The quarantine had a lot to answer when it comes to skin issues. Among the wide range of contributing factors for skin conditions are stress and anxiety. When people had a little more time on their hands, many were willing to ditch their store-bought, fail-safe products and turned to make their own skincare recipes. And when you check Instagram and Pinterest, you will see countless beauty enthusiasts sharing their recipes, whipping up everything from facial cleansers to lip scrubs using their pantry items. After all, going natural and eco-friendly is on the rage these days.
But no matter how enticing a DIY skincare remedy might look like, you have to know what to remember before making any remedy on your own. If not done correctly, you can compromise your skin’s natural protective barrier. Sometimes, a DIY skincare recipe can result in redness, flakiness, itching, and soreness on the skin. To avoid potential problems, know what DIY skincare recipes to avoid.
If beauty and skincare are important to you, learning how to make natural skin care products is one of the most rewarding skills you can master. Create safe, stable, and potentially sellable skincare formulations by following these tips.
Choose the ingredients that work for you.
One of the most exciting parts of learning how to make DIY skin care products is working with the vast array of botanical ingredients available. Globally, people are moving towards combining beauty with wellness, where people want plant-based ingredients in their beauty products. So many traditional remedies are being rediscovered and used today, and it’s great to incorporate those amazing plants into your skincare products.
However, not every plant-based ingredient can and should be used in the skin. Some are only allowed to be used in small percentages of your formula. So, start researching which ingredients work best for the skincare remedy you want to create. Research on the benefits an ingredient can do for your skin, and be aware of the potential side effects, too. Finally, make sure that you get natural ingredients that are suitable for your skin type.
Also, be careful about the origins of the ingredients you choose. Choose sustainable ingredients, so you are not harming the environment in the process.
Start simple and safe.
When you have decided what kind of ingredients and herbs to work with, start as simple as possible. Don’t buy costly ingredients when you are just starting out. You will likely experience formulation disasters, so it’s best to start simple so you won’t waste money.
If you’re new to skincare DIY, work only with ingredients you know, and make anhydrous skincare formulas – meaning those that don’t contain water, so it doesn’t need any preservatives. Examples of these include face oils, balm cleansers, lip balms, face masks, and body butters. It’s because water-based formulations are breeding grounds for microbes and bacteria, which you must keep in mind when making a formula that you won’t use right away.
Prep your ingredients and workspace properly.
Even if you’re making a skincare formula for personal use, you would want to make sure that you have a sanitized and clean workspace to prevent contamination from happening. After all, you don’t want to use a facial mask contaminated with the kitchen dishcloth.
Once you have selected a recipe you want to create, prepare your workspace and all the ingredients beforehand to ensure that things will go smoothly. You don’t want to be in the middle of mixing and pouring and realize that you are missing a key ingredient.
Keep your workspace clean, tidy, and well ventilated. Clean and maintain the equipment you use before and every time you make skincare products. Wash your hands always, tie up your hair, and use an apron and gloves when needed.
Set up your tools on a flat, wide workspace that can be easily wiped. Check any special tools or appliances you will be using to ensure that they are in proper working condition. Ensure that the bowls, utensils, and other tools you use are clean and dry to prevent bacterial contamination and separation from water. If you like, pre-measure your ingredients, so you don’t have excess when you start.
Use the right tools.
When making your creations, it helps a lot if you use the right tools and containers for the job. Here are a few things to keep in mind to make the process easier and less messy.
- Use a spoon or a small syringe to fill up lip balm tubes and tins.
- Use a large syringe or a clean turkey baster to suck up oils and lotions, then squeeze them into your container.
- Use a flexible plastic spatula to deposit and smooth creams and body butters to jars with as little mess as possible.
Maintain good storage for your ingredients and your finished products. Store them in the fridge or in a cool, dry place, depending on the ingredient. Keep your finished products sealed and stored in a safe environment. Label them properly.
Know how to mix your ingredients.
Now that your workspace is prepped, it’s time to get to work. Depending on what you are making, know that there are specific melting and blending techniques. Here are some tips for working with ingredients used in DIY skincare products:
Beeswax is used for the skin to create a protective layer and to keep the skin hydrated. This ingredient provides thickness to the product, the same way flour thickens gravy. It can be bought in hard blocks or pellets, and it needs to be melted down to be used.
Use a double boiler or a Pyrex bowl or cup immersed in boiling water to melt the wax. First, make sure the bottom of the pot or boiler has enough boiling water. Next, put the beeswax in the top section or the glass cup. If you bought a large block of beeswax, slice it into small squares before trying to melt it. After a few minutes, you will see the wax slowly starting to liquefy. As it melts, slightly stir to distribute the wax across the bottom and speed up the melting process. Keep other ingredients ready because if it cools before mixing, the wax will solidify again, and your final product will be chunky or grainy.
Shea or cocoa butter
These natural butters can also be melted in the double boiler. Since they are softer than wax, some people use the microwave to soften them fast. If you prefer to use the microwave, melt the butter in 15-second intervals, stirring in between to ensure that the butter would not overheat or boil. Once it cools, it solidifies but at a slower speed than beeswax.
Add honey when the mixture is slightly warm but not hot. Blend it well using an electric mixer at high speed. This can help to prevent separation that most DIYers complain about.
Essential oils, scents, dye, and liquid preservatives
These are the ingredients that are always added last. When mixing initially, bear in mind the amount of liquid you will add in the end, and remember that they can make it too watery. For example, if you want to add 20 drops of essential oil, your mixture must be slightly thicker than you want because it will thin a bot once you add the oil.
Speaking of essential oils, be careful not to get the oil on your bare hands. Essential oils are volatile and concentrated, which can sting and hurt your skin once you get into direct contact with them. Therefore, it must always be diluted in a carrier oil before applying it to your skin.
Try to use natural preservatives.
When you make your own skincare products, you need to plan to make them safe and ensure that they won’t go rancid. You won’t want to mix ingredients every time you want to use your product – so most likely, you’d prepare a recipe that will last for a few days, a week, or even a month, depending on how often you would apply the product.
Either make a formula without water, which doesn’t usually need a preservative. Or, make a skincare recipe that contains water, which will need a preservative if you want to keep them longer than a week. You must also consider how you will preserve the products with water introduced to them, such as an oil-based body scrub that you might want to keep in the shower. Without preservatives, water-based ingredients would encourage the growth of molds and microbes within a matter of days. You don’t want to rub that all over your face.
Here are some natural preservatives that you may want to try:
- Grapefruit seed extract
One of the most popular natural preservatives, grapefruit seed extract, is a broad-spectrum, antimicrobial agent.
- Essential oils
Some essential oils such as eucalyptus, clove, sage, sandalwood, rosemary, lemon, and lavender contain antibacterial, antimicrobial, and astringent properties that can be used as a natural preservative.
- Vitamins A and E
These vitamins can enhance the effectiveness of skincare products and extend their shelf life to a few weeks to a few months.
If you are making skincare products for your own use or for giving to friends and family, making small batches that will be consumed quickly will lessen the need for complicated preservatives. But if you plan to sell your creations, you need to ensure that they can pass testing for preservative stability.
Creating your own skincare products can be fun and rewarding as you learn how to work with natural ingredients. Allow yourself to experiment, and don’t get discouraged if your recipes fail. Instead, take note of what works well for you and learn from what doesn’t.