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
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 Salve1 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 Balm2 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 Creamoil 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 phase6 ounces jojoba 6 ounces sweet almond oil 2 ounces beeswax
water phase8 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 CreamOil 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 LotionWater 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