Journey to Cleansing Bars (Part 1) - Ametrine Skin

Journey to: Cleansing Bars (Part 1)

Did you know that Ametrine Skin products are and will always be formulated in house.

There’s something so fun & creative that brings me back to my childlike self of picking leaves off my nans front garden bushes and trying to turn them into “magical potions”. Me and my younger cousin even used to use my nans upstairs kitchen when no one was around and try to make all types of concoctions with chocolate, sometimes turning into a burnt mess. I’ve always loved creating & found the joy in the process of discovery...even if thing’s didn’t turn out as intended.

When i started Ametrine Skin, at first i was thinking about outsourcing product formulation . As I started really thinking about what ingredients i wanted in our products, different concentrations, textures etc i soon realised i was getting that feeling i had when a child, that innocent fun, discovery and creativity. That’s when I decided even if it took a lot of hard work, lots and lots of testing and even some mistakes, that Ametrine Skin would be formulated in house.

 soap bar and dish

Now to the topic of this post....a poll was ran on our Instagram page for what product people would like to see next out of everything currently being developed. Cleansing Bars won and I wanted to document the journey from idea to the final product.

Everything starts in my phone notes under a folder called product ideas. This is where i write out the general idea, the description of the product including how i want it to feel, how it leaves the skin, effects etc. I do this before doing any research because I personally feel like the product idea can subconsciously get tainted if i look too in depth into what’s already on the market first. This gets updated often as the idea becomes more clear or even changes.


For these cleansing bars heres the current description:

A gentle multipurpose cleansing bar (face, body & hands ) that leaves the skin clean but not stripped, dry or tight, instead it’s soft and almost hydrated. The bar has a varying texture depending on how much water is added, can be rich and creamy or a soft foamy lather. It is safe for daily use and suitable for different skin types.

cleansing hands with soap

Before looking into the fancy extracts, oils or actives to include (although I already have them in the back of my mind), i spend days if not weeks working on the base formulation ingredients. As we’re keeping everything palm oil free this takes longer than it may do without this limitation, as i have to see what’s available for a small maker to buy easy access and then have to double and sometimes triple check that an ingredient i want to use is actually palm oil & palm oil derivative free.

Cleansing bars look cheap, like soaps but they’re actually way more expensive to make than soap or any liquid cleanser product because how much surfactant you have to use (what actually cleans the skin). In a liquid or cream cleanser, water would be added to give it that fluid texture but this also brings the cost down dramatically. Doing it this way means the cleansing bar is way more potent (still gentle depending on the formulation) but you can get two maybe even three cleanser bottles worth of use out of it, meaning you buy less. They’re also super travel friendly. There are already so many soap ideas on the market I didn’t think I could bring anything new to the table but less cleansing bars so there was room to be a little bit different.


After research I’ve chosen the two surfactants that will be used in these bars: 

  • SCI or Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate which is known as baby foam for how gentle it is and is palm free of course
  • Naturally derived Cocamidopropyl betaine (palm free).

Both of these are pretty close to the natural ph of our skin 5.5-6 vs soap which is 9-10, so personally for me it is more gentle and skin friendly especially for people who have sensitive skin or skin conditions.

soap bubbles in hand

Next i added a few more ingredients to the base

  • Kaolin clay for extra cleansing
  • Arrowroot or Cornstarch to boost the creamy factor
  • Glycerin for hydration
  • Panthenol / B5 for hydration
  • Preservative to keep it mould and bacteria free as it will be in contact with water when used and also kept in a humid bathroom.


Now i have the base ingredients i moved my note over to another folder called formulations which is when I’ve started to add percentages of each ingredient that will be included and also started to write the added oils and extracts that could be used for different variations. This helps me separate ideas I’m actually working on and are progressing and my dump of notes of things that have just come to mind.

 So much goes into how I decide on percentages whether that be the safety usage rate which is set by the manufacturer for example preservatives will be between 0.5% and 4% depending on which one it is, the cost of the ingredient, the feel of the ingredient, smell of the ingredient the list could go on. As I haven’t actually got into the home lab to start testing yet, the first percentages are just a general idea of where to begin the experimentation process.

 All ingredients i don’t currently have in stock have been ordered in small quantities and are on the way and as soon as they arrive i will begin the next step. This will be using the base I’ve created and a basic oil like grapeseed oil without any extracts or essential oils.


Stay tuned for how thats going, photos and product demos and thoughts

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