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 / Canada / New Zealand)
0.45g | 1.5% panthenol powder (vitamin B5) (USA / Canada)
1.5g | 5% argan oil (USA / Canada)
0.9g | 3% coco-caprylate (USA / Canada / UK / EU / NZ)
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)
0.6g | 2% Polyacrylate crosspolymer-6 (USA / Canada / UK / Australia)
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.
The hyaluronic acid was gifted by Pure Nature.
Hello, I don’t see much of difference in texture of body yogurt and gel cream. Can I use this to sell under name of body yogurt
Please do a video on gel scrubs and gel mask. I really want to see how you formulate those.
Thank you Marie! Can we use isopropyl myristate instead of coco caprylate?
Hello marie, why other gums like xanthan gum won’t work in this recipe?
Hi! Polyacrylate crosspolymer-6 (Sepimax ZEN) both gels and emulsifies; natural gums don’t emulsify, they just gel. Learn more in the Humblebee & Me DIY Encyclopedia (https://www.humblebeeandme.com/diy-encyclopedia/) entry for Polyacrylate crosspolymer-6 (Sepimax ZEN). Happy making!
Actually hydroxyethylcellulose work on this recipe but need to support by another emulsifier. I use a bit Peg-40 hidrogened castor oil and soy lecithin as emulsifier. But you might need to tweak the recipe.
*Hi Marie, thank you for sharing this recipe with use. I use kukui nut oil in place of argan oil. It was lovely moisturizer.
This sound so tempting! It looks beautiful – I first thought it is a lotion type cream. I just got my supplies including squalane which expires within 2 months…I can’t believe it! Atleast I have good excuse to make many luxurious facial and body hydrators and serums – thinking about this one and your solid argan primrose serum.
Yay, made both glow gel creams few days ago and even though I haven’t tested them on top of sunscreen and under makeup but they seem gorgeous! I love that ‘glow from within’ look! They feel really nice and expencive on skin and my skin likes them. I made few changes (glycerine for ceramides, squalane for hemisqualane and coco caprylate) as I’m useing my vitamin lotion and AHA’s anyway. Ice palace has gold and silver mica (and a bit silk mica) and this one has gold and bronze mica – they seem a bit shimmery. I used stock solution as base so batch size wasn’t too big and process was really quick… I’ll share my pictures later! I’m really excited about them! Thank you tons for these ❤️
This looks wonderful! I recently tried a few Korean beauty products and found that my skin loves gel-creams. So I’m really grateful to find a few formulas for them on your blog. The actives here are excellent, and I’m very pleased to find DIY recipes from someone who keeps up with skincare research. Thanks a million, Marie!
You’ve put the biggest smile on my face ❤️ Thanks for DIYing with me, and happy making 🙂
Hey Marie! Tkb has a translucent Mica called Ivory Lace that you might like!
Question:. Could optiblur that I have from your other formulas be included in this?
I find without any Micah’s this product already gives a gentle glow, but I’d love some blurring!
I’m sure it could be! I look forward to hearing how it goes 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing this glow facial cream!!! You are so knowledgeable technical with your recipe. I am going to try this next weekend 🙂 I noted that you suggested to use Argan oil in this recipe, may I know what other oils would you recommend to add for anti-ageing effect? https://sowourplanet.com/7-essential-oils-for-tightening-skin/
I read that Patchouli oil may be a good option but I struggle to decide which one is the best. Thank you for helping!
Been motoring through this and loving it. I bought the premixed HA from TKB to see if my skin notices a difference.
However I am going in circles trying to figure out the swap ratio between your HA solution and the 4D.
Should I make a solution with the 4D or add it straight? How much should I use for an equivalent strength to what you have in the original recipe?