Friday, October 11, 2013

Gels: Formulating an eye gel - making different versions (part one)

As I noted when writing about version one and version two of this eye gel, the key is to keep your goals in mind and figure out how to get to that goal. And keep in mind that what works for my skin or what needs I have won't always mesh with yours, which is why I encourage you to get into your workshop and play play play!

I was thinking about what we might like to put into an eye gel and came up with this list of possible goals...
  • astringent 
  • cooling
  • anti-inflammatory
  • film forming
  • conditioning
  • humectant
  • cosmeceutical
  • moisturizing
  • emollient
  • reducing dark circles
If your goal is to be cooling and astringent, you could turn to something like witch hazel or a lovely hydrosol as the main ingredient in your gel or added at up to 10% to your gel after making it. Because we need to think about not adding too much to a product like this to start - how will you know what is working if you add 15 ingredients the first time you make it? - think of what could act as a two-for-one product. Witch hazel offers astringency, moisturizing, film forming, and circulation enhancing features. Something like chamomile hydrosol would work as an anti-inflammatory as well as a soothing ingredient. You could also use something like cucumber extract, which is known to be a nice soothing ingredient as well as an astringent. Try this at up to 0.5% in the cool down phase or dissolved in a small amount of liquid.

I could add some honeyquat to the mix to be both a conditioning agent and humectant.

UNDER EYE GEL - ASTRINGENT, COOLING, ANTI-INFLAMMATORY (You could call this honey & cucumber eye gel...) 
87.5% gel
10% witch hazel liquid
0.5% cucumber extract
2% honeyquat

Dissolve the cucumber extract in a little heated witch hazel (heated slightly to around 45˚C, not boiling!) and add it all to the gel. Mix well. Enjoy.

Let's say I want to work on some fine lines. We can't make any claims here - remember that - but we can choose ingredients that might work for softening and moisturizing, two things we know will make our skin look less wrinkled or fine line-y.

You can use an ingredient that will make your cells turn over more quickly, so you're looking for an exfoliant. I'm loathe to suggest using an AHA for this application as it's just too hard to mess with the pH and irritate your eye area, but you could start low (no more than 2.5% - 5% of something like Multifruit BSC) and see how your skin likes it. If your skin responds well, you can increase that ingredient at up to 15%, although I don't think that is such a great idea for your sensitive under eye area. You can try something like powdered papaya extract - use at 0.5% in the cool down phase, dissolved in a little warm water - as an exfoliating ingredient, too.

Allantoin is a good choice because it offers keratolytic properties, but I suggest you go no higher than 0.5% in a little warmed liquid and add to the gel as we don't want shards if it doesn't dissolve completely. It works as a humectant and is a great protectant from the elements and an approved barrier occlusive.

What's a keratolytic? From Wikipedia: Keratolytics can also be used to soften keratin, a major component of the skin. This serves to improve the skin's moisture binding capacity, which is beneficial in the treatment of dry skin. Such agents (keratolytics) include urea, lactic acid, and allantoin. 

What about panthenol? I have it in the original gel recipe at 1.6% (which means it makes it into the 80% gel at 1.28%). I love this stuff! It works as a humectant, it improves our stratum corneum hydration, it improves skin's barrier repair mechanisms, and it soothes irritation. It's four great things in one! So let's add this at another 1%.

2.5% Multifruit BSC (or 0.5% powdered papaya extract)
0.5% allantoin
2% panthenol
10% liquid of some kind
85% gel (87.5% if you're using powdered papaya extract)

I recommend the liquid of some kind as this is a thick gel and I want it to be thinner. If you use something like chamomile hydrosol, witch hazel, or distilled water, to name a few things, you'll thin it out. Plus, you can heat that liquid up to dissolve your allantoin!

Could you make a version with all of these things in it? Sure, but remember to check exfoliating ingredients to make sure you aren't loading up too many exfoliating things in one place. Feel free to make one that has all these things and modify how much gel you add, although keep in mind that more liquid means a thinner product.

Join me Monday as we take a look at another version we might make!


Chris said...

Hey Susan,

I just made an eye gel and it looked good. When I applied it, I noticed that it took a while to sink in and is a tiny bit sticky. But the biggest problem is that after it's dried, you can peel it off. Have you experienced anything like this with your gels?

susana so said...

Hi Susan,
Your Blog is awesome! Thanks for your reply to my last question which save me lot of money to buy cleansing oil!!!
Can you suggest anythings i can add to my gels eyeliner to prevent them from dry up? Since all these gels eyeliner which I bought from shop can last only a few months . I once added water to keep them moist but failed.
Thanks a lot