This gentle Pemberley Foaming Facial Cleanser boasts the loveliest dense, creamy lather and a mouth-watering scent blend. It’s bright, sweet, and slightly spicy with deep rose and juicy citrus notes. Making-wise, it comes together so quickly that I suspect it’ll take you longer to get your ingredients out than it’ll take to make this facial cleanser! Simply stir everything together in a beaker and you’re off to the foamy, sudsy races. Booyah!
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Our surfactant blend is mild—a gentle combination of non-ionic Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside and amphoteric Cocamidopropyl Betaine. Non-ionic surfactants are less likely to irritate the skin than anionic or cationic surfactants, and Cocamidopropyl Betaine works to make surfactants milder, so together they create a very gentle blend. I’ve also kept the active surfactant matter (ASM) really low. Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside is 60% active, so at 4% that’s 2.4% active surfactant matter. Cocamidopropyl Betaine is 30% active, so at a 2% usage rate, that’s 0.6% active surfactant matter. All together that makes for a grand total of 3% for the entire formulation. I find this ASM to be perfectly effective, but also gentle.
Another reason I’ve selected Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside is that it is a good solubilizer for fragrance and essential oils—using it removes the need for a secondary solubilizer like Polysorbate 20. It’s also got a skin-friendly pH of 5.5–6, reducing the need for pH adjusting. For this reason, I don’t recommend substituting it for a different glucoside surfactant, like coco glucoside or lauryl glucoside—they aren’t good solubilizers and have quite high pH values.
The lovely scent for this cleanser comes from a couple of places. First off, some juicy rose hydrosol from Mystic Moments brings that essential rose note. There’s some spice from cardamom essential oil, and some juicy fruitiness from grapefruit essential oil. I dropped the benzoin resinoid from this product as mine does not play well with thin hydrous products like this one. If you happen to have vanilla essential oil, which is water-soluble, including that at 0.1% would be lovely!
Some vegetable glycerin and hydrolyzed silk round off the formula, making the face wash a bit more moisturizing. As everything is liquid or readily water-soluble you don’t need any heat to make this—some alternating spells of measuring and stirring will do the trick. When made as written, this cleanser has a skin-friendly pH right around 5, so you shouldn’t need to test and adjust unless you make some big changes. Once you’ve stirred it together, just pop it in a foamer bottle and you’re good to go—enjoy!
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Pemberley Foaming Facial Cleanser
28.55g | 57.1% distilled water
10g | 20% rose hydrosol
Add the Cocamidopropyl Betaine, hydrolyzed silk, glycerine, and liquid germall plus one at a time, stirring to combine.
We’ll add the watery things last. Once you add them the mixture will be much more prone to foaming up, so make sure you’re stirring more gently once you add the water and hydrosol.
When everything is thoroughly blended, you’re done! Pour the mixture into a 50mL (1.69fl oz) foamer bottle and that’s it. Enjoy!
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.
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 recipe 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 50g.
- To learn more about the ingredients used in this recipe, 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.
- If you’re like to use a different preservative, please review this page.
- 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.
- You can use different essential/fragrance oils, but keep in mind that different essential oils/fragrance oils can have different solubilizing requirements. There should be enough solubilizer here to keep 0.4% essential oil/fragrance oil solubilized, but I haven’t tested everything.
- A citrus essential oil would work well in place of the lemon slices fragrance oil.
- You can use a different hydrolyzed protein, like rice or quinoa, instead of the silk.
- Please make sure to review this page if you want to use a different surfactant in place of the Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside.
- You could try propanediol 1,3 instead of glycerine.
- You can use a different hydrosol instead of rose, or more water.
The rose hydrosol was gifted by Mystic Moments.