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™ liquid. Crothix™ liquid 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™ liquid, 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™ liquid 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 Cocamidopropyl Betaine. 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 Cocamidopropyl Betaine (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 Cocamidopropyl Betaine if the recipe calls for it, and I intentionally chose a fairly high SCI:Cocamidopropyl Betaine 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™ liquid to get that lovely runny-honey consistency I’m so smitten with. Swoon!
Want to watch this project instead of read it?
Green Tea and Roses Facial Cleanser
8g | 0.28oz Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI) (USA / Canada)
12g | 0.42oz Cocamidopropyl Betaine (USA / Canada)
52g | 1.83oz distilled water
2g | 0.07oz hydrolyzed silk (USA / Canada) (wondering about substitutions?)
3g | 0.1oz vegetable glycerine (USA / Canada)
20g | 0.71oz rose hydrosol
2g | 0.07oz panthenol powder (vitamin B5) (USA / Canada)
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™ Liquid (USA / Canada) 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 Cocamidopropyl Betaine into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup. Place the measuring cup in your prepared water bath to let the SCI dissolve into the Cocamidopropyl Betaine. 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™ liquid 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™ liquid 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).
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 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.
Ooohh this sounds lovely! I made a third batch of the gentle chamomile cleanser and used crothix instead of xanthan gum and oh my, never going back to x.g. I only used about 1.5 g of crothix and it thickened up A LOT (in a good way!) You used 4.8 g of crothix so I am wondering how thick it got. My cleanser feels a bit thicker than runny honey with only 1.5 g crothix so i guess I’ll start with about 1-2 grams and see how much it thickens. Making this today!!! (as if i needed another cleanser for my ever growing collection.) Thanks Marie!
Mine was a lot like runny honey; I was honestly quite surprised I needed as much as I did, though having never worked with it all I had to go from was Susan’s posts on it. I just whipped up a variation on this for a guy friend of mine who was very intrigued by my assorted research into pH correct cleansers—I tried it with peppermint hydrosol and no essential oils, and it was lovely!
This looks so lovely? What pH does it end up at?
Right about 5/5.5. It’s in the video!
Here’s a theory on why it takes SCI longer to melt in Calgary. Elevation. Water comes to a boil at a different rate. You need extra eggs in some baked goods. Of course, while your process may be the same, temperature of the water bath plays a part. Type of metal Susan uses for a pot versus yourself and the vessel you are actually melting the SCI in. Also, what if the SCI is different granular size. What if the burner Susan uses is hotter? Gosh so many things to think about now. All largely outside our control.
I’m sure there’s some sort of reason, but I was surprised to hear the difference was so great! In any event, it’s not much of a hardship 😛
nice, I made something similar some time ago, but it was not enough of foaming action, I had add LSB or BSB and it was very good. Thank you Marie
Fun! I need to get myself some BSB 🙂 Never can have too many surfactants!
Watched the video and am excited to try a couple of things here I’ve not used before.
Would love to see a video detailing the making of the SCI/Amphosol CG paste?
Keep making them, you inspire this old dog to learn new tricks!
This video shows the SCI + Amphosol thing from the beginning 🙂 Happy making!
I am pre-making the surfactant SCI (2 parts) and 150g Amphosol CG as you suggested. Once completed do I just scoop out 20g and continue with the recipe as is? Thank you
Yes! Isn’t that wonderful!? I’m so thrilled with this shortcut haha.
Can I substitute a floral water for the distilled water in this or any recipe?
Yup! I would just recommend not doing all of the water as a floral water—it’ll be very smelly and spoil quickly. As a general rule of thumb I’d keep the floral water to ~20% of the entire recipe 🙂
Can I use liquid green tea extract rather than powdered in the same amount?
Might sound like a silly question,but can i use Matcha tea powder(pure matcha tea powder not the matcha tea latte) instead of greet tea extract powder? its really hard to find some of the ingredients here in Australia:(
In something with water I don’t recommend it as food tea is very oxidization prone and is unlikely to provide any antioxidant benefits after ~12 hours. You can replace it with more water or a different botanical extract that sounds fitting if you can find one 🙂
Can I use slsa?
Yup! Just be sure to test and adjust the pH as necessary. SLSa has less active surfactant matter than SCI, but isn’t as gentle, so I think that should balance out nicely 🙂
Thanks for this great recipe. I am new to making facial cleansers. Couple things I notice, I used powdered SCI and it dissolved super fast, I was expecting it to take forever to melt but it was instant, so I thought I did something wrong. Next after my mixture cooled down completely overnight, the next day it was opaque. I was expecting it to stay clear, do you think I did something wrong. Note: I didn’t have any green tea extract so that was not added.
Thanks Again for posting this!
Lucky you, with that fast dissolving time! I’ve never had anything made with SCI remain transluscent (the photos here are a bit deceiving; the wash I have now is definitely milky). The paste made with SCI and Amphosol CG is a very opaque white so it makes sense that concoctions it would be dissolved into would also be milky or opaque, depending on concentration 🙂 Enjoy!
I appreciate you taking the time to reply. Your videos are great by they way… they make me feel like at home skincare isn’t as scary and complex as it seems.
I’m so glad! They sure do take a lot of time, planning, work, and equipment but I’m thrilled to hear they help remove the scary factor better than writing! That makes it worth it 🙂
I am so happy to discover your blog and videos. I lose track of time whenever, I open your videos and blog posts. Thank you for being such an inspiration 🙂
I have a doubt, if I have only Cocamidopropyl Betaine then will it be sufficient to give the acid mantle pH of around 5-5.5? And also will it be sufficient to act as a cleansing foam?
You’ll have to check and adjust the pH to know what the end pH is. If you only use Cocamidopropyl Betaine it will likely still cleanse, but I don’t think you’ll notice much (if any) lather.
I made the cleanser last night and am so pleased! When the face was cleaned this morning, the suds were gentle and the face did not feel stripped of moisture. My face has a lovely rose smell from the hydrosol.
Thank you for your time in formulating this recipe and your generousity and sharing your creatings.
I am SO glad to hear this! I, too, love being followed around by a rosey cloud 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing and DIYing with me!
I too have kicked the soap face cleanser routine and jumped on the Korean soap-free double cleansing and have noticed a marked difference. So, now I have finished my last bottle of African Black soap cleanser and wanting to try your latest creations. I have a question about a short cut in the sutfactant/emulsifier base; can I use this blend, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate (and) Lauryl Glucoside Surfactant “Green” Blend? I appreciate your experience, knowledge, and wisdom on this.
Warm regards eh?,
I’m so glad you’ve noticed a difference! I am definitely never going back to high pH facial cleansers.
The blend you’ve mentioned is a combination of Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate (anionic) and lauryl glucoside (non-ionic). According to the manufacturer it’s got good foam and is gentle. I’d probably still want to include an amphoteric surfactant like the Cocamidopropyl Betaine (CAPB) in this recipe to make things even gentler, but since the blend and the CAPB are both liquid it would be very easy to combine everything without the melting/dissolving required for the paste I’ve used.
The pH of the blend is mildly acidic (good stuff) and the active surfactant matter is ~30%, which is a lot lower than the ASM of SCI (84%). You’d want to adjust the formula to use enough of the blend to reach the same ASM (slightly less than 3x as much), removing that extra amount from the water part.
And, of course, check and adjust pH as required. I suspect it will be close, but it’s always a good idea to check 🙂
Thanks for being a patron!
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply Marie. So, I’ve decided to go with the original ingredients you have in the recipe and save that blend for another project, maybe body wash. Anyhooo, looking forward to making this.
Much peace and grace,
Awesome! Have fun and happy making 🙂
Hi Marie! Im new to surfactants and am working with powder SCI; will the end result still be a translucent paste like yours ?
My Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI) was powdered as well 🙂
Firstly, I must thank you for your “Oh So” easy instructions on how to make… I have spent the last couple of months making up Christmas presents using many of your recipes.
I live in Sydney Australia, and New Directions is a great place to get many of the ingredients in your recipes. But…for those ingredients they do not stock, I have been experimenting with substitutes (or sourcing elswhere:)
My question: am I able to swap out Crothix with ND’s Crosspolymer? I can’t get my hands on any Penstia, but that sounds devine also.
What would be a nice thinkener with a lovely “slip” but no tackiness, to use instead (that NewDirections in OZ may supply)?
Check this out!
There was no need to predisburse the green tea powder? I find that this particular botanical does not dissolve 100%.