Formulation Module 3:

Essential Gels and Serums

Gels – those translucent substances that can run anywhere from almost liquid to pretty solid. We know they are great for therapeutic applications of essential oils – but can you make them in your own aromatic apothecary? Lise Andersen says YES, YOU CAN! in our brand new addition to our Formulation series.

This class is perfect for the mid-level formulator who wants to advance beyond simple oil-based products and aqueous sprays. 

Gels and serums are a particularly useful tool for delivering essential oils topically. Essential oils more readily leave the medium, which can lead to a higher absorption rate into your skin. 

Next start: September 19, 2023

Also offered as a part of our three-part Complete Formulation Program

Prerequisite: Formulation Module 1 OR Good Formulation Practice

  • To be able to enroll, you need to have completed either the Essential Formulation course or the Good Formulation Practices single class.
  • You can take Good Formulation Practices now; it is a single, 60-minute workshop. Follow this link to check it out.

In our four week facilitated course, Lise Andersen expertly shows you how to make gels for all kinds of therapeutic and cosmetic applications - from cooling after-sun care to a soothing chest rub.

Gels are great for therapeutic application as they increase essential oil absorption into the skin. But how can you be sure a gel base you purchase is the right one for what you want to do? We want you to not only be sure, but also be able to customize your gel medium to be exactly what you need it to be, with confidence. Make great therapeutic gels with the latest addition to the Tisserand Institute Formulation series.

Lise Andersen has carefully selected ingredients that are globally available, easy to work with, and that can be combined using regular kitchen tools and equipment. She shares her many tried and tested techniques and provides you with the insights you’ll need to create your own gels. She will guide you through each process – she cracked the gel code for you!

You’ll get step-by-step instructions and eight gel base formulations from chest rub, through spot treatment gel, to soothing after-sun care gel. You’ll learn how to work with different gelling agents and get comfortable about using preservatives while creating a collection of beautiful products that are as natural as it’s possible to be. Included in the course are Robert Tisserand’s recommendations for essential oils to be used for best therapeutic results.

Prerequisite: Essential Formulation or Good Formulation Practices

What You Get in the Course

Four lessons instructed by Lise Andersen

Four recorded and two live Q&A sessions

Extensive downloadable handouts and course notes with links to additional research and resources

Access to our private online forum to ask questions and interact with Lise, the TI team, and classmates

Ongoing access to lesson and learning materials for eight weeks after course completion

Plus You'll Get

A total of eight individual tried and tested product formulations with detailed instructions.

Robert Tisserand’s recommendations on therapeutic essential oils.

A discount for any LisaLise ebooks on creating natural cosmetics.

Tisserand Institute Instructor Lise Anderson

Lise Andersen

Formulator | Founder of LisaLise Pure Natural Skincare & Formulators’ Kitchen

A self-professed ‘green’ formulator, Lise works with luxurious natural plant-based ingredients – preferably as raw and unprocessed as possible. Entirely self-taught, she has years of experience in researching, testing, and developing cosmetics.

Lise is the author of several DIY e-books on making skincare and haircare products, herbal extracts, and more. She also offers consultation and bespoke formulation for beauty brands. Visit her blog where she journals her experiments and shares know-how on everything from making no-soap cleansers to pressed eye shadow.

Course Breakdown

Each lesson is initially live and then made available to you as a recording.

What you’ll be learning over the four weeks:

Lesson 1: Understanding Gels

What makes a gel? 
Gel components – biopolymers and texturing agents
Texture, feel and function – how to choose ingredients
Preservation options

Lesson 2: Oleogels

Oil-based gels definitions and examples
Advantages and disadvantages
Choice of ingredients and formula considerations
Working with: thickeners, hydrogenated oils and amulsifiers

Formulas: Gel-to-milk cleanser, Chest rub

Lesson 3: Gels with Alcohol

Working with alcohol
Compatible and balancing ingredients
High vs. low alcohol content gels and uses
Working with: isopropyl alchol, ethanol, methyl-cellulose, xanthan gum, glycerin

Formulas: Hand gel, Cooling serum gel

Lesson 4: Water-based Gels

Ingredient consideration
pH considerations
Working with guar gum
Options for combining oil and water

Formulas: Guar gel – 5 different versions from a single template

 When You Complete the Course

Your certificate – issued by the leaders of evidence-based instruction – demonstrates your knowledge of safe and effective use of ingredients to make safe and stable gels.


What previous students say about our courses:

Everything – I loved that you covered so many different types of product, there was so much information packed into each lesson and I loved that Lisa shared all her tips from her years of experience. Thoroughly enjoyed it and learned so much – thank you!

The personalized attention and friendly feel. Sometimes you feel like instructors are holding back their best secrets or knowledge. But I didn’t feel like that with either Lise or Robert. Lise was delightful. I felt like I could just pull up a chair with a cup of tea and we could talk formulations! Also being able to learn about blending from Robert was an incredible treat! I would love to have a larger course about that!! ~Kristi Maxwell

I notice i have been mulling things over a lot from this course and that more has gone in than i thought. I’m having my own distilled understandings arriving – which is proof of quality education. Overall i think it was a very good course and that your online platform is superb – as good as any I have used. ~Nigel Sutton

I appreciated the passion that was put into the course. I stumbled across this by chance and I am so thankful I did. This has expanded my passion and knowledge about formulations. It has enhanced my learning about essential oils. I just want to thank you for offering this course and all that you do. I feel so confident having your institute as my education platform. I am a beginner but feel confident with your amazing education that it wont be long before I am a pro!! ~Penny Ferguson

Everything – I loved that you covered so many different types of product, there was so much information packed into each lesson and I loved that Lise shared all her tips from her years of experience. Thoroughly enjoyed it and learned so much – thank you!

Dear Hana, Robert and Team,

I thoroughly enjoyed this course! I had many conflicts in my schedule but you and your team set everything up to be as easily accessed by computer as possible. Hearing the Q&A as well as the print outs was also a real bonus. I learned many new things I was unfamiliar with and those are the real value!!

Thanks and again and many blessings to you all. – Sara Holmes

The course and online platform are a chance to ask questions directly – and to see everyone’s questions. The entire course – from syllabus to platform, webinars to reminders, handouts to community engagement – is masterfully put together and executed.

It’s helpful to have access to credible information. There’s so much information out there, it’s hard to know what is credible and what isn’t.

Gels are a great addition to your aromatherapeutic product portfolio. This course is a unique chance to understand how to make them and customize to your needs – with an incredibly experienced tutor, Lise Andersen.

Ready to get started?


Will there be notes for me to review?
Yes. Each lesson comes with printable handouts of the slides used in the lesson, and additional lesson notes. These are sent to you before each lesson and are for you to keep and refer to at any time.
I am a certified aromatherapist. Will I learn anything new?
Many of our students have commented that our courses helped them grasp what they learned elsewhere in more detail, or complemented their previous education. Some of our students are lifelong learners, and some are teachers.
I am new to essential oils. Is this course for me?
We will let one of our previous students answer this one:

“The information presented is appropriate for all levels, and although I am just beginning my aromatherapy journey it all makes sense.”

Will there be assessments or exams? What kind?

Each weekly lesson is followed by a multiple choice quiz, and there is a summary test at the end of the course. Passing both the weekly quizzes and the final tests is a requirement for certification.

When will the live Q&As take place?

For our live courses, the Q&As happen after each lesson. If the course is recorded, we run several live Q&As during the course to make sure you get the opportunity to ask questions live, and our team and tutors are also available on the learning platform. 

Will I be able to ask questions?
Absolutely! In addition to the live Q&A sessions, you can post your questions in the dedicated student forums.
How long will I have access to the recordings?

You will have access to all the recordings and course materials for at least eight weeks after the last lesson. All the printable materials (notes, handouts, charts, etc.) are of course yours to keep for reference forever.

Do you offer continuing education credits?
Because we have students from all over the world and of many professions we are not able to offer credits for specific organizations – there are simply too many. However, we issue a confirmation of CE hours gained on the course that you can apply with your professional organization and will be happy to assist with any additional documentation.
What if I fall behind or cannot attend classes?

We have found that running classes on specific dates works best to help you finish a program. You join a class of students, and learn along with them. Many students help each other with queries, and of course our tutors are there too. That said, if you miss a few classes you should be still able to comfortably jump right back in and if you do fall behind you can request extra time. Of course this cannot be indefinite, but we do our best to help you get your certificate. If life gets in the way and you cannot finish comfortably even with an extension, we always offer our students the option to retake the course with the next class for a small reenrollment fee.