Gums and under eye gels

Just a wee quick post about a little test I did last week with three different gums: xantham gum, guar gum and carrageenan gum. These are used to thicken waters into gels, but as you’d expect, they don’t all give the same results.

The reason for doing these tests is that I have this idea for creating an under eye gel, specifically for puffy eyes. Don’t you just hate it when you wake up in the morning with these puffy rings under your eyes? I sure do. And although you could put cold tea bags on your eyes to get rid of them, seriously, who has time in the morning to drink two cups of tea and then wait for the bags to cool down? Besides, I’m a coffee drinker!

So here I am testing gums for my under-eye gel. I tested the three gums using the same ingredients and gum-to-water ratio:

93% cucumber hydrosol
5% glycerine
1% gum
1% preservative

Testing gelling capacity of different gums

My favourite so far is the xantham gum. It has the best gel-like consistency and is the thickest of the three. The other two are much runnier (carrageenan is the runniest at this ratio).

Transparency and colour, guar is slightly clearer than xantham, but it’s hardly noticeable. Carrageenan, as you can see in the picture, has a light yellow undertone to it.

Colour also is very dependent on the hydrosol you are using. For example, I noticed neroli hydrosol also results in a yellow tinge.

Best tip I learned from Formula Botanica this week: mix your gum with glycerine first, before adding the hydrosol to it. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a lumpy gel!

If you want to learn how to formulate your own skin care products, sign up for the FREE Masterclass by Formula Botanica*. This is the accredited school that I am studying with.

*Affiliated link


  1. try using konjac gum next time. Xanthan with the addition of glycerol is very sticky and not pleasant on the skin. Conjac is added directly to water and in a concentration of 0.5% it gives an extremely pleasant feeling on the skin

    • Thank you for the suggestion! I’ve been given a small amount of konjac gum to test, which has been really difficult to obtain here in New Zealand, and I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s like!

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