Formulating with Food - Cucumber Serum Under Scrutiny
Here are 2 batches of soothing cucumber eye serum. They both contain real-live, freshly-grated organic cucumber juice. The left-most tall bottle is batch 1 – a serum made with juiced unpeeled cucumber. The middle bottle is serum batch 2 – made with juiced peeled cucumber the day after batch 1 was made.
The small spray bottle contains preserved pure juice (no peel). This was partly to monitor how the juice behaved (and to try it out as a refreshing face spritzer).
Let's have a look at how these serums and spritzer fared, shall we?
Soup and Consommé After 1 DayThe juice-spritzer was given a home on my desk so it could be closely monitored (and used).
It didn't take more than 24 hours for this to happen.
Even after a gazillion (ok, 6) filterings through layers and layers of finely meshed material, the juice separated. Hundreds of thousands of teensy tiny bits of cucumber had snuck right past all of my carefully constructed filters.
After a single day, there were floaty bits, sediment on the bottom and a semi-clear cucumber consommé at the top.
But even though the contents of this bottle doesn't exactly look appetizing, the scent still has an acceptable freshness about it (though no longer with that 'crisp edge' a freshly grated cucumber has).
A simple shake of the bottle re-dispersed the floaty cucumber bits. In a matter of hours, however, it separated again.
I stopped using it after 1 day and let it stand around so I could monitor it. The scent has remained unchanged - acceptably fresh-smelling.
The Serums – Look and ScentBoth serums were only slightly better behaved than the juice.
Batch 1 (with peel)It was immediately evident that including the peel was not ideal. Despite scrubbing the cucumber thoroughly before grating it, the scent of this batch was heavier and had a waxy, almost 'dirty' undertone. The color dulled considerably overnight. The scent remained almost unchanged.
To my surprise, the heavy-almondy scent of the benzyl alcohol (which usually overpowers everything in a mix) was completely undetectable after a few hours.
Batch 2 (without peel)This batch both looked and smelled more appealing from the get-go. The color didn't dull quite as quickly. The scent of the benzyl alcohol was also completely undetectable after a short time.
Both serums were placed in sample containers for use. I stopped using batch 1 after two applications - purely because of the unappealing color and heavier scent.
I stopped using batch 2 after about 4 days.
Both serums are still being monitored.
Here's a peek at what everything looked like after 9 days.
Both serums and the juice still smell fresh, but you have to close your eyes to believe it. The color has dulled on all of the products, the mixtures look unappetizingly grungy, and batch 2 gel is now also suffering from 'separation anxiety'.
ConclusionsI'll bet you're expecting me to tell you not to formulate with food.
Well, guess what.
I'm not gonna do that.
You can formulate with food all you like. As a matter of fact, I´m planning on exploring the concept of fresh food in a preserved product a bit more.
Mariá left a real interesting comment about placing fresh food in glycerine to create an extract and then using the glycerine in a product. She's done this successfully with both cucumber and strawberries. Now that sounds like something I'd like to try, and if you would be kind enough to share your method Mariá, I would love to give it a whirl and document it right here.