- Women's Health
Why Make Your Own Skin Care Products? 4 Natural Recipes To Get You Started
Why would anyone want to go to the time and trouble of making their own skin care products? Well, you wouldn't if you don't mind being sick, developing lifelong and often life altering illnesses. If you don't mind the fact that most commercial products are time bombs waiting to explode on your immune system and blow up your brain functions, then by all means, ignore this article. Go back about your daily routine of soaping, painting and fluffing so you can seize the day and live in the moment.
On the other hand, if you'd like to stay younger looking, would like to be healthy enough to enjoy your life tomorrow, then jump on the bandwagon and start creating your own line of personal products designed for your own use. If you're really ambitious, you can save a few of your friends from eventual destruction by making a little extra and gifting them with it.
There are thousands of commercial skin care products filling retail shelves. There's not a single one of these products which are free from toxic ingredients such as PG (propylene glycol), PEG (polyethylene glycol), DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (momoethanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine), and the list goes on and on, into the thousands. Toxic chemicals are used to make a product smell and feel good, to create a good appearance, to extend the shelf-life, and to create a desired texture or consistency. They also cause serious health problems, like cancer, diabetes, liver and kidney malfunctions, and can even aid in advancing the aging process!
A recent poll revealed that women tend to use an average of twelve personal care products daily, while the average guy uses six. What most of these users don't know is that each product contains a dozen or more toxic chemicals like those listed above. Using a little basic math, that calculates to exposure to more than 160 toxic chemicals per woman per day! Of the 80,000 chemicals currently used in skin care products, only 200 of them have been tested for safety.
To help start you off on your journey to becoming your own personal care products manufacturer, I've included four basic recipes from my own collection. Try them. You're going to love the feel of your skin after using them, and you'll never want to go back to commercial products again. There's an added bonus, too. You'll be helping to reduce the environmental pollution caused by commercial manufacturers by no longer buying their products.
Bath Salt Recipe
4 cups of Sea Salt, Epsom Salts, or Kosher Salt
about two dozen drops of your favorite essential oil
1 tbsp of olive oil, coconut oil, or vitamin E oil
Combine the two oils first. Then using an eyedropper, carefully add it to the salts being careful not to dissolve them by adding too much to one area. Periodically stir them to spread the oils throughout. Store in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.
Variations: try adding a cup of dried milk, oatmeal, or liquid glycerin soap for additional benefits. Also, adding a few dried flowers, such as rose petals, can make for a very pretty presentation for gift giving. There's nothing like relaxing in a tub full of floating flowers to feel like royalty!
Whipped Shea Butter Skin Cream
1 lb unrefined shea butter
1 oz of jojoba oil
1 tsp of your favorite essential oil
Melt the shea butter in a double boiler, very slowly. You'll want to be careful not to melt too quickly or allow to boil. You'll want it to be of a soft consistency, just shy of completely melted. Shea butter can become gritty if it's melted too fast, and it can lose some of it's beneficial properties if the temperature climbs too high. Melting in a microwave is an option so long as a glass dish is used and it is melted in short periods, stirring a bit to ensure even melting.
Remove from the heat and transfer to a mixing bowl if using a double boiler. Add the jojoba oil, using a hand held mixer to blend. This is done in 3 to 4 minute increments over about 20 minutes. Allow to stand for 2 minutes between blending increments. The butter will begin to thicken as it cools, becoming fluffy. After the thickening begins, add your chosen essential oil, and continue to blend in short increments. You will know it's done when the appearance and texture is like firm whipping cream. Refrigerate until completely cool. Package and store in cool dry place.*
Try adding a teaspoon of mica powder to add a pearly appearance which will transfer to the skin.
*I like to use plastic jars with screw on lids available at most craft stores.
1 cup shea butter, or cocoa butter if preferred
½ cup sweet almond oil or olive oil
25 – 50 drops essential oil of your choice
a few drops soap colorant (optional)
molds of choice *
Using a 2 cup (or bigger) glass measuring cup, melt shea butter in a microwave, checking every 5 to 10 seconds. You want it to be melted but not boiling! High temperatures cause shea butter to lose some of its beneficial properties. If you wish, you can place your measuring cup in a sauce pan of water and heat over low heat on a stove top. Be very careful to use a pot holder when removing from water as the handle can become very hot!
Add the almond oil and essential oil. The amount of essential oil will depend on your preference in fragrance strength. Stir until butter and oils are completely blended. A wire wisk or fork works well.
Place molds on a baking sheet (to reduce spillage when moving) and fill, pouring directly from glass measuring cup. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour to cool.
* ice cube trays are ideal because flexibility is necessary to remove the melts without damaging them. Silicone candy molds allow you to create many different designs. Or if you prefer, you can fill bite sized cupcake papers, removing the papers before placing the melt in the bath.
If using candy molds and you wish to add a little pizzazz, sprinkle the mold with glitter or colored sea salt before filling. (mix a small bit of soap colorant with sea salt or epsom salts. Allow to dry, making sure there are no clumps.)
For variations on appearance, try adding a dried flower to tops, or sprinkle with fragrant herbs to compliment the chosen essential oil.
Hand and Body Lotion
½ cup oil, your choice
almond, sesame, olive, grapeseed, cocoa butter, shea butter, avocado oil, coconut oil
½ cup distilled water, boiling
or substitute a flower water such as rose water, an herbal infusion, or even tea
2 tbsp beeswax
3 Vitamin E oil capsules
Combine oils (squeeze vitamin E oil out of capsule after puncturing) and beeswax in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on medium power, checking every 15 to 20 seconds until completely melted. Add boiling water a bit at a time, using a wire whisk to blend carefully. Keep adding and mixing until your desired thickness is achieved. May use less or more water depending on personal preferences, just keep in mind that it will thicken as it cools.
Set aside to cool and then pour into bottles. Vitamin E is a natural preservative that will help maintain shelf life.
Variations: add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to leave your skin with a light fragrance.
Facial and Body Scrub
Use the recipe for Hand and Body Lotion reducing the water if you prefer a thicker consistency. Your exfoliant can be added in the form of oatmeal, sea salt, epsom salts, ground tree nut shells, or even ground apricot or peach pits.
If you like a light scrub, whip the lotion ingredients with a hand mixer during cooling phase. Blend for a few minutes, let stand for 2 minutes, repeating until mixture is of a fluffy consistency. Using a spoon or spatula, fold the exfoliant into the mixture before storing in wide mouth glass or plastic jars with lids.
Variations: Add a few drops of soap colorant while whisking in the water, or add a few drops of essential oils to oil mixture.