Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Why the heck did I buy this and what can I do with it? Wednesday: Sea kelp ferment

In the original why the heck did I buy this and what can I do with it thread, Catherine asks: I love your blog--what the heck can I do with Sea Kelp Ferment (INCI Lactobacillus/Kelp Ferment Filtrate)? I have been using it 100% on my face occasionally overnight (it is kind of sticky) and along my hairline for hair growth (can't hurt right?). I want to use it in a recipe. I have about 8 oz.

Sea Kelp ferment is a film forming and moisturizing ingredient, and you can use it where you would use hydrolyzed proteins or amino acids because it behaves the same way. (Click on the link to see the entire post I wrote a few years ago...) 

Sea kelp bioferment comes as a thickish yellow to amber coloured liquid or gel that is water soluble and heat stable, so we can add it to our heated water phase at 2% to 5%. I found the product a bit briny, but it doesn't show up in the final product even at higher amounts. 

I've used unfermented sea kelp extract and I found it very briny. Even my Clementine Cupcake fragrance oil couldn't save it - I just had fishy orange cupcake scent! It did feel very nice on my skin, but I couldn't get past the odour!

I use bull kelp bioferment in my favourite Japanese themed body wash at 5%, and you can use it in any body wash, facial cleanser, or shampoo to impart a conditioned and moisturized feeling afterwards. It will form a film on your hair and skin to leave behind that feeling. You can use it in a lotion for the same reason - substitute it for hydrolyzed protein - or any water soluble product that might need a little more film forming and moisturizing. 

I made a body wash I called "Sea Kelp therapeutic body wash for all your emotional needs". Say the name fast and see why! 

If you're finding your favourite facial cleanser leaves your skin feeling tight, consider using sea kelp ferment at up to 5%. 

Or try it in a toner as a way of moisturizing without using oils! This recipe is suitable for normal to oily skin types who might not want to use a moisturizer afterwards. It's based on my favourite min-maxed toner. 

For acne prone or rosacea prone skin, click here, and for a list of ingredients good for dry skin, click here, with a toner idea in this post. For all skin types, replace the hydrolyzed protein with sea kelp ferment at the same or higher rates.

17.5% water
30% witch hazel
25% lavender hydrosol
10% aloe vera liquid
5% liquid green tea extract
2% sodium lactate
3% sea kelp ferment
0.5% allantoin

3% Caprol Micro Express or another water soluble ester
2% panthenol
3% honeyquat
0.5% chamomile extract
0.5% preservative (I use Germall Plus)

Weigh the heated phase into a heatproof container. Measure the container and ingredients before putting into your double boiler and heating for 20 minutes at 70˚C. Remove from the heat and weigh again. Replace any water that has evaporated. When the mixture reaches 45˚C, add the cool down phase and mix well. Allow to cool to room temperature, then bottle. I like to use a spray bottle, but a disc cap bottle will work well. 

If you are missing a few of the ingredients in this toner, don't worry - leave it out! The main ingredients in the toner are the liquids - I like the witch hazel as it feels cooling and astringent - and the proteins for moisturizing if you aren't using a moisturizer afterwards. The point of a toner is to soothe and remove any excess cleanser left behind to prepare your skin for moisturizer. (It isn't to restore the pH of your skin - your cleanser shouldn't be ruining the pH of your skin as it should be balanced!) Replace any hydrosols with other ones or use water. If you don't have the water soluble ester, leave it out and replace that 3% with more water. I could happily make a toner with the protein, a humectant, an extract or two, and the allantoin. Everything else is lovely, but those are my core ingredients. 

I'm the type who doesn't use a moisturizer as my skin is too oily, so this product is designed to contain a ton of moisturizing ingredients that will make my skin feel lovely without oils. If you want to use a moisturizer afterwards, you can leave out the water soluble oil. (Yes, it's called a water soluble oil, but it's really an ester and our skin treats it differently than it would a vegetable or seed oil.) 

Do you have a baffling or bewildering product in your workshop? Did you buy something for a project, then forget what the project was, leaving you with a pound of something you can't use for something else? Then drop me a line in this post or the original why the heck did I buy this and what can I do with it? post and I'll see what we can do with your ingredient! Please include the full name of the product with the INCI, if it isn't obvious! 

Previous posts:

1 comment:

Carmit80 said...

Hello! For foaming cleansers I see you don't add any carrier oils as an emollient. Would this be possible or even effective?
Would l we then need to add the emulsifiers? Thanks!