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!
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