This beautiful gel cream delivers a double dose of glow—both from boosted skin health and a touch of softly shimmering mica. This formulation includes some of my favourite skincare goodies to deeply hydrate the skin and support barrier function, and a coloured mica (or two) of your choice for some instant, dewy glow. Ooh la la!
Want to watch this project instead of reading it?
It’s hard to choose a star ingredient in this formulation, but from a skincare point of view, I think it’d be a toss-up between the hyaluronic acid and the ceramide complex (there are several other great contenders). Hyaluronic acid is a luxurious, bomb-diggity humectant that helps hydrate and plump our skin. The ceramide complex supports the skin be its very best self, helping rejuvenate and strengthen the skin.
For skin-soothing goodness, I’ve included allantoin and panthenol (Vitamin B5). Both of these ingredients are pretty boring-looking white powders, but they’re both fantastic skincare ingredients. They both pack not only soothing, but moisturizing punches and healing-boosting punches. Allantoin is also an FDA-recognized skin protectant that helps increase skin cell turnover, while panthenol stimulates skin regeneration and improves elasticity.
To supplement the glowy goodness from the awesome skincare actives I’ve also included a small amount of coloured mica. I recommend choosing something that suits your skin tone. I ended up liking a blend of a silver-white mica and pale pink mica, but I think gold, copper, bronze, silver, white, pale lilac, and/or apricot could all be stunning. Honestly, do whatever sounds lovely to you ❤️
Our gel cream is both and gelled and creamed with one ingredient—Polyacrylate crosspolymer-6 (Sepimax ZEN). It’s a lumpy white powder that gels everything up and creates a pseudo-emulsion by stabilizing the oil-soluble goodies in this formulation. The oil-soluble goodies are argan oil, my all-time (and long time) favourite carrier oil, and coco caprylate, a super-light emollient that can work as a Cyclomethicone alternative and helps improve slip and reduce tackiness.
The finished cream is a lovely in-between for your skincare routine and any makeup you might want to wear. I don’t apply it in the evening as I don’t want a glowy pillowcase, but I suppose there’s nothing else stopping you from wearing it at night if you want to.
Want to watch this project instead of reading it?
Relevant links & further reading
- Hyaluronic acid in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Ten Projects to Make with Hyaluronic Acid
- Let’s Talk About Hyaluronic Acid
- Panthenol (Vitamin B5) in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Argan Oil in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Coloured Mica in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Ceramide Complex in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Liquid Germall Plus in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Polyacrylate crosspolymer-6 (Sepimax ZEN) in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Allantoin in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- How much essential oil can I add to this recipe?
- More formulations like this one:
Soothe and Glow Facial Gel Cream
18.84g | 62.8% distilled water
6g | 20% low molecular weight 1% hyaluronic acid solution (USA / New Zealand)
0.45g | 1.5% panthenol powder (vitamin B5)
1.5g | 5% argan oil
0.9g | 3% Coco Caprylate (USA / Canada)
0.6g | 2% skin-complementing mica
0.12g | 0.4% Liquid Germall Plus™ (USA / Canada)
0.9g | 3% ceramide complex (USA / Canada)
0.09g | 0.3% allantoin (USA / Canada)
Weigh the first nine ingredients into a beaker. Sprinkle the Polyacrylate crosspolymer-6 (Sepimax ZEN) overtop of the mixture, cover, and leave to hydrate for a few hours.
Once you no longer see any white specks of Polyacrylate crosspolymer-6, whisk or stir the mixture thoroughly to combine. I used my mini mixer. When the gel cream is uniform, package it up!
I used a small jar, but I think a soft squeeze tube or treatment pump would also work well.
To use this product, apply it at the end of your skincare routine and before any makeup. Enjoy the extra glow!
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this gel cream contains water, you must include a broad-spectrum preservative to ward off microbial growth. This is non-optional. Even with a preservative this project may eventually spoil as our kitchens are not sterile laboratories, so in the event you notice any change in colour, scent, or texture, chuck it out and make a fresh batch.
As always, be aware that making substitutions will change the final product. While these swaps won’t break the recipe, you will get a different final product than I did.
- As I’ve provided this recipe in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using a simple spreadsheet as I’ve explained in this post. As written in grams this recipe will make 30g.
- To learn more about the ingredients used in this formulation, including why they’re included and what you can substitute them with, please visit the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia. It doesn’t have everything in it yet, but there’s lots of good information there! If I have not given a specific substitution suggestion in this list (panthenol, hyaluronic acid, allantoin) please look up the ingredient in the encyclopedia before asking.
- You could try C12-15 alkyl benzoate or Neossance® Hemisqualane instead of coco caprylate. A lightweight liquid carrier oil would also work.
- I have no good suggestions for an alternative for the ceramide complex. If you can’t get it you can just replace it with more distilled water and accept the formulation will not perform in the same way.
- If you’re like to use a different preservative, please review this FAQ and this chart.
- Aristoflex AVC will work instead of Sepimax ZEN. Gums like xanthan or hydroxyethylcellulose will not work.
- If you’d like to incorporate an essential oil, please read this.