Hyaluronic Acid Serum for Problem Skin

Hello there! 😀

Hyaluronic Acid Serum for Problem Skin

Today I am back with a recipe for an extremely simple yet effective serum… however there are a couple of things I need to say first!
1) This serum is formulated to help a problematic skin. With this I intend a skin which suffers of mild blemishes every now and then, maybe a little irritated and with a few red marks left by previous spots, add an oily T-zone… and that should be it 😀 . The ingredients of this serum will HELP the skin keep hydrated, will help keeping the oiliness under control and will help to soothe the skin (it might also have some effect against the red marks). Obviously, this serum is NOT A CURE for acne or for serious condition skins: it is just a help. I want to underline this because too often, online, we read about “the final cure for blablablaaa” but those are almost cheats 😀

Well… now that you have this “critic eye” opened… let me introduce you to my new and amazing (now I can say it ahahah 😀 ) serum recipe! 😀


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

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

How to formulate a SERUM

Hyaluronic Acid Serum

We have learnt how to formulate a lotion, but what is and how to formulate a serum? 🙂

There are few rules to follow:
1) a serum is usually a very light lotion (this means usually 2%, maximum 4% fats),
2) it is typically fluid
3) it has a very high concentration of ACTIVE INGREDIENTS.
4) it doesn’t have to be heated (actually this is a consequence of the previous points)
5) the function of a serum is to give an extra boost of good ingredients to your skin (just to be clear: the function of a cream is to be emollient and hydrate to the skin… therefore wishing to create “the ultimate hydrating serum” is like expecting to bake the best cake in the world without an oven: if you want hydration, you make a cream… if you want to feed your skin with an extra-boost of vitamins, antioxidants, anti-aging ingredients and sooo on, you make a serum).

How to proceed:
there is still Phase A and Phase B  but they will be slightly different:

PHASE A – will still contain water, glycerin and a gelling agent (or not, but I will explain this later… so keep reading 🙂 ), but you will have to pay attention to which gelling agent you choose: you need to choose a gelling agent which won’t break down in presence of salts or other tricky ingredients (for example carbopol ultrez 21 is one of these difficult gelling agenta). For instance xanthan gum or hydroxyethylcellulose are good gelling agents for this purpose (in case of hydroxyethylcell. remember the gel is formed only at 70° so you will need to heat your water and, only when it is cooled down, proceed in the making of your serum).

PHASE B – the oil soluble ingredients have to be very few: 1.5 – 4% (maximum!). By this I mean that even your oil soluble active ingredients will be counted in the fat percentage of the serum: for example if you desire to add 1% of vitamin E (tocopherol), you include it in your “maximum 4% count” 🙂
But how to behave with these oily substances in order to have a smooth, silky and specially fluid serum? 🙂
You will need different emulsifiers from those which we have used up to now: you will need actually two emulsifiers (one lipophilic at 0.25% and one hydrophilic at higher percentage) which are liquid and don’t need to be heated!
There are many on the market. Actually you could even use a solubilizer to keep together the emulsion (solubilizers are substances which are used to solubilize small small portions of oils into a lot of water: generally they are surfactants. In case you have a solubilizer at home and you want to use it as a hydrophilic emulsifier: add the oily substances of the serum in your becher and, little by little, add drops of the solubilizer until all the solution in your becher becomes milky white. Then add this solubilized oils into your Phase A).
Just for the record: if you don’t add oily soluble ingredients more than 1-1.5%, you don’t even need to add emulsifiers or solubilizers. This is the easiest and most simple way to make a serum 😀 everything would go in just one phase 😉

PHASE C – actually the Phase C could almost be deleted since you can almost always add the active ingredients directly to the Phase A (do not add them only if you use hydroxyethylcellulose as gelling agent because in this case the Phase A has to be heated and active ingredients are thermolabile).

The percentage of ACTIVE INGREDIENTS in a serum can be extremely high.
Sometimes you could even make a serum using an active ingredient as a gelling agent!
An example is the enriched hyaluronic acid serum which you can find HERE: this is also very easy to copy because there is not even the need of adding an emulsifier.

Let me know if I forgot to explain something or you have any questions.
Have a great day! 😀

Rose & Hyaluronic Acid Serum DIY

NOTE: every quantity in this recipe is in grams and it is a recipe for 100 gr of product. The meaning of “to 100” means that the quantity of the water (in this case “rose water”) is counted until reaching 100 gr for the entire recipe. 

Rose water to 100
Sodium Hyaluronate 1
Sk-influx (this is the commercial name of a complex of different kinds of ceramides. You can use what you find with the same function) 2.5
Ceramide liposomes 2.5
D-panthenol 2
Sodium lactate (60% solution) 5
Bisabolol 0.5
Umectol (this is the commercial name of a hydrating complex. Once again: you can freely use a different complex with the same function) 2.5
Hydrolized silk proteins 2
Cosgard 0.6 (this is the preservative)

In the very end I also added one drop of water soluble red food coloring. This is why it is pink (needless to say this is totally up to you).

I made the Hyaluronic acid using rose water the evening before. Of course I used 1 gram of sodium hyaluronate and around 80 grams of rose water… not 100.
The morning after the gel was ready so I just mixed it a bit and added these ingredients in the recipe. I added the preservative in the end.
As you can see there are few oily components like Bisabolol, D-panthenol… quite in a high % (usually a gel is fine up to 1% of oils). The reason is that I used a commercial Rose water 😀
I did not have any substance to solubilize the oils inside of the gel (at the time that i created this serum) so I decided to give good use to those who are usually inside commercial Rose water! 😀 Ok let me explain: inside of commercial Rose water they solubilize stuff like perfume/essential oils and preservative (at least usually). To make the water still clear and transparent they use a bit more solubilizer than needed… you can be sure about this by shaking the bottle of the rose water: if a few bubbles form (kind like in a light bubble bath) then you can be sure there is some free surfactant substance (the solubilizer…) inside of the rose water. I say “free” because part of it reacted to solubilize the oils inside of the water… and part of it is still free and making therefore the water clear once again.
Making a gel with this kind of water and adding oils to it, I used the “free surfactant” and this is why this gel is holding on together! 😀
And this is also why it is not transparent (apart for the fact that Sk-influx are not transparent at all)!

So there it is all the “tips and tricks” 😀
I like this serum very much and I have been using it for the last month on my face 🙂
It is very light (cause it is practically oil free) and needless to say: super nourshing! 🙂
Hope you like it!

Let me know if you have any questions! 😀

How to: Hyaluronic Acid gel

A while ago I posted how to make Aloe Vera gel.
I was planning to post a recipe of an hydrating gel (I have been using it in the morning for the last two months and I love it), but before I start, I thought it would be more important to show you how to make the basic ingredients for this gel.
Of course Hyaluronic Acid gel is one of these ingredients!

So tadaaa 😀

Hyaluronic Acid Gel

I love hyaluronic acid for the property of keeping the skin hydrated, also it is a substance that is naturally found in our skin.
It is used in many anti-aging creams (I don’t believe it is miraculous and it will make wrinkles disappear, but simply because it helps keeping the skin hydrated, the skin appears more plump and fresh).

[WARNING: this recipe, like ALL the recipes in my blog, is of COSMETIC GRADE, therefore this gel cannot be used any differently than by applying it ON your skin]
1 gr         Sodium Hyaluronate 
98,4 gr  Distilled Water (or Rose water 😉 read the end of the post)
0.6 gr    Cosgard (or any other preservative of your choice: of course if you change preservative, use the amount of preservative which is needed for that specific kind of preservative)

1) Measure the Sodium Hyaluronate

2) Measure the water

3) Pour the Sodium Hyaluronate on top of the water

At this point some people like to mix it and some people like to let it be.
I have actually tried both ways and here is my experience: if you try to mix it at this stage, part of the SH will stick to the spoon. This means that a precious part of your gel will get lost (and SH is not exactly cheap, so you’d want to mind this).
IMO it is better to let the SH hydrate by itself on top of the water for a while, and stir later.

4) Cover the glass with plastic film and let it rest in the fridge for few hours.

5) After few hours the SH will be hydrated. Now you can stir it with a spoon so to make the gel more smooth (there will be harder parts and softer parts).

6) Add your preservative, stir again and put in a bottle 🙂

You can use this Gel by itself, for its great hydrating properties!
If you have a very dry skin you could like to use it before applying your cream 🙂
You could also make a more luxurious gel by substituting part of the water (or the entire water) with Rose water!

As you might have noticed in the market we can find creams or serums that say “40% Hyaluronic Acid”.
Well, as you can see I am using 1% of Sodium Hyaluronate and this is the highest concentration I can use.
It is technically impossible to use 40% of SH inside of a gel: it will never hydrate and you will waste a huge amount of money.
I tried once to make a 2% and it took ages to hydrate. In the end it was too thick. I could still use it but it was not a good gel at all.
I don’t know what they could mean by saying “40% Hyaluronic Acid” on a product where there cannot be more than 2% of SH, but it is long time I stopped believing what I read in the commercials for creams. The only thing I can believe now is the INCI and what I KNOW is that in one cream where it was said “40%”, the Sodium Hyaluronate in the INCI was at 6th place (this means that in NO WAY it could be at 40%, it could have been at maybe 1% or even less).

Hyaluronic Acid Gel 3 Hyaluronic Acid Gel 2

The only way to be sure of what’s inside a cream or serum or face-gel is MAKE IT YOURSELF!
Not only this is a great thing to learn, it also makes you feel like IT’S ALL IN YOUR HANDS!  😉



Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.