Today I am going to show you How to dilute acids.
Why would you want to dilute an acid?
There are many times when an acid is just too strong and you want to make it milder so you can use it. I will give you some suggestions on how to feel comfortable doing that.
Other times, you are purchasing a high percentage of acid knowing that you will have to dilute it before you apply it.
This is beneficial because – instead of purchasing multiple percentages - you can choose to create any percentage that you wish to use today, and create a different one next time you use it.
First things first. What are you going to dilute your acid with?
Most acids can use distilled water, but with a beta hydroxy acid like salicylic, you will need to use alcohol instead. We recommend 90% which is readily available in many drug stores.
Now don’t worry about having to be a mathematician. We have gone ahead and done all the calculations for you in our Peel Manual. TCA 30% and Glycolic 70% both have charts for dilution.
I will put up a chart to show you the available percentages of each.
What you will need
- Dilution chart
- A separate mixing container
- A measuring utensil *such as ½ teaspoon or, I personally prefer a dropper… and…
- If you make a larger batch, you will need a container to store your new acid percentage in.
Let’s begin by diluting this 30% TCA acid. I want to make a 15% and this is SUPER simple.
My dilution chart says 1 part 30 + 1 part water.
So I just have to decide what my “part” is going to be. Mine is going to be 1 dropper full – yours can be whatever you wish.
I am going to hold my dropper straight up and get some water.
Now put it into my mixing container.
Next I need another dropper of my TCA. Now I just add that in.
I like to just swirl it around for a few seconds and voila! I now have a 15% and I can do my peel.
So, let’s think about that. If you want to cut ANY percentage in half, you just need to mix equal parts and it’s done.
Let’s do a harder one. I am going to use my 70% Glycolic and I want to make a 60%. So I am going to look at my dilution chart.
It says 10 parts 70 + 2 parts water.
Now I don’t want to use an entire dropper full for this one, so instead I am going to use DROPS as my “part”.
Now I am going to add 2 drops of water into my container.
And then the 10 drops of the 70%.
Just swirl it together and you have your 60%! So simple.
Hey! … maybe 12 drops isn’t enough solution for me. I think I need more. So all I have to do is
Do it again…
I would add 2 more drops of water and 10 more drops of 70 and now I have more solution.
There, that’s better!
Make as much as you need. Think ahead next time if you know you need more,
and double your recipe. Do 4 drops of water + 20 drops of 70 to get enough. … or triple it.
I want to take just a moment to mention how to dilute other products that might be too strong for you.
Let’s say you have Retinol .10% and it is too strong. How do you dilute that?
This is very simple.
I would suggest to mix it directly with another cream or serum. When you do this you will dilute it right in half.
So, I want to do 1 pump of Retinol .10% + 1 pump of….. whatever you have. Mix them together in your hands and then apply. Now, you have a .05% Retinol. So darn simple!
On the Flip side – if you DON’T want to dilute your products – apply them in separate layers to keep them full strength.
Use these handy tips whenever you need to dilute something you have purchased on our website.
Dilute acids with Distilled water.
Salicylic is special – dilute that with Alcohol.
Dilute creams and serums with other creams and serums. Don’t use water – you could be adding extra bacteria or pathogens into your product. Always use immediately or store in another container.
Dilute oils with other oils – not water or alcohol.
See how simple that was. Are you ready to start diluting now? If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us – we are always here to help you!
Here are some common dilutions that we are asked about:
1 part 30 + 3 parts water = 7.5
1 part 30 + 2 parts water = 10
1 part 30 + 1 part water = 15
2 parts 30 + 1 part water = 20
5 parts 30 + 1 part water = 25
1 part 20 + 2 parts water = 6.6
1 part 20 + 1 part water = 10
1 part 18 + 2 parts water = 6
1 part 18 + 1 part water = 9
1 part 15 + 2 parts water = 5
1 part 15 + 1 part water =7.5
1 part 13 + 2 parts water = 4.3
1 part 13 + 1 part water = 6.5
1 part 100 + 3 parts water = 25
1 part 100 + 4 parts water = 20
1 part 100 + 5 parts water = 16
1 part 100 + 7 parts water = 12.5
1 part 50 + 2 parts water = 16.6
1 part 50 + 3 parts water = 12.5
1 part 50 + 4 parts water = 10
1 part 50 + 5 parts water = 8.3
Salicylic 50: *Use highest % of alcohol available. 90% minimum.
1 part 50 + 1 part alcohol = 25
2 parts 50 + 3 parts alcohol = 20
1 part 50 + 2 parts alcohol = 16.6
1 part 50 + 3 parts alcohol = 12.5
Salicylic 30: *Use highest % of alcohol available. 90% minimum.
1 part 30 + 1 part alcohol = 15
1 part 30 + 2 parts alcohol = 10
5 parts 70 + 1 part water = 60
5 parts 70 + 2 parts water = 50
10 parts 70 + 7 parts water = 40
4 parts 70 + 5 parts water = 30
2 parts 70 + 5 parts water = 20