DIY Skincare seems to become more popular every year. I’ve been making my own face and body products for over five years now and it seems more natural skincare blogs and recipes pop up every day!
There are plenty of reasons why you’d want to go au naturel with your skin care routine:
- You heard yet another story about a toxic or questionable ingredient that’s used by cosmetic companies
- No matter how ‘natural’ a brand claims to be, their use of fragrances still makes your rash/eczema/acne worse
- You’re sick of paying an arm and a leg for a cream that promises you “miracles”
- You want to be more conscious about what your skin ‘consumes’ on a daily basis. You eat clean, so why not have the same philosophy about what you put on your skin?
- You’re tired of plastic bottles stacking up in your bath room. You want to help the environment by going for zero waste and plastic free solutions.
- Fill in your reason here.
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As easy as we bloggers might make it sound, making your own skincare comes with its own set of guidelines and best practices.
I go into more detail about how to set up your work space in my book DIY Beauty (I apologize if you’re sick of me talking about my book. I’m just too excited not to share! 🙂 ).
Here I go into more detail about all the wonderful ingredients that are used in a lot of natural toxic free skincare recipes.
The essential items for your DIY Beauty Toolkit include:
- An Oil: like coconut or jojoba oil
- A Butter: like Shea butter
- A Wax: like Beeswax or Carnauba Wax
- Essential oils: like Lavender or Tea tree
Scroll down to the recipe card where you’ll find a custom shopping list with basic ingredients you need to start making your own skincare today!
Have you always wanted to make your own beauty products but you just don’t know where to start?
Below you’ll find the Complete Guide you need to shop for the basic necessary ingredients.
Oils for DIY Skincare
1. Coconut Oil
A classic oil for cooking and natural skincare alike. This thick oil is solid at room temperature, and can therefore sometimes substitute a butter in a recipe.
Although Extra Virgin Coconut oil is an amazingly versatile ingredient, it’s best used for body products.
Coconut oil is considered a comedogenic oil, meaning that it can clog your pores. That’s why I personally prefer not to use it in face products (Read more about why the comedogenic score is important here.)
Used in: massage bars, bath products, body scrubs
Recipe: 1 ingredient Lotion Bars
2. Jojoba Oil
A perfect candidate for a face product on the other hand is jojoba oil. This oils is actually a liquid wax and is said to be very close to the natural oil of your skin.
Because jojoba oil is so close to the natural sebum of your skin it’s perfect for both dry and oily skin types, as it can help balance the oil produced by your skin.
Used in: face products, body products, massage bars
Recipe: Dry Body Oil Spray
3. Sweet Almond Oil
Another great pick for pretty much all oil-based products is sweet almond oil.
It’s commonly available in most countries at pharmacies and drugstores, and is a great moisturizing oil with a slightly nutty scent.
Used in: Face products, body products, bath products
Recipe: Vanilla Chai Lotion Bars
Essential oils Worth your Money
Essential oils are a very popular ingredient in natural skincare.
Think of essential oils as a very concentrated extract made from a plant of flower. That’s why they should only be used diluted in an oil, also know as your ‘carrier oil’.
Sometimes I read recipes that tell you to add full teaspoons of essential oil to a recipe. Unless you’re making lotion for an army, you should only need a few drops of essential oil.
This also means that 1 tiny bottle will last a very long time.
Specific essential oils are used to help with specific ailments, and it can seem like they invent a new essential oil every day.
Here are my favorite versatile essential oils that you can put to good use in various recipes! (Psst, it’s printable!)
1. Lavender essential oil
If you’re only going to buy one essential oil, lavender would be my pick.
Lavender essential oil is known for its calming effects, perfect if you experience anxiety or just want to relax. It’s floral scent makes it a winner in almost all recipes.
Used in: Room Sprays, Bath Products, Face and Body Products
Recipe: Lavender Pillow Mist
2. Rose Geranium essential oil
My favorite pick for a floral scented essential oil is rose geranium. Rose geranium essential oil is also said to balance the oil products of your skin.
Personally I’m not a fan of essential oils in face products. Because there’s so concentrated, a little can already be too much for people with sensitive skin (like me).
Used in: Solid Perfumes, Bath Products, Skin balancing products
Recipe: Bubbling Bath Salts
3. Tea tree essential oil
There are a few exceptions of essential oils I use for my face. One of them is tea tree essential oil.
This anti-bacterial oil might not smell the best, but works great when used as a treatment for acne.
Used in: Face (Acne) Products, Foot Soaks
Recipe: Zit Zappin’ Gel
Once you’re more familiar with making your own skincare products you can extend your collection with blue chamomile, lemongrass and ylang ylang essential oil for example.
Butters for DIY Skincare
We’ve discussed oils, now we can move on to butters. This is where most people start to frown their eyebrows a bit when reading a recipe.
Most oils sound familiar as some of them are also used for cooking. You can usually also find a selection of basic carrier oils at supermarkets and drugstores (Although be careful what you buy! Check the ingredient list and make sure it only contains pure unrefined oil.)
1. Shea Butter
We’ll start easy, with all-around favorite Shea butter. This rich butter is a much loved ingredient in hair and skin products.
It’s often one of the first ingredients you’ll buy when you start making your own skincare products.
Used for: Lotion Bars, Bath Products, Face and Body Products, Hair Products
Recipe: Whipped Body Butter
2. Cocoa Butter
Next up is cocoa butter. It’s sweet chocolaty scent makes it a DIY favorite.
Because cocoa butter is a lot more solid than most other butters (like Shea butter) I love to use it in massage bars.
Used in: Body Products, Bath Products
Recipe: Coffee Bean Lotion Bars
3. Mango Butter
When I’m looking for a butter that has the least tacky feeling my go to ingredient is mango butter .
Opposite to what you might think this butter doesn’t smell like mangoes (unfortunately). But it’s still a great soft butter to have in your stash!
Used in: Face and Body Products, Hair Products
Recipe: Non greasy Lotion Bars
Waxes for DIY Skincare
Let’s move on to waxes. Waxes are solid at room temperature. This makes them ideal to turn your skincare products to a solid state when they need to be.
The most common known and easily accessible wax is beeswax. You can see it being sold at farmer’s markets and honey stands.
Beeswax has a beautiful golden color and has a sweet smell.
Used in: Lip balms, body products and hair products
Recipe: Hair Wax
2. Carnauba Wax or Candelilla Wax
If you’re vegan a red flag probably went off when you saw the word ‘beeswax’. Does this mean you can’t use wax in your DIY beauty items? No, not at all!!
There are plenty of alternatives for beeswax, like japan wax, rose wax and, probably the most common known, candelilla wax.
I generally use carnauba wax for vegan skincare recipes. It’s the most affordable option and does a great job at hardening beauty crafts.
Used in: lip balms and lotion bars
Recipe: Vegan Lip Gloss
DIY Skincare Starter Kit
Here is a simple shopping list with all the basic necessary ingredients you will need to start making your own skincare products. You can easily make 7 full size beauty products with the ingredients from this list: from lip balms to body lotions and hair balms.
- Store your ingredients in a cool, dry and dark place to retain their quality.
- Always check the ingredient list to make sure it is not mixed with other unwanted ingredients.
- Since all of the recipes listed below are oil-based, anhydrous, products you do not have to add a preservative.
Check out the recipes below to see what skincare products you can make with this simple starter kit.
All Natural Recipes You Can Make
Here is a full list of non toxic skincare products you can make once your packet of DIY beauty ingredients has arrived to your doorstep.
In some of these recipes you just have to add a common household ingredients like sugar, or substitute a butter or oil with Shea butter or jojoba oil. Use lavender oil whenever the recipe calls for an essential oil. Yes, it can be that easy!
List of Recipes for both Beginner and Advanced DIYers:
- Fragrance Free Lip Balm
- Affordable Lip Scrub
- Gentle Face Cleansing balm
- Balancing Face Oil Serum
- Refreshing Body Scrub
- Moisturizing Body Lotion
- Repairing Hair Balm
You can make all of these ingredients at least once with the amounts of ingredients from your starter kit, and some even several times!
In my book DIY Beauty you can find 100 easy recipes just like these, inspired by famous store brands and products!
If you like this guide of essential ingredients for homemade beauty products, don’t forget to put a pin on it!