Making your own homemade cosmetics is easy, cheap, fun and let you select the ingredients you want, avoiding the toxic ones.
Of course, you should have little bit of basic knowledge and follow some simple rules, but getting familiar with this wonderful world won’t take too much if you practice a bit and join discussion groups like this one.
You can make any cosmetic product you could imagine: lipsticks, deodorants, creams, bath bombs, scrubs, makeup, shampoos, conditioners, shower gels and much more.
Let’s see together the tools and ingredients needed to start creating your DIY cosmetics at home… are you ready to start?
DIY Cosmetics equipment
- Heat resistant glass beaker to prepare your cosmetics and melt the ingredients in a bain marie to make your own cream.
- Spoons and mini spatulas to stir.
- Balance with at least a 0.05 g accuracy (better if 0.01 g) to measure the weight of the ingredients. It’s very important to do accurate measurements because, even if natural, overdoses of certain ingredients could be dangerous for your health.
- Immersion blender to mix the ingredients when you make creams. The most of the homemade cosmetics formulas are for 100 g of products, so the kitchen blender could be too big. In DIY cosmetics e-shops you can find smaller ones.
I use Bosch MSM2413V Clever Mixx Baby because it’s more powerful than a classic mini cosmetic stick blender and has a stick that is smaller of the one you can find in the classic kitchen blenders.
You would need the super mini one as well in any case to use when you work with very small quantities.
- pH indicator roll or stripes to check the pH of your cosmetics. If the pH is too low or high, it could create problems with the ingredients used in your formulas and damage your skin.
- Laboratory/food thermometer to measure the temperature (essential when you make emulsions).
- Empty cosmetic containers to fill with your own cosmetics.
Homemade cosmetics ingredients
Below you can find the list of ingredients that are commonly used in natural handmade cosmetics and that could be part of your starter kit.
- Oils: for better results in your emulsions you need at least 1 oil per density.
A basic starter set could include jojoba oil, argan oil, rice bran oil and castor oil. I suggest you to start with those also because they are heat resistant and non comedogenic.
Other oils that are commonly used in natural DIY cosmetics formulas are Coco-caprylate, coconut oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, rosehip oil, sweet almond oil and Caprylic capric triglyceride.
- Butters: the most common ones are shea and cocoa butter. This last one is absolutely necessary is chapsticks and solid body butters.
- Beeswax: essential if you want to prepare lip balms, lip sticks and solid perfumes. Other kind of waxes (like carnauba wax or floral waxes) are used in advanced DIY makeup formulas.
- Preservative: the most used in natural homemade cosmetic is called Cosgard (Benzyl alcohol, Dehydroacetic acid, aqua). Preservatives will make your cosmetics last for at least 3 months, otherwise they would expire in a couple of days.
- Emulsifier: if you want to make face and body creams you would need a emulsifier. In my formulas I often use Olivem 1000 (Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate) and Methylglucose Distearate (Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate). They are easy to use and allowed in natural cosmetics.
- Lactic acid: you’ll need it to regulate the pH of your cosmetics.
- Glycerin: moisturizer and humectant, used in many cosmetics formulas.
- Xanthan gum: thickener for emulsions and gels. It’s included in almost all the water based formulas.
- Sodium bicarbonate and citric acid: needed for bath bombs.
- Essential oils: they have different properties and perfume your cosmetics. The lavender oil (relaxing, purifying and soothing) is a must have!
- Active ingredients: there are many active ingredients that you can add to your cosmetics. You can start with Hyaluronic Acid (moisturizer, anti aging and humectant) and Aloe Vera (soothing, purifying, antiaging).
- Vitamin E: antioxidants and prevents oils rancidity.
- Natural cosmetic fragrances: use them if you want your cosmetics to smell great! They also cover the natural smell of homemade cosmetics that could be not that pleasant sometimes, especially if you use certain oils or extracts.
- Clay: to create purifying masks together with ingredients you can find in your kitchen (honey, yogurt, avocado…)
- Natural pigments (oxides, micas…) to color your DIY makeup products. You can start with Titanium Dioxide (white) and black, yellow and red oxides. If you want to create lipsticks and eyeshadows buy micas of the colors you like. For eyeshadows you would also need a eyeshadow mix base.
Of course there are more tools and ingredients to use in natural homemade cosmetics and your choice also depends on the kind of cosmetics you want to make, but this article is meant to orientate you a bit in this wonderful world!