Masques are a huge trend these last few years. There are so many types on the market these days which are a big change from the traditional clay masques, from sheet masks ( big korean beauty trend ) cream masques, superfood masques, gel-to –milk masques, and so on. It is a great way to give your skin an instant boost, a deep clean, or treat specific skin issues such as acne or blackheads.

What is a Gel Masque?

Gel masques are masques which feel cool and light on the skin, as they can be kept in the fridge and then used on skin. They have a gelatinous type consistency and give a ‘tightening’ feeling on the skin,  you almost feel that your  skin is being temporarily lifted or tightened. A gel can be left on the face overnight if you don’t mind the tightening feel, or it can be rinsed off after a few minutes, so it can be a rinse off or leave on product accordingly.

Of course you can make clear transparent gels, but I love playing with colorful natural botanicals , so I make many colorful gels with various ingredients like golden tumeric or purple potato ,  colored glycerites,  fruit powder extracts,  even colored oils can be incorporated at small percentages. The possibilities are endless so get artistic  and creative and show us what you come up with !!! Just remember that many water soluble plant extracts are not very stable and beautiful pinks and blues can fade quite quickly , even when correctly formulated and stored . Making these types of natural products should be done in small batches.

Here is a red colored exfoliating masque which I came up with and really love, it has anti aging and hydrating benefits due to the beautiful extracts and aloe vera gel , and regenerates dull tone with panthenol or vitamin B.


stage Ingredients 100% 25 Ml


A Xanthan gum 1 .25
A Sclerotium gum 1 .25
A Pomegranate glycerite 3 .75
A Raspberry glycerite 3 .75
B Raspberry and Chamomile floral waters 76 18.25
B Aloe vera gel 10 2.5
C AHA acid 1 .5
C Cherry Tree Flower extract 2 .5
C Pomegranate Co2 extract .5 .125
D Gromwell root extract (colorant) .5 .125
E Pomegranate Aroma 1 .25
E Sorbate and benzoate preservative 1 .25


After weighing the glycerites and  gums , mix them together in a small glass beaker until very smooth. Let sit 15-20 minutes until this mixture thickens. Xanthan can be used at 2% alone if that’s the only gum you can find, but you will need to experiment to get the perfect gel texture . I find mixing 2 or even 3 gums together gives a much lovelier  texture then xanthan alone.

Now slowly trickle in the water , stirring well after each addition.  Add  aloe gel slowly and stir well  until everything is well blended.  Other hydrosols can be used to replace these ones, such as rose, orange, green tea…… or any other favorite.

A homogenizer type blender will help blend everything together much more effectively when using gums  , hand blending will not have the same effect . The gums incorporate much more completely .  If you do not have a homogenizer, let the gum and water mixture sit for a few hours or overnight to thicken.  Make your mixture a bit runnier then you want it to be at the end result , and adjust accordingly by adding a bit more water later if it is too thick.  Then stir very well .  Experimenting and trial and error is needed to get the exact texture you like.  Gums are tricky !!!

Add all the  extracts, one by one, stirring well after each is added.

Add gromwell root extract to get the red color drop by drop until you get the tone you are happy with.  Stir well . There is  only a small % of oil  here , which the  water soluble gel can handle without separation. If you incorporate more oil, you would need to use a solubilizer to prevent this. A few drops is enough to get a beautiful red.

Add the preservative. Check the pH of the product to ensure it is within the compatible range for your chosen preservative. This range is normally indicated by the supplier of the preservative. If your pH isn’t in a suitable range, you can lower it by adding an acid or raise it by adding sodium hydroxide or sodium bicarbonate mixed in distilled water. Add drop by drop till the right ph is obtained.

Transfer it into a  jar and label. To protect the color use a dark colored  or opaque  container.

Store in fridge to give added cooling  effect if you like. This masque makes skin feel super soft , nourished and regenerated after, and skin tone is bright and fresh looking as the exfoliating effects of AHA acids help with exfoliatio.

Pomegranate Flower

I found these dried pomegranate flowers while in the spice market of Istanbul. They are the red , large hard flowers and just caught my eye because I’d never seen anything like them before. I figured they couldn’t hurt in cosmetic formulas considering how amazing pomegranates are for skin. Most pomegranate fruit parts—its juice, peel, oil, seed, flowers, bark, roots—are known to possess enormous antioxidant activity (amongst other things), with benefits especially for the skin.

A few tiny pieces will turn an infusion bright pink, but the color quickly fades. I macerated the dried flowers here in glycerine and got a beautiful light pink glycerite which I used here.

It has high antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti viral properties, and is used for skin, hair, anti aging and anti wrinkle purposes. It can also help dry skin. It could be a nice addition in a scrub, as pomegranate gives radiant, glowing skin.

The flowers are a source of phenolic anti oxidants, phytosterols and terpenoids, and are highly concentrated in flavonoids and carotenoids. They restore the stratum corneum and reinforce the skin barrier. It is nourishing and moisturizing, protecting aging skin.

Cherry Tree Flower

The nutrients of flowers of the cherry tree are extracted here in glycerine . They are interesting for cosmetic use as they are rich in flavonoids and tannins, made up of anti oxidants and protective nutrients for dry and aging skin. It helps regenerate , and is an anti-glycation agent which helps promote collagen formation in the fibroblasts. They contain vegetal sugars which give them softening and hydrating properties.. Rich in essential fatty acids, it repairs the skins natural barriers to promote a smooth, supple skin. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can also help to lighten uneven pigmentation, due to sun exposure, by inhibiting the production of melanin. It cleanses the skin of toxins to leave a brightened, healthy skin.

AHA acids

Alpha hydroxy acids are a group of natural acids found in foods. They include citric acid (found in citrus fruits), glycolic acid (found in sugar cane), lactic acid (found in sour milk and tomato juice), malic acid (found in apples), tartaric acid (found in grapes), and others.

Alpha hydroxy acids are most commonly used for dry or wrinkled skin, or even acne. They work by removing the top layers of dead skin cells, giving an exfoliating effect and making the skin look refreshed and less dull after use, lightening skin tone and clearing up pigmentation spots and skin irregularities.  They can also increase the thickness of deeper layers of skin, promoting firmness. Be very careful to not exceed recommended dosage as too much can have strong almost peeling like effects and can cause burning and redness on sensitive skin, which is why I only put 1% here. I recommend testing final product  on a small patch of skin before using if you have sensitive skin.


Chamomile is a plant which has soothing and powerful anti inflammatory benefits for the skin. It reduces inflammation, minimizes redness and decreases swelling so I added it here to balance the effects of the AHA acids , which can be harsh on skin as they have strong exfoliating effects and can cause redness and some irritation. . You can use it for acne inflammation, eczema, psoriasis, rashes and more. It is good for dry or sensitive skin.


Raspberry is a rich source of sugars, vitamin C, and minerals. Raspberry floral water is used mainly for moisturizing, anti-aging and skin smoothing properties.. It also helps to tone and balance the skin. Red raspberry leaf is naturally astringent, which when incorporated into skin care, will help tone and tighten the skin. It contains tannins which help to stimulate skin cell regeneration. This leaf is also packed with flavonoids and elagic acid which are both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds.This hydrosol is recommended for mature or aging skin.


3 thoughts on “How to make a Gel Masque”

    1. You can use other gums of course, just know that each gum gives a different final texture to the gel. Mixing 2 gums will give an overall nicer feel. You really have to just experiment with with the ones you have, acaia, solagum, xanthan, there are many and each one is totally different.A fun learning experience is to put 1% of each gum in water, and see how that goes. Try different blends, different percentages untill you get a gel you like, then use that blend to make your masque and add the other ingredients. Hope that helps!!

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