Monday, July 22, 2013

Dupe for Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel?

I’m always on a quest for great skincare products that really work. Recently, I began to look at revamping my anti aging skincare regime and came across a lot of info about hyaluronic acid, a substance that helps skin hold onto moisture. Then I started hearing more about vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, which also acts as a moisturizer and a healer. These two ingredients sound like they would be great in a skincare product, right? Right! After even more research, I found that lots of companies already DO put these ingredients together and one of the most popular products is Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 gel. I thought, “I need to get that!” But then I looked at the price of said product ($74 for one ounce) and I said, “Whoa boy!” No way did I want to pay that much if I didn’t have to so off I went to the Skinactives web site. Through web research, I found out what the actual ingredients are in the Skinactives Hydrating B5 Gel and decided to make it myself for a lot less!

Okay, so I learned that the Skinceuticals gel contains the following ingredients: Water, Sodium Hyaluronate (this is Hyaluronic Acid), Pantothenic Acid (this is Vitamin B5) and Phenoxyethanol (a preservative). That’s it: four ingredients! At that point, I knew what I had to do: formulate MY OWN version of B5 gel! The ingredients are incredibly easy to find on the SkinActives site so I purchased two grams of Calcium Pantothenate (another name for Vitamin B5) for $4.50, one gram of Hyaluronic Acid for $7.50, and ten milliliters of an appropriate preservative for $1.00. I already had some distilled water and a brown bottle (which you can get from the internet or at Whole Foods for a couple of dollars). Here’s how I made my serum:

SkinActive Calcium Pentothate SkinActives Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5)

SkinActives Hyaluronic Acid 
SkinActives Hyaluronic Acid

SkinActives Germaben
SkinActives Germaben

First I sterilized my tools and the brown bottle with a water and bleach solution, then rinsed and air dried. Then I took 2 Tablespoons of distilled water and added it to the brown bottle. After that, I added the entire tube of hyaluronic acid  (1 gram) to the distilled water and shook it up for several minutes to combine it as much as possible. The next step was to add 1 gram (half of a tube) of Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5) to the bottle and shook that up. To finish it off, I added a pipette full of the preservative, Germaben. After a final shaking to mix, I capped the bottle and placed my new serum in the refrigerator over night.

B5 gel ingredients

After the final mixing
The next morning, I took the mixture out of the refrigerator and was greeted with a clear, thick liquid. I shook it again, and then poured a little onto my hand and rubbed it into my skin. It was soft and silky!!! I’ve been using this serum for the past month and I have a LOT left so it will last me for several more months.

One note on making this serum, if the serum is too thick coming out of the refrigerator, try adding another tablespoon of distilled water. It’s not necessary to keep the serum in the refrigerator because of the preservative but I do anyway to make sure it lasts longer. It will be less thick out of the refrigerator and the way you’ll know if you’ve not added enough preservative is that the serum will become watery. That means that the hyaluronic acid has basically been “used up” by bacteria so throw it away. Keeping it in the refrigerator also prevents bacteria from taking hold.

My serum has been working beautifully for me in my new skincare routine. Total cost for one batch was about $10 plus a bottle (which I already had) vs. $74 for the same ingredients in the same volume for the Skinceuticals version. That’s a $64 savings plus I have enough Vitamin B5 and preservative for at least one more batch!

Making your own serums is a great way to save money on expensive skincare products and have fun at the same time!!! Try it!