Homemade Skin Care products
Over the years I have dipped my toes into the world of homemade skin care products, yet now I decided to take a deep dive into it. Thinking about the fact that for centuries before today, people used to make their own homemade skin care products that were effective always intrigued me. The methodology always seemed very complex to me until I began exploring it for myself. I was surprised to find out that it is actually quite straight forward once you identify some core principles. Moreover, if the commercial products seem to leave you with a sense of an ocean of choice, homemade skin care products will seem like an infinite choice of possibilities.
Commercial vs homemade skin care products
Purchasing a product is certainly faster than spending time researching ingredients, recipes, and testing the two.
Probably one of the pros of homemade skin care products is that your ingredients are probably already in your home.
Commercial skin care products are balanced whilst natural ingredients are not. Therefore, you may find yourself adding too much or too little of an ingredient and knock the balance of the entire homemade product.
Natural homemade skin care products are highly independent of one user to another. Every person is a unique world of their own and it is felt when you try a homemade recipe for beauty products. Unlike commercial products that contain stable ingredients that seem to give a certain effect on a range of different people, homemade recipes are not that easy to make one fit all.
6 steps into making homemade skin care products
- Focus on what your skin actually needs. You don’t need to try and match a product to your skin. You can now build a product to include all the elements your skin needs. Have a good look at your skin and write down what it is lacking or what you want to maintain. Choose ingredients and the appropriate recipes which will help you begin your journey.
- Make sure to choose the right formula for you. Safety should always be a priority. Make sure to eliminate ingredients you have allergies to, and even those that are closely related to those products you have had a reaction to in the past.
- Always do a test patch, especially if you are sensitive to new products or if you have had a reaction to food products in the past. Natural products, at times, may be more saturated than commercial products, which is great for quality, but may also be too much in some instances.
- It is important to look at how the individual chosen ingredients interact with one another. Once you have picked out the ingredients which work for you, experiment with the selection, and see how they work with one another.
- Correct measurements can either make or mess up a formula. This can take some trial and error, but once you introduce yourself to the process it becomes second nature.
- For those interested in making skin care products that are not used up after one-time, it is important to look into the containers the product will be stored in, as well as the natural preservation system that will be applied.
Terminology for homemade skin care products
Hydration vs Moisturizer vs Sealant
Understanding the difference between hydration, a moisturizer, and a sealant can help uncover what it is that your skin actually needs. Hydration is the absorption of moisture and infusing cells with water, resulting in the improvement of the skin’s ability to absorb moisture and nutrients. A moisturizer holds water in the outer layer of the skin. It works with water. A sealant also referred to as a humectant ingredient, seals the moisturize in and remains on top of the skin.
Excess oil removal
Should you find yourself in a situation where you may have used too much oil and have difficulty taking it off, ingredients high in acidity can help get through oil; lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar.
Common ingredients used in homemade skin care products
The list of ingredients that can be used in homemade skin care products is truly very long. However, I will focus on the most common ingredients and just their main properties and most common uses. Keep in mind that each ingredient does have a lot more to it and I suggest looking into those ingredients that you are interested in, in more detail.
Feel free to add your favorite ingredients in the comment area, I certainly would love to hear more!
Flax oil (Linseed)
Flax oil is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Contains a high concentration of omega-3. Commonly used against chronic skin conditions, helps balance out the skin’s own oils, and reduces inflammation whilst helping skin to repair.
Olive oil is commonly used for moisturizing and hydrating the skin. Contains many vitamins including; vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin K, and vitamin E. Also has antioxidant properties due to the presence of squalene.
Coconut oil is known to reduce inflammation, moisturize the skin, and to help heal wounds. Contains vitamin E, vitamin K, linoleic acid; which is used for various skin treatments, and lauric acid; which acts as an antimicrobial.
Avocado oil is recognized to soothe skin, prevention of skin damage and inflammation, improve elasticity, and minimize breakouts. Contains vitamin E, vitamin C, and biotin; part of the vitamin B complex helps to prevent dry skin.
Sunflower oil is used as a skin barrier and moisturizer. Contains essentials fatty acids such as phospholipids and ceramides, as well as antioxidants and vitamin E. Commonly used against hair breakage, treatment for split ends, and to soften hair.
Almond oil is known for its healing. Contains magnesium, phosphorus, copper, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A and vitamin E; which contributes to healing damage caused by the sun. Commonly used to treat dry skin damage and improve the overall complexion and skin tone.
Shea butter is used to nourish the skin. Contains linoleic, palmitic, stearic, and oleic acids; all of which balance the oils on the skin. Vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin F; result in an antioxidant effect, the promotion of circulation, and healthy skin growth.
Jojoba oil has a unique makeup that is very similar to our own sebum, making it less likely to clog pores. Contains vitamin E; acts as an antioxidant and regulates your sebum (oil) production. Commonly used for its antimicrobial properties, minimizing fine lines and wrinkles, and to soothe the skin.
Grapeseed oil is known to balance the skin’s moisture, reduce inflammation, and minimize fine lines and wrinkles. Contains vitamin C, vitamin E, and proanthocyanidin; that help to protect the skin and linoleic acid which has anti-inflammatory properties.
Rosehip seed oil
Rosehip seed oil is recognized for its ability to hydrate the skin, prevent UV damage, and boost collagen formation. Contains vitamin A, vitamin C; both necessary for collagen production, vitamin E; an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties.
Moisturizing & Sealing oil:
Argan oil is known for its anti-aging effects, treatment of skin conditions, protection against sun damage and to soothe the skin. Contains both antibacterial and fungicidal properties, linoleic and oleic fatty acids, and rich in vitamin E.
Cucumbers are commonly used to reduce inflammation, soothe irritated skin, and overall hydration of the skin. Contains vitamin C, caffeic acid and the peel contains silica which contributes to firm skin.
Fresh parsley is used for its antioxidant properties, cleansing and refreshing the skin. Contains vitamin C; which helps in collagen production and chlorophyllin, flavonoids, and quercetin; which contribute to soothing inflammations.
Lemon or lemon juice is recognized for its detoxifying effects. Due to its high acidity, either apply as a spot treatment or dilute the lemon juice concentration before contact with the skin. Contains vitamin C and citric acid; contributing to the antimicrobial effects.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is known for its cleansing and exfoliating properties. Due to its acidity, either apply as a spot treatment or dilute with water. Contains acetic acid; contributing to its antibacterial and antifungal properties and malic acid; which is a chemical exfoliator.
Coconut milk is used to nourish the skin. Contains vitamin C, vitamin E, protein, copper, vitamin E, and vitamin C; which prevents wrinkles, age spots, maintains elasticity and flexibility of the skin.
Oats are known for treatments of skin condition, anti-inflammatory properties, and its ability to soak up excess oil from the skin. Contains saponins; chemical compounds known for their natural cleansing ability.
Greek yoghurt, is used as an exfoliant, minimizes fine lines and wrinkles, creates a natural glow, and reduces dark circles. Contains zinc, calcium, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-5, vitamin B-12 and lactic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid which dissolves dead skin cells.
Coffee is commonly used for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and as an exfoliant for the skin. Contains caffeic acid, an antioxidant that boosts collagen and reduces the premature aging of cells.
Brown sugar is used as an exfoliant and hydrator of the skin. It is more gentle than salt and softer than granulated sugar. Contains glycolic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid that can penetrate deep into the skin, loosening skin cell bonds and promote new cell growth.
Sea salt is known to cleanse skin, balance oil production, and prevent break outs. Contains minerals such as; magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium; all contributing towards the health, function, and cellular communication of the skin.
Honey is used for its healing properties and to create balance in the skin, relative to balancing out the bacteria found on the skin. Contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that contribute towards healing and nourishing damaged skin.
Eggs are used to improve skin texture for all types of skin. Egg yolks are mainly used for dry skin as they contain fatty acids that contribute to adding moisture to the skin. Egg whites are mainly used for oily skin as they contain albumin, a protein that helps tighten pores and remove excess oils. Both yolks and whites are used in combination with normal skin.
Aloe vera is recognized for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as well as for treatment for burns, dry skin, and other skin conditions. Contains enzymes, minerals, vitamin A, vitamin C, and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Collagen is a vital component of your skin. Throughout your body, it is needed for connective tissue such as; tendons, ligaments, muscles, and skin. Its main responsibility for the skin is towards the structure of the skin. It is also responsible for skin elasticity and hydration. With time, your body produces less collagen which results in dry skin and the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. The importance of collagen production goes beyond the physical appearance of the skin. Certain foods contain a certain level of collagen that may be taken up by the body;
- Citrus fruits
- Bell peppers
- Tropical fruits (mango, kiwi, pineapple, and guava)
- Berries (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries)
- Greens (spinach, kale, collard greens, and chard)
- Bone broth
- Egg whites
- Fish (with skin)
Many homemade skin care products also add essential oils to the recipes. If you choose to add essential oils, be sure not to add too much as essential oils are concentrated and can result in a reaction.
You also need to remember that your skin is a reflection of your entire body and the environment you find yourself in. So, you may decide to tweak your formula from time to time to accommodate to what your skin needs at the time.
When dealing with natural products, you can find that a little can actually take you a long way. For instance, I found that just 2 drops of olive oil applied to damp skin was more than enough to moisturize my skin. Dealing with homemade skin care products may seem complicated at first, especially with the trial and error phase, however, it also allows you to learn so much about your skin. With every tweak, you also get to widen your product choice.