cucumber gel serum

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

cucumber gel serum!

IMG_20200613_145919

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

alright, alright… let’s make a hyaluronic acid serum

hi crunchies! let’s keep this to the point 🙂  i’ve never posted a DIY hyaluronic acid serum before, so here i am.

for this DIY, you will need something that blends on your behalf for the hyaluronic acid powder, a water-soluble preservative, and patience. this might cost more upfront in bulk ingredients than it would to purchase, but you can make multiple bottles and i think it’s fun to play and mix. it’s also fun to learn, as it can further help you read labels and understand what you’re actually paying for.

since we’re only making 2 ounces, let’s use a sturdy, more powerful milk frother. it won’t “froth” water, so it’s fine. since i’m sure other formulators will read this and scream in horror, please note i’m aware that a high-powered immersion blender is the best option, but we’re only working with 60 mL of liquid, so i provided a realistic option to a $350 hand blender.

hyaluronic acid serums will only ever have a 0.1% to 2% concentration of hyaluronic acid, because it swells in water and turns into a gel. you can’t add more, or it won’t dissolve. the low concentration doesn’t mean it’s not an active ingredient, but i do think the aqueous base it’s dissolved in is important. let’s opt for a skin-supporting hydrosol instead of plain water.

the molecular weight of hyaluronic acid is also important. we want HIGH molecular weight (HMW-HA). here’s an article i like for explaining things in an easy-to-understand and no-frills format.

as always, NO links provided are affiliates nor do i benefit in any way. they’re there to help guide you to trusted sources only.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 ounces favorite hydrosol
    • i had cucumber at the time, but rose or tulsi would be lovely; choose based on what your skin needs
  • 1/8 teaspoon hyaluronic acid powder
  • plant-based colorant, if desired
    • i’m a huge fan of cold-infusing butterfly pea flowers to give a beautiful indigo shade to the final product. it is rich in the antioxidant anthocyanin, briefly mentioned here. many companies are starting to include butterfly pea flowers in their formulations… 😉
  • water-soluble preservative
    • this is non-negotiable. i wrote about this topic here.
    • i really enjoy aspen bark extract because it’s a natural BHA, but it’s very expensive. many companies formulate with this one instead.

HOW TO:

  1. add your water-soluble preservative to your hydrosol base and stir well, ensuring it’s completely dissolved
  2. add your plant-based colorant, if any. if using butterfly pea flowers, this will be like making a room temperature ‘tea’ and then straining the flowers back out
  3. completely submerge your frother and SLOWLY sprinkle in the HA as little at a time as you can. it will gel up.
  4. bottle in air-tight container. a pump or dropper bottle might be good options.

STORAGE: store in cool, dry area away from direct sunlight. toss after 3 to 6 months, always monitoring for changes in smell, appearance, or texture. 

USE: use daily before creams, oils, and butters.

XO, ALEXRAYE