Stocking up with Hyaluronic Acid and Allantoin

Note:  This post was updated on 4/16/16 to remove Co-Op links, since the Co-Op is no longer available.

Ok, here's the last tutorial of DIY Week.  The next post will be some DIY inspiration to hopefully get you thinking about all the beautiful, wonderous creations you can make, and then we'll have some fun fluff after.  I mention in both the Vita-Sea and the Shark Sauce recipes that I use 1% Allantoin or 1% Hyaluronic Acid, but what are those exactly?  Let's have a look!

Hyaluronic Acid Stock

By the way, know those super expensive hyaluronic acid serums?  You can make this stock, and just use it as the same thing!  And it doesn't cost $20.  Yes, really.

$24.99?  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.....oh, wait, you're serious.... This is awkward...

Here's the recipe.  It's ridiculously easy.

Ingredient % (g)
Distilled Water 98.5 27.92
Hyaluronic Acid 1 0.28
Optiphen 0.5 0.14

I like to use regular weight Hyaluronic Acid because there's no controversy on its safety, or if there's any unseen irritation.  It also makes a gel texture, whereas the low molecular weight HAs have a watery consistency.

To make this, measure out your ingredients.  Then put them all together in a glass or a bottle.  It does not have to be a tinted glass bottle - you can make it in a giant, clear plastic bottle even if you want to use it as an all over body gel.  When you first put the hyaluronic acid into the water, it will make a kind of disgusting looking clump.  Ignore it for a while.  I'll leave it for ~20 minutes if I'm in a hurry and need to use it soon, but usually, I'll just give it a good shake and stick it in the fridge overnight.  Remember how hyaluronic acid is amazing, and holds 1000x its weight in water?  Yeah, that means it takes a little bit to hydrate.  If you sit there and watch it hydrate, it actually looks like little sheets or some snotty nastiness as it soaks.

How to Use:

You can use this straight out of the bottle as a hydrating gel.  1% is the max usage rate you want for hyaluronic acid.  I am currently substituting the distilled water in this recipe for Aloe Vera Juice to use in Shark Sauce, and it has no trouble hydrating thoroughly.  In DIY formulations, you could use this instead of regular Distilled Water for an extra hydrating boost, but beware that hyaluronic acid can leave a bit of a sticky feeling so either don't use a lot, or add emollients in to counter the stickiness.

Allantoin Stock

Allantoin is a very nice ingredient to have.  It's not fancy or anything, but it's a great anti-irritant and is moisturizing.

You say 0.005% Allantoin as the star ingredient like it's something to be proud of...  $5 hydrogel mask?  DIY to the rescue!
Aaaaaaaaaaaand here's the recipe:

Ingredient % (g)
Distilled Water 98.5 27.92
Allantoin 1 0.28
Optiphen 0.5 0.14

Allantoin is cheap, y'all.  Like seriously.  And keep in mind, its max usage rate is 2%, so you're using specks of dust at a time.

This one isn't as quick and easy to make as the 1% Hyaluronic Acid stock.  I have tried and failed so many times to make 2% Allantoin stock, y'all.  If you know how to make it work, let me know.  I only succeed like 75% of the time with 1% Allantoin stock, and have had a 100% success rate with 0.5% Allantoin stock.  The problem isn't that it's hard or anything.  The problem is you can do everything right, exactly the same, and it just doesn't want to stay in solution.  It will crystallize and make tiny little evil shards of failure all over the place.  Literally, it crystallizes and there are little glass-like shards sitting in the bottom.  It's very pretty, but it's all failure.

How to make it is you want to set up a hot water bath.  It's easier to do this on your stove top, especially if you have a double boiler.  Measure out your ingredients and dump it into your glass container.  Set that in your hot water bath and stir.  Stir until the thing goes completely clear.  For a false sense of security, I like to stir for an extra 5 minutes after it has turned completely clear.  Then you take it out, and let it cool down.  It's done, and ready to use.  Oh, trust me, you'll know if it's come out of solution.  Again, it's not hard to do, it's just kind of fickle.  Again, this does not have to be kept in an opaque or tinted glass bottle.  Just a clear plastic bottle will work.

How to Use:

You can use this in place of regular Distilled Water in your DIY recipes.  Outside of it?  Use some cotton pads or a dry sheet mask, and slap it on for a better-than-a-hydrogel dose of Allantoin.

That's it!  I will definitely be posting more DIY tutorials and new formulations here, but that's the last tutorial of DIY week.  Let me know what you would like to see!