Foamed gelatin

Gelatin is a very cheap material used in food and sweets. It has been used in makeup since the 1920’s. Today latex allergies are on the increase and the need for a safe product has also increased.
Gelatin is a good candidate as everybody can have it on their skin.

Everybody except vegans of course! They don't accept the use of it because it’s made from animal bones and other left overs from animals.
I respect that and tried to find a vegan solution but the stuff they use (Agar agar) instead didn't work.
So sorry, but at least I tried. So please vegans and others that don't like this please don't e-bomb me! I tried it but it didn't work and now I am just sharing a old way of doing really cool stuff! You vegans head for the silicone pages instead!!Some of the problems with gelatin have been that it is hard to glue it on skin, the appliances have been too heavy and putting melted gelatin straight onto skin may cause burns. A lot of these problems are solved if you foam the gelatin first.

Click on the picture to see the difference between foam and ordinary gelatin.The air in the foam makes it possible for glue to dry under a piece, the pieces will be much lighter and you can put it straight on the skin without burning you customer.Of course some problems remain!It’s much harder to get the edges to be invisible because it’s a living material that keeps moving and they are not as stable as foam rubber.
When you foam the gelatin it turns white making it more difficult to paint realistically.
Foamed gelatine collapses after a few days so you can't prepare pieces in advance.
If you can live with these problems then you should keep on reading. To be able to foam gelatin you must first mix a gelatin base.
See the separate page about this.

Foam gelatin recipe

Take 100 gram of the gelatin base.
Dissolve 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of Tartaric acid (food stores) in 1 teaspoon (5 ml) sorbitol in a little cup.
  You should always stay away from using water because it evaporates and makes the pieces less stable.
 Let the mixture stand for at least a minute.
Melt the gelatin in a big plastic cup (at least 5 dl so it won’t run over the edges later on).
In a microwave oven 100 g will melt in 30-60 seconds.
Once again be careful not to let it boil.
Stir down 1-6 teaspoons (5-30 ml) of white school glue (ex. Elmers in the US) with a plastic spatula or plastic spoon.
This type of glue is vinyl based and will help the bubbles from breaking down.
This will make the gelatin to be more stable and not collapse after cooling down.
The more glue you use the more stable it will get but it will also get harder and less elastic.

You will have to experiment to find a good mix for your purposes.
The reason why you should only use plastic tools is that cold metal tools inhibit the foaming process.
Now add the tartaric acid mix and stir quickly.
Now add 1 teaspoon (5 ml) Bicarbonate (food stores) and again stir quickly.
Now magic is happening!
Let the mix rise for a while without stirring it. 30 seconds usually works fine..
The gelatine is foaming because the mix of tartaric acid and bicarbonate in combination with the heat produces carbondioxid (the same gas as you exhale).
The foam now needs to be refined for about a minute by slowly stirring before you use it in a mould
or directly on skin.
If it cools of to much during the process you can reheat it in the microwave for a couple of seconds.

Putting it directly on the skin

Foamed gelatin is excellent for making scars or burns on the skin or in the hair.
It is much easier to remove from hair than you would think.
Use a plastic spatula or brush to apply it.
Test it on the back of your hand first so it’s not to hot!!
Most of the time you will not need any glue if you apply it to clean skin.

I often clean it with a little bit of alcohol first). Let it dry for a minute or so before applying any makeup (PAX or grease paint) to it

Moulded pieces
The mo
ulds should be prepared with a small amount of Vaseline first.
Reheat the gelatin before putting it into the negative mo
Put a weight on the mo
ulds to make the edges really thin.The moulds should now cool for at least 30 minutes before you take them apart.
If your moulds are complicated you can heat them to about 50-60 °C before putting the gelatine in.
This is done to give you more working time before the gelatine starts to set.
Of course you will have to wait longer before taking them apart if you do this.
When the appliances are out wash off the Vaseline with some 96% isopropyl alcohol.
The appliances can now be glued on with Pros Aide and the edges melted with Witch hazel.
Apply PAX paint over them and finish them of with
Ben Nye greasepaint.
The foamed gelatin
(unused) is reusable a couple of times just by melting it again in the microwave.
If the foaming disappears you can add some more bicarbonate and tartaric acid.Reheating foamed gelatin is very quick and a couple of seconds is often more than enough.
Remember that it is still not allowed to let it boil! If you can’t get hold of the vinyl medium you could try to use white school glue or wood glue.
They both have the same base as the medium but don’t work quite as well making the pieces more rigid and less flexible

Foam gelatin burns for TV series "The truth about Marika"

Direct applied foam gelatin over cheek and sideburn shaped as burn scar. Demo makeup.

Peter Loguin as the Snowman in "The Doll Doctor" at the Gothenburg Opera
Moulded foam gelatin cheeks.

All the information on this page is only to tell you how it's done.
Always consult a professional before trying out things that might be dangerous. 
I do not stand responsible for any injuries or damages made.
This stuff can be very hot if you put it on the skin too soon. Please check first!!