The road to our new body wash formula might be a little surprising. One of my good friends Joanna had a baby girl, my honorary niece Andy, and Joanna mentioned that there would be a big market for a truly all-natural baby wash. I was super excited about the idea, until I learned that insuring any product specifically for little bebes is prohibitively expensive for a startup like me. Regardless of my ability to sell a baby wash to a larger market, I wanted to develop a product that she could use on her new daughter. When my friends have babies, I like to give them homemade gifts – usually something knitted and something else handmade.
I mean, how CUTE is she? This is her with my hand-knitted blankie
I already knew the two gentle cleaning agents I wanted to use – disodium cocoamphodiacetate (DC) and decyl glucoside (DG) have been my go-to surfactants for my hair cleansers and my facial washes, so they were the logical choice for a body wash. Plus, DC is a popular choice for baby products because it’s so gentle on the skin. For a low-suds, mild body wash, DC was a no-brainer. The only variable that I had to nail down was the concentration of each in the overall formula. After some digging and experimentation, I settled on the right balance of DC & DG for good cleansing without stripping moisture or causing irritation. To properly pH balance these more alkaline ingredients, I knew I would use lemon juice and vitamin C (ascorbic acid). I formulated the product to a pH as close to 5 as possible.
As for the base of the formula, I had more options to choose from. I knew that I could take some of the same base elements found in our facial washes and toners, but I also didn’t want to choose super expensive ingredients that are better used on more sensitive facial skin. Ultimately, I settled on the following:
- coconut milk - maintains skin elasticity, reduces visible signs of aging, hydrating and moisturizing. We already use our homemade coconut milk in our Nourishing Curl Conditioner and I loved how it makes my scalp & hair feel. I wouldn’t use coconut milk as the base of a facial product because it is more comedogenic, but it is absolutely perfect for body product formulations.
- oat water – soothes inflammation, calms itchiness, brightens skin, offers lightweight moisture. By this point, you should be noticing a trend with this one! Oat water is a favorite ingredient of mine because it is water-soluble but still contains some fat and protein content. You’ll also find oat water in our facial washes, hair cleansers, and curly hair gel.
- rice water – soothes irritation, brightens and hydrates skin, promotes cellular turnover. Another Bright Body favorite, this ingredient is also a darling of the Korean beauty world. You’ll also find rice water in all our toners and facial washes.
To thicken the base for the perfect texture, I was happy to turn to my old pro, xanthan gum. After that, I knew adding in vegetable glycerin as a humectant was a must in order to seal in the moisture from the base ingredients. I considered adding in some carrier oils to the formula, but I eventually decided against it. I felt that the fat and protein content from the coconut milk and oat water were effectively emollient without being heavy or greasy. And of course, my go-to probiotic preservatives – lactobacillus ferment. and lactobacillus and cocos nucifera extract – were the perfect choice to keep the formula stable.
When I first made the formula as an all-over wash for my honorary niece, I left the product unscented to make it as gentle as possible for new baby Andy. I knew that when I was ready to repurpose the formula as a body wash, I would use the same essential oil combinations as in our deodorants. Since I released our lavender and rosemary deodorant first, that seemed like the logical choice for the first Body Wash scent, too. We hope to release the lemongrass, tea tree, and peppermint scent within the next six months.
When I gave the original, unscented product to Joanna and baby Andy, I kept a sample for my husband and I to try out. We loved it, andI got glowing reviews from Joanna. She even tried it on her temperamental hair and reported that it left her locks clean, shiny, and moisturized! That, plus multiple customer requests for a body wash lead me to realize that I should launch this product sooner rather than later. When Transitions Float Studio approached me to figure out how we could partner, it was a serendipitous match made in heaven!
I’m super excited that we were able to launch this new addition to our body care line, and I hope you love it, too! It’s currently stocked at Transitions – you’ll use it in their showers before & after your float (consider a 30-minute sauna + 60-minute float for only $50 with code: BRIGHTBODY), and you can buy it in their lobby. And of course, you can order online. Happy showering!
Until next time,