I’m on a huge hydration kick these days. Well, not so much a kick as a lifestyle change. I’m making hydration a serious priority, and my skin is so much happier for it. While staying hydrated in Calgary is always a challenge, summer is a different kind of challenge: sun exposure and more time spent outside means more wind and elements exposure, but it also means I’m less inclined to reach for heavier moisturizers. That’s where this lovely humectant packed mist comes into play.
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The base of this mist is a blend of distilled water and a lovely refreshing peppermint hydrosol—not too much, though, since to much mint on your face goes from refreshing to unpleasantly chilly fairly fast. To that base I’ve added some of my favourite humectants to help attract water to our skin and keep it hydrated. For liquid humectants I’m using a blend of glycerin and sodium lactate, bit if you only have one, feel free to to use all of one or the other. I wouldn’t increase the total amount, though—too much glycerin can get sticky, and too much sodium lactate (2.5%+) can make your skin sun sensitive.
I’ve further decked out this facial mist with some powdered humecants (yours may be liquid, that doesn’t matter!). Hydrolyzed silk is one of my favourite humectants, and when paired with panthenol (vitamin B5) you’ve got some serious hydrating, skin soothing, healing boosting goodness. If you don’t have silk, look for a different hydrolyzed protein instead, like oat or even quinoa. I have powdered silk peptides, but silk amino acids and liquid silk are also good choices. The powder will work, too, but it is a higher molecular weight and is therefore less likely to penetrate the skin and work its magic.
To round things off I’ve included a touch of allantoin to help soothe and protect the skin, and some Olivem300 (INCI: Olive Oil PEG-7 Esters) as a super lightweight emollient. Olivem300 is a liquid ester derived from olive oil, and because it’s water soluble we can add it to this mostly water concoction and get a bit of moisturizing oil goodness without worrying about including any other emulsifiers. Before anybody asks if they can use Olivem1000 instead of Olivem300—no, you can’t. Olivem300 is a lightweight liquid, while Olivem1000 is a flaky, shardy solid wax-like product. They are not at all interchangeable! You could use a different water-soluble ester, though.
Another major bonus of including a touch of Olivem300 is that it works as a solubilizer for small amounts of other oil soluble ingredients, so if you don’t have peppermint hydrosol, you can use a total of 47g (1.66oz) distilled water and add a single drop of peppermint essential oil to get a similar effect. Please don’t add more peppermint until you’ve tried it on your face, though! It’s much easier to add another drop of essential oils later than to chuck out your batch of spray-able face ice and start over.
When I made this for myself I made a 50g batch to fit my 50mL bottles (sadly they’ve been discontinued, so I can’t link you to the ones I used), but this 50g batch business created a lot of teesny measurement business. To help with that I have provided some volume measurements for some of the powders, but an even easier way to reduce the teensy measurements is to double the batch size to make 100mL (3.3fl oz) instead of 50mL (1.7fl oz).
The second-to-last step is a slightly new thing for me; pH buffering to get the pH of this mist down closer to that of our skin. I’ve been doing a lot of research into the importance of the pH of our skin care products lately, and suffice it to say, having our skin care products be close in pH to the pH of our skin is super important. You’ll definitely be hearing more about this from me in the future, but for now this is a fantastic read. Now, you certainly don’t have to pH buffer this mist, but check out that article and see what you think. Also—if you have a pH meter that’s available in Canada that you’re happy with, I’d love to hear about it!
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Hydrating Summer Facial and Body Mist
37g | 1.31oz distilled water
0.25g | 1/16 tsp allantoin (USA / Canada) (I use these tiny measuring spoons for tiny measurements like this)
0.5g | 0.018oz sodium lactate
0.5g | 0.018oz vegetable glycerine
0.5g | 3/8 tsp hydrolyzed silk (wondering about substitutions?)
2g | 0.07oz Olivem 300 (USA / Canada)
10g | 0.35 peppermint hydrosol
0.5g | 1/8 tsp panthenol powder (vitamin B5) (the volume measurement is for powdered panthenol—measure by weight if yours is liquid)
~0.56g | 0.02oz citric acid (optional—to bring the pH down to ~5.5)
Prepare a water bath by bringing about 2cm/2/3″ of water to a bare simmer over low to medium-low heat in a small saucepan.
Weigh the distilled water, allantoin, sodium lactate, glycerin, silk, and Olivem300 into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup or beaker. Place the measuring cup in your prepared water bath to heat everything through and make sure that allantoin dissolves properly.
Once the heated part is fully dissolved, remove it from the heat and leave it to cool for about five minutes (small batches mean faster cooling times—give it longer if you double the batch). When the outside of the beaker just feels warm to the touch, add your cool down phase and stir to combine.
To buffer: Use your pH strips or pH meter to check the pH of the mist as-is. Mine was about 6. Add some citric acid, a little bit at a time (start around 0.1g), re-checking the pH between addition to see where it is. Stop adding citric acid when you’re around 5.5.
Stir in your preservative, decant into your mister bottle, and you’re done!
- You can use a different hydrolyzed protein (oat, quinoa, etc.) instead of the silk, or sea kelp bioferment, which isn’t a hydrolyzed protein, but does have similar properties
- If you only have one of vegetable glycerin or sodium lactate you can use all of the one you have (for a total of 1g / 0.03oz)
- If you don’t have the allantoin or panthenol, replace it with an equal weight of water
- If you don’t have the Olivem300, replace it with an equal amount of water for a lighter mist
- If you don’t have peppermint hydrosol and Olivem300, replace both with an equal weight of water and mix a single drop of peppermint essential oil with three drops of Polysorbate 20 or 80 and mix that into the concoction
- If you really just have water, peppermint essential oil, a polysorbate, and a preservative you can still make a nice face mist; it just won’t be nearly as hydrating. That would be 49.5g water, a single drop of peppermint essential oil mixed with three drops of Polysorbate 20 or 80, and 0.25g Liquid Germall Plus.