Face lotion with squalane and cherry oil

May 10, 2022 | Face care, Formulations

I love simple yet effective formulas and this is one of them. I‘ve made a face lotion with squalane and cherry oil that is more suited for people with oily or combination skin. The texture is smooth and light which I was hoping for.

Face lotion with squalane and cherry oil

1. water phase

In this face lotion with squalane I have used several humectants such as 1,3-propanediol and sodium lactate. My sodium lactate is in solid form and comes as little white rocks. So, if you have a liquid sodium lactate, you should use more of it to have the same amount that I have used in this recipe.

I know that liquid sodium lactate usually comes in 60% solution, so you would need almost to double the amount that I have used. Both of the forms of sodium lactate are good, it is just a preference or the availability of the product. For me it is already difficult to find sodium lactate, so I just go with the one that is more easily obtainable to me.

I also wanted to try a new extract made from red vines and glycerin. This extract has lots and lots of active molecules such as tannins, anthocyanins, resveratrol, vitamin C. Together they are good for mature skin as they have some anti-aging properties. It is also used for tightening dilated pores, which I was eager to test.


2. Oily phase

2.1. New emulsifier – emulsifying olive wax

Here I have tested a new emulsifier that I have never worked before. Usually emulsifiers come in a form of beads, sometimes powder, but this was different. It is sold in huge chunks like cocoa butter or pseudo waxes which was new to me.

The INCI of this emulsifier is potassium olivoyl hydrolyzed wheat protein, cetearyl alcohol, glyceryl oleate, glyceryl stearate, potassium hydroxide. You can find it as ‘Emulsifying olive wax‘ but definitely look at the INCI as I have found other emulsifiers sold under this name. It is a complete oil in water emulsifier, non ionic and non-ethoxylated. This emulsifier is made from olive, coconut and palm oils and it is of plant origin.


This emulsifier has a wide range of possible formulations – from creamy or milky texture to thick rich creams. As it is a complete emulsifier, it does not need a co-emulsifier/stabilizer such as cetyl, cetearyl or behenyl alcohols or gums.

It is said that this emulsions with this emulsifier has a noticeable softening effect upon application, has a soothing effect on sensitive skin. It also leaves a protective film that strengthens the skin barrier.

This emulsifier can be used in 5-10% and hold up about 30% of oils.

2.2. Squalane

Squalane is an emollient and a good occlusive agent. It is a synthetic version of squalene that is found in our sebum (oils that out face produces) and is more suitable for oily or acne prone skin. Squalane also reduces fine lines and dry patches which combination skin can have.


2.3. Cherry oil

Cherry oil is something that I always wanted to try as it has a more balanced fatty acid profile. It is a fast absorbing oil, has a very faint scent of cherry pits and it is not overwhelming.

Cherry oil is rich in vitamin E, carotenoids (antioxidants) and a variety of phytosterols. These improve skin‘s barrier function and microcirculation, have some anti-inflammatory activity.

We should keep in mind that cherry oil is sensitive to oxidation so it should not be heated at high temperatures and stored away from air and light.

Cherry oil is something that I always wanted to try as it has a more balanced fatty acid profile. It is a fast absorbing oil, has a very faint scent of cherry pits and it is not overwhelming.

Here are some other formulations that you might like:

3. formula and recipe

Phase A

75.4 g | 75.4 % Distilled water

2 g | 2 % 1,3-propanediol

2 g | 2 % Sodium lactate

5 g | 5 % Red vine extract

Phase B

5 g | 5 % Emulsifying olive wax

10 g | 10% Squalane

Phase C

10 g | 10 % Cherry oil

Phase D

0.6 g | 0.6 % Cosgard (preservative)

This makes 100 g of the product.



  1. Weigh phase A ingredients into a beaker, write down the weight of beaker. Heat it up in a water bath till it reaches 75-80 °C / 167-176 °F. Then weight it again after heating and add the same amount of heated distilled water that has evaporated during the heating.
  2. Weigh phase B ingredients into a beaker and heat it up in a water bath till it reaches 75-80 °C / 167-176 °F.
  3. Pour one phase into another and blend them. You should see a thin emulsion forming.
  4. Weight phase C cherry oil and heat it up to 40 °C / 104 °F.
  5. Add heated cherry oil to the emulsion when it has reached  below 40 °C / 104 °F. Blend everything well. Add a preservative and blend once again.
  6.  Check the pH. It should be less than 7 for the preservative to work well. 
  7.  When the face lotion is cold, pour it to the jar any other packaging that you like.


  • You can use another oil that you like instead of squalane and cherry oil
  • You can substitute the emulsifier.
  • Use another extract or just distilled water instead.
  • You can use glycerin instead of 1,3-propanediol.
  • Preservative is a must. Just make sure that you use recommended amount of it. And if it is pH dependent – correct the pH.

6. application and perception

Use the face lotion with squalane on a clean face. 

Personally I really liked the light texture. It has a very nice glide, absorbs quickly and does not have this soaping effect (white streaks while applying the lotion).

For my drier skin is a bit too light, but I like the feeling afterwards. And I would say that the pores are actually tightened and not so visible as before.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *