Newbie Tuesday: Using Sepimax ZEN to create an oil free moisturing gel

As I mentioned in a previous entry in this series, Sepimax ZEN (INCI: Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6) is a pre-neutralized gellant we can use to incorporate things that other gels can't handle, like electrolytes and surfactants as well as lower pH ranges to incorporate ingredients like AHAs. It can also incorporate oils, so you can make a gelled serum or moisturizer.

Let's take a look at making a simple aloe & rose water gel with aloe vera using Sepimax ZEN. You could use this as a toner to apply, then wipe off, or as an oil-free moisturizing gel.

I love aloe vera at 10% in any kind of moisturizing gel as it offers some film forming and hydrating properties, two things that help moisturize our skin without oils. I'll add some rose water (rose hydrosol or rose floral water) at 10% to offer more hydrating power as well as a lovely fragrance. I'm a huge fan of allantoin as a film former at 0.5% in the slightly heated water phase to act as a barrier protectant and skin softener, and I think we should add panthenol at 2% to act as a humectant and help improve skin's hydration. and wound healer. (I'm using the liquid, but you could use the powder.)

ROSE & ALOE MOISTURIZING GEL WITH SEPIMAX ZEN
SLIGHTLY HEATED WATER PHASE
74% distilled water
10% aloe vera
10% rose water
2% panthenol
0.5% allantoin
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

ZEN PHASE
3% Sepimax ZEN

Using room temperature or slightly above room temperature water, add the ingredients in the slightly heated water phase and mix well. Sprinkle Sepimax ZEN on the water. Wait 8 hours. Do not mix during that time. I know you want to, but don’t! After 8 hours – ta da! You have a lovely thick gel!?"

Or you can put the powder in the water, mix lightly with a fork until the product is wetted, then start mixing. Start at a lower speed with a beater on a hand mixer, then move to a higher speed for about 10 minutes.

This will create quite a thick gel, so if you want it to be thinner, feel free to reduce the ZEN to 2.5% or even 2%. It will be thinner if you mix it than if you let it sit for 8 hours.

You can add ZEN to any of the toners we've made in this series or on this blog by adding 3% at the end and letting it sit for 8 hours to hydrate. What the heck: I'll share a few of those recipes with you tomorrow before we take a look at how to add oils to ZEN to create a gelled serum and how to add surfactants to make a gelled cleanser.

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

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