A warm welcome to the summer (literally) that is finally here! :)
I am such a summer lover, I really hope the sunrays brought you so much joy, peace, and freedom as they did for me.
Here is my invitation to celebrate this lovely time of the year "formulator-style" and make this stunning, cold-process, purifying, sebum-regulating, refreshing jelly mask inspired by the marine world and the color green.
I had the privilege to work with high-quality Elemental skincare ingredients that were the inspiration for this fun, summery, sea-inspired hydrogel mask. If you follow me on my Instagram then you probably heard me talk about Elemental as one of my favorite skincare ingredient suppliers. I absolutely adore their online shop. They have a great variety of skincare ingredients, tools and equipment, shipping is super fast with inexpensive shipping rates, and the ingredients sent are always packed in quality containers with good expiry dates. These are just a few reasons why their shop is a true paradise for every skincare formulator, me included!
A few months ago I finally mustered up the courage and contacted their marketing team for collaboration options. They were the FIRST and ONLY skincare ingredient supplier that received my invitation for partnership because I knew if I would recommend any of the ingredient suppliers that I ever shopped with to my buddy formulators it has to be them.
I was over the moon when they kindly agreed to send me some of their fabulous skincare goodies that allowed me to design this neat formula and share it with you on my blog.
Let's talk about the ingredients I chose for this product and then get to the formula and method so you can make this summer&sea-themed awesomeness ASAP! ;)
MELISSA HYDROSOL (INCI: melissa officinalis flower/leaf water)
Melissa (also known as Lemon balm ) hydrosol is known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant, skin toner, calming and uplifting properties.
LINDEN HYDROSOL (INCI: tilia vulgaris water)
Linden hydrosol is known for its anti-inflammatory, soothing, relaxing and illuminating properties.
Both hydrosols can be used on their own as a skin toner or can be used to replace, or partially replace, water in various skin care formulations like toners, cleansers, lotions, creams, emulsions, shampoos, gels, deodorants and so on.
Mayam Floral waters sold at Elemental do not contain added alcohol or preservatives which is another thing I love about them.
MARINE-Z COSMETIC ACTIVE (INCI: aqua, glycerin, hydrolyzed algin*, zinc sulfate)
*extract of seaweed Laminaria Digitata
A marine origin active that treats all cutaneous acne-related disorders like excessive production of sebum, bacterial spots, acne lesions, inflammation and scarring. This marine sugar polymer with healing and anti-inflammatory properties complexed with zinc improves the control of bacterial growth. Its design is inspired by an original defense system developed between brown algae and its symbiotic micro-organism.
BHA NATURAL SALICYLIC ACID (INCI: aqua, salix nigra (willow) bark extract)
Natural beta-hydroxy acid is known for its antimicrobial properties, which is useful for problem skin, and enhances skin cell turnover by promoting exfoliation, smoothing effect with a reduction of fine lines and wrinkles. Willow Bark Extract is standardized for 10% natural salicylates.
ORGANIC CUCUMBER EXTRACT (INCI: aqua, glycerin, cucumis sativus fruit extract, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, citric acid)
Rich in vitamins and oligo-elements, it improves the complexion and health of the skin, helps soothe puffy eyes, and moisturizes the skin, with anti-inflammatory, softening, cooling and tonic properties. It also acts as additional help to balance the sebum secretion.
SPIRULINA POWDER (INCI: spirulina maxima powder)
Rich in proteins, vitamins and numerous bioactive elements, spirulina is used in cosmetics for its nutritional, anti-oxidant, firming and restructuring properties. In this formula, it was used because it fits the theme perfectly and gives the product a nice subtle color.
ALLANTOIN POWDER (INCI: allantoin)
Allantoin is renowned for keratolytic, moisturizing, soothing and anti-irritant properties, promotes the renewal of epidermal cell and enhances wounds healing.
ALOE VERA POWDER (INCI: aloe barbadensis leaf powder)
Active ingredient with multiple benefits for the skin. It is soothing, moisturizing, nourishing, and regenerating. It is spray dried from the juice of the leaves of the Aloe Vera plant.
The active ingredients in this formula were carefully selected to help soothe, cool, regenerate and moisturize skin so the jelly mask is a perfect fit for problematic and/or summer-exposed skin.
XANTHAN GUM (INCI: xanthan gum)
It is a natural, high molecular weight biopolymer used as a gelling, stabilizer, thickener and suspending agent in broad cosmetic applications. I decided to go with a high-quality version of Xanthan gum since it is pretty easy to work with and gives this formula the perfect transparent, clear gel and that wobbly jelly effect that I was trying to achieve.
PROPANEDIOL (INCI: Propanediol)
A skin-friendly, natural humectant with excellent sensory characteristics, multifunctional and innovative cosmetic ingredient. It also acts as an emollient, penetration enhancer, natural solvent, and hand-feel modifier. It has a low potential to irritate or sensitize the skin and is less tacky than glycerine, offering a light, non-sticky skin feel.
COSGARD (INCI: benzyl alcohol, salicylic acid, glycerin, sorbic acid)
A preservation system that meets the Ecocert standards, with broad-spectrum activity on bacteria, yeast and molds. It has a low odor profile and a good safety profile.
If you want to store this formula in a jar it is necessary to use a preservative. If you will use the product straight away you could alternatively leave the preservative out of the formula.
PURIFYING MARINE JELLY MASK
2x glass beaker
ph strips/ph meter
Formula in % and grams (50g):
Melissa hydrosol 50.1% | 25.05g
Linden hydrosol 28% | 14g
Willow bark extract 5% | 2.50g
Cucumber extract 5% | 2.50g
Marine Z extract 3% | 1.50g
Aloe vera powder 0.5% | 0.25g
Allantoin 0.4% | 0.20g
Spirulina powder (optional)* q.s.
Propanediol 5% | 2.50g
Xanthan gum 2% | 1g
Cosgard 1% | 0.50g
*If you will be using spirulina powder in this formula make sure to start with a really tiny amount since the powder gives very intense color. You can gradually add more to get the desired green hue. I used approximately a sesame seed of powder for 50g of the product to get the subtle blue-green you see in the pictures.
Disinfect all the equipment and surfaces.
Combine phase A1 in a glass beaker.
Add powders from phase A2 one by one to phase A1, stirring until each is fully dispersed.
Combine phase B in another beaker to make a slurry.
Add phase A to phase B and mix with a mini whisk until the gel is fully formed and there are no lumps in the mixture. This should take 2-4 minutes.
Measure the pH. If the pH is between 3 and 8, add Cosgard. Measure pH again. I did not need to adjust my pH, the product had a pH of around 5.5.
Transfer to a sterilized jar.
Apply a moderate layer on your face and leave for 15 minutes. Wash off with lukewarm water, pat dry with a soft towel and follow up with your skincare routine. You can also apply a thin layer and use it as an overnight mask.
How to prolong the color of spirulina?
Phycocyanin and chlorophyll are sensitive to pH, temperature, and light. Especially in water-based products, spirulina color tends to fade over time. Keep the jelly mask in the fridge to give it an additional refreshing and cooling effect and prolong the stability of the spirulina color. You could also try re-designing the formula and include a chelating agent to see the difference.
How to prevent lumps after adding the gelling agent?
Do not use your hydrosols straight from the fridge, but rather leave them at room temperature or warm the hydrosol mixture just slightly before you start formulating.
Do not put gum straight into the aqueous phase. Always disperse your gum in propanediol or glycerine as written in the formula and method above.
I find adding water phase to gum dispersion and mixing throughout out a better way than vice versa (adding gum dispersion to the beaker with water/hydrosols).
I stored my mask in this beautiful frosted glass jar container with a cover disc and silver lid and added a handy cosmetic spatula for easier and hygienic application. On the Elemental site, I also found these trendy sheet masks (compressed tissue for face mask) that would be perfect for this formula, so they are on my to-buy list for the next order.
Enjoy trying this jelly formula! I will be super glad to see your pictures or to read your feedback. If you have any questions regarding the formula, please comment below this blog post ;).
My NEW e-book with fast, summer, colorful and food-inspired skincare recipes is coming in July! Make sure to follow me on IG @labnotes_eu and subscribe to my email list at the bottom of this page so you will be a part of all launch details and special offers.
Summer kisses! :)