Facial serum formula - Cosmetic Science Talk

Facial serum formula

Hello guys
I'm trying to make a DIY facial serum for my personal use and this is what the formula looks like:

DI water 83.5
Glycerine 10
Vitamin B5 3
Vitamin E 1
Allantoin 1
Xanthan gum 0.5
Preservatives 0.5
EDTA 0.1
Tea tree oil 0.1
Fragrance 0.25
Sodium hyaluronate  0.05
Citric acid  qs

What I'm trying to achieve is to:-

Sooth the skin
Improve skin appearance
Reduce acne
Encourage skin health

Now my questions are:

1. How good is this formula? any suggestions or comments to improve it?
2. Do I need to include any emulsifiers?
3. I have some concerns of using citric acid to adjust the pH because am using sodium hyaluronate, I'm not sure if there will be any reactions between both materials or not? am aiming to pH 4-6 

finally, this formula still on paper, I haven't produce it yet.

Thank You. 


  • im guessing this will be hazy.  make it and see what happens. If its just a 'shake before use' i think it'll be fine.  i dont see anything sticking out that would be an issue.  im pretty sure HA doesnt react with citric.
  • You will most likely need a solubiliser/emulsifier to ensure that your fragrance,tea tree oil and vitamin E are incorporated.
  • @chickenskin I don't want it to be "shake before use" serum, therefore, ill follow @ozgirl advice to include emulsifier.
    Thanks a lot @chickenskin & @ozgirl <span>:smile:</span>
  • Why not just use a blend of oils and leave the other gunk out?

    Our most successful product is:

    Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) seed oil, Sesamum indicum (Sesame) seed oil, Olea europaea (Olive) fruit oil, Cocos nucifera (Coconut) oil, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) seed oil, Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium) oil, Salvia sclarea (Clary Sage) oil, Cananga odorata (Ylang Ylang) flower oil.

    Dr. Mike Thair
    Cofounder & Chief Formulator
    Indochine Natural
  • @mikethair my bad, I forget to mention that I only have those ingredients available (have to scout for suitable emulsifier) and I want to package the serum in spray bottle to ease its use. 
  • I can source these emulsifiers myristic acid, stearic acid, polysorbate 20, ceteareth 25 & PEG-40 HCO. Which do you think is more suitable to use in facial serum and at what percentage? 
  • edited July 14
    You have two solubilisers available and no emulsifiers. Unless the ceteareth is - I have no idea. The PEG-40 HCO is your best bet. Titrating the correct % is YOUR learning process.
    Special interests: anti-aging creams, gels, and serums; sulphate-free shampoos; and therapeutic cosmetics.
  • Thanks @Belassi ill use PEG-40 HCO at 3.5% 
  • Good starting point, see what happens. Before finalising, try at a range of temperatures for stability.
    Special interests: anti-aging creams, gels, and serums; sulphate-free shampoos; and therapeutic cosmetics.
  • edited July 15
    Allantoin 1%? I've had precipitation problems at higher levels than 0,5%. How do you keep it solubilized?

    I'm curious about the 1% tocopherol: which type do you use and why in this %? There is controversy about tocopherols and their esters and pro-oxidation in higher %. In the Journal of the American Oil Chemist' Society they advise between 0,03 and 0,06% as anti-oxidant.

    I'm still waiting for the experts here to give an opinion on it.
  • @Doreen81 that is why i posted my formula here to get some opinions and insights. Allantoin 1% came from the supplier website "Use level: 0.1% to 2.0%" and vitamin E as Tocopheryl Acetate "Use level: 0.50% to 5.0%"
    I'm aware of that discussion and the figure that you have posted there, do you think if I add BHT can help in preventing vitamin E oxidation? 
    I wish that @johnb can give us his opinion on that. 
  • @zaidjeber
    You're right, higher levels can be recommended by suppliers, but their suggestions aren't always practical or useful...

    BHT is a stronger anti-oxidant than vitamin E, I haven't worked with it in cosmetic preparations. The reason I'm mainly focusing on vitamin E is because of its supposed benefits on skin, besides preventing rancidity. I'm also sure johnb can give you a lot more information on it, but I suspect he might be on vacation. ;) I'm also sure @Belassi ^ knows way more on this than I do.
  • Thanks @Doreen81 <span>:smile:</span>
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