DIY hydrating serum (bye, hyaluronic acid)

this is a serum that’s worthy of not just your face, but your body and hair, too. it’s oil-free, so you can layer it into your existing routine, or use it alone. because it’s extremely lightweight, i think it’d be great for warmer weather when you don’t want to feel like a greasy mess.

great for all skin and hair types, easy enough to make, and powerful hydration…. let’s go!

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you could say this is a dupe of sorts, as there are a growing number of green beauty companies selling tremella mushroom water as an expensive serum. i’ll let you in on a secret – it’s an easy DIY.

but why the seemingly increased interest in this fungus? well, it’s not new. us westerners are just late to the scene. tremella mushroom (tremella fuciformis) has been in use in china for YEARS. it’s used in TCM, cooking, and beauty products.

there’s quite a few research articles on it, stemming from medicinal uses , like inflammation-related diseases, to external uses like skin healing  and melanin-inhibiting properties.

i’ve read a lot of articles indicating it was used in the tang dynasty by princess yang guifei (719-756!) to keep her skin radiant. that lady knew what was up.

it’s touted as a potent antioxidant and a deep hydrator. research shows it’s a nice hyaluronic acid replacement with better moisture retention (move over, hyaluronic acid!), as the particles are smaller and the mushroom can hold 500 times its weight in water. super cool! it’s also naturally high in vitamin d.

the coolest part for us DIYers is when it’s hydrated, it naturally forms a gel-like consistency. that makes it perfect as a standalone product, or to incorporate into other DIYs.  let your creative juices flow!

now back to DIYing this whole body serum!

INGREDIENTS

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  • water or plant root decoction
    • water is necessary to hydrate the mushroom properly, hence why DIY is better than “buy” in this case. i would advise against a hydrosol for this, because you will be boiling it for over 20 minutes
    • check below for recipe variants, where you can opt to use a plant root decoction instead of plain water. super neat!
  • tremella mushroom
    • i used the powder because i had it leftover from this face mask recipe. you can feel micro little jelly shroom pieces when you rub it on but it goes away. if you can find the whole dried mushroom, it would make for a smoother gel serum. make sure the whole dried mushroom is not bleached.
  • aspen bark extract
    • preservative – absolutely necessary. no exceptions.
  • optional – water-soluble plant-based colorant
    • i used butterfly pea flowers for a pastel indigo
    • check below for ideas in the “variants” section
  • optional – 0.5% or less concentration of essential oils that are skin-safe
    • please check contraindications with your local herbalist, aromatherapist, and healthcare professional

TOOLS

  • sauce pan
  • measuring spoons
  • spoon for stirring
  • small glass jar for mixing
  • airtight glass jar for storage (i use these – not affiliate)
    • you might need a funnel

 

HOW TO

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this recipe ended up making about 5 ounces for me, so i used a 3.3 ounce pump bottle, and stored the excess in a jar. i’ll use that part up first.

  1. in a sauce pan on the lowest heat your stove top can go, intermittently stir 22 tablespoons of water (aka 1 cup + 6 tbs), and 1 tbs of tremella powder for 25 to 30 minutes, depending on how quickly yours gels up and the excess water simmers away
    • if you’re using the whole mushroom, boil the mushroom itself for 30 to 45 minutes in 3 to 4 cups of water. it should become gel-like and concentrated. carefully (it’s hot) squeeze out the extra juices from the mushroom and toss (or keep to eat)
  2. once cooled, pour the serum into a small glass jar for mixing
  3. add 1/2 tablespoon aspen bark extract powder and make sure it’s evenly blended
  4. add your colorants and EOs, if any

done! bottle her up!

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STORAGE

  • store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place
  • toss after 3 months or if the smell takes a turn

USE

  • spot test first for any skin reactions
  • you can use this daily before any creams or oils
  • suitable for all skin and hair types

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and as with all of my DIYs, you can of course customize this recipe to be your own! see some ideas below –

VARIANTS

  • instead of using plain water, try making a decoction with a plant root your skin loves
    • since it’s being boiled for so long, roots are more suitable than leaves
    • ex: marshmallow root, peony root, burdock root
    • as always, please check with your local herbalist and healthcare professional for contraindications when using herbs
  • water soluble, plant-based colorant ideas
    • hibiscus tea for shades of pink
    • butterfly pea flowers for shades of indigo
    • turmeric for yellows
    • matcha for greens

 

>> what do you think?? share your experiences with this mushroom below!

XO, ALEXRAYE

4 thoughts on “DIY hydrating serum (bye, hyaluronic acid)

    1. hi love! i’m not sure where you live, but in the US you can buy the powdered aspen bark extract from From Nature With Love, and the whole tremella mushroom in most asian markets or on amazon. hope this helps ❤

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