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Strengthening a Hydrogel Mask

Hello, I'm not a chemist but I am an aesthetician. I've been working on a hydrogel mask made from agar agar powder. (Think Neutrogena Hydrogel mask) The mask solidifies but it rips easily. How can I strengthen the formula? Currently, I'm using 1 cup of distilled water, 1tbs of agar, and 1/4 tsp of sodium alginate. I've also considered trying vegetable gelatin and carrageenan for gel agent. I'm open to suggestions on changing the whole recipe as well if I can make something better that can be folded and/or packaged without breaking.

I also researched a pill additive for a DIY mask machine. This is the ingredient list:

carrageenan, peg-5m, tartaric acid, glucomannan, sodium carbonate, Maltodextrin, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), potassium chloride

another mask I found used plant cellulose. would that be an effective thickener to strengthen the mask so it doesn't rip?

Any help would be greatly appreciated and also be happy to answer any further questions if I'm being unclear in what I wrote.

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Contributor III

Re: Strengthening a Hydrogel Mask

Dear Annastazia,

Yes, adding cellulose or any other compatible fiber would improve the strength of the gel by resisting tears. Any purely gel solution can only depend on the binding strength of the gel material itself.

Best regards,

Steven