Formulating the Citrus Coconut Cleansing Balm

Citrus coconut cleansing balm.jpeg

Cleansing balms are wonderful for getting makeup off. Especially eye makeup.  There are a number of balms on the market that can be like any other solid oily balm and then you have balms that contain (surfactants ) solubilisers and emulsifiers to help the balm turn into an emulsion when water is added.  This helps wash off the product so that there is very little to no residue of makeup or oil left on the skin.

If you formulate carefully you could have something that rinses off almost everything leaving only a light film of oil.  These types of cleansers are really good for dry to very dry skin types as they do not strip the skin of its occlusive oily layer and there tends to be no skin tightness after use.    Personally I prefer wash off cleansing balms and it appears the public do too as there seems to be a surgence of these types of products on the market.

How do cleansing balms work?

As said, they are solid oil that melts on contact with the skin, the oil is rubbed and mixes with the sebum (skin oil) dirt and make-up.  When water is introduced, it in effect becomes like an emulsion and washes the cleanser and any impurities leaving the skin clean .   

This is what is in this new cleansing balm. Ingredients:

Cocos nucifera (Coconut) oil, Caryodendron orinocense Nut Oil), Sorbitan Laurate (and) Polyglyceryl-4 Laurate (and) Dilauryl Citrate, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate (and) Lauryl Glucoside, Coco glucoside, Prunus domestica (Plum) kernel seed oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Hydrogenated Olive Oil, Ricinus communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia Oil, coconut co2 extract, grapefruit essential oil

As you can see there is coconut in this. I love using coconut in many products as it really adds a nice slip. It also does not go rancid quickly. It melts at 24c (75F) so I have included this as I would a liquid oil,  I used quite a lot on this as I want the product to melt fairly easily on the skin but I also want it to withstand warmer temperatures when it is in the container.  Cocoa butter is a hard butter and adds consistency to the balm, as does cetearyl alcohol.

I used a combination of two different green surfactant blends. So what is a surfactant and how does it aid with removing makeup.  Surfactants release the surface tension of oils and dirt on the skin and allow them to then be washed away - essentially they create an emulsion on contact with water and turn milky when washed off.

Stage 1 - Initial stability study

Carefully balancing an anhydrous product with different surfactants blends can be a challenge to get right especially when they contain water and are in a semi solid product as there is risk of separation.  Indeed at 40c I was expecting it to melt however  it should have reformed when it reached room temperature.  Sadly the parameters that I set for stability did not hold in my initial studies.  Next stage will be to tweak and retest.