improving my formula, I don't know why it's lacking emolliency

Type your messageHere's the formula for my most recent lotion. It still needs some improving but I don't know what I should add/ remove. My previous formula had grapeseed oil but that wasn't moisturising at all. I assumed this was because of how high the linoleic acid content was in the oil.

Body lotion - 2000g
Water phase -68%
Water 60% - 1200g
Glycerin 5% - 100g
Niacinamide 2.5% -50g
allantoin (add at 54°) 0.5%- 20g

Oil - 28%
Glyceryl stearate & Peg 100 5% - 100g
Cetyl alcohol 4% - 80g
Sesame oil 16% - 320g
Petroleum jelly 3% - 60g

Cool down under 45° - 4%
Phenoxyethanol & Ethylhexylglycerin 1% - 20g
Rice protein cool down - 3% 60g

question
- Which of the ingredients in my formula are a potential irritant?

 I'm wondering if any of these ingredients are known eczema irritantants. I don't particularly break out when apply to the skin but areas with existing eczema so appear slightly more red. I've also noticed that my skin healing is noticeably slower than what should be normal, even parts of my skin that I stopped scratching is healing very slowly (I have extremely dry skin and a compromised skin barrier). Even with a plethora of ingredients touted for their numerous benefits, I've yet to see improvement in my skin barrier. Which leads me to believe that something is damaging my skin. I've been making really basic lotions for two years. the inclusion of allantoin, rice protein and niacinamide are additions to my two most recent batches.

*I am aware that cosmetology and dermatology are separate entities. My lotions are for my personal use and any of my experiences are purely anecdotal. As such, I will not use any opinions expressed in this thread as a replacement for professional medical advice.

- the formula feels like it's lacking emolliency/ moisturisation.  
When I apply the lotion, I feel like it gets 70% of the way there but my skin is never fully moisturised. I often end up lathering too much lotion, making even the dryest carrier oil really greasy. Even then, the lotion will not last long and my skin begins feeling dry again after an hour or so. I can never get my formula to have the same moisturising feel as a commercial lotion (I'll use aveeno as a reference).
Which ingredient is it that I'm missing, something that softens the skin, lasts long but also absorbs quickly. Maybe it's a silicone? I tried to purchase dimethicone but it's hard to commercially source commercially in the UK.

I would greatly appreciate if someone could tweak my formula for me. If you suggest new ingredients to add, can you suggest something that's commercially assessible.

Thanks for taking your time out to read my post.

 


Comments

  • Is your formula fast absorbing? I think the addition of wax or synthetic polymers could help. The polymers are not greasy and form a "film" on the skin, so you should not feel dry after applying them.
    Some people experience irritation after using niacinamide.
  • mikeylamarmikeylamar Member
    Is your formula fast absorbing? I think the addition of wax or synthetic polymers could help. The polymers are not greasy and form a "film" on the skin, so you should not feel dry after applying them.
    Some people experience irritation after using niacinamide.

    In comparison to a commercial lotion, no. But if I had to compare to other carrier oils such as soy bean oil, grape seed, sweet almond, hazelnut oil then it's on the quicker absorbing side.


    Which polymers are the most common in lotions?

    If I get irritated to niacinamide, is it that my skin needs to get acclimated to it, should I reduce the % or just avoid it outright
  • SylSyl Member
    If niacinamide exacerbates your ezcema or cause irritation you want to remove it. Dermatitis usually get worse with continued exposure to irritants.
  • I assume your using sesame  oil  for eczema ..but it’s a dry feeling oil. Maybe some squalene and a butter? And a try some different emulsifiers. They make all the difference 
  • jemolianjemolian Member
    Glyceryl stearate & Peg 100 5% 
    Cetyl alcohol 4%

    Have you considered changing to another emulsifier blend that can thicken by itself? At least to me it seems relatively high in total percentage. 

  • SquinnySquinny Member
    Maybe try smaller batches than 2000 g and see what works best for what you want. I usually only make a batch of 250 g at most for when I'm testing if I like a product for myself. I have found I actually like a body cream better and find them longer lasting and include some butters with the oils like mango butter.
     Also for more slip perhaps add 1 % dimethicone. I make a nice cream for myself with Water phase 77% incl 8% glycerin and use  oil blend of macadamia and MCT along with mango and cocoa butter. For the emulsifier I use Olivem1000 at 5% and use Cetearyl Alc at 2.15% rather than Cetyl (makes for a thinner product for my formula). Also you can add the Niaciniamde in your cooldown stage (apparently you shouldnt use at temps above 70 degrees c. I find it dissloves easy at cooldown.
    Or look at the ingredients that Aveeno use and try emulate. Glycerin is 2nd on their list of ingredients so maybe they use at higher % than your 5%. I find I can go to 10% depending on the formulation and doesnt leave my skin greasy. Hope that helps (or maybe makes you more confused!). Cheers
  • SquinnySquinny Member
    Aveeno also use Oat Oil and Colloidal oatmeal which I use in some of my lotions and personally find soothing.
  • I'll probably be redundant with some of the above comments...but here goes.

    Why does it lack emollience?  It lacks emollients.  Good emollients have names like isoamyl laurate, laurel laurate, IPM, etc.... I don't see those in your formula.  There are secondary ones that help... like maybe cetyl palmitate etc.

    What does it not fully moisturize?  You only have glycerol working towards that end.  Not all on this forum will agree, but I have found a team of humectants works much better than a single member.  If cost is the only measure of success, then you are on the right path.  So, I would certainly look at adding some team members like propanediol, betaine, urea (especially), sodium lactate, sodium PCA, or many other possible choices.  Every humectant works in a slightly different manner and excels at different humidity levels.  If you have not researched that to the nth degree and determined that only glycerol works in your climate with your skin...then add to the team.

    I can't imagine the words eczema and dimethicone not being in the same sentence...where is yours?

    I like colloidal oatmeal...just make sure your preservative is the best of the best....cuz every bug in the world likes that stuff.

    And OMG...knock the formula down to 150 grams, until you have it nailed. :) 

    I get the impression you think oils are magical?  They lubricate (NOT the same as moisturize) the skin, and not a whole lot more.  The rest of the build is actually the important aspects.  Humectants and barrier should be more the focus.

    If you want to know if the Niacinamide irritates....just mix some in water...and apply to the same select spot for a few days....and you'll have your answer.

  • PattsiPattsi Member
    Question - Isn't your lotion a bit too water thin and then you ended up using it less than you should so you felt it's not moisturizing enough compare to commercial product? 
  • ggpetrovggpetrov Member
    Squinny said:
    Maybe try smaller batches than 2000 g and see what works best for what you want. I usually only make a batch of 250 g at most for when I'm testing if I like a product for myself. I have found I actually like a body cream better and find them longer lasting and include some butters with the oils like mango butter.
     Also for more slip perhaps add 1 % dimethicone. I make a nice cream for myself with Water phase 77% incl 8% glycerin and use  oil blend of macadamia and MCT along with mango and cocoa butter. For the emulsifier I use Olivem1000 at 5% and use Cetearyl Alc at 2.15% rather than Cetyl (makes for a thinner product for my formula). Also you can add the Niaciniamde in your cooldown stage (apparently you shouldnt use at temps above 70 degrees c. I find it dissloves easy at cooldown.
    Or look at the ingredients that Aveeno use and try emulate. Glycerin is 2nd on their list of ingredients so maybe they use at higher % than your 5%. I find I can go to 10% depending on the formulation and doesnt leave my skin greasy. Hope that helps (or maybe makes you more confused!). Cheers
    You should try Oliwax LC instead of cetyl / cetearyl alcohol. It doesn't ticken the emulsion like them, but the haptics is gorgeous :)
  • ketchitoketchito Member
    @mikeylamar I'd reduce the sesame oil...some vegetable oils are sometimes sensitizing, especially at higher doses, and you actually don't need that much. I'd add some esters like caprylic/capric triglycerides. You could also try with some dimethicone and/or mineral oil for improving emoliency.
  • mikeylamarmikeylamar Member
    edited May 5
    Syl said:
    If niacinamide exacerbates your ezcema or cause irritation you want to remove it. Dermatitis usually get worse with continued exposure to irritants.
    Is niacinamide the most likely irritant here? I would love to try patch test each individual ingredient but I don't know how I'd even do that.

    I assume your using sesame  oil  for eczema ..but it’s a dry feeling oil. Maybe some squalene and a butter? And a try some different emulsifiers. They make all the difference 
    I've often avoided oils as they were too greasy for me. Is it just inherent for dry oils to not have long lasting moisturisation or are there any that can.

    jemolian said:
    Glyceryl stearate & Peg 100 5% 
    Cetyl alcohol 4%

    Have you considered changing to another emulsifier blend that can thicken by itself? At least to me it seems relatively high in total percentage. 

    I purchase most of my ingredients here: https://naturallythinking.com/emulsifiers/?sort=alphaasc&page=1. I don't think they sell other complete emulsifiers.

    Squinny said:
    Maybe try smaller batches than 2000 g and see what works best for what you want. I usually only make a batch of 250 g at most for when I'm testing if I like a product for myself. I have found I actually like a body cream better and find them longer lasting and include some butters with the oils like mango butter.
     Also for more slip perhaps add 1 % dimethicone. I make a nice cream for myself with Water phase 77% incl 8% glycerin and use  oil blend of macadamia and MCT along with mango and cocoa butter. For the emulsifier I use Olivem1000 at 5% and use Cetearyl Alc at 2.15% rather than Cetyl (makes for a thinner product for my formula). Also you can add the Niaciniamde in your cooldown stage (apparently you shouldnt use at temps above 70 degrees c. I find it dissloves easy at cooldown.
    Or look at the ingredients that Aveeno use and try emulate. Glycerin is 2nd on their list of ingredients so maybe they use at higher % than your 5%. I find I can go to 10% depending on the formulation and doesnt leave my skin greasy. Hope that helps (or maybe makes you more confused!). Cheers
    I find it quite hard to source Dimethicone unfortunately. I regret buying hydrolysed rice protein over hydrolysed oats.

    I'll probably be redundant with some of the above comments...but here goes.

    Why does it lack emollience?  It lacks emollients.  Good emollients have names like isoamyl laurate, laurel laurate, IPM, etc.... I don't see those in your formula.  There are secondary ones that help... like maybe cetyl palmitate etc.


    Out of all the good emollients you mentioned, should I combine multiple emollients together or should one be enough.

    What does it not fully moisturize?  You only have glycerol working towards that end.  Not all on this forum will agree, but I have found a team of humectants works much better than a single member.  If cost is the only measure of success, then you are on the right path.  So, I would certainly look at adding some team members like propanediol, betaine, urea (especially), sodium lactate, sodium PCA, or many other possible choices.  Every humectant works in a slightly different manner and excels at different humidity levels.  If you have not researched that to the nth degree and determined that only glycerol works in your climate with your skin...then add to the team.

    That's a good point.  When determining the best humectant to use, does my choice mainly depend on the the humidity it functions best in + the climate I live in or are there any additional benefits. I assumed that all humectants had fundamentally had the same function.



    I can't imagine the words eczema and dimethicone not being in the same sentence...where is yours?


    unable to source during the silicone shortage :[


    I get the impression you think oils are magical?  They lubricate (NOT the same as moisturize) the skin, and not a whole lot more.  The rest of the build is actually the important aspects.  Humectants and barrier should be more the focus.

    That was my confusion. Carrier oils are usually been categorised as an emollient. Especially when people say that oils high in oleic acid are good for softening the skin.


    If you want to know if the Niacinamide irritates....just mix some in water...and apply to the same select spot for a few days....and you'll have your answer.


    Should I keep the niacinamide at 2% or should I increase the concentration for a more clear result. 

    Would there be any point in testing the Allantoin/ rice protein too or are they safe ingredients

  • mikeylamarmikeylamar Member
    Pattsi said:
    Question - Isn't your lotion a bit too water thin and then you ended up using it less than you should so you felt it's not moisturizing enough compare to commercial product? 
    The opposite. I usually end more using more to over compensate and I then I just feel lubricated, not moisturised.

    Why does it lack emollience?  It lacks emollients.  Good emollients have names like isoamyl laurate, laurel laurate, IPM, etc.... I don't see those in your formula.  There are secondary ones that help... like maybe cetyl palmitate etc.

    If you had to tweak my formula and replace an ingredient for something else, what would you swap out. I have seen people mention polymers, esters and silicones but since I haven't experienced their properties first hand, I don't know which will be best for me.
  • SylSyl Member
    @mikeylamar, a patch test is overkill. When formulating many, including me tend to FOMO, we add untested cool actives. My recommendation is follow the advice above to make a basic lotion you find moisturizing instead of lubricating without actives. Once you are happy with your formulation, add the actives one by one, this way you will know if your actives are causing a problem.
  • AbdullahAbdullah Member
    Do you mean that your product doesn't make a dry skin soft and moist or you mean upon application it doesn't feel moisturized and moist?

    If first one then the only two ingredients in your formula for that purpose is petrolatum and glycerin. I suggest 18% glycerine+ 5% petrolatum. That is enough in oil phase. Also as Graillotion said 1% dimethicone will help too. Mixing humectants is also better than one. I suggest add 2% lactic acid too and adjust pH.
    Adding vegetable oils like sesame oil without antioxidant is not a good idea.

    If second one then remember this. In o/w emulsion, water is your continues phase so your skin with first feel whatever is in that phase. Then every droplets of oil phase is surrounded by surfactants or emulsifiers so it is emulsifier that will contact your skin. Not the oils. So you will not see much difference between sesame oil vs olive oil in oil phase but you would see a huge difference if you use an emulsifier with oleic or behenic in it. So for feeling moisturized during application or shortly after use an emulsifier with oleic or behenic in it.

    About irritation, maybe it is rice but if irritation is not present from the first day then maybe your product is contaminated. 
    You don't have a strong preservative specially for fungi. 
  • AbdullahAbdullah Member
    Your product pH also has a roll.
    Use the lowest pH your skin and formula can tolerate. 
    4 is best. 
    5 is good.
    Anything above 5, i don't like it. Specially for eczema.
  • jemolianjemolian Member
    @mikeylamar you should be able to find a list of UK sellers from a site like makingskincare or the DIYBeauty sub reddit 
    Seems the more common emulsifier blend for the UK is Vegetal / Montanov 68.

    Though if you still prefer to purchase from the same seller, you can consider replacing part of your Cetyl alcohol with small percentages of Carbomer. Note the processing method and ingredients that are electrolytes if you consider the Carbomer. 

  • Syl said:
    If niacinamide exacerbates your ezcema or cause irritation you want to remove it. Dermatitis usually get worse with continued exposure to irritants.
    Is niacinamide the most likely irritant here? I would love to try patch test each individual ingredient but I don't know how I'd even do that.

    I would recommend doing a knockout test to see what's causing your problems. Here's Perry's article about them:

    https://chemistscorner.com/do-you-know-the-fastest-way-to-become-an-expert-cosmetic-formulator/
    Lab Assistant to a Cosmetic Formulator at a contract manufacturing company. New to the field and willing to learn.
  • SquinnySquinny Member
    ggpetrov said:
    Squinny said:
    Maybe try smaller batches than 2000 g and see what works best for what you want. I usually only make a batch of 250 g at most for when I'm testing if I like a product for myself. I have found I actually like a body cream better and find them longer lasting and include some butters with the oils like mango butter.
     Also for more slip perhaps add 1 % dimethicone. I make a nice cream for myself with Water phase 77% incl 8% glycerin and use  oil blend of macadamia and MCT along with mango and cocoa butter. For the emulsifier I use Olivem1000 at 5% and use Cetearyl Alc at 2.15% rather than Cetyl (makes for a thinner product for my formula). Also you can add the Niaciniamde in your cooldown stage (apparently you shouldnt use at temps above 70 degrees c. I find it dissloves easy at cooldown.
    Or look at the ingredients that Aveeno use and try emulate. Glycerin is 2nd on their list of ingredients so maybe they use at higher % than your 5%. I find I can go to 10% depending on the formulation and doesnt leave my skin greasy. Hope that helps (or maybe makes you more confused!). Cheers
    You should try Oliwax LC instead of cetyl / cetearyl alcohol. It doesn't thicken the emulsion like them, but the haptics is gorgeous :)
    Thanks I haven't heard of this one previously (Love this forum) and I can source here and would like to try it soon - Would I use it at say 2% along with another the emulsifier (like OliveM1000) to replace the Cetyl or Cetearyl alcohol or can it be used alone? If alone what % would you recommend? 
  • ggpetrovggpetrov Member
    It is a mixture of Cetyl palmitate, Sorbitan stearate and Sorbitan palmitate. No, it's not an emulsifier, but a consistency enhancer and a liquid cristal promoter. Actually it can be coupled with Olivem at 2-3% as a replacement of the fatty alcohols, and gives light and very pleasant textures with softening effect. Recently I am using it together with Olivem 1000 and I am in love with the results. Also you can reduce the fat phase drastically, because both the Olivem and Oliwax play role as an emollients too.
  • SquinnySquinny Member
    ggpetrov said:
    It is a mixture of Cetyl palmitate, Sorbitan stearate and Sorbitan palmitate. No, it's not an emulsifier, but a consistency enhancer and a liquid cristal promoter. Actually it can be coupled with Olivem at 2-3% as a replacement of the fatty alcohols, and gives light and very pleasant textures with softening effect. Recently I am using it together with Olivem 1000 and I am in love with the results. Also you can reduce the fat phase drastically, because both the Olivem and Oliwax play role as an emollients too.
    Great many thanks for that info very helpful - I'll give it a try in the near future. Have a great day.
  • mikeylamarmikeylamar Member
    edited May 8
    Syl said:
    @mikeylamar, a patch test is overkill. When formulating many, including me tend to FOMO, we add untested cool actives. My recommendation is follow the advice above to make a basic lotion you find moisturizing instead of lubricating without actives. Once you are happy with your formulation, add the actives one by one, this way you will know if your actives are causing a problem.

    I always thought that the carrier oil was the core moisturising ingredient but I have learnt otherwise.

    Abdullah said:
    Do you mean that your product doesn't make a dry skin soft and moist or you mean upon application it doesn't feel moisturized and moist?

    If first one then the only two ingredients in your formula for that purpose is petrolatum and glycerin. I suggest 18% glycerine+ 5% petrolatum. That is enough in oil phase. Also as Graillotion said 1% dimethicone will help too. Mixing humectants is also better than one. I suggest add 2% lactic acid too and adjust pH.
    Adding vegetable oils like sesame oil without antioxidant is not a good idea.

    If second one then remember this. In o/w emulsion, water is your continues phase so your skin with first feel whatever is in that phase. Then every droplets of oil phase is surrounded by surfactants or emulsifiers so it is emulsifier that will contact your skin. Not the oils. So you will not see much difference between sesame oil vs olive oil in oil phase but you would see a huge difference if you use an emulsifier with oleic or behenic in it. So for feeling moisturized during application or shortly after use an emulsifier with oleic or behenic in it.

    About irritation, maybe it is rice but if irritation is not present from the first day then maybe your product is contaminated. 
    You don't have a strong preservative specially for fungi. 

    Upon application, my skin does feel moist but not moisturised.

    You make an interesting point about the emulsifier! I read that high levels of oleic acid can damage the skin barrier so I should probably try grapeseed oil again with an oleic based emulsifier.

    I did read that my preservative is weak to fungi. How did Sodium benzoate & Potassium sorbate or Dehydroacetic acid & Benzyl alcohol fare?
    jemolian said:
    @mikeylamar you should be able to find a list of UK sellers from a site like makingskincare or the DIYBeauty sub reddit 
    Seems the more common emulsifier blend for the UK is Vegetal / Montanov 68.

    Though if you still prefer to purchase from the same seller, you can consider replacing part of your Cetyl alcohol with small percentages of Carbomer. Note the processing method and ingredients that are electrolytes if you consider the Carbomer. 


    What are the properties of carbomers to skin feel and do you recommend a reliable source to find the electrolytes of ingredients.
  • mikeylamarmikeylamar Member
    Abdullah said:

    Adding vegetable oils like sesame oil without antioxidant is not a good idea.
    I read that sesame oil has a long shelf life. Does it oxidise quicker when combined into a lotion?

  • AbdullahAbdullah Member
    Abdullah said:

    Adding vegetable oils like sesame oil without antioxidant is not a good idea.
    I read that sesame oil has a long shelf life. Does it oxidise quicker when combined into a lotion?

    Only coconut and palm lernal oil has a bit long shelf life. All other vegetable oils have less than 1 year shelf life.
  • AbdullahAbdullah Member
    edited May 9
    By high level you mean what percentage oleic acid? 
  • FekherFekher Member, Professional Chemist
    edited May 9
    I will give you two Ways @mikeylamar

     * First without input : so I will suggest to decrease the level of glycerin, sesame oil and cetyl alcohol and all amount will go for petroleum jelly. 

     * Second with input (already proposed) change sesame oil with better oil may mineral oil can one of them, add some ester as IPM, some butter as Shea, add some silicone and may changing the emulsifier.
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