Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Help w/ a Honey Based Face & Body Cleanser

  • Help w/ a Honey Based Face & Body Cleanser

    Posted by aliciakj71 on October 31, 2018 at 2:34 am

    I am currently working on a Honey Based Face & Body Gel Cleanser and am looking for a little guidance. My goal with this cleanser is I want it to be gentle, between a pH of 5-7, have creamy dense bubbles and i wanted the formula to be as simple as possible.

    When looking for surfactants for my blend my research led me to amphoteric and non-ionic surfactants being the most gentle especially when the amphoteric surfactant is the dominant one (please correct me if i’m wrong). I ended up choosing Coco-Glucoside for my non-ionic surfactant and Sodium Cocoamphoacetate for my amphoteric surfactant. I originally chose Sodium Cocoamphoacetate over Cocamidopropyl betaine because it had a lower EWG rating, which I am now thinking may have been a bad idea and stupid reason.

    The issue I am having is that the Sodium Cocoamphoacetate gave me the lovely dense creamy bubbles that I wanted at higher percentages (over 10%) but left my skin feeling super “squeaky” clean and dry which I obviously do not want for a gentle cleanser. And at lower percentages it doesnt leave my skin dry or squeaky clean, but it has zero lather and just feels like a jelly milk that quickly dissipates to nothing, which is a super unsatisfying cleansing experience especially when used on the body.

    This is the current formula I am working with:

    Honey - 78.25%
    Sodium Cocoamphoacetate (4.4% active) - 10% 
    Coco-Glucoside (2.75% active) - 5% 
    Aloe vera powder -.75%
    Hydrolyzed rice protein - 2%
    glycerin - 1%
    Xanthan gum - .5%
    50% Citric acid solution .5%
    So after that suuuper long explanation, I am basically wondering if switching to Cocamidopropyl betaine at the same percentage would give me the lather that I want with out the drying squeaky clean feeling or if there is something I can do to tweak my current formula to enhance the lather.
    Okay Thanks!
    aliciakj71 replied 5 years, 6 months ago 6 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • zaidjeber

    October 31, 2018 at 2:59 am

    Honey 78.25% ! what is the cost of that?

  • Anonymous

    October 31, 2018 at 5:50 am

    I notice that you don’t have a preservative system in place here. Considering the enormous amount of bug food, I hope you plan on using whatever you make within the day. 

    Also, ditto on the comment above. Why that amount of honey?

  • shaujaat

    October 31, 2018 at 6:55 am

    how can you make lather when there is no water in the formula ? please reduce the quantity of honey to 10% add water in it.

  • Chemist77

    October 31, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    Exactly no water and no preservative, kinda tricky this one. 

  • OldPerry

    October 31, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    Betaine is a foam booster but by itself it isn’t a great foamer. But you’ll just have to try and see if it gives you the foam level you want. That % active level is a reasonable start.

    I agree with everyone else about the honey percentage and the lack of preservative being a significant problem.  No, honey in this system will not be self-preserving. 

  • aliciakj71

    October 31, 2018 at 4:46 pm
    I do have a preservative system (you can see my formula does not add up to 100) I just didn’t include it in this post as I didn’t feel it was important/relevant to my question. Also I havent included it in my initial test batches since they were so small, yes using within one day, and it didnt want to waste it if I hadn’t gotten the initial lather part right.
    I understand that honey is expensive, but cheap ingredients/formula is not my main goal here. If the high levels of sugar in the honey is honestly what is killing my foam or adding to the squeaky clean feeling (w/ higher surfactant %’s), than I will try lowering it, but if it is not I would love some other suggestions. Honey is a main focus ingredient in my line, which is why the percentage is so high. Thank you.
  • aliciakj71

    October 31, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    If it will matter to my formula’s lather later, the preservatives I am planning on trying in this formula are Gluconolactone SB (Gluconolactone, sodium benzoate, calcium gluconate); Geogard ECT (Benzyl Alcohol & Salicylic
    Acid & Glycerin & Sorbic Acid); and or Phyotocide Aspen Bark Extract. Either a blend or which ever works the best for this formula.

  • MarkBroussard

    November 1, 2018 at 1:32 am


    The only way you’re going to get this work is to add more water, less honey and more surfactant.

    Set up a series of “serial dilutions” … I would increase the Sodium Cocoamphoacetate to 20%.

    Then add 20% water plus quantity sufficient Honey to total up to 100%.

    Then add 30% water …

    Then add 40% water …

    You should find some optimal ratio of Water:Honey that gives you good results.

    For Honey to be your “Hero Ingredient” (God, I hate that term), it does not have to be exclusive, but just predominantly featured in your formula.

  • aliciakj71

    November 1, 2018 at 7:53 am

    Thank you @MarkBroussard for your suggestion, I will definitely try the “serial dilutions” while increasing the sodium cocoamphoacetate and see if that aids in the lather but doesn’t increase the drying effect.

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