why my body wash feels so drying even contain oils, glycerin & sodium pca?

I'm trying to formulate a body wash for my eczema & dry skin but this formulation makes my skin dry and feeling tight at certain part (eczema part). Can anyone help me figure out what's wrong with my formulation. This is my formulation:

1% mineral oil
1% sunflower oil
1% coconut oil
1% chamomile essential oil
2% olive oil 
0.2% tocopherol
12% polysorbate 18
8% glycerin
23.3% distilled water
0.1% edta
1% sodium pca
6% coco glucoside
6% sodium lauroyl sarcosinate
7% acrylates copolymer
20% cocamidopropyl betaine
1% citric acid
0.4% preservative 

Comments

  • Perhaps if you took out the oils and thus the polysorbate, the result might be better with the lower amount of surfactants in general.  
  • delldell Member
    @jemolian, are the oils not helping at all? I want to add some oil in body wash for treating my eczema. Could you please suggest the amount of surfactants should I use. 
  • You can try cutting out them out and test out different percentage of your basic surfactant mixture and see how it goes. It's best to leave the oils in a leave on product if you really want to moisturize. You can also try reducing the glycerin and cutting out the sodium PCA as well. 


  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    You have to understand, the purpose of a body wash is to remove things from your skin. Putting oils in a body wash simply makes your body wash clean less effectively. 

    If you want oils on your body, you should add them using a moisturizer after you use a body wash. Body washes shouldn't be used for delivering ingredients to skin. It's for taking things off.
  • singhc10singhc10 Member
    edited May 2021
    12% Polysorbate is your main problem and you also have 6% Coco-Glucoside. That's too much non-ionic surfactants. Non Ionic surfactant are milder on the skin in leave on applications, but In a rinse off system, they are really good at disrupting and extracting lipids from bilayer. In your formulation, you are using Polysorbate as an oil solubilizer, but quantity is so much that its extracting lipids out of skin making the skin dry. If you really want to add oils in to your body wash, add them at claim amount like 0.1% and you would not need much polysorbate then. Non-Ionics surfactants are like double edged sword, really kind to skin proteins, but will extract lipids out of bilayer. In a rinse off system, stick with anionic surfactants, unless you have really oil skin or scalp and you want to remove oil. Good Luck
  • delldell Member
    Thanks @jemolian. I will try cut all the oils out and test it on my skin. But, why should I reduce the amount of glycerin? I thought having high amount of glycerin and sodium PCA could help lock in skin's natural moisture and prevent over-drying because they are humectants.

  • @dell
    Mainly because they would be washed off, so using a higher percentage would be a waste, more so with the Sodium PCA. They would still work best in a leave on product.

    You can reduce the Coco Glucoside as singhc10 suggested as well, besides from taking out the oils and Polysorbate. Personally i find that the Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate with Cocamidopropyl Betaine combination should work fine by themselves. You can adjust the ration accordingly based on your test. You can add them to a foaming bottle to test a small batch without needing to make a thickened batch everytime. 
  • delldell Member
    I agree with you @Perry. I should use oils/moisturizer after shower but I'm kind of lazy person to put many things on my skin. So I think it is good if I could get the benefits from natural oils while showering. 
  • delldell Member
    @singhc10, I tested it with lower amount of polysorbate but the oils separated after a while. I didn't know that it would extract lipid out of skin. Thanks @singhc10, I will try with only 0.1% oils and reduce the percentage of coco glucoside and I will compare the result (with oils & without oils). 
  • ifamujifamuj Member
    Perry said:
    You have to understand, the purpose of a body wash is to remove things from your skin. Putting oils in a body wash simply makes your body wash clean less effectively. 

    If you want oils on your body, you should add them using a moisturizer after you use a body wash. Body washes shouldn't be used for delivering ingredients to skin. It's for taking things off.
    What other classes of ingredients may interfere with the cleansing ability of a surfactant?

    What would you suggest the core ingredients for an effective cleansing product be?
  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    @dell What you are attempting here is a structured oil content body wash. Yours has some a the elements, but is pretty far off. Read up on that topic: Structured Body Wash surfactant systems. Stepan Chemical has good examples. And, yes, DEL the Polysorbate and the glycerin. Neither one serves any benefit here. Likewise, DEL the chamomile EO: that one may be your problem all along.

  • delldell Member
    @chemicalmatt, I’ve improvised the formula but I’ve encountered these problems:

    1.Upon mixing water phase & oil phase, the oil phase becomes hardened into lump. Why?

    2.The end products has little bubbles and won’t go away after many days. How can I remove these bubbles?

  • Would you like me to give you some feedback that may be useful?  It will contradict some of what has already been written in these comments, so I don't want to confuse you or set you up for unproductive arguments.

  • The oils are not the problem.  Do you some research on "oil cleansing"; the use of vegetable based oils is very useful in deep cleaning IF mixed with the right emulsifiers and surfactant blends; they can really help loosen up and remove dead skin cells.

    The percentages of your ingredients could be altered to give you a better outcome, specifically the ratios.  Increase the amount of oils, and decrease the amount of polysorbate.  For example, increase total oils to about 10% of the formula, and decrease the Polysorbate to about 10% or 20% of that in proportion to the oils, so try 1% to 2%.  The other surfactants could remain the same.  The amount of glycerin looks fine for this formula.

    I would definitely ELIMINATE the chamomile essential and the sodium pca.  Both of these could be causing more irritation, and removing them might solve the concerns you have by itself.

    As far as why youre formula is clumping, could be many different reasons, and may have more to do with mixing methods.  Don't know what temperature you're working with, but try slightly warm warm water (around 105F to 115F).  This may help, rather than mixing at room temperature (70s Fahrenheit).

    Lastly, where is your water thickener?  I see you are using 7% acrylates copolymer, which is good, but you may want to use more of a gel base in this formula, to address sensitivity and dryness.   A thicker gel formula is important to keep it from penetrating too deeply, too quickly, which can irritate skin.  You want to keep the solution up on the surface of the skin.  Try xanthan gum, HEC (hydroxyethylcellulose) or other gels that are designed to be used in cleansing surfactant systems.

    Hope that helps.
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