Today we’re keeping up the Rosé theme with a shimmery, sudsy Rosé Hand Wash. This lovely bottle of bubbles also uses the Iselux Ultra Mild surfactant blend from Windy Point for ultra-easy making (we used it earlier this month to create a Sweetgrass Facial Cleanser as well). After a bit of a streak of foaming hand washes over the previous months I elected to thicken this one for use in regular pump-top bottles, but if you’d prefer to leave it un-thickened it’ll also work beautifully in a foamer top bottle. Either way, it’s super easy to make with no heating required!
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Our delicious scent comes from three places; rich rose hydrosol, fresh green cognac essential oil, and some sort of citrussy note. I’m keeping the rose & cognac notes the same throughout the series, but I’m having fun fiddling with the citrus notes. I’ve tried both grapefruit and litsea cubeba essential oils already, and this time I’m trying the lemon slices fragrance oil from Rustic Escentuals. It’s much sweeter and dessert-like than the essential oils, and I do love how it comes through in this hand wash! You can definitely feel free to use whatever citrussy thing appeals to you, but if you’re a citrus fiend the lemon slices fragrance is delightful.
Since we’re thickening this hand wash I decided to include a bit of pink shimmer in the form of a pretty “Tickle Me Pink” mica from YellowBee. I was looking for something rosé-ish, colour-wise, so let that be your guide when you’re choosing something from your stash. You definitely don’t have to use a mica if you don’t want to, but I think it makes for a very pretty end product.
The suds come from a pre-made blend of surfactants called Iselux Ultra Mild, which makes this hand wash super beginner-friendly and easy to make (it also drastically reduces the number of ingredients you’ll need). If you don’t have it be sure to check the substitutions list at the end of the recipe!
Because Iselux Ultra Mild isn’t an amazing solubilizer I’ve also included some polysorbate 20 to solubilize our essential oils/fragrances into the hand wash. We’ll use crothix to thicken the mixture, though if you prefer foaming hand washes you can certainly leave it out and pop the hand wash in a bottle with a foamer top instead (leave the mica out if you do that; it’ll just settle out).
The finished hand wash is lovely—silky and sudsy, leaving your hands feeling clean and fragrant. I hope you enjoy this lovely hand wash as much as I do!
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Rosé Hand Wash
14.4g | 6% polysorbate 20 (USA / Canada)
1.44g | 0.6% green cognac essential oil
0.96g | 0.4% lemon slices fragrance oil
24g | 10% vegetable glycerine (USA / Canada)
0.6g | 0.25% “Tickle Me Pink” mica
1.2g | 0.5% Liquid Germall Plus™ (USA / Canada)
36g | 15% Iselux Ultra Mild surfactant blend
65.4g | 27.25% distilled water
96g | 40% rose hydrosol
Crothix™ Liquid (USA / Canada), as needed
Weigh the polysorbate 20 and fragrance/essential oils into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup. Whisk to combine. Add the glycerine, mica, liquid germall plus, and Iselux, stirring between additions.
Add the distilled water and hydrosol and stir gently until the mixture is uniform.
Lastly, it’s time thicken the face wash with Crothix™ liquid. For a 240g batch I’d add ~3g at a time, stirring between additions and waiting five minutes or so before adding more. Crothix™ liquid can go very quickly from “hmm, not thick enough” to “whoops, just made sudsy flubber”, so err on the side of slower additions!
When you’re happy with the viscosity you’re done! Transfer to a container; I used a 240mL (8fl oz) pump-top bottle. To use… wash your hands with it. It’s pretty normal that way 🙂 Enjoy!
Made as written the pH of this hand wash is around 6. If you make any changes please test and adjust as required to get a similar end pH.
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this hand wash 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 240g.
- 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.
- You could use white cognac essential oil instead of green cognac essential oil.
- Feel free to choose a citrus essential or fragrance oil of choice.
- You could include 0.3% rose fragrance oil and then use 39.7% distilled water in place of the rose hydrosol
- You can use a different mild surfactant blend instead of the Iselux Ultra Mild. Suggestions include BSB Liquid Surfactant and Miracare Soft 313.
- If you want to make your own surfactant blend I’d recommend starting with a mixture of 13% Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI), 63% Cocamidopropyl Betaine, and 25% Coco Glucoside. You’ll need to melt the Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI) and Cocamidopropyl Betaine together first before adding the coco glucoside, and the whole mixture will need to be gently heated with the water and hydrosol to fully disperse. You can also look at creating your own blend based on your personal collection; I recommend checking out this table, this FAQ article, and this series of posts to learn more. If you use a different surfactant please check and adjust the pH as necessary.
- You could try propanediol instead of vegetable glycerin.
- The mica is optional; replace it with more water if you elect to remove it.
- You can leave out the Crothix™ liquid and instead package the hand wash in a bottle with a foamer top (replace the mica with more water if you do this).
The Iselux Ultra Mild was gifted by Windy Point. The green cognac essential oil and rose hydrosol were gifted by Plant’s Power. The “Tickle Me Pink” mica was gifted by YellowBee.
This looks absolutely lovely, as usual. i adore the scent complex idea of rose, cognac & alternating citrus notes. Maybe try a half a whisper of May Chang in your next formula, for the citrus note, although i’ve never figured out how to make any scent complex w/May Chang that hasn’t been entirely dominated by it.
So, i have a question that i don’t know where to ask, & so i decided to be rude & just bully into one of your gorgeous recipes & ask it off the cuff.
You’re the only person i follow that probably won’t make me feel too much like an ass-clown for asking it.
Ok, here goes, please don’t judge:
i know our formulae must add up to 100%..& my question is what if, for example, i have like, #54 ingredients, & what if several of them have usage rates of, let’s say, 2-6% or 8-10%; i know your first point would likely be ‘suki, dude, you gotta streamline that puppy a little bit’..& at that point, i would concede your point, but then, what if i strongly felt each ingredient, at its max usage ratio, was what i required in order to make this masterpiece of formulating?
At first, i thought, well, i’ll break it all into groups, then allow myself just a certain total percentage per group..like the antioxidants, or the solid & liquid water-soluble extracts & diluents, or just water-based humectants, or lipid-based emollients..but then i get around 12 groups & each would only allot me approximately 8.3% of the whole, which isn’t actually enough.
Am i missing some fundamentally obvious math or formulation factor? Other than ‘limit the number of ingredients, you ass-clown’? i know there’s plenty of big name cosmetics that have at least this many constituents..please don’t tell me its all label-appeal, & each of them is only present at 0.0002%..is there any method for working this, even if it is a bad idea?
Thank you for your time & for hearing me out..i await your response with bated breath..
Muchlove, your adoring fan, suki
Hey Suki! I have tried this blend with may chang as well; I definitely found it to be pretty overpowering. I think the lemon fragrance is nicer, but everyone’s noses are different 😀
Wowza, 54 ingredients! Unless those are 54 pretty dang potent ingredients I think you are going to have serious issues including all of them at the maximum usage rate—and if they are that potent I would start to be concerned about skin irritation. And, if they aren’t very potent ingredients, you won’t see much benefit from including each one at less than 2%.
I would agree with Wendy & your initial assessment that most products that contain a metric buttload of different ingredients will be mostly doing it for label appeal at tiny amounts (tiny amounts also = reduced cost for manufacturers).
For the surfactant blend, you suggest 13%, 63%, and 25%… that is 101%. I dropped to 13%, 62%, and 25% and it turned out lovely. Would it be better to drop the SCI or CocoG instead?
I highly doubt you’d notice a difference with a 1% shift between one surfactant or the other—I’d likely decide by either coin toss or using less of whichever I had less of on hand. Happy making!
Hey Suki, I hope you dont mind if I comment on your question.
Firstly, the world needs more ass-clowns. Im one of the biggest and I own it 🙂
My thoughts, re your question, are that it is a mathematical impossibility to include (using random numbers) 54 ingredients with a minimum EFFECTIVE usage rate of 5% and have those ingredients be effective. In order to accommodate that number of ingredients, the volumes used will be tiny, and therefore, not effective.
So I hate to tell you…its all for label appeal.
Ass clowns unite! Can I be part of the club? 😛
And, yup… agreed.
So, this might be my first campaign speech to be PRESIDENT of the Ass-Clowns..but i gotta be me,as Frank said,& i just have to ask..
Ok,so i’ve always sort of heard of the 100% thing as if it were the logical way of doing something,so it would be replicable,by one’s self or another,& consistent from batch to batch. Almost a mental template for keeping orderly track of one’s collection of formulae,something to lean on that we know is always true,so that if we’re trying to figure out what to do when the shof hits the fan,we can count on the fact that it all is some portion of 100 parts,along with some other tried&trues that provide that same sort of essential infrastructure.
Buuuttt..granting its necessity for a reasonable expectation of repeatability,etc,if one always followed those sensible protocols,but for one single exception that they felt was a special circumstance,& they noted that fact everywhere,in their notes,on their recipe card,on the label,& just did it this 1 time,they wouldn’t be a horrible renegade formulater from then on,would they?
Wait,that’s not even what i want to ask..it sounds like i’m asking permission for you to co-sign my bad behavior.
Ok,if one began with 125% or 250%,rather than 100% (to keep it in the world of ten),would the structure be intrinsically flawed?Like,would the emulsion break & the actives be negated or destroyed,& the whole she-bang be doomed from the git?
i can’t really get my head around it. But if one used 2 separate complete dependable emulsifiers,plus reinforced by gelling the water phase, added some mix of cetyl alcohol,&/or stearic acid,&/or cera bellina for their oil phase, then added 2 solidly complete preservative systems, along w/a buttload of antioxidants,along w/2 chelating agents,checked & rechecked their pH,& adjusted til it was exactly right,is there any reason to think it would be intrinsically unstable?
Thank you for your valuable time & opinion,& you,too,Wendy! i really appreciate the feedback,i’m sorry if i’m beating this dead horse even deader,but i feel like its 1 of those ‘Learn or Die!’ situations & if i don’t get this now, i never will.
Thank you from the bottom of my cold,black heart.
Muchlove, suki,seeker of forbidden knowledge
The big thing here is that is just impossible to have 250% of something. The totality of what you make is always 100%, by definition. The word “percent” means “per 100”, so 1 per 100 = 1%. 1 per 250 = 0.4%. If an ingredient is designed to be effective at 1%, using it at 1% of 250% means you’re actually using it at 0.4%, and that’s where I think you’d start to see problems arise, especially for preservatives and emulsifiers. Does that make sense?
And now for my question, Marie…
With regard to your surfactant blend given in the substitutions list (13% Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI), 63% Cocamidopropyl Betaine, and 25% Coco Glucoside), I had the genius idea of mixing up a master batch of these three and and storing it and using it as needed instead of measuring and mixing each time I want to make something with a surfactant blend.
Firstly, is there a flaw in my genius plan that I cant see?
Secondly, would one heat, dissolve, mix and cool the mixture before storing it, or would that result in a big solid surfactant rock?
Or, thirdly, should I just not be lazy and measure and mix each time because I cant find the Iselux product where I live?
On a personal note, I hope to be able to tell you in person one day what your work and your blog has done for me.
Hey Wendy! I have done the master-batch surfactant thing with 2:1 Cocamidopropyl Betaine to Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI) and kept that in a jar in the fridge for up to a year with no issues, but that does contain quite a lot of anionic surfactant, and anionic surfactants are pretty combative against microbial spoilage. The blend for this hand wash is much higher in the amphoteric and non-ionic area. Non-ionic surfactants are very spoilage prone, and there’s quite a lot of water in this blend (approximately 55%). Given that, I’d be a bit concerned about the shelf stability of this blend. So—you could add a preservative, or you could try freezing it. If you freeze it I’d probably recommend doing it in a small ice cube tray so you can have wee little blobs of surfactant to use as needed.
You would want to heat + dissolve; I doubt it’ll be solid given the high water content but it’ll probably be pretty viscous.
I hope I can meet you one day, too! Whereabouts in the world are you? Any plans to visit Canada any time soon?
I am both a newbie to cosmetics making and boring. I am wondering if I could get a bottle of Iselux Ultra Mild press some homegrown aloe vera (only enough to store in the fridge for a week). And then mix the two right before I wash my face (and only enough to use that one time) in the ratio of 10% Iselus Ultra Mind to 90% aloe. This way I could avoid having to use the preservative. Of course I am not sure how long I’ll last mixing small batches 🙂 With Uselux PH being 6-6.5 and aloe PH being 4.5-5.5, I think the PH should come out just right. I hope the more experienced cosmetics makers or newbies who already tried this will talk me out of this if I am about to create a monster. Please let me know what you think.
Good afternoon Valentina,
I guess the question is, why don’t you want to use a preservative?
I am curious more than anything 🙂 And want to see if I got it right. If I read the description of Iselux correctly you could just add water and use it. So I thought aloe might make it more fun (and thick).
Also, when it comes to face wash, that you apply for 1 minute and down the drain it goes, I was wondering if I could get away with 2 ingredients rather than 3.
You could just water it down a bit and use it, but you’d still need a preservative, and I would recommend including some vegetable glycerin as well 🙂
Im in NZ. I spent a winter in Vancouver/Banff/Lake Louise/Kamloops about 100 years ago, and I visited Calgary too. Its a magic place.
Oooh, I love NZ! I was there at the end of 2017 and it is downright fantastic—so pretty and just SWOON. You’ve also got excellent taste in Canadian destinations! I’ll be sure to host some meetups if I’m ever back in NZ 🙂
Does the mica need to be left out if using this recipe in a foaming pump top? If so, how come? Thanks 🙂
Yes—mica is insoluble, so it needs to be suspended in a viscous base. If you remove the viscosity (to make it foamer bottle compatible) it’ll just sink to the bottom. You could add a touch of a water-soluble dye, though! That’s always pretty 🙂 Happy making!