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DIY Hyaluronic Acid Serum

A few months ago I stumbled onto HA serum. Yeah, I know I'm late to the party and it's been discussed before and is used by lots of other forum members. But it's fairly new to me. Anyway I got really quick and obvious results with it and as I was passing the halfway point of my 2oz bottle I was about to order a second bottle. And decided to try a little experiment after lots of Google searches and reading as much as I could understand about the stuff.

So there are lots of products that have Sodium Hyaluronate in it and in varying amounts. The labels are often misleading/deceiving/confusing about what you are actually getting. The "serum" I bought said "100% pure" - misleading - it's actually about 1-2% hyaluronic acid and the rest is distilled water and a little benzayalcohol-DHA (whatever that is - preservative I think). And 2oz bottle was about $13

So instead of buying the serum again, this time I bought 100 grams of pure Sodium Hyaluronate powder (I got the small and medium size molecule that is supposed to be best for absorbing into skin tissue). This stuff absorbs 1000 times its weight in water so just a tiny bit of the powder (like 1/8 teaspoon) will make a lot of serum. I didn't bother with the "benzayalchohol-DHA" and simply mixed distilled water and a small amount of the powder. The 100 grams of powder cost about $25 so it's a lot cheaper than buying the serum.

It's amazing and a bit scary -- a tiny bit of powder can turn a whole lot of water into jelly. It doesn't mix easily but I found that you don't really have to worry about trying to mix it up - just be patient and it'll absorb all the water if you wait an hour or two. I found the easiest way to deal with it was to use an empty vitamin bottle with a good sealing cap. Then I can just shake it up every once in a while. I make up a very small amount at a time since I'm not adding anything to preserve it. I've had absolutely no trouble with it going bad.

It is so inexpensive to make it this way that I can just rub it into my skin whenever I think about it and I keep a little spray bottle of Aloe Vera juice so as the HA serum is soaking into the skin I can spray on a little Aloe Vera every now and then to keep it hydrated. My face has never felt better and my shaves are so much more comfortable too.
Thought I'd post a quick update to this just in case anyone is interested. My original bottle (bought Dec) still has about 20% left because I've been using my DIY serum instead. The original bottle still smells perfectly fresh -- while my DIY serum will start to get a hint of mildew at about 3 weeks. I've been making extremely small batches so I can use it up in less than 2 weeks. It's not easy to make a small batch because the tiniest bit of 100% HA powder will make a lot of serum.

I googled benzayalcohol-DHA and the closest thing I find is Benzyl Alcohol-DHA which is used as a preservative in creams, lotions etc. So I ordered a bottle that is rated at 100% pure USP grade and I'm testing it to see if a tiny bit added to my serum will prevent the mildew. Google tells me up to 5% is considered safe in the US but only about 1% is allowed in Europe -- and from what I'm reading it should be able to preserve this serum at even less than 1%.

Curious if anyone in the forum has experience with making creams/soaps/balms etc. and can share any info on using the Benzyl Alcohol.

It smells a little like almond extract or apricot seeds etc. It's a very pleasant scent but you can smell it even at the tiny concentrations I'm testing.

EDIT: Also should mention that I've read it can react with some plastics so I'm using glass containers.
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Thanks @Skotch for the link. Interesting reading the preservatives he mentions. I have been having great luck with the benzyl alcohol. One drop of it is enough to preserve a fairly large batch. The smell is pleasant (reminds me of almond extract) but the smell is there even with the tiniest drop I can manage to get into my serum - so perhaps another preservative would be better in case the almond smell doesn't fit with the other scents you are using.

I bought some amber colored glass bottles with eyedropper caps on Amazon. This is what the powder looks like right after it hits the surface of the water and turns into sticky/gooey clumps. I've learned to NOT try to stir and instead I just put the cap on and let it sit. I give it a shake every 5-10 minutes and it'll be all smooth and ready to use after 30 minutes or so.
I sent you a small amount of pure HA powder along with the blades for the blade exchange. Have fun experimenting with it! :)
Thank you very much! I'll look forward to trying it. I've been using HA almost daily for many months & like it a great deal.
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