The almondy, oaty goodness continues today with this formulation for a gentle Almond Oat Creamy Conditioning Face Wash. This formulation features soothing colloidal oatmeal, vitamin-rich sweet almond oil, and conditioning BTMS-25 ❤️ It gently cleanses the skin, leaving it feeling soft and refreshed without being drying. It can also double as a cleansing conditioner for your hair if you want! Let’s get started 😄
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This formulation is basically just lotion, but with two key differences. Difference #1; the emulsifier (BTMS-25) is cationic, so the entire formulation is conditioning. You’ll notice a distinctly different skin feel on rinse-off with this formulation vs. a non-ionic one (like this). The cationic conditioning goodness leaves the skin feeling extra soft and sort of… extra substantial (in a good way)? Think of the extra slip and silkiness your hair takes on after you use conditioner—it’s like that, but on your skin!
Difference #2 is the inclusion of a gentle amphoteric surfactant to further boost rinse-off / bring more gentle cleansing to the table. I’ve chosen readily available Cocamidopropyl Betaine for this purpose. I put it in the cool down phase, but there’s so little of it that you can include it in the heated water phase without encountering much in the way of extra lather during blending. You will notice pretty substantial thinning when you add the Cocamidopropyl Betaine; this is totally normal. You can boost the cleansing power of this formulation by using more Cocamidopropyl Betaine (reducing the distilled water to make room for it), but this will further thin the formulation. It’s not a bad thing, just a thing to be aware of!
Since this is a wash-off formulation I’ve kept it fairly simple and inexpensive. The water phase is a simple blend of distilled water, moisturizing vegetable glycerin, and just a wee bit of citric acid to bring the pH down into the mildly acidic range.
The heated oil phase is comprised of our emulsifier (BTMS-25), lovely sweet almond oil (our almond-y ingredient!), and colloidal oatmeal. Colloidal oatmeal isn’t oil-soluble, but I like to include it in the heated oil phase because it cooks up into a sort of gloppy porridge if put in the heated water phase. Putting it in the oil phase prevents it from turning into porridge and it blends into the emulsion perfectly fine when we combine the phases.
You’ll find some more oaty goodness in the cool down phase in the form of moisturizing hydrolyzed oat protein, along with our preservative (Liquid Germall™ Plus), our antioxidant (vitamin E), and the Cocamidopropyl Betaine we discussed earlier. The dark brown oat protein gives the entire formulation a soft cream colour once it’s stirred in.
I opted to package this formulation in a 100g (3.5oz) frosted soft squeeze tube, but I think it would also work well in a tottle or a pump-top bottle. It’s a bit thin for a jar; if you want to make a jarred cream cleanser I’d recommend this formulation. Happy making!
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Relevant links & further reading
- Vegetable Glycerin in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Citric Acid in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- BTMS-25 in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Sweet Almond Oil in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Colloidal Oatmeal in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Hydrolyzed Oat Protein in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Liquid Germall Plus in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Cocamidopropyl Betaine in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Tocopherol (Vitamin E) in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Other cream cleansers:
- Other Almond Oat formulations:
- Can I use soap instead of foaming surfactants? in the Humblebee & Me FAQ
- Preservatives chart/table
- Surfactants chart/table
- A Guide to Carrier Oil Substitutions
- Preservatives + Shelf Life in the Humblebee & Me FAQ
Almond Oat Creamy Conditioning Face Wash
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.
Weigh the heated water phase into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup or glass beaker. Weigh the entire lot (measuring cup + ingredients) and note that weight for use later. Weigh the heated oil phase into a second heat-resistant glass measuring cup. Place both measuring cups in your prepared water bath to melt everything through.
After about 20–30 minutes the oil part should be completely melted and the water part should be thoroughly dissolved. Remove the water bath from the heat and weigh the water phase. Add enough hot distilled water to the heated water phase to bring the weight back up to what it was before heating, and then pour the water part into the oil part. Stir with a flexible silicone spatula to incorporate.
Grab your immersion blender and begin blending the lotion, starting with short bursts so the still-very-liquid lotion doesn’t whirl up and spray everywhere. Blend for about a minute, leave to cool for ten, blend for another minute or two, and repeat this blend-cool-blend cycle until the outside of the glass measuring cup is barely warm to the touch and the lotion is thick and creamy.
When the lotion is cool it’s time to incorporate our cool down ingredients. Because cool down ingredients are typically present at very low amounts you’ll need to use an accurate scale—preferably one accurate to 0.01g. As these more accurate scales tend to have fairly low (100–200g) maximum weights you won’t be able to put the entire batch of lotion on that scale without blowing it out. So—grab a smaller dish. Add a scoop or two of lotion, and then weigh the cool down ingredients into that, using the more accurate scale. Stir to thoroughly incorporate, and then stir all of that back into the master batch of lotion. Doing it this way minimizes the amount of cool down ingredients lost to the secondary container. The emulsion will thin when you add the cool down phase due to the Cocamidopropyl Betaine; this is normal!
Once the cool down phase has been incorporated, all that’s left to do is package it up! I used a 100g (3.5oz) frosted soft squeeze tube from Yellow Bee (gifted), filling it with a syringe.
Use as you’d use any foaming face wash. Enjoy!
When made as-written, this creamy face wash has a pH ~5, which is great. If you make any changes I highly recommend testing the pH and adjusting if necessary.
Shelf Life & Storage
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 may 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.
As always, be aware that making substitutions will change the final product. While these swaps won’t break the recipe, you will get a different final product than I did.
- As I’ve provided this formulation in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using a simple spreadsheet as I’ve explained in this post. As written in grams this recipe will make 100g.
- To learn more about the ingredients used in this formulation, including why they’re included and what you can substitute them with, please visit the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia. It doesn’t have everything in it yet, but there’s lots of good information there! If I have not given a specific substitution suggestion in this list please look up the ingredient in the encyclopedia before asking.
- You could try Propanediol 1,3 instead of glycerin.
- You could use lactic acid instead of citric acid, but you will need to re-test and potentially adjust the pH of the final formulation.
- If you have BTMS-50 you can use it at a 1:1 swap instead of BTMS-25 and you’ll end up with a more conditioning end product.
- I don’t recommend using a non-cationic emulsifier (like Polawax, Emulsifying Wax NF, Ritamulse SCG, etc.) instead of BTMS-25 or BTMS-50.
- You can substitute another lightweight oil like sunflower, grapeseed, or sunflower seed instead of sweet almond oil.
- I don’t recommend substituting the colloidal oatmeal.
- You can replace hydrolyzed oat protein with a different hydrolyzed protein (rice, baobab, quinoa, etc.).
- If you’d like to learn more about the surfactants used and compare them to ones you might already have so you can make substitutions, check out this page and read this FAQ. I highly recommend sticking with an amphoteric surfactant.
- If you’re like to use a different preservative, please review this FAQ and this chart.
- If you’d like to incorporate an essential oil, please read this.
The cocamidopropyl betaine, citric acid, Liquid Germall™ Plus, and soft squeeze tube were gifted by YellowBee.