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Marula face gel

Aug 11, 2023 | Face care, Formulations

I really wanted to use some good marula oil and it is a perfect fit for a facial oil. However, I wanted it to be a bit firmer, so I made it into a face gel. It can be used as a last step in the night routine to lock in moisture in the skin.

MARULA FACE GEL

marula-face-gel
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1. Ingredients for MARULA face gel

1.1. WHY TO USE MARULA OIL IN A FACE GEL?

Marula oil is obtained from the seeds of Scelocarya birrea tree and it is a very good emollient that will soften and moisturize the skin. It has quite high levels of antioxidants and sterols.

Antioxidants will help with formulation stability while sterols have soothing effect, speeds up wound healing and skin recovery. Because of these reasons I wanted to make a formulation that has high percentage of this oil.

Marula-oil-in-a-bottle

1.2. OTHER INGREDIENTS FOR A FACE GEL

As marula oil has quite a lot of saturated fatty acids in lower temperatures the oil can crystalize. And this would not be a good thing for a finished product. To bypass this I needed a different texture, such as gel or balm and everything in between.

And chose to go for a gel texture and to get that I used berry wax. It is amazing for making gel type textures and this also allowed me to use quite high levels of marula oil.

For some variation I have also decided to add some passionfruit oil – it smells amazing! And combined with nutty marula scent it creates a very nice smell.

For making this gel not so greasy as the main components are lipids, I added some coco-caprylate. It gives better spreading on the skin and makes the gel lighter on the skin. Though after making this face gel I would say that it should have been more firm. And the reason for a thinner product probably comes from using coco-caprylate. As berry wax may not work that well with esters.

I have also added some vitamin A to feel it more like a serum. I have used a retinyl palmitate which is a kinder version of vitamin A.

Ingredients-for-hair-serum-caffeine-vitamin-b3-trimethlyglycine-xanthan-gum

2. FORMULATION OF MARULA FACE GEL

Phase A

8.07 g | 53.8 % Marula oil

3 g | 20 % Coco-caprylate

2.25 g | 15 % Berry wax

Phase B

1.5 g | 10 % Passionfruit oil

0.03 g | 0.2 % Vitamin E (tocopherols)

0.15 g | 1 % Retinyl palmitate

This makes 15 g of the product.

Hair-serum-with-caffeine-and horsetail-extract-diy

3. How to make this formulation?

  1. Measure marula oil, coco-caprylate and berry wax to the container and heat it in a water bath.
  2. Heat it up to 60°C (140°F)
  3. Get it out of the water bath and stir constantly until the mixture reaches 40°C (104°F) – add the rest of the ingredients. Mix between the addition.
  4. Once every ingredient is added it is time to pour the mixture to containers.
  5. Place the containers in the fridge for about 5-10 minutes.
  6. Get the containers out of the fridge and let them get to the room temperature.

4. iNGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS FOR MARULA OIL FACE GEL

  • As the base of this face gel is marula oil, I don’t recommend using another one.
  • You can use another oil for passionfruit, you can even use more marula oil if you want.
  • Berry wax is essential for getting this gel texture. You can try using bayberry wax, but the end product still won’t be the same.
  • You can try using another light ester instead of coco-caprylate. But I am not sure what will be the end product.
  • You can use another oil soluble active ingredient of retinyl palmitate. Just adjust the amount of it according to the usage rate.
  • If you don’t have tocopherols, you can use more marula oil. Just remember that the face gel may get rancid quicker.

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