Recipes from the HSCG 2017 conference: Niacinamide & willow bark hydro-gel – part three, the recipe and modifications

Yesterday, we met a new gelling agent in the form of Sepinov EMT 10, and Monday we took a look at the ingredients we're using in this recipe. Today, let's look at the recipe and some modifications we can make to it!

NIACINAMIDE & WILLOW BARK OIL FREE MOISTURIZER (HYDRO-GEL)
WATER PHASE
74.5% distilled water
5% willow bark extract (liquid)
4% niacinamide (powder)
3% propanediol 1,3
3% sea kelp bioferment
2% n-acetyl glucosamine
2% panthenol (powder)
2% chamomile extract (liquid)
0.5% sodium lactate (powder)
0.5% allantoin
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

EMT PHASE
3.0 % Sepinov EMT 10

In a container that’s big enough to use the stick blender or hand mixer in, combine all the water phase ingredients. Sprinkle the powder over the water, then mix well with a stick blender or hand mixer until it gels. You’re done! Rejoice!

Wow, that was super easy, right? 

If you want to alter this recipe, please note that niacinamide needs to have a pH around 6, so we can’t add any acids, like salicylic acid or AHAs, or ingredients that might need to have a lower pH. 

A few combinations that might be nice…
Use this as a targeted treatment by adding 3% to 10% argireline into the water phase. 
Try using this as a targeted or all over treatment by dissolving 1% genistein into 3% glycerin (use in place of the propanediol 1,3). 
5% Fision Active White for a little of everything to help with skin brightening. 
Add 10% any oil or oil soluble ingredient to this recipe to make a cream gel. I really like squalane in this recipe. (I'll be posting that version shortly...) 
Add a fruit acid complex at up to 10% to add some AHA ingredients. If you do this, please remove the niacinamide at 4% from the recipe as per my note above. 

If you have Sepimax ZEN, you can use it in place of Sepinov EMT 10 in this recipe. It may be quite thick at 3%, but give it a try. 

Or join me tomorrow and the next day as we look at some awesome modifications of this recipe! 

Links to buy these ingredients at Lotioncrafter:
Willow bark extract
Panthenol
Chamomile extract
Sodium lactate
Niacinamide
n-acetyl glucosamine
Propanediol 1,3
Sea kelp bioferment
Sepinov EMT 10
Allantoin
Liquid Germall Plus

Please note, I supply these links to Lotioncrafter as my thanks for sponsoring my demonstration at the HSCG conference. These are not affiliate links and I receive nothing if you click through or if you buy ingredients from that shop. I have them here to make it easier for you to find things as well as showing my gratitude for Jen's generosity! 

If you're interested in learning more about gels using Sepinov EMT 10 and simply can't wait for me to post things on this blog, please check out the e-zine I wrote on the topic, entitled Gels! Ooey, gooey fun! which includes recipes for Ultrez 20 and Sepimax ZEN. 

Oh, as a note, if you're a $10 subscriber to my Patreon page, Lotioncrafter is offering you a 7% discount on ingredients until Saturday, June 10th! Pretty awesome, eh?

Join me tomorrow for more fun modifying this recipe! 
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Recipes from the 2017 HSCG conference – Niacinamide & Willow Bark Hydro-gel (part one)

Some skin types can’t handle oils, so this recipe is an oil free moisturizer or serum into which you could add all kinds of lovely water soluble ingredients. My goal for this product is to hydrate skin, help reduce inflammation, soothe irritated skin, and promote a more even skin tone.

I’m using willow bark extract in this recipe as it contains salicylic acid, which can help with problem skin and act as a chemical exfoliant. As much as I like saliyclic acid, it's hard to dissolve and can be a little much for some skin types.

You could use salicylic acid in this recipe dissolved in alcohol, for instance, as Sepinov EMT 10 can create alcoholic gels. You'll see some recipes including salcylic acid on the blog over the summer. 

I’m having a love affair with the combination of niacinamide (Vitamin B3) and n-acetyl glucosamine (NAG).

Used at as little as 2%, niacinamide can increase skin’s barrier lipids and ceramides, which results in a reduction of transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and an increase in collagen synthesis. It can reduce sebum production and pore diameter, as well as reducing hyperpigmentation of age and sun spots. It can reduce the damage from environmental causes, which reduces the irritation, inflammation, and skin redness from things like the sun, cold, or weather as well as application of straight SLS.  Even at 5%, there's a lack of irritation and redness on our faces ('cause sometimes niacin can make our skin flush, but not at 2% or 5%). It can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and decreases skin blotchiness and "pebbling" or roughness on facial skin. It also behaves as an anti-inflammatory and enhances skin's barrier functions.

n-acetyl glucosamine is a bio-identical ingredient that can reduce hyperpigmentation in the skin, and has been shown to work well when combined with niacinamide. It can also increase hydration of our skin by increasing the production of hyaluronic acid in our skin. This combination has been studied and found to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation to promote a more uniform skin tone. Whew! That’s a lot of stuff, eh?

Propanediol 1,3 is a naturally derived substitute for propylene glycol that can be used at up to 20% in your water phase. It's a humectant that draws water from the atmosphere to your skin to offer hydration. It has a 9 to 12 month shelf life once opened.

I'm using it in this rcipe as a non-sticky feeling humectant. You could use glycerin or propylene glycol in its place, if you wished. 

I’m adding sea kelp bioferment to the recipe as my film former. (Gels don’t tend to like hydrolyzed proteins, so I’m using this ingredient to behave the way something like hydrolyzed oat protein might work.)

I’m adding panthenol to this gel to improve hydration of my skin, and sodium lactate to act as a humectant. (Yeah, I’ve gone crazy with humectants in this recipe, but I need something to moisturize and hydrate without oils!) I’m adding allantoin at 0.5% as my barrier protectant and skin soother, and I’m adding liquid chamomile extract to help reduce transepidermal water loss and soothe irritated skin.

Quick note: If you're using a liquid sodium lactate, you can use 1% in this recipe. If you're using the powder, please use no more than 0.5% sodium lactate. I made that error, and the viscosity was ruined!

If you haven't noticed by now that I love the combination of panthenol at 2%, allantoin at 0.5%, and some kind of hydrolyzed protein or film former at 2%, where have you been? I love this combination! I'm adding niacinamide at 4% and NAG at 2% to that combination these days, and my skin is so happy! As usual, your mileage may vary. 

As this post is getting far too long, please join me tomorrow for more information on Sepinov EMT 10 and the rest of this recipe!

As I've mentioned previously, my presentation at the conference was sponsored by Lotioncrafter, and you can get all the supplies for these products there. These are not affiliate links and I get nothing if you click through and buy something. I provide them as a thank you to Jen at Lotioncrafter for supplying everything necessary to do the presentation and more! 

Links to buy these ingredients at Lotioncrafter:
Willow bark extract
Panthenol
Chamomile extract
Sodium lactate
Niacinamide
n-acetyl glucosamine
Propanediol 1,3
Sea kelp bioferment

Oh, as a note, if you're a $10 subscriber to my Patreon page, Lotioncrafter is offering you a 7% discount on ingredients until Saturday, June 10th! Pretty awesome, eh?

See you tomorrow!
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Recipes from the 2017 HSCG conference: Gigawhite & Vitamin C moisturizer with Aristoflex AVC – the active ingredients and recipe

On Monday, we took a look at the oil phase and emulsifier for this recipe. Yesterday, we took a look at the water phase and preservative. Today, let's take a look at the active ingredient and the final recipe.

I’m adding Alpaflor® Gigawhite (INCI: Water, Glycerin, Alcohol, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Primula Veris Extract, Alchemilla Vulgaris Extract, Veronica Officinalis Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract), an ECOcert extract. It can be used at 3% to 5% to help promote a more even skin tone and uniform complexion in all over products or targeted treatments.

This ingredient can decrease the viscosity of Aristoflex AVC a titch, but it's not a big deal as the recipe is thick enough.

Please note, it is important to make this recipe in the order you see below. If you change an ingredient, figure out in which phase you should include it before starting the process. I know it seems silly, but it can make such a difference in the viscosity of the final product.

GIGAWHITE & VITAMIN C MOISTURIZER
WATER SOLUBLE INGREDIENTS
80.5% distilled water
2% sea kelp bioferment
2% panthenol (powder)
0.5% allantoin

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS
3% propanediol 1,3
0.5% resveratrol
5% Alpaflor Gigawhite

OIL SOLUBLE INGREDIENTS
2% tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate
3% squalane

EMULSIFIER
1% Aristoflex AVC

PRESERVATIVE
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

1. Measure the slightly heated distilled or de-ionized water into a container. 
2. Add your water soluble ingredients. 
3. Mix the propanediol 1,3 with the resveratrol into a small container, like a shot glass. When dissolved, add to the larger container along with Gigawhite.
4. Add the oil soluble ingredients. 
5. Add the Aristoflex AVC. 
6. Add the preservative. 
7. Mix well. Bottle, and rejoice! 

Pretty simple, eh? If you're organized and can gather your ingredients quickly, it takes no more than 10 minutes to make a completely emulsified lotion! 

Links to buy this ingredient from Lotioncrafter: Alpaflor® Gigawhite

As a note, none of these links are affiliate links and I do not receive any sort of compensation if you buy something from Lotioncrafter. I provide them as Jen was so kind to supply all the ingredients for the conference at great expense to her company, and this is my way of saying thanks for spending so much time to make sure my presentation was the best it could be! 

Join me tomorrow as we take a look at the niacinamide & willow bark oil free hydro-gel. 
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Newbie Tuesday on Thursday: Making a gelled facial serum with AHAs

Last week we took a look at AHAs. Today, let's add some of these to our gelled serum with or without oils using Sepimax ZEN.

We're using a combination of fruit acids you can find as Multifruit BSC, fruit acid complex, and other names because we can add quite a bit of it without having to stress about testing the products with a pH meter. If you have a meter, check out how the pH changes before and after you add it.

LIGHT MOISTURIZING GELLED SERUM WITH SEPIMAX ZEN
WATER PHASE
68% distilled water
10% oils of choice
10% aloe vera
3% Multifruit BSC
2% glycerin
2% sodium lactate
2% panthenol
0.5% allantoin
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

ZEN PHASE
2% Sepimax ZEN

Weigh out all the water phase ingredients. Use warm water to dissolve the allantoin. Mix well. 

Sprinkle the Sepimax ZEN into the container, then let it sit for up to eight hours. Resist the urge to mix or stir for that eight hours! Then mix with a beater attachment on your mixer or a milk frother. Please don’t use a stick blender as that’s can ruin the gel. And you’re done! 

There is another option if you don’t want to wait eight hours. You can sprinkle the Sepimax ZEN into the container, then mix for 10 minutes with a mixer with beaters or a propeller mixer. It will be slightly thicker than the one made by waiting eight hours. 

If you want to add more Multifruit BSC, try it at 5% next time up to a maximum of 8%. 

If you'd like to make a version that doesn't contain oils, remove the 10% and just add more water or another water soluble ingredient. Take a look at the posts on gelled toners to see how that might look. 

If you'd like to play along or if you've missed a post, here's a listing of the complete series...
Newbie Tuesday: We're making facial products! 
Shopping list
Equipment list
Let's start making facial cleansers! - Your skin type
Surfactants - what are they?
Meet the surfactants
pH of our surfactants
Facial products - the base recipe
Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser (part one) - physical exfoliants
Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser (part two) - physical exfoliants
Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser by adding chemical exfoliants
Modifying your facial cleanser into a foamer bottle recipe
Creating a facial toner (part one)
Creating a facial toner (part two)
Creating a facial toner (part three) - cosmeceuticals
Creating a facial toner (part four) - adding cosmeceuticals
Gels, gels, gels! Ultrez 20
Gels, gels, gels! Sepimax ZEN
Making a gelled toner with Ultrez 20
Making a lavender & chamomile gel moisturizer with Ultrez 20
Making a chamomile & cucumber gel moisturizer with Ultrez 20
Using Sepimax ZEN to make an oil free gel moisturizer
Using Sepimax ZEN to make an oil containing gelled facial serum
Using Sepimax ZEN to make a gelled facial serum with AHAs (part one)

As a quick note, as I'm getting ready to present at the American Soapmakers Guild conference in Las Vegas on May 1st - woo! - and as I'm going on another trip in May to teach a few classes - it's not public yet, but you'll see it here first if you're interested in attending - I'll be suspending the Newbie Tuesday series until the end of May to give you a chance to try the products we've been making and offer feedback. (I'll still be blogging and such, but not doing this specific series...)

In the meantime, I'll be putting together the shopping list for the moisturizers, oil based serum, and creamy cleanser so you can get those things before we start that series in early June.

As another note, I'm still working on a few micellar water recipes I'm trying to get them just right, and I'll have a make-up remover recipe as well. I've also been working on some recipes with salicylic acid that I'll post as well. I just can't promise any of these things will be on Tuesdays. Not that I've been doing great with posting every Tuesday...

So, what do you think about what you've been making?
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Newbie Tuesday on Wednesday: Making a gelled facial serum with AHAs (part one)

Yesterday we took a look at making a gelled serum with 10% oil with Sepimax ZEN. Today, let's add some fruit acids to the mix to create something that will act as an AHA or alpha-hydroxy acid, something Sepimax ZEN can handle at up to 4% without problems!

As a quick note, it can also handle salicylic acid, something I hope I can share with you in the next few weeks! 

What are alpha-hydroxy acids? (From a a longer post...) They induce epidermal effects through corneoctye disadhesion, operating by disrupting the ionic bonds between the cells so they can slough off and expose newer and lovelier cells underneath the stratum corneum, or top layer of cells. They also work as an anti-oxidant and can relieve post sun redness. All of these things make fine lines and wrinkles appear less obvious, reduce redness and inflammation, and expose new, shiny skin to the world.

AHAs work by penetrating our skin through the stratum corneum to the stratum granulosum. It acts as an exfoliant on the top layer of our skin by disrupting the bonding between the cells and allowing them to slough off, revealing those new and lovely cells I spoke of earlier.

In the past I would have suggested buying Multifruit BSC, but the product with that specific name is being discontinued in some places, so look for something like fruit acid complex* (Lotioncrafter) or FSS Fruit Mix* (Formulator Sample Shop). You'll find it with an INCI of something like - Water & Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Extract & Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract & Acer Saccharinum (Sugar Maple) Extract & Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract & Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Extract.

This blend has a pH of 4.06, and is soluble in water, glycerin, and propylene glycol, and insoluble in oils. It's about 55% active, so add at 5% to 15% (so 2.75% to 8.25% AHA in your creation) in the cool down phase of your creation. It is great for use in surfactant blends, lotions, creams, shampoos, and other water based creations. It isn't suggested to use a cationic emulsifier like Incroquat BTMS-50 with this product, so keep it in non-ionic lotions and potions or anionic surfactant creations. It has a shelf life of 12 to 18 months if kept in a cool dark place.

When using it with Sepimax ZEN, we can't go over 4% AHAs, so make sure you use no more than 8% of this extract in the product.

There are other ingredients found at other suppliers that are fruit acid mixes, but I haven't tried those, so I can't comment. I have used the versions found at Voyageur Soap & Candle, Lotioncrafter, and Formulator Sample Shop, which is why I make those suggestions. If you're trying something I don't mention here, please make a small batch of 100 grams the first time you use it and keep loads of notes.  

Why do I suggest using this instead of AHAs, like glycolic acid? Because using a fruit acid blend like this is less likely to drop your pH to the point of burning when used at the suggested usage rates, compared to a straight AHA ingredient. If you want to use things like lactic or glycolic acid, make sure you have a good pH meter - not the strips - and prepare to add it a drop at a time when you get close to the pH you want.

You can't just add AHAs to any product you want: Make sure all your ingredients work well with acids and lower pH levels. For instance, niacinamide wants a pH of 6, so you can't combine the two.

And always start with a lower level of AHAs. For instance, I generally suggest starting with 3% fruit acid complex, which would give us 1.65%, a level most people could handle.

Okay, this post is getting far too long, so join me tomorrow as we take a look at making a recipe or two with AHAs.

If you'd like to play along or if you've missed a post, here's a listing of the complete series...
Newbie Tuesday: We're making facial products! 
Shopping list
Equipment list
Let's start making facial cleansers! - Your skin type
Surfactants - what are they?
Meet the surfactants
pH of our surfactants
Facial products - the base recipe
Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser (part one) - physical exfoliants
Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser (part two) - physical exfoliants
Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser by adding chemical exfoliants
Modifying your facial cleanser into a foamer bottle recipe
Creating a facial toner (part one)
Creating a facial toner (part two)
Creating a facial toner (part three) - cosmeceuticals
Creating a facial toner (part four) - adding cosmeceuticals
Gels, gels, gels! Ultrez 20
Gels, gels, gels! Sepimax ZEN
Making a gelled toner with Ultrez 20
Making a lavender & chamomile gel moisturizer with Ultrez 20
Making a chamomile & cucumber gel moisturizer with Ultrez 20
Using Sepimax ZEN to make an oil free gel moisturizer
Using Sepimax ZEN to make an oil containing gelled facial serum
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