Review my Formula: Face Cream

After experimenting with several different emulsifiers, emollients, and ratios over the past few weeks, I think I finally found a combination I like for my face cream.

Would anyone care to offer some feedback? What would you change? What would you add or remove? Constructive criticism is very much welcome; I am not a professional and this is for personal use only. 

Everything is heated in one phase (except the EL40 which is added at cool-down per seller's recommendation) and then stirred at low-shear until room temperature.

Thinking to sub the EL40 for Dimethicone 350 as I haven't really noticed a difference in my samples...


pH: 4.4

Comments

  • PattsiPattsi Member
    Me - nonprofessional.
    We've been selling Niacinamide products for ages, there's no significant benefit. It is just recently hyped but if you like it then 5% is ok.
    What is the purpose of EL40? I don't think at 2% can mattify 5% petrolatum. 
    Petrolatum - not a big fan.
    Dimethicone - I love it.
    Butter Pearls - I love it.
    HEC - not a big fan.
    SA can be quite harsh, If it were mine, I would be on the safe side at 0.1 or Lactic acid. 
    Not sure about 165 as primary and lamellar as secondary, lets wait for more experienced members to comment.
  • GraillotionGraillotion Member
    edited April 16
    Here is what jumps out at me.... High rate of glycerin... Is it not a bit tacky at that rate?  There are some here, that worship at the feet of glycerin, but I am not one of them. :)  I prefer a blended approach.  Humectants do work in slightly different ways...and perform differently in different humidity's.  So, you have a very monolithic approach.
    I think most of the research on B3 was done at 4%, so not sure what you hope to gain at that level.  Higher rates of B3 are mainly just marketing.

    Petrolatum - not a big fan.
    Dimethicone - I love it.
    Butter Pearls - I love it.
    HEC - not a big fan.



    Why SA?

    When I worked through the crosspolymers...I found them quite obtrusive at higher levels.  I think I found my happy place at .5%.  What are you trying to accomplish with them?

    So, I thought you were going with HEC...due to trying to be natural...but the balance of the formula does not suggest that....so why not a polymeric (or even a nice gum blend)?

    I am big into the theory of cascading emollience.  But I am always chasing the rainbow.  Just saying...even if just for yourself.... treat yourself. :) 

    Best of Luck and enjoy the journey.


  • I would add an anionic surfactant, replace HEC with 0.3% xanthan gum or a blend of it. Not idea about HEC stabilizing at lower amount. 
  • CamelCamel Member
    edited April 16
    @Pattsi, @Graillotion, @Abdullah - Thank you for your comments!

    1. I chose to include niacinamide because my dermatologist seems to be a major fan of it. 😅 I can reduce it to 4%, but I did see some clinical research for 5% usage. 

    2. I purchased a sample of EL40 because supplier claims it has a "soft-focus/line-blurring" effect that sounded interesting, but I haven't noticed any of that. I suppose I need to use more of it but I also don't want it to increase the viscosity too much. I will probably replace it with Dimethicone 350 as I haven't noticed a difference in my two samples. 

    3. I added petrolatum because I saw a post by @Perry that mentioned it can reduce TEWL by up to 98% at 5%. I don't mind the feel of it. 🙂

    4. I've worked a lot with HEC and HPMC and like both of them. What don't you like about it? Can you suggest an alternative I can experiment with? I was honestly just using what I currently have on hand. I don't like xanthan gum, but I do have that as well. 

    5. I'm actually not sensitive to SA at all! I used a 2% SA cream for months but have replaced it with a retinoid gel (adapalene). The sodium phytate brought the pH too high and adding 0.5% SA brought it down to 4.4, I figured it would add some gentle exfoliating properties on top of buffering the pH. Maybe not the most sensible way to do things, but like I said, I'm not sensitive to SA, hehe...

    6. I have not noticed a sticky or tacky feeling with the glycerin at 10% but I will try making a version with 5% and see if it feels better!

    Just to clarify: I am not trying to make a "natural" product and I am open to any synthetic alternatives. 

  • CamelCamel Member
    Correction: I think the post regarding 98% TEWL reduction of petrolatum was actually by @Abdullah, not Perry. Sorry. 
  • Camel said:
    After experimenting with several different emulsifiers, emollients, and ratios over the past few weeks, I think I finally found a combination I like for my face cream.

    Would anyone care to offer some feedback? What would you change? What would you add or remove? Constructive criticism is very much welcome; I am not a professional and this is for personal use only. 

    Everything is heated in one phase (except the EL40 which is added at cool-down per seller's recommendation) and then stirred at low-shear until room temperature.

    Thinking to sub the EL40 for Dimethicone 350 as I haven't really noticed a difference in my samples...


    pH: 4.4
    You have a bit of a contradicting approach here. On one hand, you have a lot of glycerin and a lot of petrolatum that assume extremely dry skin. On the other hand, you have an elastomer for blurring, niacinamide and SA which are usually used for oilier skin. 

    What is your skin like? What is your goal?

    I absolutely love petrolatum, but you need to know "how to cook with it" and why are you using it. 

    Other comments: you don't have anything there that can oxidise. That tocopherol isn't needed. Your preservative is too weak. It is called broad spectrum but it's shit for mould and yeast. Right now however it might be okayish because you have 10% of glycerin which somewhat reduces water activity. I would still replace it with phenonip if you don't mind synthetics.
    In terms of aesthetics.. your stabilisers/thickeners are not very pleasing. It's purely subjective. But if you don't mind synthetics replace that HEC with some polymeric emulsifier/stabiliser. Sepimax Zen would work with SA. Sepinov EMT10 or Sepigel 305 probably would be good too if you don't increase that SA.
  • CamelCamel Member
    You have a bit of a contradicting approach here. On one hand, you have a lot of glycerin and a lot of petrolatum that assume extremely dry skin. On the other hand, you have an elastomer for blurring, niacinamide and SA which are usually used for oilier skin. 

    What is your skin like? What is your goal?

    I absolutely love petrolatum, but you need to know "how to cook with it" and why are you using it. 

    Other comments: you don't have anything there that can oxidise. That tocopherol isn't needed. Your preservative is too weak. It is called broad spectrum but it's shit for mould and yeast. Right now however it might be okayish because you have 10% of glycerin which somewhat reduces water activity. I would still replace it with phenonip if you don't mind synthetics.
    In terms of aesthetics.. your stabilisers/thickeners are not very pleasing. It's purely subjective. But if you don't mind synthetics replace that HEC with some polymeric emulsifier/stabiliser. Sepimax Zen would work with SA. Sepinov EMT10 or Sepigel 305 probably would be good too if you don't increase that SA.
    I have combination, acne-prone skin. The SA has helped me control my acne over the years in the least sensitizing manner.

    I was under the impression that niacinamide was suitable for all skin types, is it not? I added it to help reduce redness with its supposed anti-inflammatory activity. 

    I love Vaseline and use it everyday, so I added it to my moisturizer as the occlusive for reducing TEWL. I also like Neutrogena's Hydro Boost Gel Cream, which uses glycerin, petrolatum and dimethicone as the 2nd, 4th, and 5th ingredients. So, I kind of chose glycerin, petrolatum and dimethicone based on that, to be honest. 

    I thought the elastomer would be fun to experiment with but I haven't noticed any difference vs. Dimethicone 350 so I'm probably going to just substitute it. 

    Thanks for clarifying about the tocopherol. I had a suspicion it wasn't needed but wasn't too sure!

    As for the preservative, I have liquid germall plus on hand. Would that be a more suitable option? I will need to purchase phenonip and wait for its arrival!

    Would Sepimax Zen also be able to replace the Montanov L? I will experiment with subbing the HEC for it!

    Thanks again!


  • I said so because in my opinion 1% HEC will not have pleasant skin feel and i don't know if lower amount of it will stabilize the emulsion. 
    0.3% xanthan gum i know that can stabilize the emulsion. 

    If you are ok with the feeling of your product then there is no problem with HEC.
  • CamelCamel Member
    Abdullah said:
    I said so because in my opinion 1% HEC will not have pleasant skin feel and i don't know if lower amount of it will stabilize the emulsion. 
    0.3% xanthan gum i know that can stabilize the emulsion. 

    If you are ok with the feeling of your product then there is no problem with HEC.
    I will try making a version with 0.3% xanthan gum instead of HEC and see how it compares. Thanks for your advice!
  • AbdullahAbdullah Member
    edited April 16
    Camel said:
    Abdullah said:
    I said so because in my opinion 1% HEC will not have pleasant skin feel and i don't know if lower amount of it will stabilize the emulsion. 
    0.3% xanthan gum i know that can stabilize the emulsion. 

    If you are ok with the feeling of your product then there is no problem with HEC.
    I will try making a version with 0.3% xanthan gum instead of HEC and see how it compares. Thanks for your advice!
    Please share your results with us too
  • Pb610Pb610 Member
    Re niacinamide, my own experience with it is that 5-10% in water definitely seems to act as an astringent. After drying it seems to leave my skin more taut and rubbery. At higher concentrations it just dries into a residue on top of the skin so >10% would be pretty pointless. I also bought some dl-panthenol which works much better as a humectant, it soaks into the skin much easier and leaves it more plump. For a leave on cream I'd guess 1-3% niacinamide would be fine, although I'm still very much a novice at all this.

    Argireline might be worth looking into as well, if you're trying to make your skin look tighter. I've yet to play with it though.
  • Pb610Pb610 Member
    Also came across this short study comparing niacinamide with d-panthenol, might be of some use: https://sphinxsai.com/2016/ph_vol9_no7/1/(99-104)V9N7PT.pdf

    Here's the summary:
  • CamelCamel Member
    edited April 17
    Pb610 said:
    Re niacinamide, my own experience with it is that 5-10% in water definitely seems to act as an astringent. After drying it seems to leave my skin more taut and rubbery. At higher concentrations it just dries into a residue on top of the skin so >10% would be pretty pointless. I also bought some dl-panthenol which works much better as a humectant, it soaks into the skin much easier and leaves it more plump. For a leave on cream I'd guess 1-3% niacinamide would be fine, although I'm still very much a novice at all this.

    Argireline might be worth looking into as well, if you're trying to make your skin look tighter. I've yet to play with it though.
    I have been using niacinamide at 5% for a couple of months now in my moisturizer and haven't noticed an astringent feeling, but that's very interesting. Thank you for sharing. I will probably reduce it to 4% considering that is the level most clinical research has used. 

    Pb610 said:
    Also came across this short study comparing niacinamide with d-panthenol, might be of some use: https://sphinxsai.com/2016/ph_vol9_no7/1/(99-104)V9N7PT.pdf
    Thank you for linking that! According to this study, I would prefer the reduction of pore size, spots and wrinkles that niacinamide can supposedly provide, over the moisture from panthenol. I've heard panthenol can make products feel sticky, and as I'm already using glycerin, I'm worried the feel would be too unpleasant when combined. Any opinion on that?
  • Pb610 said:
    Also came across this short study comparing niacinamide with d-panthenol, might be of some use: https://sphinxsai.com/2016/ph_vol9_no7/1/(99-104)V9N7PT.pdf

    Here's the summary:
    I could not open that study...what was the inclusion rate they were using?
  • CamelCamel Member
    I could not open that study...what was the inclusion rate they were using?


    @Graillotion - 1, 3, and 5% of each
  • I would try 3-5% glycerin & 5% PG. if your your product is for Moisturizing.
  • CamelCamel Member
    @Abdullah - Update on the xanthan gum swap: I made milk! 😆



    Reduced glycerin to 5%, niacinamide to 4%, petrolatum to 3%. Removed tocopherol. Subbed EL40 for DM350, PE for LGP, and HEC for XG. Increased butter pearls to 2% and added NatraSil for emollience at 3%. 

    Viscosity substantially decreased to a milk-like consistency rather than a lotion. I suspect the XG at 0.3% wasn't enough to provide viscosity of HEC at 1%. I did sub the crosspolymer for DM350 but in my other sample this did not affect viscosity.

    On the bright side, it absorbs very quickly leaving no residue/soaping and it does feel less tacky with the decrease in glycerin. 

    I will experiment with adding more butter pearls to increase viscosity or including a polymeric (I will need to purchase).
  • Pb610Pb610 Member
    Camel said:
    Thank you for linking that! According to this study, I would prefer the reduction of pore size, spots and wrinkles that niacinamide can supposedly provide, over the moisture from panthenol. I've heard panthenol can make products feel sticky, and as I'm already using glycerin, I'm worried the feel would be too unpleasant when combined. Any opinion on that?
    When mixing a 50/50 blend of dl-panthenol and water it does leave a sticky (and sweet tasting) transparent film on my skin, so yeah it definitely has a sticky characteristic to it. Though I read elsewhere in this forum that Perry suggested that a 0.44% concentration is what made most sense to him. I'm inclined to agree, it seems potent enough to be used <%1, at which point it isn't sticky at all. Whether or not it'll make a discernable difference, I couldn't tell ya. Niacinamide seems more appropriate if your goal is to tone the skin, vs a basic moisturizer. Though from what I've read argireline is much more fun to use, there's some listings on AliExpress for acetyl-hexapeptide-8, about $20 for 50g, I'll be trying some of that eventually.

    @Graillotion it looks like the forum didn't translate the link correctly, you can just copy+paste the whole thing manually into your browser. It should lead directly into a pdf download. They tested 1, 3, and 5% concentrations on 24 different young women.
  • Pb610Pb610 Member
    Link to the thread referenced, seems panthenol is a bit of a fluff ingredient: https://chemistscorner.com/cosmeticsciencetalk/discussion/comment/30604
  • AbdullahAbdullah Member
    edited April 17
    Dimethicone reduces viscosity a lot. 
    For me 0.3% dimethicone 5 cst reduces viscosity by half. 
    1% percent dimethicone is more than enough.

    I suggest these changes for viscosity and function.

    Petrolatum 4%
    Glycerin 4%
    Dimethicone 1%
    165 1%
    Montanove l 1%
    GMS or fatty alcohol 2%

  • CamelCamel Member
    edited April 18
    Abdullah said:
    Dimethicone reduces viscosity a lot. 
    For me 0.3% dimethicone 5 cst reduces viscosity by half. 
    1% percent dimethicone is more than enough.

    I suggest these changes for viscosity and function.

    Petrolatum 4%
    Glycerin 4%
    Dimethicone 1%
    165 1%
    Montanove l 1%
    GMS or fatty alcohol 2%

    I'm unsure if the dimethicone was the problem as I added it at room temperature and the emulsion was already milk-thin. I do believe it will need a fatty alcohol or some other increase in thickener! 

    Thanks again, I will continue experimenting with this. 
  • CamelCamel Member
    edited April 26
    I have been modifying this formula over the past few days, and I think I finally reached a version of it that I am satisfied with.



    Increased Butter Pearls from 2 to 5% for viscosity. Decreased niacinamide from 5 to 4%. Added NatraSil at 3% while reducing petrolatum from 5 to 3%. Reduced overall humectants from 10 to 5% (3% propanediol; 2% glycerin). Replaced the elastomer with Dimethicone 350 at 2%. Replaced the Euxyl® PE 9010 with Phenonip® at 0.5%. Reduced HEC from 1 to 0.3% and added xanthan gum at 0.3%.

    It is now very light, fast-absorbing and non-tacky.

    @Abdullah, @ngarayeva001@Graillotion, @Pattsi - Any other thoughts or suggestions?


  • No
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