Silicones in cosmetics – the truth

Hello there! 🙂

Today I want to talk about SILICONES because I found there is so much mis-knowledge about them online and I felt I need to clear their reputation a little. 🙂
Obviously everybody is entitled to have their own opinion… BUT, to have a real opinion, one is supposed to have a real notion of what they are talking about 😉 so here I try to sum up some facts that might have created confusion.


Caffeine & Escin Eye Cream DIY

Hello there! 🙂

This new recipe for an Eye-Cream will work great against both blue circles and puffiness; so if you suffer of these, keep reading! 😉
When you apply it you really feel that the circulation of the skin is improving (it gives a rather lifting feeling)!
I am really satisfied!

Escin and Caffeine Eye Cream

I wrote “blue circles” and not the more generic “dark circles” because there are two different kinds of dark circles:

DIY Karma Shampoo (extra delicate!) & chat on betaine

Hello everyone! 😀

Make your own Karma Shampoo
I was already in love with a shampoo recipe but I have “upgraded” it thanks to “betaine” (this is the INCI name, but to not confuse it with surfactants we better call it Trimethylglycine or TMG).
Wikipedia says: “Trimethylglycine (TMG) is an organic compound that occurs in plants. Trimethylglycine was the first betaine discovered by science; originally it was simply called betaine because, in the 19th century, it was discovered in sugar beets”.
So what is all the fuss about this ingredient? 😀
Properties of Trimethylglycine:
In detergents, at a 5% concentration, it helps making the detergent more gentle on the skin, so in this shampoo this is why I have added it 😀
But this is definitely not all about this great ingredient: it has anti-inflamatory and soothing properties, so it is great used in creams for people with sensitive skin, it helps reaching a very creamy consistency in creams (so it is a plus for texture! 😉 ), apparently it also helps to stabilize vitamin C.
How to use it: it is used at a percentage between 2% and 5% in creams but in detergents it should be added at 5%. It is water soluble. It has a basic pH so beware if you are using it with pH sensitive ingredients (like Niacinamide for instance… which should never reach very basic pH).


Sebum Normalizer cream Recipe


This is a cream made specifically for oily skin and for spring days! 😀
There are two important active ingredients in this cream which will perform the function of oil-controllers:
– Azelaic Acid 
– Tiolisine 

The Azelaic Acid however is insoluble in water or oil therefore it is very difficult for us to use it in our home production (you can find it in online shops of raw materials but I don’t know how it could be used since it is impossible to melt it or dissolve it properly in any liquid)… this is why in this recipe I have used a derivative of Azelaic Acid called Azeloglicine (it contains approx 30% of Azelaic Acid in a hydrophilic form! Bingo! :D).
Azelaic Acid is mainly used for its oil-control properties but it is also used to treat acne (both comedonal and inflammatory) because it kills the bacteria which cause acne and it also decreases the production of keratin which is a substance that promotes the growth of bacteria.
Tiolisine is a sulfurated aminoacid derivative which also has sebum-normalizing properties and it is usually used between 2-4% (3-5% in detergents like shampoo for dandruff).

The recipe I have made for this cream is as simple as possible.
Now I write the recipe and then I explain some more things:

RECIPE: [in case you are new to the making of creams, HERE you can learn what I am talking about ;)]
water to 100 (HERE the explanation)
xanthan gum 0.11 (possibly not the transparent kind: for gels the transparent xanthan gum is good, for creams the other is better)
carbopol ultrez 21 0.3
glycerin 2.5

Methyl glucose sesquistearate 2 (I use this low percentage because the oils in this cream are very low)
Cetyl Alcohol 0.8
Cetiol sensoft 1.5
Evening Primrose Oil 1
Hemp oil 0.5
Tocopherol 1

PHASE C 1 : 
Bisabolol 0.5
Dry Flo (INCI aluminum starch octenyl succinate) 0.7

Azeloglicine 6
Tiolisine Complex 2.5

Preservative 0.6 (or according to the right percentage of use of your own preservative).

Adjust the pH at 5.5 – 6
The oil percentage is so low it could be considered an oil-free cream.
The consistency of the cream is rather fluid: I always have the feeling that thick creams are more suitable for dry skins (at least this is the feeling I get: if a cream is thick, I unconsciously associate it with the idea of a “too rich” cream for an oily skin), while fluid lotions give me better the idea of something light. So this is all up to you (if you want a thick cream you can rise the cetyl alcohol up to 1.5%… but since this is like a wax on our skin, I don’t recommend it :D).
Cetiol Sensoft is a very light synthetic oil which gives a smooth touch to the cream. If you want to avoid using synthetic oils and you wish to use only natural oils, you could substitute this ingredient with the same amount of jojoba oil (which is a bit more dense but it is the lightest natural “oil”).

Hope this was helpful to those of you who have trouble with oily skin!
Let me know if it worked for you 😉


DIY Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C is a very powerful substance and it is found in many commercial products for the skin because it is a strong antioxidant, it has lightening properties and, last but not least, it boosts the production of collagen (therefore you are left with a firmer skin).

Vitamin C is “ascorbic acid” (you could also find “L-ascorbic acid”) but in the creams you buy, if you read the ingredients, you will never find “ascorbic acid”, probably you will find “sodium ascorbyl phosphate” or “magnesium ascorbyl phosphate” (there are also other forms of Vitamin C, this is a mere example). What is this?
Well, Vitamin C has great properties but it doesn’t keep stable: it oxidizes even in contact with air, with light… (this is why if you make fresh orange juice you should drink it immediately after), so in order to be able to add this vitamin in our face creams, cosmetologists use a stabilized form of Vit C: if in the ingredients of your cream you read an ingredient which contains the word “ascorbyl”, to make it very simple, that is the stabilized form of Vitamin C.

These stabilized forms are many and they are growing in number all the time. They are not something negative (and even I use them in the making of Vitamin C creams… maybe I will post a recipe soon about it 🙂 ), however their properties are not 100% the same of the pure Vitamin C.

Today I am going to show you the easiest and most effective way to make at home a special Vitamin C Serum which is much more powerful than every cream you ever bought 😀

The only way to use pure Vitamin C (therefore “L-ascorbic acid”) effectively is to use it right away and make a new serum all the time.
This is why the recipe of today, unlikely all the cream recipes I have shown before, is not in 100 gr but it is in very small amounts: because you will have to make it anew every time you want it 🙂
But don’t be scared: it is made of three ingredients only and it is divided in two parts 😉

(first part)
1 teaspoon demineralized water 
1/8 teaspoon L-ascorbic acid (you can easily buy it in pharmacy; ask for the powder of vitamin C or ask for Ascorbic acid, simply 😉 )
(if you wish to, you can add also a drop of glycerin)
You mix these two ingredients in a bowl and measure the pH (you can find pH strips even in pharmacy: buy those from 0 – 14 so you can use them also for the other homemade cosmetics in the future. They should look like THIS in order to show you exactly the correct pH of the solution).
WARNING! Measuring the pH is important!
Ascorbic acid is obviously an acid (and it is also very strong) so you don’t want to apply on your skin something of pH 2… however Vitamin C is well absorbed (and used) in your skin only at a pH range of 3.5 or lower. Therefore check the pH of the solution and if you see it is lower than pH 3.5 adjust the pH by adding a little bit more water. Now check the pH again and keep adjusting until the result is pH 3.5.
This is really important and I am not responsible if you ruin your skin. 

At this point you can apply this water on your skin using a brush or even your own fingers, keep applying even in multiple layers until the water is finished.
WARNING! Do NOT apply on the eye area or too close to your lips or nostrils.
It is normal if it stings a little, but it should not be painful and it should not last more than 2 or 3 minutes.
WARNING! If you feel pain wash off immediately! If after 3 minutes the stinging hasn’t stopped yet, wash off immediately! Some people have a very delicate skin and this acid might be too strong for them. If this is your case, rinse off immediately and avoid using acids on your skin. They could damage it!

If instead your skin didn’t react badly to the Vitamin C boost :D, wait for the skin to be dry (wait approximately 10 minutes) and now it’s the part two 😉
(second part of the “recipe”)
2 drops of Vitamin E (Tocopheryl acetate or Tocopherol – you should be able to find it in pharmacy very easily. It is a very dense liquid. The Tocopheryl acetate should be transparent or slightly yellowish. Tocopherol, instead, is dark brown).
Put these two drops on the tips of your fingers and tap it all over your face.
This time it shouldn’t sting anymore.
Let it sit on your skin for 20 minutes and wash off (you will have to wash your face vigorously, because Vitamin E is quite sticky 😀 ).

This is the easiest, most effective Vitamin C serum.
After applying the ascorbic acid, you apply Vitamin E because these two Vitamins work in synergy, boosting the antioxidant properties of them both! 🙂

I wouldn’t suggest to apply this Vitamin C serum everyday because it is quite aggressive. Once a week should be enough.
It is better to make this treatment in the evening before sleeping (so the skin has time to “recover” all the night) and I would suggest to avoid making this treatment in summer or late spring (it is always negative to use acids on the skin in summertime! They weaken the barrier of the skin and they can make more disasters than positive things if your skin receives direct sun rays in the period of an acid treatment).

Now, after having done a little bit of “terrorism” about this Vitamin C Serum… I can say that I have not misused it and I am very happy about the results!
I used to have some red signs on my skin, left from an old acne, and they are finally gone! 🙂
Also, my skin looks more fresh and firm! 🙂

So don’t misuse this DIY and have a great day! 😉

Vitamin C serum

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Caffeine – formulating

CAFFEINE is a quite common cosmetic ingredient. It can be found mostly in eye creams or anti-cellulite products but lately it has been added even to soaps or shower gels.
Chemical Name: Caffeine
Chemical Formula: C8-H10-N4-O2
Molecular Weight: 194.2 g/mole
Color: White.
pH (1% soln/water): 6.9 [Neutral.]
Solubility: The product is equally soluble in oil and water; log(oil/water) = -0.1.
Caffeine is moderately soluble in water at room temperature (2 g/100 mL), but very soluble in boiling water (66 g/100 mL). It is also moderately soluble in ethanol (1.5 g/100 mL). It is weakly basic (pKa = ~0.6) requiring strong acid to protonate it.
Incompatibilities with Other Materials: Strong oxidizing agents.
Hazardous Decomposition Products: Nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, irritating and toxic fumes and gases, carbon dioxide.
(Source: here and here)