Self-care has become a necessity in our daily lives. It can be in the form of topical skincare, our attention to our daily diet or our mental health. We mention this as the formulation for a brightening body serum we present here plays a two-fold role of improving our skin and as a massage ritual to enjoy the well-being and moments of calm it offers.
We can sometimes be prone to neglecting our body’s skin, as depending on the season and climate, it can be hidden away under clothes most of the time. A body serum takes bodycare to the next level. It goes beyond the role of a regular body lotion by hydrating our skin and providing it with high-performance ingredients that will encourage a more even skin tone as well as radiance.
Our body serum formulation complements the simple, hydrating body lotion on this blog. We recommended using it as the final skin application on the body before retiring for the night, as this allows the product to work on the skin during the nighttime skin-renewal process.
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About our brightening body serum
Our brightening body serum has a light-to-medium viscosity that can be dispensed easily from a pump bottle or, if you prefer, it can be scooped from a jar. It spreads well and can be gently massaged into the skin where it dries to give a velvety skin feel.
We have incorporated vitamin C in this body serum formulation to give a luxurious, synergistic effect on the skin with another of its ingredients, niacinamide. If you have queries about working with forms of vitamin C and how it interacts with other ingredients, specifically niacinamide, we cover this in a series of blog posts which you can refer to before making the body serum.
Key ingredients in the body serum
Vitamin C (INCI: Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate) – this is a stabilised version of vitamin C that is easy to work with. The latest studies about this ingredient suggest it has great potential to reduce hyperpigmentation and stimulate collagen synthesis.
Niacinamide (INCI: Niacinamide) – this aids in reducing hyperpigmentation, skin sallowness, fine lines and the appearance of wrinkles and red blotches.
Oat extract (INCI: Lactobacillus / oat ferment extract filtrate) – this helps to strengthen the skin barrier as it assists in balancing the skin microbiome level.
Our formulation: brightening body serum
Makes: recommended trial batch size 100g.
Time taken: about 20 minutes, not including time for preparation.
Level: Intermediate-level formulation to personalise and adapt.
|Simmondsia chinensis seed oil
|Persea gratissima (avocado) oil
|Glyceryl stearate (and) cetearyl alcohol (and) sodium stearoyl lactylate
|Acacia senegal gum (and) xanthan gum
|Lactobacillus/Oat ferment extract filtrate
|Vitamin E T70
|Lavender essential oil
|Lavandula angustifolia flower oil
|Mint essential oil
|Mentha piperita (peppermint) oil
|Caprylhydroxamix acid (and) glyceryl caprylate (and) glycerin
- Digital scales
- Mini whisk
- Mini homogeniser/homogeniser
- Glass rods
- Water bath
- pH strips/pH meter
Method of Manufacture: brightening body serum
Sanitise your utensils and work area, and wear appropriate PPE according to GMP.
Weigh out all the ingredients according to phases A, B, C, D and E.
- Heat phase A
Melt phase A in a water bath. The temperature should reach at least 75°C.
- Heat phase B
Heat phase B to a temperature of at least 75°C.
- Phase C
Blend the glycerine and gum to a slurry. Set aside.
- Phase A + B
Once the temperature of both phases has reached 75°C, pour phase A into B and homogenise. If no homogeniser is available, use a mini whisk and mix well.
- Blend phase AB + C
Add phase C to AB and continue to homogenise the emulsion.
- Phase D
Prepare the phase D blend. When the temperature of phase ABC is lowered to about 50°C, add phase D to ABC. Use the mini whisk and mix well from here.
- Heat-sensitive ingredients
Add phase E when the temperature of the ABCD blend is below 40°C. Mix well.
- Check pH
Take a small sample of the product for the purposes of measuring the pH, follow the pH testing instructions for the equipment you have, either strips or a pH meter, and then adjust if necessary. The ideal pH for this formula is between 5.5 – 6.
Decant the serum and allow to cool. The final viscosity will be reached after 24 hours. Label and date the container.
- The preservative can be replaced with any broad-spectrum natural preservative that covers a wide pH range to at least pH 8.
- You can use an alternative Vitamin C ester, ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, instead of tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, keeping the same percentage.
- Vitamin E T50 can be used if T70 is unavailable to you.
- If you prefer, use only one essential oil and adjust the percentage accordingly, but ensure the amount you use adheres to its dermal limits for leave-on body products.
Many of the suppliers below ship internationally. We have given their home region or country base.
Alexmo Cosmetics (EU)
Soap Kitchen (UK)
Making Cosmetics (USA)
Essential Wholesale (USA)
Go Native (New Zealand)
Naturally Balmy (UK)
Soap & More (Canada)
References and further reading
Donald L Bissett 1, John E Oblong, Cynthia A Berge Niacinamide A B vitamin that improves aging facial appearance Dermatol Surg 2005 Jul;31(7 Pt 2):860-5; discussion 865. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2005.31732.
Olha Ilnytska, Simarna Kaur, Suhyoun Chon, Kurt A Reynertson, Judith Nebus, Michelle Garay, Khalid Mahmood, Michael D Southall Collodial oatmeal (Avena sativa) improves skin barrier through multi-therapy activity J Drugs Dermatol 2016 Jun 1;15(6):684-90.