cucumber gel serum

welcome back! today’s formula is super simple. it’s a lightweight, hydrating treat, perfect for hot weather.

cucumber gel serum!

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this recipe is fully customizable, as usual, so get creative!

note the links provided are not affiliates and i do not benefit in any way. they’re provided only to help you find good quality ingredients.

INGREDIENTS

  • cucumber hydrosol
    • deeply hydrating, calming, and conditioning
    • fresh and earthy smelling
    • gentle enough for all skin types
  • xanthan gum
    • gelling agent; used in miniscule quantities
    • found in your local grocery baking aisle
  • aspen bark powdered extract
    • water-soluble preservative
    • skin-conditioning
    • high in salicin
  • optional – a lightweight carrier oil
    • suggested: prickly pear seed oil or amaranth seed oil, both great for all-things-“eye”
    • note: xanthan gum can hold about 1% oil without needing an emulsifier, but it can separate over time
  • optional – water-soluble colorant

FORMULA

HOW TO

  1. in your bottle of cucumber hydrosol, sprinkle in your aspen bark powder and shake well.
  2. in the same bottle, gently and evenly sprinkle the xanthan gum across the top of the hydrosol. let sit for a few hours until the gum is fully swelled/hydrated. you can shake it after a few hours to make sure, but not before (or else you will get clumps called “fish eyes”)
  3. add up to 1% of your oil. shake well.

apply to clean skin before any creams or oils. store in a cool, dry area, away from sunlight. toss if the smell or color turns.

BONUS: you can easily turn this into a hyaluronic acid serum, since it’s mostly hydrosol. if you opt for that, omit the xanthan gum.

enjoy!

XO, ALEXRAYE

get your glow on! – hydrating AHA & BHA gel-like mask

i’ve been dying to share this mask with you all! it’s a more involved DIY (and honestly a bit pricier than what i typically post), but really worth it – i promise.

it’s a “gel” mask that’s deeply hydrating and contains gently exfoliating AHA and BHA acids, helping to unclog pores, resurface skin, improve texture, and leave you plumped and glowing. i put gel in quotes because it’s not a true slimey gel, but has a gel-like consistency.

no, it’s not magic, just a pretty darn good mask featuring tremella mushroom (tremella fuciformis) and green papaya.

please note there are two alternatives to this recipe posted at the end. one is water-free and one is the cheaper (yet still good) version!

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this mask has really truly helped my skin with all the pollution i’m in every day, as well as the high altitude and overly dry air where i live. i started getting a lot of clogged comedones from all the pollution, and this has completely evened my skin back out (minus the texture i had from having pizza face in my younger years).

not to brag, but it’s my new favorite mask, even above my favorite purchased mask. i’m pretty proud of it.

she doesn’t have a name! wanna help me figure a name out? please though.

you must use a preservative in this mask! absolutely no exceptions. i included my favorite, which also happens to be a nice skin care ingredient anyway.

>> this recipe will make enough to fit into a 3.3 ounce container. i’ve used it in both a wide mouth cosmetic jar and a squeezy bottle, and prefer the squeezy bottle.

let’s go!

INGREDIENTS

  • rose water
    • deeply hydrating
    • contains vitamin c
    • soothing and calming
  • green papaya powder
    • contains AHA fruit acid to exfoliate and brighten
    • can help with hyperpigmentation and under eye darkness
  • tremella mushroom powder
    • deeply hydrating and jelly-like
    • brightening and healing
    • antioxidant
    • high vitamin d
    • better than hyaluronic acid (yes, you read that correctly)
    • * DIY gel serum coming soon
  • aspen bark extract powder
    • high in salicin
    • natural preservative
    • skin-conditioning
  • butterfly pea flowers
    • potent antioxidants proanthocyanidin and antthocyanin
    • enhances skin’s collagen, promotes elasticity, and reduces signs of fine lines
  • white willow bark extract powder
    • contains salicylic acid, a BHA, helping to gently exfoliate and give you a glow

 

RECIPE

links to ingredients are only provided for your ease of use. they are NOT affiliates. i do not benefit in any way. these ingredients are pricier, so i will be making other DIYs for you using them so nothing goes to waste! some DIYs with these ingredients that are on the way to the blog soon include an oil-free gel serum, acne spot treatment, and hydrating toner.

i’m putting my entire skincare routine back into the DIY realm and because of this, i have no qualms spending money on things that work and that i will use up.

 

HOW TO

  1. in a small glass jar or cup, soak 4 to 6 butterfly pea flowers in your rose water for a few hours at room temperature, until it turns a deep indigo. strain.
  2. add all your powders one at time, starting with the green papaya powder. mix well. you can add the tiniest bits of rose water if you find it thickened too much.

 

USE GUIDE – please read all

  • store in an airtight jar or squeezy tube, away from direct sunlight and heat
  • toss after 3 months or if the smell turns
  • SPOT TEST FIRST due to AHA/BHA acids. anything more than a slight tingle is not okay. try removing the white willow bark if you experience irritation.
  • use no more than 2 to 3 times a week, due to AHA/BHA acids
  • keep mask moist. you can get reuseable silicone face sheets, like this one, on amazon to keep it covered.
  • leave on 20 minutes and rinse. follow up with your favorite moisturizer

CAN’T AFFORD ALL THIS RIGHT NOW? no worries! i suggest only getting the green papaya powder, and make a paste with water in the palm of your hand whenever you want to mask. you still get the benefits of the AHA acid, but don’t have to worry about blending, preserving, or purchasing everything else.

WORRIED ABOUT BACTERIA AND CONTAMINATION? honestly, well-founded. leave out the rose water but mix up everything else and store in an airtight container. you can make a little gel paste in the palm of your head whenever you want to mask.

please leave your experiences with this mask below! i’m so curious on how you all find tremella mushroom and green papaya to work for you.

XO, ALEXRAYE