Make your own natural skin care products

by Laura Phillips

* Copyright Laura Phillips 2000-2012.  Do not reproduce without written consent.

  • Make it yourself and avoid chemicals and unpronounceable ingredients that may irritate sensitive skin.
  • Most homemade skin care products take less than an hour from start to finish to sterilize your work area, mix ingredients, pour into containers, and finish cleaning up.

Basic Equipment and Supplies


  • Double boiler or pans that can be nested in a double-boiler arrangement.
  • Stove or hotplate
  • Stick blender or wire wisk


  • Bleach or other sanitizer
  • Beeswax, vegetable oils and/or waxes such as olive, grapeseed, sunflower, sweet almond, or jojoba
  • Distilled water
  • Skin-friendly essential oils – lavender, tea tree, and clary sage are popular choices, but many others, when used appropriately, add a pleasant fragrance and therapeutic properties
  • Phenohip or other anti-bacterial/anti-fungal, if desired, used according to directions
  • Sterilized containers for storing the finished product

Work area – A clean kitchen counter, stove, and sink area or a sanitary worktable where a hotplate and all materials can be safely assembled and used

Sample Recipes:

The following recipes are ones I developed for my family’s use.  They contain no artificial fragrances, alcohols, or emulsifiers, and no preservatives or colorants. I keep my stock in the refrigerator to preserve its freshness when it’s not in use.  Two simple rules help prevent contamination – a) no sharing – everyone gets her own jar  b) wash the fingers before dipping into the jar.

Laura’s Herbal Salve

1 cup dried comfrey leaves
2 cups virgin olive oil
1 ounce beeswax
2 teaspoons St. John’s Wort powder
OR 1 cup dried St. John’s Wort flowers
20 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops tea tree essential oil
10 drops peppermint essential oil

Steep comfrey (and St. John’s Wort flowers if you’re using them instead of the powder) in olive oil for two weeks OR warm them gently in a double boiler for several hours.  Strain and set the oil aside.

Melt beeswax in double boiler.  Add 1.5 cups of the herb-infused oil and remaining herbal ingredients.  The beeswax may cloud the mixture and harden – don’t worry, it’ll melt as the other ingredients warm up.  When the mixture is evenly warmed and mixed, remove it from the heat.

Continue to stir to keep it mixed well as it cools.  You can speed cooling by placing your mixing container in lukewarm or slightly cool water.  When the mixture forms a thick, translucent salve, pour (or scoop) it into clean glass or plastic containers.

If you like a thicker or thinner salve, adjust the proportions of beeswax & oil.  Cocoa butter may be substituted for the beeswax, and other soft vegetable oils such as sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, jojoba, or grapeseed oil can replace the olive oil

Laura’s Orange-Mint Lip Balm

2 Tablespoons beeswax
7 Tablespoons sweet almond oil or other
soft oil
1 Tablespoon honey
20 drops orange essential oil
10 drops spearmint essential oil

Warm beeswax and oil in double boiler, stirring gently until melted and well-blended.  Add honey and essential oils.  Mix well, and remove from heat.  Stir until mixture begins to cool and thicken.  Pour into lip balm pots.

Laura’s Smooth & Silky Cream

oil phase
6 ounces sweet almond oil
6 ounces jojoba
6 ounces mango butter
1 tsp lecithin
water phase
8 ounces aloe juice
8 ounces distilled water
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon borax

Melt oil phase ingredients in double boiler.  In a separate container, dissolve xanthan gum & borax in half the water, then gradually add the rest of the water & aloe juice.  Mix with stick blender until a smooth gel is formed.  Warm gently in double boiler, keeping well-mixed.

When oil phase ingredients are melted and well-blended, remove from heat.  Begin mixing with hand mixer or stick blender.  Gradually add the water phase mixture, mixing continuously.  When a smooth emulsion is formed, pour into containers.,

Mom’s Simple Lavender Cream

(Created for mature skin)

oil phase

6 ounces jojoba
6 ounces sweet almond oil
2 ounces beeswax

water phase

8 ounces aloe vera juice
8 ounces distilled water
20 drops lavender essential oil

Melt oil phase ingredients in double boiler. In separate container, combine water phase ingredients and warm them to the same approximate temperature as the oil phase ingredients..

When the beeswax has melted completely, remove the oil mixture from the heat.  Begin mixing with a hand mixer or stick blender.  Gradually add the water phase mixture, mixing continuously.  When a smooth emulsion is formed, pour into containers.

Alternate formulas used in CITR classes:

Simple Lavender Cream

Oil phase
12 oz. rice bran oil
1 oz. beeswax
Water phase
16 oz. distilled water
20 drops lavender essential oil
Prepare same as above.  Note: essential oil may be added with the water or near the end of the mixing of the emulsion.

Simple Lotion

Water phase
14 oz. distilled water
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
Oil phase
2.6 oz. rice bran oil
1 oz. beeswax
Prepare same as Smooth & Silky Cream above.  Essential oil may be added for therapeutic value and/or fragrance. Use 20 drops lavender for this recipe. Consult reputable resources to determine proper amounts for other essential oils.



Natural Hand Care, by Norma Pasekoff Weinberg

Body Care Just For Men, by Jim Long

The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy, by Valerie Ann Worwood

Naturally Healthy Skin, by Stephanie Tourles

Organic Body Care Recipes, by Stephanie Tourles