A body wash basically comprises of water, an anionic surfactant and a preservative. Anionic surfactants are used because they are negatively charged and therefore remove dirt and oil from the surface of the skin, cleansing it, but can sometimes be irritating. Things like a co-surfactant can then be added to make the product milder such as an amphoteric surfactant like Cocamidopropyl Betaine can help to make the formula milder.
You can also add humectants, moisturising ingredients and actives to make the skin feel really nice after use.
ASM – Active surfactant matter is something to consider. The general ASM for a body wash should be roughly 15-20% for a good cleansing and foaming product.
To work out ASM, first find out the ASM % in the surfactant that you are using. The manufacturers information will state this. Then convert that to a decimal. Once it’s converted to a decimal, you can multiply it by the percent usage rate for your product.
For this formula I am using AOS 40 with an ASM of (you guessed it) 40%, and Cocamidopropyl Betaine with an ASM of 30%
Note that you can of course add in more surfactants if you wish, just make sure you are adding them for a reason, such as increasing lather for example.
So, to work out ASM I do the following:
AOS 40 at a usage rate of 35% = 35 x 0.40 = 14%
Cocamidopropyl Betaine at a usage rate of 20% = 20 x 0.30 = 6%
Total ASM for product = 14 + 6 = 20% which is fine and within my range for a body wash.
A bonus of this formula is that AOS 40 and Cocamidopropyl Betaine thicken when combined, so we don’t need an added thickener in this formulation.
The star of this body wash is the honey, when combined with a reasonable glycerine percentage offers gorgeous humectant properties that leave your skin feeling amazingly soft.
Formula and recipe for 100g Batch
35% (35g) Sodium C14-6 Olefin Sulfonate (AOS 40) – A mild anionic surfactant with excellent foaming, lather and cleansing properties. It’s quite tolerant of hard water and can be added to sulphate-free formulations (though please do read up on sulphates as they are very misrepresented!).
20% (20g) Cocamidopropyl Betaine – A mild amphoteric surfactant that cleanses and foams, boosting lather, contributing to the thickening of the product and adding to the mildness.
21.9% (21.9g) Distilled Water - Solvent
10% (10g) Honey – Humectant, emulsifier and skin conditioning and adds to viscosity.
10% (10g) Vegetable Glycerine – Humectant, adds to viscosity
0.1% (0.1g) Orange Mica – for colour
2% (2g) Mango Fragrance Oil – Our fragrance, you can swap for essential oils if you wish (check IFRA for allowed usage rate)
1% (1g) Preservative Eco – broad spectrum preservative. Note that I am still performing tests with various preservatives. This appears to work well in this formulation, but you may want to try something different such as Liquid Germal Plus at 0.5%
Mix the mica into the glycerine to pre-disperse. Add the honey and stir well to combine. Add the distilled water and stir well to combine.
In a separate beaker combine your surfactants gently to avoid too many bubbles, then add to your phase B mixture.
Take the pH and adjust to a suitable range of 4.5-5.5 depending on preference or any active additions you’ve made, and then add in your phase c ingredients.
Stir to combine and bottle up ready to use. Don’t forget to label it.
A really gorgeous-smelling, super luxurious feeling body wash that’s simple to make.
Although this is a water-based formulation, we do have a fragrance oil. This is solubilised by the surfactants and the honey.
If you would like to add an oil into this body wash, you can, but I would keep the percentage low and add 50/50 oil and polysorbate 80 or another solubiliser, if you want a natural solubiliser option then Natural Butylene Glycol may work in the UK, or I believe Poly Suga mulse D9 is an option in the USA.
Customise it by adding water-soluble extracts to phase C.
If you change the surfactant you may require a thickener. If the surfactants can be thickened with salt, then this is a nice easy option. Start with 0.5% and then go up in increments of 0.2% until you find your desired viscosity. Note that fragrance oils can have an effect!
You can also add a xanthan gum slurry (mix 1-2% with the glycerine) prior to adding the water.
Lastly, you could also thicken with crothix, but note that some formulations require a lot to thicken, and it may be better to reformulate than just add a lot of this. I generally use it at around 1-2%
If you do not want the honey, increase the water and add a thickener. However, that defeats the point of this formula ;)
Note that Mica or any powder colour will likely settle a bit on the bottom of your container unless you have used xanthan gum to thicken and suspend.
Disclaimer: These formulas and recipes are experiments created for the purpose of sharing on Patreon and YouTube. Revega does not make any claims as to their qualifications or the efficacy of the formulations which are listed here for entertainment purposes and accepts no responsibility for how you use these. We are self-taught and offer these videos from our years of knowledge and experience in making our own cosmetic products. Remember, that if you intend to use one of these formulations for your own product range, do your own research, experiments, adjustments and tests before using, gifting or selling.