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    April 08, 2021 6 min read

    Bi Phase Cleansers


    Bi phase cleansers are a little-known group of cleansers that are surprisingly easy to make, fun to use and have great skin benefits! A bi phase cleanser has two phases, an oil phase and a water phase. To use it, it needs to be shaken up so that you get both phases together in one squirt.


    Bi phase cleansers work so well because the water phase is great for cleansing away water soluble dirt, while the oil phase is great for dissolving oil soluble makeup and grime on the face, as well as acting as a moisturiser. So technically a bi phase cleanser makes use of the oil cleansing method, but adapts it to include water.


    Bi phase cleansers have a very pleasing user experience that makes for an attractive selling point: shake them up and watch the two phases merge and then return to their separate states. This is even more fun to watch if the phases are brightly coloured!


    INGREDIENTS

    Bi phase cleansers are so user-friendly to make because there are almost unlimited choices for oils, hydrosols and additives. You really can’t go wrong with your ingredient choices. From a simple two ingredient (one oil and water) cleanser to a multi ingredient powerhouse cleanser, you can make your bi phase cleanser as simple or as complex as you like.


    Here are some of our top recommendations for the oil and water phases.


    Oil phase: 

    Jojobaalmond oilpomegranate seed oilhemp seed oilmarulabaobabrosehip or even  squalane.

    Fun additions:  sea buckthorn berry oil for an orange red colour; infused oils for various properties and colours. 


    Avoid avocado oil as it contains many phospholipids which can self emulsify.

    Avoid including essential oils as you will be using the cleanser close to the eye area.



    Water phase: 

    Distilled water, botanical infusion or hydrosol of choice. 

    Additions: a humectant such as  glycerine or  propanediolACV (but check pH) - use 2-5% and keep in mind the vinegar scent; glycerites;  other  actives.






    Interesting colours: 

    You can change the colours of the oil phase: seabuckthorn berry for an orange colour,  activated charcoal for black (infuse into your oil), try  spirulina infused oil for a blue-green colour, or  make your own oil infusions with different coloured botanicals. 


    Or change the water phase: add a colourful glycerite to the water phase, or use an infusion that is coloured such as hibiscus or blue pea. 





    FORMULAS


    There is no hard and fast ratio of oils to water to use, so I would recommend starting off with a 50:50 ratio and seeing how you like it. Some people prefer a higher amount of oils for their nourishing and moisturising properties, or if removing stubborn water-proof makeup, while others don’t like too much greasiness and will go for a higher water content. Here are some options:

    25:75 oil to water

    50:50 oil to water

    60:40 oil to water/water to oil


    Any ratio is fine - it's up to personal preference! This is a pretty unbreakable formula so just do whatever works for you.



    In a bi phase cleanser it is advisable to add a small amount of salt to the water phase. Salt accelerates the separation of the phases, so if you like that clean line between phases, then make sure to add it.


    We also always add a preservative to give the product a shelf life.


    This recipe is a 50:50 ratio of oil to water but feel free to adjust it to your preference.


    Simple Bi Phase Cleanser

    Oil phase

    49.5% oil(s) of choice

    0.5%  Vitamin E


    Water phase

    48% water,  hydrosol or  infusion

    1% salt

    1% preservative - I recommend  Geogard Ultra in this case as it has no scent and dissolves easily in water

    Optional: up to 5% extras and decrease water by 5% - ACV, actives, glycerites, etc.

    Glass bottle - I would use either a plain cap or a pump cap bottle


    Blend the salt, preservative and any extras into the water phase. Test the pH of the water phase before you add your oil phase: you are looking for a pH of 4.5-5.5 or thereabouts. Blend you oil phase ingredients together. Add the water phase to a bottle, then carefully pour the oil phase in. you should see the two phases immediately separate with the oil on top and the water at the bottom.





    Bi Phase Cleanser #2 Juliette’s Hibiscus Rose Cleanser

    The ingredients in this cleanser rely heavily on infusions, both water and oil. If you don’t have them readily available you will need to first make them up which will take a little time. But the result is a stunning, luxurious cleanser!


    I had made a rose infused jojoba oil a while back and was looking for something special to use it in and this cleanser is it! To make it I added  rose petal powder to jojoba oil and let that macerate for about 3 months (time consuming but so worth it for the beautiful scent and subtle colour). You can learn how to make macerated oils here: How To Make Oil Macerations.


    Make a hibiscus water infusion by adding a spoon of  hibiscus powder to your water, letting it infuse the colour for a while and then filtering the hibiscus out. The colour of hibiscus is affected by the pH so you can actually achieve a range of different colours by changing the pH. More acidic values will yield a deeper pinky red hue, while more basic values can change the colour to shades of purple, blue and even green (but since this is going on your skin you are looking for a more acidic pH of around 4.5-5.5).


    I used a 30:70 oil to water ratio here, as I find that is enough for me and it really lets the colour of the hibiscus shine. Feel free to adjust the oil phase to your preference however.


    Oil phase

    29.5% rose infused oil (I used jojoba but you can use any carrier oil of your choosing)

    0.5%  Vitamin E


    Water phase

    58% hibiscus infusion

    1%  Geogard Ultra

    1% salt

    Glass bottle - I would use either a plain cap or a pump cap bottle


    Blend the salt, preservative and any extras into the water phase. Test the pH of the water phase before you add your oil phase: you are looking for a pH of 4.5-5.5 or thereabouts. Blend you oil phase ingredients together. Add the water phase to a bottle, then carefully pour the oil phase in. you should see the two phases immediately separate with the oil on top and the water at the bottom.






    Bi Phase Cleanser #3 For Men

    I was playing around with colouring my oils with natural colourants and decided to infuse  activated charcoal into grapeseed oil as an experiment. This is as simple as adding half a teaspoon of activated charcoal to a beaker, topping it up with 50ml oil, mixing to infuse the colour and then filtering out. Activated charcoal is a very fine powder so I recommend using a coffee filter paper to filter it out. The result is a rather striking black oil!


    When used as the oil phase in a bi phase cleanser, I thought it would make a very cool product look for a man. You can choose any oil you like in place of grapeseed, and I have used some witch hazel to add toning and astringent action to the water phase. Give it a try.


    Oil phase

    38.5% activated charcoal infused oil

    0.5%  Vitamin E

    1%  OliveM 300 (boosts rinse-off of the charcoal. You can leave this out if you like)


    Water phase

    30%  witch hazel

    28% water

    1% salt

    1%  Geogard Ultra

    Glass bottle - I would use either a plain cap or a pump cap bottle


    Add the witch hazel and water together and then blend the salt, preservative and any extras into this water phase. Test the pH of the water phase before you add your oil phase: you are looking for a pH of 4.5-5.5 or thereabouts. Blend you oil phase ingredients together. Add the water phase to a bottle, then carefully pour the oil phase in. you should see the two phases immediately separate with the oil on top and the water at the bottom.



    You can add a surfactant to add some cleansing power to your bi phase cleanser, but this may emulsify some of the oil and water so you may end up with a tri-phase cleanser! If you don’t mind a slightly blurred line between oil and water, and prefer a higher powered cleanser  then go for 5% coco betaine or decyl glucoside.





    HOW TO USE

    It can be used as your first step in your skincare routine in the morning, or as a nighttime cleanser. Use your bi phase cleanser as a daily cleanser, toner and moisturiser. Cleanse and tone with the bi phase using a cotton pad, then follow up with your moisturiser (although some skin types may not need to as the oil in the bi phase cleanser will be enough) and SPF. 

    You could also add it to your clay mask to activate it.


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