My green tea kick continues with this Green Tea and Roses Facial Cleanser, which pairs beautifully with my Green Tea Cleansing Oil and Green Tea Face Cream. This rose scented cleanser has a beautiful, creamy, low lather that won’t leave your skin feeling dry or stripped—just clean. I’ve already made two batches, so suffice it to stay I’m pretty fond of this Green Tea and Roses Facial Cleanser and you should definitely make some 😉
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The foaming part of this cleanser comes from a blend of two lovely, gentle surfactants. I find these surfactants to be quite a bit gentler than traditional soap in no small part because of their much more skin-friendly pH’s. They give a wonderful low lather that I’ve read described as “lace glove lather”—a fine layer of small bubbles that are less likely to sneak up your nose or into your eyes that big ol’ bubbles. The scent comes entirely from intoxicating rose water, meaning you’ll get a nice floral note but no lingering, bothersome scent.
You might remember that my last gentle foaming facial cleanser was thickened using xanthan gum, while this one is thickened with crothix. Crothix is a relatively new ingredient for me, and I’m pretty darn impressed. While xanthan gum definitely does thicken things up, in the amounts required for a foaming facial cleanser (which has the consistency of whole milk without any thickening), you get an end product that’s a touch… boogery. It’s a touch jelloid and sort of slimy, and while that’s hardly a deal breaker, it is less than ideal.
Crothix, on the other hand, is pretty much thickening perfection. It’s easy to incorporate and thickens surfactant based concoctions in the loveliest way possible—that is, it gives you a product that looks and feels exactly like a plain ‘ol thicker version of the original. My Green Tea and Roses Facial Cleanser has a consistency similar to that of a runny honey, and when I compare that to the consistency of my Gentle Chamomile Facial Cleanser, it wins by a mile. Now, if you don’t have crothix you can definitely use xanthan gum instead, but if you’re a fan of playing with surfactants, I can’t recommend getting some enough.
When you’re making surfacant-based concoctions with SCI, part one is usually melting the SCI into an anionic or amphoteric liquid surfactant like Amphosol CG. For some reason, this takes ages for me, so I decided to jump-start that part for this project and others by creating a paste of the two in advance and keeping that in the freezer for later use. To do this I weighed out 100g of SCI (2 parts) and 150g Amphosol CG (3 parts), stirred that together, and popped it in a water bath until I had a smooth, even, white paste. I transferred that to a 250mL (8oz) mason jar, labelled in, and keep it in the freezer to scoop into as needed. I can easily add more Amphosol if the recipe calls for it, and I intentionally chose a fairly high SCI:Amphosol ratio so it would be unlikely I’d ever need to melt more SCI. I’m a big fan of this workaround so far.
Regardless of whether or not you start with a pre-blended surfactant paste, the next step is dissolving that paste into some dressed-up water (we’ll add silk and glycerin), letting that cool, adding our cool down ingredients, and then letting it cool a whole lot more before adding some Crothix to get that lovely runny-honey consistency I’m so smitten with. Swoon!
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Green Tea and Roses Facial Cleanser
20g | 0.71oz rose hydrosol
2g | 0.07oz panthenol
1g | 0.03oz powdered green tea extract
0.5g | 0.018oz liquid germall plus (USA / Canada) (or other broad spectrum preservative of choice at recommended usage rate [why?])
Crothix, as needed, to thicken (I used 4.8g / 0.17oz)
Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3cm/1″ of water to a bare simmer over low to medium-low heat in a wide, flat-bottomed sauté pan.
Put on your dust mask and weigh the SCI and Amphosol CG into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup. Place the measuring cup in your prepared water bath to let the SCI dissolve into the Amphosol CG. This will take a while! It took about an hour for me—keep an eye on your water bath so it doesn’t simmer dry.
While the surfactants do their thing, weigh the water, silk, and glycerin into another small heat-resistant glass measuring cup or beaker. When the surfactant mixture looks mostly uniform (perhaps just one or two white blobs left), pop the water mixture beaker into the water bath as well to heat that through.
When the water part has heated through and appears uniform, sscrape the surfactant paste into the water part—I found it helpful to pour a bit of the water mixture into the surfactant mixture and give it a light stir before scraping that surfactant mixture into the water beaker. The surfactant mixture will be quite thick and paste-y. Leave the remaining measuring cup/beaker that contains everything in the water bath to allow the lumps of surfactant paste to dissolve, gently stirring occasionally to break up any surfactant blobs.
Once the mixture is completely uniform and there are no more surfactant blobs, remove the beaker from the heat and leave it to cool for about half an hour. When it has cooled so it’s just slightly warm to the touch, stir in the rose water, panthenol, green tea extract, and preservative. Cover with some cling film and leave to completely cool—overnight is a good length of time, but if you get carried away and it ends up being a day or two, that’s ok, too.
When your cleanser is SUPER cool, we can add the crothix to thicken it up. I added about a gram at a time and stirred to combine, ending up with just shy of 5g (0.17oz). Crothix is a wonderfully powerful thickener, so less is definitely more unless you want sudsy Flubber! I was aiming for something similar to the consistency of runny honey.
When you’re happy with the consistency of your cleanser, decant it into a 100mL pump-top bottle (I like this bottle paired with this pump-top) or a squeezy bottle with a flip or disc top (like this one).
Because this cleanser contains water, you must include a broad-spectrum preservative to ward off microbial growth. This is non-optional. Even with a preservative this project is likely to eventually spoil as our kitchens are not sterile laboratories, so in the event you notice any change in colour, scent, or texture, chuck it out and make a fresh batch.