If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you probably already know how much I hate the heat and how much I love cooling sprays. I love to create these combinations of humectants and film formers and things that make my skin less angry with the world during the summer. So let’s take a look at the one I made recently for my trip to Las Vegas for the 2017 HSCG Conference in Las Vegas.
My cooling sprays always start with a bit of peppermint essential oil in them as it contains awesome ingredients like 1,8 cineole and menthol that trick our skin into thinking it’s cooler than it is, which is always a bonus no matter what the weather.
If I’m adding this at 2%, I have to add some kind of solubilizer to include it in a watery base as oil and water don’t mix.
I could use something like polysorbate 20 or caprypyl/capryl glucoside, but these are sticky things, and given I’m already grumpty and annoyed by the heat, this probably isn’t the skin feel I’m seeking. In this version, I chose to use PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil at 2% with 2% peppermint essential oil.
I could have used Cromollient SCE at 2% (or slightly higher) as it has a lightly oily feeling, but I didn’t have any at the time. That would have been quite nice!
I want quite a few humectants – ingredients that draw water from the atmosphere to our skin – as this will make my skin feel cooler and hydrated. I could use glycerin, but then we encounter the whole grumpy-Swift-is-also-sticky thing, so let’s see if we can’t find another choice here.
Sodium lactate is one of my go-to humectants. It’s inexpensive, effective, and non-sticky. As I will probably be exposed to the sun and as it can make one sun sensitive, I have to keep it below 3% active ingredient. This means no more than 3% powder or 5% liquid (at 60% active, this means that 5% x 0.60 = 3%). It’s far too easy to add a titch more when we’re measuring, so I’ll use this at 2% liquid or 3% powder to ensure I’m not close to that danger zone. (“Danger Zone!” for all you Archer fans out there!)
I’m also adding 3% propanediol 1,3, my new favourite humectant. It’s a naturally derived substitute for propylene glycol that can be used at up to 20% in your water phase. It’s a humectant that draws water from the atmosphere to your skin to offer hydration. It has a 9 to 12 month shelf life once opened. But I find it’s a little lighter and drier feeling than propylene glycol. If you don’t have this, use 3% propylene glycol instead.
I like to have some film formers in my products, so I’m adding 2% hydrolyzed quinoa protein as I like the way it works in a cooling spray because it’s not sticky and doesn’t have a strong odour. If you don’t have this, use any other protein you have at home.
I love to include aloe vera extract as an anti-irritant and film forming ingredient, but I don’t want too much as it can feel a bit sticky, too. I’m using 5% aloe vera 200x (reconstituted into a liquid) in this product. And I’m adding chamomile hydrosol because it’ll offer soothing and anti-reddening properties as well as a reduction in transepidermal water loss. Feel free to leave these out or choose another hydrosol. I know rose water is very popular right now, so that’s a nice option.
If you aren’t sure how to use 100x or 200x aloe vera powder, join me tomorrow – August 22nd – in this post for more information.
I’ll two of my usual favourites – panthenol at 2% as it’s a humectant, film former, and wound healer, and allantoin at 0.5% as my occlusive – as well as witch hazel, which has some natural alcohol in it that will offer a cooling sensation.
Finally, I’m adding 0.5% liquid Germall Plus to the mix. I know we’ve been told not to use this in aerosols, and you should never just take my word for it, but it’s safe to use in this product. It has to do with how much of something is in here and it’s well below allowable levels. (I can’t find the link right now, but I’m searching for it!)
There are loads of other things you could include in this formula, such as liquid cucumber extract at 5% as in this formula, alcohol at up to 10% for a cooling sensation, or another hydrosol, like rose or peppermint. It’s up to you to modify this as you wish. Remember, when we add something to the formula, we must remove something else to make it total 100%. So if you add 10% rose water, remove 10% from the distilled water amount, meaning you have 51% distilled water now.
Related post: Adding and removing from the water amount
Or you could just make this with 2% peppermint essential oil, 2% solubilizer, preservative, and distilled water, if you want.
Please remember that when we are making things cold, we have to take a few precautions, like using distilled or reverse osmosis water, including the proper amount of a broad spectrum preservative, not re-using bottles or jars, and sanitizing our surfaces.
PEPPERMINT & CHAMOMILE COOLING SPRAY
61% distilled water
10% witch hazel
10% chamomile hydrosol
5% aloe vera extract (liquid, not gel)
3% propanediol 1,3
2% hydrolyzed quinoa protein
2% sodium lactate (liquid)
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
2% PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil
2% peppermint essential oil
Into a container, weigh the water phase and mix. You can heat this slightly to around 40˚C to make the allantoin dissolve better. If you do that, don’t put the liquid Germall Pus in until you’ve finished heating it and have measured the temperature is below 45˚C.
Into a small container, like a shot glass, measure the PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil and peppermint essential oil and mix well. Add to the water phase, mix well, then put into cute spray bottles. Enjoy!
What did I think of this? To be honest, nothing was going to save me from the heat of Las Vegas in May, but it did make me feel a bit better and definitely made me smell better!
I really like this version of the cooling spray. It’s so much less sticky than my previous ones, and I like the dry, almost silica like feel of the propanediol. This one is definitely a keeper!
This makes a lovely toner, but make sure you remove the peppermint as it’s a bit too much near the eyes at 2%.
Related posts: I have so many different formulas for cooling sprays and hydrating toners, so I’ll refer you to a search as there’s just too much to read! Here are a few samples…
Cucumber extract in an apres shaving spray
Making a cooling spray (part three – links to the other parts are in this one)
Aloe vera apres sun spray