It’s been a while since I did a purely practical post, so I thought I would introduce you to my latest DIY project: homemade facial (or body, if you like) moisturizer. It has no synthetic chemicals or preservatives, can be customized to your preferences, works out to be very inexpensive, absorbs nicely, and seems to work with most skin types — even mine, which breaks out if you so much as look at it the wrong way.
I was originally leery about putting oil on my already oily skin, but having tried several facial oils, including My Skin and Bones and By Nieves, I’ve found that they work a lot better than all the anti-oil products I tried for years. This is the poor man’s version. (If you do have the money, I totally recommend the two I already mentioned.)
Here’s what you need:
- Jojoba oil. Trader Joe’s $7 for 4 oz, slightly more for organic at Whole Foods. Jojoba is a shelf-stable liquid wax that resembles human sebum (the oil produced by our skin). It absorbs quickly and does not clog pores.
- A dark glass bottle (any size between 15ml and 50ml) with a dropper lid or pump.
- Skin-safe essential oils such as lavender (anti-bacterial, mild astringent), chamomile (calming, de-puffing), geranium (balancing), rose (moisturizing). Different essential oils are supposed to be good for different things. If you don’t want to bother looking into it, just pick one or two of your favorites. Be cautious with the citrus oils, which are mildly phototoxic, and don’t go near the ‘fragrance’ oils, which may not be skin safe and can contain all sorts of synthetic chemicals.
If you’re re-using the glass bottle, sterilize it, the lid, and the dropper in boiling water for several minutes. After everything has dried and cooled, add about 1 drop essential oil for every 3-4 ml that your bottle holds, e.g. no more than 5 drops of essential oil for a 15ml bottle. If you have very sensitive skin or are trying a new essential oil, add less. You can customize it to your favorite essential oil or create your own special blend. Fill up the rest of the bottle with jojoba and shake. Allow it to sit for a few hours.
When you’re ready to use your new moisturizer, massage 2-3 drops on damp, clean skin. It will absorb quickly with little or no greasiness. I prefer to make small batches to keep any chance of contamination down, but since there is no water in this moisturizer, it’s unlikely to spoil and doesn’t need a preservative. Microbes love water, not oil.
Total investment for about a year’s supply: about $15-$20, depending on the essential oils you use. Sounds good to me. My next DIY project is going to be a thick body butter for my dried out potter’s hands. What are your favorite DIY skin and body products?