diy formulation educational series: luxury face oil

hello friends! i’m back again with another DIY face oil formula, taking inspiration from a $225 / 0.67 fl ounce night serum. picking apart ingredient lists is a fun hobby for me, however weird that sounds.

it has really great ingredients, but can be DIY’ed because – 1. it’s completely anhydrous; and 2. doesn’t need to extract from whole plant materials.

please note the upfront costs are high (still lower than the price of the finished 0.67 fl oz product), but will yield multiple batches.

IMG_20191110_120003

here are the original ingredients:

Opuntia ficus-indica (Prickly Pear) Seed oil*, Supercritical Rosa Mosqueta (Rosehip) fruit oil extract*, Sclerocarya birrea (Marula) seed oil*, Supercritical Borago Officialis (Borage) Seed oil extract*, Adansonia digitate (Baobab) seed oil*, Caulophyllum Inophyllum (Foraha) oil*, Argania spinosa (Argan) nut oil*, Curcubita pepo (Pumpkin) Seed oil*, Camelina sativa (Camelina) oil*, Nigella sativa (Black Cumin) oil*, Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10), Supercritical Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Berries extract*, Supercritical Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) seed extract*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride and Pheonix Dactylifera (Date) Seed Extract, Supercritical Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) extract*, essential oils of: Boswellia Carterii*, Helychrisum italicum*, Daucus carota*, Commiphora myrrha*, Pelargonium x asperum*, Cananga odorata*, Jasminum grandiflorum L. extract*, Elettaria cardamomum L*, Rosa centifolia extract*

aren’t the ingredients great? my personal favorite oil for skincare is prickly pear seed oil. it’s pretty pricey but oh-so-worth-it. it’s nice to see it at the top of the list!

formulation notes:

ingredients have to legally be listed by % contribution in descending order. knowing that, when creating a diy dupe we want to look for the “1% line.”

one “1% line” we sort of could use is the ubiquinone, aka co-q10. this is a bright orange powder and is typically used at 0.3-3%…  a bigger range than is helpful to us.

however, next in the formula is sea buckthorn berry oil. we know that SBO can be used up to 1% topically without staining, so normally we could cut it there. since co-q10 is also bright orange, let’s call the SBO at 0.5%. if you’re still following, anything above that is >0.5% contribution, and anything below is less.

black cumin seed oil is very near and dear to my heart, but it is quite a strong smelling little guy… very medicinal. i will assume, due to the strong scent, it’s also lower on the lower side of the formula % contribution.

do you see where instead of the individual ingredients being separated by a comma they’re instead connected with an “and”? that means it’s a pre-blended product. hint: it’s “caprylic/capric triglyceride and pheonix dactylifera (date) seed extract.” in this case, the product is known as d’orientine s. it’s typically used at 1-2.5% concentration, but i think it’s used less here, given that SBO is listed ahead of it.

and lastly, the rosemary extract used here is an antioxidant (not a preservative), and is typically used at up to 0.5%.

for the rest of the oils: prickly pear seed oil is super pricey, so let’s assume it’s no more than 20%. that being said, the blend of the main carrier oils could be anything from an equal split to being mostly prickly pear seed oil. this is where your personal preference and skin type would come into play. regardless, tamanu oil can be a little thick and greasy, so let’s assume it’s not a huge part to the overall formula, even though it’s listed towards the top.

formulation adjustments: 

let’s make the EOs optional, due to high upfront costs, as well as a safety precaution. if you’re an aromatherapist – first of all, you’re cool; second of all, blend EOs to your heart’s content. either way, if you choose to add these EOs, please do not use more than a total contribution of 1%.

the original formula is NOT suitable for blemish-prone skin, but this DIY will be as close to the original as i can get. if you want something for blemish-prone skin, try  this post for the best and worst facial oils and this post for an overview on different oils and their comedogenic ratings. 

diy formula:

NONE of the links provided benefit me in any way. they’re here to save you time and energy searching for them.

total cost: $141.55

total possible 1 fl ounce batches*: 2.5

*if using 15 mL prickly pear seed oil as your constraining factor… if you repurchase that, you will have many more batches from the other oils
**minimum amount saved… assuming only 2 purchased bottles, not 3 to fully cover the 2.5 oz of dupe you can make

 

what do you think? do you think this would be a luxurious gifting idea?

XO, ALEXRAYE

diy formulation educational series – cleansing balms

welcome back! today we’re formulating cleansing balms! cleansing balms are pretty neat. they’re like cleansing oils, but are more solid and contain both an emulsifier and a surfactant. that means they’re also different from micellar water, which can pull hydration OUT of your skin (and they aren’t the best cleansers, since you’re not washing the emulsifier containing the gunk off your face).

as always, NONE of the links provided are affiliates. i do not benefit in any way, i’m just trying to point you to reputable suppliers that i personally use if you want to try to DIY these.

there are some oils listed in the “inspiration formulas” that i do not believe belong on your face, either due to comedogenic rating and/or high oleic acid content, but everyone’s skin is different. for that reason, the formulations will be listed as close to the original as possible and i will note which ones i do not prefer. education is key, so do some research – it’s the second most fun part, other than blending 😉

please always check herb and essential oil use with your local herbalist and aromatherapist before use, no matter how ‘innocent’ they seem. for example, ylang-ylang EO is commonly used, but you should avoid it during pregnancy.

 

cleansingbalm_adjBlue.png

here are 2 cleansing balms that you can DIY at home, while controlling what oils and butters are best for your skin.

disclaimer: you technically do not need a preservative in these since they’re anhydrous, but i highly suggest one because there’s a high risk of water contamination. i usually love using aspen bark extract, but since it’s water-soluble, let’s try using elderberry extract at a max 5% instead, as it’s oil-soluble.

remember one aspect of a cleansing balm is that it contains a surfactant, aka the dirt remover. the names of them can look “scary” but they realistically are not. they’re also typically used around a 1% to 6% contribution, so overall very low. if you choose to not add these, as some companies do, that’s totally fine, but they will not by definition be a “true” cleansing balm.

please note that castile soap is not an acceptable surfactant for your face skin.

1. BLOOD ORANGE BALM

ingredients:

organic avocado oil, organic coconut oil, organic olive leaf oil, organic olive oil, organic beeswax, blood orange essential oil, polyglyceryl-3 palmitate

notes:

we’re not putting the highly comedogenic coconut oil on our faces, so we’ll substitute with tucuma butter.  tucuma butter is a nice emollient high in lauric acid and low in oleic acid. it is a palm oil (astrocaryum vulgare), but not the palm oil you’re thinking of, which is elaeis guineensis. moving along – i had trouble understanding what they meant by olive ‘leaf’ oil, as there’s no such thing; you’d have to extract it IN oil. i don’t think they’re using olive leaf extracted in oil, as it’s an extremely potent herbal ‘medicine’ and should not be used liberally. beeswax is entirely too occlusive for a rinse-off product, so we’ll swap it out and use a higher concentration of butter. and see the polyglyceryl-3 palmitate? they use it as their surfactant. it’s typically used at 3 to 6%. for this formula we will opt for a better, in my opinion, surfactant called caprylyl/capryl glucoside. this is also a solubilizer (surfactant that’s a dispersing agent/stabilizer for oils in water). win. it’s vegetable-derived.

lastly, let’s use the rule of thumb that essential oils for topical use really should not exceed 0.5% to 2%, depending on which EO it is. citrus oils can be phototoxic, so take that into consideration, although this is a rinse-off product. i’m assuming they used it at 2% for fragrance since it’s on the label, even though it could be a potential irritant for some people.

adjustments:

no coconut oil. no beeswax. substitute butter. swap pg3p surfactant for c/c glucoside.

diy formula:

 

2. MELTY BALM

ingredients:

Astrocaryum murumuru butter, Helianthus annuus oil*, Camellia oleifera oil*, Passiflora incarnata oil*, Orbignya oleifera oil, Decyl glucoside, Cetearyl olivate + Sorbitan olivate, Mangifera indica butter*,Ricinus communis seed oil*, Theobromo grandiflorum butter, Annuus seed oil + Terminalia ferdinandiana fruit extract, Annuus seed oil + Victoria amazonica extract, Annuus seed oil + Rosa-sinensis, Annuus seed oil + Salix alba bark extracta, Nigella sativa oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Pelargonium graveolens oil, Citrus aurantium amara oil, Brassica napus oil Rosmarinus officinalis extract, Cananga odorata oil, Rosmarinus officinalis oil, Cinnamomum camphor linalol, Citrus.aurantium bergamia FCF oil

murumuru butter, sunflower seed oil, camellia seed oil, passionfruit seed oil, babassu oil, decyl glucoside, cetearyl olivate + sorbitan olivate, mango seed butter, castor oil, cupuacu butter, kakadu plum infused in sunflower seed oil, hibiscus-infused sunflower seed oil, white willow bark infused sunflower seed oil, black cumin oil, benzyl alcohol, geranium EO, neroli EO, rapeseed/canola oil, rosemary EO, ylang ylang EO, camphor EO, bergamot EO

notes:

i would sadly not use this on blemish-prone skin, due to the high oleic acid components of mango seed butter and cupuacu butter.

what is confusing to me is kakadu plum, hibiscus, and white willow bark all have water– and alcohol-soluble compounds. ex – the salicylic acid component of white willow bark is not oil-soluble. seeing there is no water or alcohol in this formula, i’m honestly not sure what good these “extracts” are doing being infused into sunflower seed oil. if anyone has more insight, please share, because i’m always down to learn more about herbalism!

decyl glucoside is a surfactant with an entirely too high pH, and i don’t see any pH adjusters listed in this formula. we’ll swap it out for the more suitable c/c glucoside. also, cetearyl olivate + sorbitan olivate is a product known as Olivem 1000, and is an emulsifier. in high viscous formulations, like this one, the manufacturer suggestion is a 7-8% use, but we can use it at 5% for a waterless balm. i see benzyl alcohol, which i believe they’re using as a preservative. let’s swap it out for a gentler, oil-soluble one – elderberry extract. lastly, this balm has an involved EO blend that may smell wonderful, but some are phototoxic, so we’ll adjust slightly.

adjustments:

swap the surfactant. swap the preservative. take out the rapeseed oil (why is this even in here?).

diy formula:

the original is beautiful melty and silky consistency, so let’s assume a more balanced ratio of 50% butter, 50% oils. you may need to play around with the formula to get the texture you prefer.

have these given you any ideas of one you want to make for yourself?

XO, ALEXRAYE

diy formulation educational series – body balm

welcome back! today we’re formulating a diy for a body balm!

as always, NONE of the links provided are affiliates. i do not benefit in any way, i’m just trying to point you to reputable suppliers that i personally use if you want to try to DIY these.

Image result for body balm

(pic from Crafts Unleased)

hopefully this body balm recipe inspires you to elevate your DIY recipes!

ingredients from inspiration product:

Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Rosa Rubiginosa Seed Oil*, Shea Butter Ethyl Esters, Garcinia Indica (Kokum) Seed Butter*, Cera Carnauba/Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax/Cire de Carnauba*, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter*, Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter*, Cera Alba/Beeswax/Cire d’abeille*, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Seed Oil*, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil*, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Sambucus Nigra Fruit Extract, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Oil*, Phenethyl Alcohol, Calophyllum Inophyllum Seed Oil*, Arnica Montana (Arnica) Extract*, Borago Officinalis (Borage) Leaf Extract*, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Extract*, Spiraea Ulmaria (Meadowsweet) Extract*, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract*, Algae Extract, Tocopherol, Aroma**, Limonene, Linalool

notes:

this is an anhydrous blend made with a harder, crumbly butter (kokum), two different waxes, and an oil-soluble preservative. usually balms like this can have a nice texture with 25% butter, 50% oil, and 25% wax, although it varies due to personal preference and which butters, oils, and waxes you decide to use. if you’re just using hard and crumbly kokum butter, it’s more 50/50. some versions have 70% oil, 15% butter, and 5% wax. see how the butter and wax percentages can change it? since the kokum butter is pretty hard, we can do without the waxes, especially since beeswax can leave a slight film on the skin. let’s use it at 10%, and as a formulation guideline. cocoa butter is also a bit harder, next is shea, whereas cupuacu and mango seed butters are very soft and creamy. let’s do 65% butter and 35% oils; no waxes.

shea butter ethyl esters is a product known as Lipex SheaLight, designed to be a less greasy emollient. i think using a different butter and oils would have solved this issue, but this is another way to get that result.

dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline is an anti-wrinkle product known as Sepilift DPHP. manufacturer tests indicate a formulation usage of 1%. we’ll exclude it. that means our acai oil is 1% contribution, as it’s next and before the phenethyl alcohol.

phenethyl alcohol is used here as a preservative and possibly an aromatic addition. it’s never been assessed for safety but animal studies show signs of skin irritation. we’ll leave it out, but note it’s usually used at no greater than 1%. the elderberry extract is a natural oil-soluble preservative and the EOs serve to make it smell nice.

elderberry extract can be used at 1 to 5%, although challenge test results indicate 2% is the acceptable usage.

i’m unsure of what algae extract they’re using, but we’ll choose a waterless one.

we know that tocopherols are effective at 0.5%, so let’s assume that.

as for the extracts towards the end of the list, they could be CO2 extractions. however, since there is no such thing as meadowsweet CO2 or alfalfa CO2, we can probably safely assume these plant materials are all being infused into the olive oil that’s listed. if that’s the case, then let’s blend equal parts of dried plant materials into the olive oil and let it infuse for 4 months. whew, long time.

lastly, here’s a labeling tidbit – cosmetic formulations that are sold to consumers in a retail way, like online or in-store, need the COMMON ingredient names, not the INCI names. this is a very common mistake. however, you can certainly include the INCI ones if they’re embedded in the common name. so, the labeling on this product is non-compliant.

adjustments:

no Lipex SheaLight. no waxes. no caprylic/capric triglyceride. no phenethyl alcohol. no Sepilift DPHP.

diy formula:

 

are you liking this DIY DUPE SERIES? please let me know!

XO, ALEXRAYE

 

lightweight luxe body and hair oil (d.i.y.)

i’m a firm believer that you can d.i.y. beauty products for results that rival high-end quality products.  this d.i.y. is a perfect example of that — simple, stunning, body and hair care magic right here.

this is a very lightweight body AND hair oil, made with fatty and hydrating, yet extremely fast-absorbing oils. the recipe is intended for a 3 ounce bottle, but can be tailored to any amount you desire.

3 base ingredients. 10 minutes of your time. silky smooth skin and hair to follow.

IMG_20171229_140852.png

this blend is exactly what’s currently in my bathroom for my post-shower body oil. i’ve added rose, jasmine, and lavender EOs for a soft floral scent that lingers for hours.

while this oil is intended for use post-shower on wet skin, it will still absorb quickly into dry skin.

keep in mind that buying in bulk can be cheaper, and you can make more body/hair oil, or anything else you want with what’s leftover. this recipe is definitely on the splurge end, but is cheaper than buying a really nice quality body oil over time, and you can control precisely what’s in it.

what you need:

  • 100 mL pump bottle
  • organic chia seed oil
  • chia seed co2 extract
  • marula oil

how-to (my favorite blend):

  • 1.5 ounces chia seed co2 extract
  • 1 ounce marula oil
  • 0.5 ounce chia seed oil
  • 10-15 drops EOs, as desired

how-to (saves a little money):

  • 1.5 ounces chia seed oil
  • 1 ounce chia seed co2 extract
  • 0.5 ounce marula oil
  • 10-15 drops EOs, as desired

where to purchase (no affiliates whatsoever – just what i use):

if you try this recipe, please share your experience below.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE D.I.Y. BODY/HAIR OIL BLEND?

XO, ALEXRAYE

*please do not take this recipe and sell it – i made it up in my own little brain and that would just be rude. spread the crunchy love and link back/credit where it is due. love!