Getting out of bed at this time of year is hard. I have an amazing electric bed warmer (seriously, if you live somewhere cold, getting one is a must) that I use to pre-heat my bed before climbing between the sheets each night, and I run it on low all night so I’m guaranteed to be roasty-toasty-warm. It’s utterly brilliant and I love it. But it does make getting out of bed extra hard because my bed is a super delicious cocoon, and outside of bed is… not. Not being in bed requires wearing pants and socks and all kinds of other things that are not a duvet, and that’s a bummer. Anyhow, this Morning Glory Foaming Facial Cleanser makes getting out of bed a bit easier. With its gentle, creamy lather and minty pop it’s like a shot of caffeine to the face, and with it waiting for me in the bathroom, I’m less prone to stay in bed until the sun comes up (which is quite late these days). I think you’ll like it.
I’ve been continuing to have fun playing with surfactants, so I thought I’d try a liquid one in combination with the powdered ones I’ve had fun with recently. One of the major bonuses of liquid surfactants is their liquidy state, meaning we don’t have to be concerned with dissolving them into our concoctions. The one we’ll be using today, Cocamidopropyl Betaine can also be used to speed up the melting/dissolving speed of sodium cocoyl isethionate (SCI), so that’s doubly awesome.
Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a secondary surfactant that helps create mild surfactant blends (it actually increases the mildness of other surfactants!) and, as we’re doing, is useful for dissolving powdered surfactants. It’s a relatively thin golden liquid that smells characteristically surfactant-y (soapy, basically).
Another major difference in using Cocamidopropyl Betaine instead of SLSa (as I do in my Meadowfoam Mango Creamy Facial Cleanser) is the consistency of the final product. You’ll combine a gelatinous blob of SCI + Cocamidopropyl Betaine with a thick cream and suddenly you’ll have a rather thin lotion—something perfect for a GoToob or a 120mL/4oz plastic pump-top bottle. While this Morning Glory Foaming Facial Cleanser is, in many ways, very similar to my Meadowfoam Mango Creamy Facial Cleanser, that simple swap gives us a product with a significantly different consistency because SLSa is a great thickener, and while Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a good thickener, it’s not as strong as SLSa. Cool!
The final product is a great mid-thickness lotion consistency with an incredibly creamy, gentle low lather. A squirt of this in your palm combined with a bit of warm water makes for a luxuriously clean (but not too dry) face in no time, and the menthol-y tingle is just the thing to perk you up first thing. I think you’ll love it!
Morning Glory Foaming Facial Cleanser
5g | 0.17oz complete emulsifying wax (not beeswax!) (I used Emulsifying Wax NF)
9g | 0.32oz refined shea butter (USA / Canada)
9g | 0.32oz fractionated coconut oil
0.5g | 0.017oz menthol crystals
0.5g | 0.017oz Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada) (approximately 10 drops)
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 water and vegetable glycerin into one of the measuring cups. Weigh that measuring cup with the water and glycerin in it, and note the weight (mine was just shy of 550g/19.4oz). Cover that measuring cup with some foil to create a makeshift lid, and pop that part in the water bath.
Weigh the surfactants into another measuring cup (I used the beaker for them), and place that in the water bath as well. You’ll want to be sure you wear your dust mask when you measure out the SCI as it’s very floaty and easy to inhale, and that feels a lot like snorting soap—not pleasant! Stir the mixture occasionally as it melts—it’ll turn into a gelatinous sort of blob.
Weigh the emulsifying wax, shea butter, fractionated coconut oil, menthol crystals, and vitamin E oil into the last measuring cup, and place that in the hot water bath as well.
Leave everything in the hot water bath for half an hour to give all the ingredients a chance to come up to temperature and hang out there for a while (this helps kill anything that might be living in the water part of your concoction, melts the surfactants together, and melts the oils thoroughly).
At about the 25 minute mark, boil a kettle of water.
Once half an hour has passed, remove the water part and oil part measuring cups from the water bath (leave the surfactant one in the water bath, though). Remove the foil from the water part, and pop that measuring cup back on the scale; add some of the just-boiled water from the kettle to it to bring it back up to the noted amount from earlier (this was about a 2g difference for me).
Pour the water part into the oil part and use your immersion blender to blend everything together; blend for about two minutes, and then leave the mixture to cool for about 10 minutes. Come back and blend for another minute or two, and repeat the wait-and-blend cycle until the outside of the measuring cup feels just warm to the touch (like testing a baby bottle), and the cream is quite thick. At that point, blend in your preservative and essential oils.
Remove the surfactant blend from the water bath and scrape it into the lotion—it’ll be a semi-translucent viscous blob. Stir that into your lotion with a flexible silicone spatula until thoroughly blended, and then give the entire thing a few blasts with your immersion blender (don’t worry, it won’t lather up like crazy!). The entire concoction will thin out a lot at this point, which can be a bit of a surprise as you added a thick blob of something to a thick cream, and suddenly you have a relatively thin lotion. No worries, this is normal!
Decant the cleanser into a pump-top bottle or squeeze tube. To use, combine a squirt of the cleanser with some warm water, massage it into your face, and rinse away.
Makes 100g/3.5 ounces of Morning Glory Foaming Facial Cleanser. I perfectly filled two 60mL (2 fl oz) GoToobs.
If you don’t have fractionated coconut oil, any other lightweight, low-scent carrier oil will work. Examples include sweet almond oil (USA / Canada), safflower oil, and sunflower seed oil (USA / Canada / UK / NZ). I recommend sticking with cheaper oils as we’ll be washing this concoction down the sink and pricier oils will go to waste.
If you don’t have clementine essential oil, some suitable alternatives would be red mandarin essential oil and tangerine essential oil. Orange essential oil will also work, though I do prefer the softer citrusy scents of tangerine, mandarin, and clementine for this recipe.
Because of the menthol, I do not recommend using this to remove eye makeup!