The Frosted Cranberry fun continues today with this creamy red Frosted Cranberry Powder to Foam Facial Cleanser. It’s a soft, water-free cleanser that transforms into a gentle, foaming, lightly exfoliating cleanser when you work it up between your palms with a bit of warm water. Let’s dive in!
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As the primary state of this formulation is “powder”, it’s primarily made up of powders 😝 It’s mostly creamy white kaolin clay, with a bit of pink clay for some on-theme cranberry-ish colour. I used Australian Pink Clay, but it seems like that particular clay is not stocked very many places anymore, so I linked to a variety of actually available different soft pink clays in the formulation. The only supplier I found that sells Australian Pink Clay is New Directions Australia (makes sense!), though the product pictured on their website is definitely a softer, paler pink than the one I have. Anywho—the pink clay really is just for on-theme colour, so don’t fret if you don’t have one and just use more kaolin clay instead.
The ingredient that transforms this cleanser into foamy loveliness when it gets wet is Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI); my favourite solid anionic surfactant. It’s wonderfully gentle and works up into a “lace glove” lather that I adore. Since it’s a solid, dry surfactant it blends in beautifully with all the clay and you wouldn’t even know it was there until you got the powder wet. Sneaky!
This powder-to-foam cleanser includes two cranberry ingredients; cranberry fiber and cranberry seed oil. The cranberry fiber adds a touch of exfoliation; if you’d like more scrubby action you can always increase it by a few percentage points, decreasing the kaolin clay to make room for it. The cranberry seed oil adds some richness and re-fatting to the cleanser and helps weigh down the powder so it doesn’t float up into your airways too easily.
For added creaminess and re-fatting I also included a bit of rich coconut milk powder. You could definitely use a different powdered milk if you wanted to—cow or goat milk would also be lovely!
You will definitely need a DIY-only coffee grinder for this formulation, plus a well-fitting dust mask to protect your airways during the whippy making stage. It’s not hard—basically the DIY equivalent of a smoothie. Pop everything in your coffee grinder and blend until smooth. Voila!
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Relevant links & further reading
- Kaolin Clay in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI) in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Cranberry Seed Oil in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Vitamin E in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Dust mask in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Coffee Grinder in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Other powder-to-foam cleansers:
- Other Frosted Cranberry formulations:
Frosted Cranberry Powder to Foam Facial Cleanser
10.5g | 52.5% white kaolin clay (USA / Canada)
3g | 15% pink clay (USA / Canada / Australia)
2g | 10% powdered coconut milk (USA / Canada)
3g | 15% Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI) (USA / Canada)
0.4g | 2% cranberry fiber (USA / Canada)
1g | 5% cranberry seed oil
0.1g | 0.5% Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada)
Put on your dust mask.
Weigh the powdered ingredients into a small bowl. Scatter the liquid ingredients over the surface of the powders, gently aggitating the mixture to coat the drops of oil in a fine coating of powder.
Dump the mixture into your DIY-only coffee grinder and blend thoroughly. You’ll want to smack the lid of the grinder with the back of a spoon to knock powders down from the inside of the lid. You’ll also want to take the lid off at least once and stir around, taking care to turn over everything at the bottom of the grinder to ensure all the ingredients are blending together well.
Once the mixture is uniform, all that’s left is packaging up the cleanser. I used a “test tube” style container with a screw-on lid from YellowBee (gifted). You could also use some sort of shaker bottle—ones made for spices can work well.
To use: dispense about 1/4–1/2 tsp of the powder cleanser into your palm. Add a bit of water and work it up into a lather; from there, use it as you’d use any foaming facial cleanser. Enjoy!
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this product does not contain any water, it does not require a broad-spectrum preservative (broad spectrum preservatives ward off microbial growth, and microbes require water to live—no water, no microbes!). Kept reasonably cool and dry, it should last at least a year before any of the oils go rancid. If you notice it starts to smell like old nuts or crayons, that’s a sign that the oils have begun to oxidize; chuck it out and make a fresh batch if that happens.
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 20g.
- 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 can use more white kaolin clay instead of the pink clay.
- 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.
- Your Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI) can be any format—sticks/needles, finely powdered, or chunky powder. After it goes through the coffee grinder it’ll be a fine powder no matter how it started.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (SLSa) would be my first choice for an alternative. Whatever you use, it MUST be dry—no liquid surfactants here!
- You could try a different plant-derived exfoliant, like apricot kernel or cranberry seeds, instead of the cranberry fibre. Since we’re grinding this formulation you can choose more scrubby exfoliants than you’d usually use on your face, though I do recommend keeping the usage level to 2% to start with.
- You can substitute another lightweight oil like sweet almond, grapeseed, or sunflower seed for the cranberry seed oil.
- If you’d like to incorporate an essential oil, please read this.