free and pass USP 51 using antimicrobial functional ingredients instead e.g. lauric acid.Let me know if you have any ideas, if you have a lot of experience with such formulas I'd also be open for consulting!