cucumber gel serum

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

cucumber gel serum!


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.


  • 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



  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.




exfoliating raspberry jelly

hi crunchies!

today we’re going to create a lightweight exfoliating jelly. it’s fun to use and functional. it can be used on your face, body, and scalp.


*pic from Uvive Health

this scrub is super easy to make, but please note that this contains water and needs to be preserved… no exceptions. if you don’t, you have to use it within 48 hours and store it in the fridge. any more time and you’ll be putting some nasty bacteria on your face, even if you can’t see it with the naked eye.

the preservative we’ll use is pricey but a “natural” one. the company puts it on sale for 25% off every few months, if you wanna wait and see. there are cheaper options available, so feel free to research and see what works best for you.


hibiscus is a nice water-soluble colorant, but is also known as the “botox plant.” i posted about it a few years ago here.


  1. soak your hibiscus flower/tea bag in a cup of hot water until it turns a light to medium pinkish red. you don’t want it too dark because it can potentially stain counters, clothes, and light skin tones. once steeped, strain.
  2. add the 1/4 tsp powdered aspen bark extract and fully incorporate.
  3. very evenly and finely sprinkle your 1/4 tsp xanthan gum powder over the top and let it sit for at least 2 hours at room temperature. *do not stir* or it will clump into what we call “fish eyes.”  once hydrated and gelled, stir well.
  4. stir in your raspberry seed powder.
  5. store in a squeezy container for easy use.
  6. gently scrub from head to toe and rinse with warm water. follow up with your favorite moisturizer.

easy peasy and leaves you hydrated and smooth all over!

what are your favorite all-over exfoliators?



diy formulation education: “hot vegan” face mask

have you seen that “hot vegan” gel mask in a squeezy tube, maybe in whole foods or sprouts?

short story short, i’m here with a DIY version of that mask, but without the additives that flare sensitive skin.

Screen Shot 2018-12-29 at 9.22.46 AM.png

original inspiration product ingredients:

aqua, glycerin, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, sclerotium gum, algin, salix nigra (willow) bark extract, zinger officinate (ginger) root extract, elettaria cardamomum (cardamon) extract, piper nigrum (black pepper) fruit extract, cocos nucifera (coconut) water, lactoccus ferment lysate, sorbitan, oleate decylglucoside crosspolymer, phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin, parfum (natural)

let’s DIY it!

please note you cannot store this in your fridge more than a couple days or you risk some nasty bacteria growth. only make a little at a time. if you can’t use it all in one go, it’s perfectly fine to go in your hair and/or on your scalp.

you can also use a preservative to make it shelf-stable, which i highly encourage.

  • aloe vera juice
  • coconut water
  • xanthan gum (yes, like for baking)
  • willow bark extract
  • ginger powder
  • cardamon powder
  • turmeric curcumin w/ black pepper (yes, the supplement)
    • has the black pepper extract but added benefits of turmeric. here’s a bomb turmeric face mask, btw


ok, here we go:

  1. mix 2 tbs aloe juice and 1 tbs coconut water in a tiny bowl.
  2. sprinkle 1 small pinch of xanthan gum over the liquid. stir a bit and let sit for TWO HOURS. groan now, thank me later.
  3. return to your tiny bowl and notice you now have a thick gel. smile. you see where this is going.
  4.  add 1/2 tsp liquid willow bark extract OR 1/2 tsp powder, 1/2 tsp ginger powder, 1/2 tsp cardamon powder, and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder. stir until well blended.
  5. apply to clean face and let sit for 10 to 40 minutes, depending on how sensitive your skin is. a slight tingle as an indication of increased blood flow is okay. anything more is not.
  6. rinse well.
  7. immediately follow up with your favorite serum, since you have increased blood flow and your face is hydrated.


i can’t believe i’ve never posted a GEL recipe on this blog! i’ve failed you. sorry.

what do you think? any spins on this recipe you can share? hope to hear from you!