Monday, June 22, 2009

Gels: Make a gel based toner

I know you're probably sick of this recipe for toner, but it works well in a gel format. You can also use this as an under eye application with a few tweaks, and it does feel nice and cool for the summer. (Can you tell I'm not a fan of being warm?)

So why make a toner into a gel format? I use this as a moisturizer - it has all kinds of humectants, film formers, and conditioners in it, so it behaves like an oil free moisturizer for my really really oily skin.

If you wanted to be bold, you could try using 1 to 2% salicylic acid (for acne prone skin) in a gel toner like this. (Please read this post and the links for salicylic acid before trying this.)

Please visit this posting for the original toner recipe...

As always with gel, make up the gel first...
Make up your gel as follows...
242 grams of water
4 grams ultrez 20
4 grams of 18% lye solution
1.25 grams preservative (Liquid Germall Plus)

Note: I've made this a thicker gel by increasing the Ultrez 20 to 4 grams with the lye solution remaining the same.

Put the gel flakes into the water and stir well to wet the flakes. Let sit for 3 to 5 minutes (5 minutes is preferable) then add your 18% lye solution and preservative. Stir until thickened.

Now create your toner...

35% gel
20% witch hazel hydrosol
25% lavender hydrosol (or another hydrosol of your choice)
10% aloe vera liquid
2% sodium lactate (supposed to be good for acne prone skin and a humectant)
3% honeyquat
2% panthenol
2% cromoist (or another hydrolyzed protein like soy or wheat...I just like oat protein!)
0.5% extract (I use chamomile)

Make your gel, then add the ingredients in order. I have upped the thickness of this gel because there are a lot of ingredients here gels don't normally like - sodium lactate, aloe vera, honeyquat, panthenol - and I want to make sure I keep it thick. You'll notice I have left out the preservative in the toner - the preservative is in the gel, so we don't need to add it twice.

If you want to make this into a lovely under eye soothing gel, here are a few suggestions...
  • replace the extract with cucumber extract
  • replace the hydrosol with another of your choice
  • add even more gel - take it to 45% and reduce the witch hazel by 10%
Join me tomorrow for surfactanty-fun with gels!


Jo said...

Ahhh ha, I was wondering about a non rinsing cleansing water I am using at the moment with surprising results, it is slightly gelled for ease of use and I thought about how they did this without an opaque texture...

So this gel formula would produce a clear gel?

Interesting.... I feel another wish list of ingredients coming on.

Anonymous said...

Could I add a small amount of oil to a gel by using something like Polysorbate 80 to solubilize? I would like to add like 2 or 3% tea tree oil to my gel to make an anti-acne gel.

P.S I am using preneutralized sodium carbomer I bought at Lotioncrafter. Do you have any experience with this ingredient? I couldn't find much information online about how it tolerates cationics, surfactants, etc.

Lisa Reidzans Schmock said...

Been dying to make a toner, but I really don't want to mess with the heat and hold system yet, I'm pretty lazy ;p~ and I've never tried it before. This will be perfect for me after I get the preneutralized sodioum carbomer and a few of the other ingredients in a week or two. I'll post a review after I've made a gel based toner!

Kenzer :) said...

I've read that potato starch forms a gel with water that is beneficial as a demulcent in skincare applications from a beginning cosmetic chemistry book. I don't have any lye or urez, so I'm wondering if this with a preservative could form the base of the gel before incorporating the toner and maybe even get some extra skincare benefits in there?

Additionally, I noticed your using lye but don't make soaps (in the posts I've read on here, not sure how recent those mentions were!). I'm curious - did you obtain lye (NaOH or KOH) for gel making or maybe for using it in emulsifying? I've seen biphasic foundations that include sodium hydroxide and I'm thinking its in a small amount to temporary combine the water and oil phases upon shaking. I'm thinking about playing with it as a soap based emulsifier if possible. Cool stuff, and thanks for all of your info and time!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Kenzer! I have no idea, but it's worth a shot! Let us know what you tried and how it turned out!

I still don't make soap. I bought lye for increasing pH, neutralizing carbomer gels, and playing with my pH meter. I'm not sure why a biphasic foundation would have it in there - I'm not sure what that is, to be honest (can you provide a link?) - but I would guess it's neutralizing a carbomer of some kind or working as a soap based emulsifier, as you note. If you want to make a soap based emulsifier - and I admit that the idea of this doesn't make me jump for joy because it'd be alkaline - why not try stearic acid and TEA. Lush uses this one a lot!

Erika Šalčiūtė said...

Say I was planning to make a gel toner with salicylic acid.
First step is a gel, all clear.
As for the second: SA needs to be solved in warm water with additional solvents, right? So in the end I'd have a gel and SA solution. So I just... mix them together and hope for the best? Or should I warm up the gel and add SA like it was distilled water?


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Erika! Could you please refer to this post on salicylic acid to see how to dissolve the ingredient for use in a product? And for a gel, yes, just dissolve the thing in the solvent you need to use, then add to the gel with some mixing. I have made many gels on the blog, so can I refer you to search for "eye gel" to see how I mix things into a gel?

Have fun! Let us know how it turns out!

Erika Šalčiūtė said...

Thank you for super quick answer!
I already have propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol and glyrecol in my online cart - going to make a purchase reall soon and start experimenting! I have read your post on SA however the links to the table and article on how to solve SA doesn't seem to work anymore:(

And I have surely read your eye gel recipe, I was just curious about the effect of temperature on the gel :)
Also what is the pH of the gel you mix before using it to create other products?

Thanks once again!
I'm sure many have told you already, but your blog and your help is simply invaluable for all of us. <3

Uvesh Patel said...

hy susan,

can we add oil base sunscreen in toner?

how to mix in recipe?

if we add peg-7 or like that ester,

in which phase we should add?


heated phase or cool phase?

tnx in advance!

Daisy Kong said...

Hi Susan,

I understand your rationale for skipping out on the addition of a preservative during the toner part of this project due to its presence in the premade gel. However, while it appears at about 0.5% in the first formula (1.25g of 251.25g total), it looks to me like the addition of this at 35% in 100g of toner would result in the dilution of the preservative to under 0.175% of the final product - which is quite a bit lower than your recommended range of 0.5-1% for most preservatives.

Can you (or anyone) explain this bit to me? I mean I empty out my toners at such wreckless rates I could probably be safe never grazing the upper recommended usage for a preservative.... but this question would come back to haunt me if I ever decide to make multiple batches at once. Thanks!