Duplicating products: Step 4B – How do you know how much of a thing to use?

When you’re duplicating a product, we need to figure out our starting point. How do  I know how much of each thing to use? Experience, skin feel, and the suggested usage rate.

In my recipe in the previous post for Noxzema Classic Clean, there wasn’t really anything that I couldn’t have used at a much higher rate than I did. When it comes to things that contain a lot of cosmeceuticals or specialty ingredients, that’s when you have to do some sleuthing to make sure you aren’t combining things to create super exfoliants or uber-acids!  Take, for instance, AHAs or glycolic/lactic acid. Use those in combination with something like papaya extract or other exfoliating ingredients, and you have yourself a super red and sensitive skin party! (Which are the worst kind of parties. I prefer ones with cake and balloons!)

If we take a look at the Laneige Water Sleeping Pack, as suggested by Vivien, you can see a few ingredients that have safe as used limits.

Ingredients:Water, Butylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Cyclohexasiloxane, Trehalose, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Fruit Extract, Beta-Glucan, Castanea Sativa (Chestnut) Seed Extract, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Hydroxypropyl Bispalmitamide MEA, Salicornia Herbacea Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Glycogen, Glutamic Acid, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethiconol, Lysine HCl, Magnesium Sulfate, Mannitol, Manganese Sulfate, Serine, Sucrose, Stearyl Behenate, Citrulline, Alanine, Arginine, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Zinc Sulfate, Caprylyl Glycol, Threonine, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Polysorbate 20, Propanediol, PCA, Histidine HCl, Carbomer, Tromethamine, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Blue 1 (CI 42090).

Butylene glycol is a humectant and can be used at 1% to 10% in the heated water phase.

Cyclopentasiloxane is a silicone and can be used at up to 100% in the cool down phase. It’s an emollient ingredient that offers a dry, silky feel. It might be used with something like the dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, like in Lotioncrafter’s EL51.

Glycerin is a humectant and can be used at up to 100% in the heated water phase. We would never use it at high levels as it can be kinda sticky.

Cyclohexasiloxane is another silicone. It increases slip and glide in the product, and may be combined with cyclopentasiloxane as an ingredient. It can be used at up to 100%. Silicones are generally used in place of vegetable oils, and I think we see in this product that’s exactly what they’re doing.

Trehalose is a sugar based humectant. It is safe to use, but no one will tell me how much to use. Since i can’t find this at my suppliers, I’ll have to figure out something else in its place.

The suggested usage for apricot fruit extract is 1% to 10%, so I’ll go no higher than that. It comes as a liquid – at least the version I have – and I use it in the cool down phase.

For beta glucan, a water soluble protein that is generally found as a liquid, the suggested usage rate is 1% to 10%. It can be used in the heated water phase.

For chestnut seed extract, if it’s pure aescin, it’s 0.2% to 1%. If it’s not, then 1% to 10%. I’d use in the cool down phase.

For willow bark extract, the powder is 0.5% to 1%, while the liquid is 2% to 5%. Both are probably used in the cool down phase.

Hydroxypropyl Bispalmitamide MEA or ceramide PC-104, is safe at hmm, no one wants to tell me that information. Interesting. I do know I can use mixed ceramides at up to 5%, or up to 15% or 2% to 6%. Okay, here’s a great example of how it’s hard to figure out exactly how to use something like this.

How do I find these “safe as used” or “suggested usage rates”? From our suppliers or the data bulletins for the ingredient from a manufacturer, like Croda or Stepan. In the case of the Hydroxypropyl Bispalmitamide MEA, I can’t find anyone who sells it to us homecrafters or any data bulletins that aren’t hidden behind walls of places like UL Prospector. When I duplicate this product, I won’t be able to use Hydroxypropyl Bispalmitamide MEA. I’ll use a ceramide complex of some kind in its place.

Salicornia Herbacea Extract is from glasswort, and it’s anti-oxidizing, skin conditioning, and whitening. It can be found as an oil or water extract. Again, I can’t find anyone who sells this or has a good data bulletin, so I have to figure it out on my own. I have found this study showing that 50 micrograms/milllitre works, so I could use that amount. However, I can’t find any suppliers selling this, so I’ll have to find something else that might work as an anti-oxidant, skin conditioner, and whitener. I have loads of choices, but I think I’ll use liquorice extract at 0.5% to 1% for the powder, or 1% to 10% for the liquid.

1,2-hexanediol is a water soluble humectant and possibly a preservative booster, calledOptiphen HD, and a solvent. It’s used at 0.5% to 3% after the emulsion has been created. It can handle heat.

Glycogen, according to Paula’s choice, is a polysaccharide that has water binding properties. From this page I found, “- It has been confirmed in the administration in the epidermal model that Bioglycogen  permeates the stratum corneum and promotes hyaluronic acid production around the stratum granulosum.” It could be used at 2% to 5% as this data sheet indicates.

Glutamic acid is an amino acid derived from wheat gluten used as a skin and hair conditioning agent that could have water binding properties. It’s suggested usage is at 0.1% to 0.5%.

Interesting. We seem to be in the 1% or less category. But are we?

Dimethicone is a silicone that works as a lovely emollient on hair or skin. It can be used at up to 100% in a product. It might be part of another product, like the next one, or found on its own.

Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer can be found at Lotioncrafter as EL61 (or it could be combined with cyclopentasiloxane as EL51.). It has a powdery finish, acts as an emollient, and repels water. It’s very thick, and can be used at 100% in a product.

Dimethiconol is a very very thick dimethicone that can be cut with a knife! (I’m not kidding, I have some and it’s super thick!) It works as a dry feeling emollient that repels water. It has a silky, dry feeling compare to vegetable oils. It may be thickening up this product. It can be used at up to 100%.

Lysine HCl is a water soluble alpha amino acid used at 0.2% to 1.5% in the cool down phase. It’s good for the production of collagen.

Wow, that’s a lot to think about for today. Join me tomorrow as we keep analyzing this list.

As a note, this really should have come earlier in the series around step four!