Friday, September 12, 2014

One ingredient, five products: Gels - making a gel toner (part one)

I've heard from a few people that gel toners are all the rage right now, so I thought we should try to formulate one.

As an aside, I have turned a toner into a gelled toner in the past using Amaze XT, but I'm hearing that it's hard to find this ingredient, so it's time to do it with something easier to find like carbomer. 

What are we looking for in a gelled toner or hydration serum? I took a look at some different brands and found that they were to be used after cleansing but before moisturizing. They are meant to soothe dry skin and balance oily skin. It behaves as an extra layer of moisture between your skin and your moisturizer. They are intended to dry quickly so you can apply a moisturizer, and they don't feel sticky. They seem to be marketed mostly for normal to dry skin to help with moisturizing, but there are a few versions intended for oily skin that promise to shrink pores or reduce sebum levels.  They might be used as a cleanser for sensitive or dry skin as well. They're filled with loads of botanical ingredients and cosmeceuticals. Being a gel, you might use less when putting it on a cotton pad than when you're using something liquid. A gel toner could contain exfoliating ingredients, too.

I've also learned that these things are expensive! They seem to be at least $50 for 1.7 ounces (about 50 ml) , which completely shocked me. I have to say, though, I don't buy cosmetics or toiletries - except for deodorant, toothpaste, and mascara - so maybe this is normal? I see L'Oreal has a version that's less than $10 for 200 ml, though, and I found a few other inexpensive versions, so I'm less scared now! 

How does a gelled toner differ from the formulation of a regular, liquid toner? It appears that the big difference is that it's gelled. A toner can do everything a gelled toner can do, so I'm not seeing a huge difference between the two. The only difference I can see is that it appears a gelled toner isn't intended to be removed with a cotton pad. It is left on the skin as a layer of moisturizing. (Considering that this is how I use my toners, as a moisturizer in place of an oily moisturizer, this isn't a big difference to me!)

In making one of these, I'll want to choose ingredients that offer moisturizing, hydrating, soothing, anti-oxidant, and other qualities, which is what I'd do for a regular toner. I would modify it for different skin types - for instance, anti-inflammatory properties for reddened skin, astringent ingredients for oily skin, hydrating and moisturizing ingredients for dry skin - and I would make sure that everything is water soluble so I don't have to use a sticky solubilizer.

How do we make one? We need to make a toner and gel it. We can create a gel in a few different ways, including using gums, but since I'm writing a series on carbomers and I'm not the biggest fan of gums, I'll use a carbomer!

Join me on Monday for fun formulating a gelled toner! If you can't wait, check out the posts below and add some gel to them.! Or check out this example from Lubrizol for an astringent toner using alcohol at 20% using carbomer.

Other posts in this series:
One ingredient, five products: Gels
One ingredient, five products: Gels - making an aloe vera gel
One ingredient, five products: Gels - making an eye gel

Related posts:


Clive said...

It does seem to be an emerging market. I've designed three, so far. One is an antiwrinkle gel using Hyalurosmooth and Firmiderm as the main actives. Another is an anti-acne product with a four-point attack to kill bacteria, heal, anti-inflammatory, and the main active, Sebaryl, which is a sebum control ingredient. The third is an enzymatic exfoliant using papaya extract.
One thing of interest: Men seem to like gels, creams being to 'girly'!

Elizabeth Aqui-Seto said...

Susan, where do you purchase your Carbomer? I've tried to locate a supplier in Canada, but it seems I'll have to do so in the U.S.


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Elizabeth! You can find it at Voyageur Soap & Candle in Surrey, B.C. That's where I get mine!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Elizabeth! You can find it at Voyageur Soap & Candle in Surrey, B.C. That's where I get mine!

Sat Siri Kaur said...

Hi, Susan: I have been reviewing all your posts regarding Toners, and I had some formula questions for you.

Do you know how hydrolyzed oat protein is made, and can we make this product ourselves?
I saw a note that we can make our own witch hazel water. How is that done?
RE Water Soluble Esters: I am trying to make all my ingredients organic plant based. However, I wanted to check if Olivem 800 or Cerra Bellina leans towards that goal (are those considered "esters") (and also, if they are "esters" does Olivem 800 and/or Cerra Bellina lean toward the plant based part of my goals.) If not, what do you recommend I use for a plant based water soluble ester? Thank you so much.