Oily mien shining too bright / your dryness is also a blight / what immortal hand or eye / could revive thy Simple Symmetry?
With all our apologies to William Blake… Combination skin is not always easy for us mere mortals to manage! People with a combination complexion often have an oily T-zone—that is, forehead, nose, and chin—but dry or normal skin elsewhere on their face. For proper skin care, you need a product that controls oily skin without drying out dry areas. Happily, there’s Simple Symmetry! This balancing homemade face lotion is specially formulated for combination skin.
One of its key ingredients is sucragel, a unique emulsifier that you use at room temperature. No need for a billion double boilers to make this lotion (okay, generally there’s just two) or to be constantly monitoring the temperatures of your phases. However, you’ll quickly see that this ingredient has its own little quirks. Warm up your arm muscles, because whisking your emulsion by hand is going to work your biceps! But the light pleasant texture sucragel yields and this homemade lotion’s super useful properties will be well worth your efforts.
Treat your skin to Simple Symmetry… Balance is rarely so easy!
How to make lotion for combination skin
Before you begin
- The tricky part of this lotion recipe is making an oily gel from the sucragel in steps 4 and 5. For it to turn out, you have to be careful not to incorporate the oil phase into the sucragel too quickly. It’s extremely important that you incorporate it gradually, as described in the recipe’s steps. The success of your homemade lotion depends on it!
- Sucragel is a unique emulsifier because you don’t have to heat it; you can work with it at room temperature. If you’re not yet familiar with this ingredient, we recommend taking a look at our article explaining how to use sucragel, which includes our tips and tricks for using it properly (as well as sample recipes!).
Phase A (oil phase)
- 4.2 g (6.5%) sucragel
- 3.3 g (5%) apricot kernel oil
- 7.5 g (11.5%) hazelnut oil
- 0.3 g (0.5%) jasmine aromatic essence or another aromatic essence of your choosing
- 1.3 g (2%) elderberry extract
- 0.7 (1%) vitamin E
Phase B (aqueous phase)
Phase C (additives)
- Three small stainless steel bowls
- Small silicone spatula
- Scale, accurate to 0.1 g
- Squeeze and pour measuring cup
- Components to make a double boiler
- Ziploc-style bag and a pair of scissors
- “Airless” pump bottle (50 ml)
Good to know!
- Sucragel is the emulsifier in this recipe. This unique emulsifier allows you to make emulsions at room temperature—a real advantage when it comes to preserving the benefits of some ingredients. For example, because you’ll only need to heat the hydrosols a little (just enough to melt the honey), they’ll conserve all their useful properties.
- Hazelnut oil is excellent for combination to oily skin, which it leaves soft and nourished. Apricot kernel oil is revitalizing as well as suitable for both combination and oily skin.
- Elderberry extract is antibacterial and antifungal; it’s the preservative in this recipe.
- Vitamin E is an antioxidant; it prevents the vegetable oils from going rancid.
- Rosemary hydrosol is good for combination to oily skin, while orange blossom hydrosol is revitalizing and soothing and restores your complexion’s radiance.
- Honey promotes hydration and softens and revitalizes your skin.
- Xanthan gum is used as a co-emulsifier in this recipe; it works with the sucragel and stabilizes the emulsion. You can’t replace it with another gum without impacting the final product’s texture and stability.
- Vegetable glycerin is an excellent humectant; it helps your skin maintain hydration. It also helps disperse the xanthan gum.
- Would you like to adapt this face lotion recipe to your own skin type? You absolutely can! You can replace the vegetable oils and hydrosols with others, so long as you adhere to the proportions in this lotion recipe. You can also replace the aromatic essence with an essential oil. To help you decide, we encourage you to check out our article on what ingredients are right for your skin type!
- If you choose an essential oil not included in our article on skin-type specific ingredients, be mindful of photosensitizing and dermocaustic (skin-irritating) essential oils! Photosensitizing essential oils include bergamot, celery seed, lemon, lime, litsea, pink grapefruit, red mandarin, sweet orange, tangerine, and white grapefruit. If you choose to use any of these, you must avoid sun exposure after application. Dermocaustic essential oils include cinnamon bark, cinnamon leaf, clary sage, clove, ginger, oregano, peppermint, spearmint, and thyme. It’s best not to use any dermocaustic essential oils in recipes intended for face use.
Steps to follow
- Prepare and disinfect your equipment and workspace.
- Weigh the sucragel in the first small bowl.
- Weigh the rest of the phase A ingredients in the second bowl and mix to combine with the spatula.
- Using the pipette, transfer five to 10 drops of the mixture from step 3 into the bowl containing the sucragel. Mix vigorously using the whisk for 20 to 30 seconds until the mixture is homogeneous.
- Repeat step 4 until you’ve used up all of the mixture from step 3. The result should be a homogeneous, thick gel: this is your phase A!
- Weigh the phase B ingredients (hydrosols and honey) in the third small bowl. Heat slightly on the double boiler to dissolve the honey while stirring with the spatula. Remove the bowl from the heat as soon as the honey has melted.
- Weigh the phase C ingredients (gum and the glycerin) in a ramekin. Mix with a spoon to disperse the gum in the glycerin.
- Pour the gum and glycerin mixture into the hydrosols and honey mixture and mix with the spatula for five minutes.
- Pour the combined mixture from step 8 into the Phase A gel and mix with the whisk until homogeneous.
- Pour the emulsion into a Ziploc-style bag. Cut a small hole by clipping a corner of the bag and squeeze the lotion into the pump bottle. Tap the bottle firmly on a table or counter to help the lotion fall to the bottom of the bottle, as necessary, until it is full.
Use and conservation
This DIY lotion is formulated for combination skin. It’s quickly absorbed and won’t leave a greasy film.
When made in optimal sanitary conditions, it will keep for at least three months.