Formula development and ingredient sourcing

So, I’m sourcing some ingredients, which means I get to play mad scientist. It’s one of my favorite things to do, doncha know.

There’s been a lot of buzz about in the industry about Argania Spinosa Kernel Extract and Cecropia Obtusa Bark Extract. Argania is derived from the kernel of the fruit of the Argan tree, Argania spinosa, and native to southern Morocco. It tightens skin immediately and obviously. Cecropia has been shown in studies to reduce cellulite and tighten skin.

The supplies of these materials are limited, as they come from protected species, and all harvesting must be done sustainably and under strict control. The ingredients I’m using in the formula test come from Laboratoires Serobiologiques, via Cognis

I decided to make a mango eye butter.

Ingredients Phase One – %

Water – qs

Lecithin (emulsifier) – 1.5



Ingredients Phase Two

Mango butter – 5

Shea butter – 4

Hemp oil – 4

Palm oil – .5  (1/2)



Ingredients Phase Three

50% blend of water and Argania Spinosa Kernel Extract – 5

Cecropia Obtusa Bark Extract – 3


  1. Disperse Lecithin into the water at 50°C with stirring. Mix homogenously.
  2. Melt P2 to liquidity. Add into phase I while mixing until a uniform emulsion is formed.
  3. Continue mixing until temp drops below 30°C.
  4. Add phase III while stirring when temperature drop below 30°C.

The blend turned out nice and fluffy. It holds air well, keeping it from feeling as dense as butters tend to feel. Melts almostly instantly at skin temp, becoming an easy to apply oil/serum. The botanicals blend well, adding a slight coffee tint, and almost imperceptible aroma. I took some of the batch, added it back to the mixer and incorporated a small amount of lavender and ylang ylang essential oils, which rendered the aroma of the active botanicals invisible.

So, the botanicals work in formulations like I would expect something with their density and weight to behave. Now, only time will tell if they work as advertised. I’ll keep you posted.

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