Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Newbie Tuesday on Wednesday: Making a gelled facial serum with AHAs (part one)

Yesterday we took a look at making a gelled serum with 10% oil with Sepimax ZEN. Today, let's add some fruit acids to the mix to create something that will act as an AHA or alpha-hydroxy acid, something Sepimax ZEN can handle at up to 4% without problems!

As a quick note, it can also handle salicylic acid, something I hope I can share with you in the next few weeks! 

What are alpha-hydroxy acids? (From a a longer post...) They induce epidermal effects through corneoctye disadhesion, operating by disrupting the ionic bonds between the cells so they can slough off and expose newer and lovelier cells underneath the stratum corneum, or top layer of cells. They also work as an anti-oxidant and can relieve post sun redness. All of these things make fine lines and wrinkles appear less obvious, reduce redness and inflammation, and expose new, shiny skin to the world.

AHAs work by penetrating our skin through the stratum corneum to the stratum granulosum. It acts as an exfoliant on the top layer of our skin by disrupting the bonding between the cells and allowing them to slough off, revealing those new and lovely cells I spoke of earlier.

In the past I would have suggested buying Multifruit BSC, but the product with that specific name is being discontinued in some places, so look for something like fruit acid complex* (Lotioncrafter) or FSS Fruit Mix* (Formulator Sample Shop). You'll find it with an INCI of something like - Water & Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Extract & Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract & Acer Saccharinum (Sugar Maple) Extract & Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract & Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Extract.

This blend has a pH of 4.06, and is soluble in water, glycerin, and propylene glycol, and insoluble in oils. It's about 55% active, so add at 5% to 15% (so 2.75% to 8.25% AHA in your creation) in the cool down phase of your creation. It is great for use in surfactant blends, lotions, creams, shampoos, and other water based creations. It isn't suggested to use a cationic emulsifier like Incroquat BTMS-50 with this product, so keep it in non-ionic lotions and potions or anionic surfactant creations. It has a shelf life of 12 to 18 months if kept in a cool dark place.

When using it with Sepimax ZEN, we can't go over 4% AHAs, so make sure you use no more than 8% of this extract in the product.

There are other ingredients found at other suppliers that are fruit acid mixes, but I haven't tried those, so I can't comment. I have used the versions found at Voyageur Soap & Candle, Lotioncrafter, and Formulator Sample Shop, which is why I make those suggestions. If you're trying something I don't mention here, please make a small batch of 100 grams the first time you use it and keep loads of notes.  

Why do I suggest using this instead of AHAs, like glycolic acid? Because using a fruit acid blend like this is less likely to drop your pH to the point of burning when used at the suggested usage rates, compared to a straight AHA ingredient. If you want to use things like lactic or glycolic acid, make sure you have a good pH meter - not the strips - and prepare to add it a drop at a time when you get close to the pH you want.

You can't just add AHAs to any product you want: Make sure all your ingredients work well with acids and lower pH levels. For instance, niacinamide wants a pH of 6, so you can't combine the two.

And always start with a lower level of AHAs. For instance, I generally suggest starting with 3% fruit acid complex, which would give us 1.65%, a level most people could handle.

Okay, this post is getting far too long, so join me tomorrow as we take a look at making a recipe or two with AHAs.

If you'd like to play along or if you've missed a post, here's a listing of the complete series...
Newbie Tuesday: We're making facial products! 
Shopping list
Equipment list
Let's start making facial cleansers! - Your skin type
Surfactants - what are they?
Meet the surfactants
pH of our surfactants
Facial products - the base recipe
Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser (part one) - physical exfoliants
Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser (part two) - physical exfoliants
Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser by adding chemical exfoliants
Modifying your facial cleanser into a foamer bottle recipe
Creating a facial toner (part one)
Creating a facial toner (part two)
Creating a facial toner (part three) - cosmeceuticals
Creating a facial toner (part four) - adding cosmeceuticals
Gels, gels, gels! Ultrez 20
Gels, gels, gels! Sepimax ZEN
Making a gelled toner with Ultrez 20
Making a lavender & chamomile gel moisturizer with Ultrez 20
Making a chamomile & cucumber gel moisturizer with Ultrez 20
Using Sepimax ZEN to make an oil free gel moisturizer
Using Sepimax ZEN to make an oil containing gelled facial serum

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