When it comes to actually concocting your perfectly customized moisturizer, the good news is that you don't need special gear. "You will need a blender, small saucepans, clean jars, spoons and labels," Tourles explains.
The bad news for experimental types is that unless you've received advanced training, you should really follow a recipe, Tourles advises. A good recipe will tell you exactly how to melt and blend your oils, waxes and butters with your water-based ingredients, she says.
And whatever you do, don't get distracted and leave your ingredients cooking for too long, Tourles cautions. "Never walk away from a pan of oils and waxes or butters that are melting, as they can overheat and be ruined," she says. "Never allow your watery ingredients to simmer or boil, or they will break down and the delicate beneficial ingredients will be destroyed."
Tourles adds an extra word of warning should you choose to incorporate unfamiliar essential oils into your homemade moisturizer. "You will need to perform a patch test prior to using them," she says. "To do this, dilute one or two drops of essential oil with one teaspoon of bland vegetable oil such as almond or olive oil, saturate a cotton ball with the mixture, and apply to cleansed skin on the inside of your elbow. Cover the cotton ball with an adhesive bandage and leave on for 12 to 24 hours. If a rash or redness appears, do not use this ingredient."
Once you've completed your cream or lotion, pour it into a small jar and store it in a dark, cool cabinet, Tourles recommends. Don't keep it any longer than your recipe instructs, and watch closely for signs of mold -- even if you've used natural preservatives, Miles says. "They haven't been tested to determine exactly how much is needed to make a product that would be useable forever," she explains. "It's possible that you'd need so much that they'd be harmful to the skin."
If you decide to go the DIY route, the tradeoff is that you'll need to make new batches on a frequent basis, Miles notes. "People don't want to create a product every few weeks, but for a totally safe, natural product that's what you have to do," she says.
Ready to experiment on your own? Try this simple facial moisturizer recipe from The Huffington Post.
For more information on making homemade moisturizers and natural skin care, check out the links below.
More Great Links
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Saving face 101: How to customize your skin care routine with your skin type." November 10, 2009. (August 14, 2013) http://www.aad.org/stories-and-news/news-releases/saving-face-101-how-to-customize-your-skin-care-routine-with-your-skin-type
- Miles, Susanna. Personal correspondence. August 5, 2013.
- Tourles, Stephanie. Personal correspondence. August 6, 2013.