If you follow my blog or my youtube channel you would know that I share a lot of DIY cosmetics recipes on them.
I share several DIY recipes on how to make your own organic creams, lotions, soaps, face washes, toners, etc. at home.
But to make our DIY cosmetics there are certain equipment and ingredients we require handy.
In this article, I have shared a few basic ingredients and equipment we need to prepare our homemade cosmetics. I have given a few options I have tried and which I use in my DIY products.
First, let’s talk about the equipment:
Measuring cups, spoons and a food weighing scale
To measure the exact quantity of products we need to make our own cosmetics.
The exact ratio and proportion of ingredients are very important to get proper consistency of our cosmetics.
*Try to buy a stainless option as wooden tools are prone to grow bacteria and fungus if not cleaned properly and plastic equipment is susceptible to heat.
Emerson blender or hand blender/stick blender
To blend oil and water properly in our lotions and creams.
It is actually a necessity to blend our oil and water mix to prepare creams, lotions or products which requires two different mediums to mix perfectly.
Few Heat resistant glass bowls or Pyrex cups
To warm or mix the ingredients.
They are really convenient options when you want to heat your oils or butter by either the double boiler method or by microwave.
Induction cooktop or stove or microwave
To melt the oils and butter.
A microwave is a good option when you want a quick method to melt oil or butter for your cosmetics.
But if you have enough time always opt for the double boiler method as in this method there is no direct heat and we can add different ingredients at certain intervals.
Stovetop safe pot for the double boiler set up or a beaker
If you don’t have a microwave then we need to melt the oils and butter by the double boiler method. This is a preferable option to a microwave.
A fennel set
To effortlessly pour our homemade cosmetics in their empty containers.
Try to purchase the stainless steel option.
And a food thermometer
It is optional. But it is necessary to measure the exact temperatures for a few solutions.
Necessary Ingredients are:
To make our DIY cosmetics this is the most important ingredient.
To make creams and lotions, there are mainly two mediums, oils and water. And to bind them both and form a creamy texture, emulsifiers play a major role.
Emulsifiers have an element that is both water-loving (hydrophilic) and oil-loving (lipophilic). This allows them to bind together and form a stable mixture. There are many kinds of emulsifiers available in the market. They come in the form of pellets or flakes or sometimes in the gel.
Beeswax is not an emulsifier. It is required to harden up our oil mixtures and form a solid consistency like our lip balms or lotion bars.
Thickeners or stabilizers
Thickeners or stabilizers are necessary to stabilize the formulation and it also helps emulsifiers to work better. They are used in products to increase the viscosity which makes our creams and lotions creamier.
There are many types of thickeners available in the market be it lipid thickeners, synthetic thickeners, natural thickeners, natural gums, gel-based or serum-based thickeners.
- Stearic acid,
- Cetyl alcohol,
- Carnauba wax etc.
Synthetic thickeners such as Carbomer powder.
Naturally derived thickeners:
They are actually polymers that absorb the water to swell up and increase the viscosity of our product.
HEC(Hydroxyethylcellulose) (Majorly used in cleaning products such as shampoo and body wash)
Gums such as;
- Guar gum,
- Locust bean gum
- Xanthan gum
- Acacia gum
- Sclerotium gum
(These natural gums are not stable, can feel sticky on the skin and creates cloudy solutions)
Gel-based thickeners such as;
- Aloe vera gel or
- Hyaluronic acid is widely used nowadays because of its skin benefits and deep moisturizing qualities.
- And Synthetic thickener which is widely used in many cosmetics which is a carbomer powder.
It’s a very controversial ingredient. Which preservatives to use? Which ones are harmful to us? How to use them? And why to use preservatives in our homemade products?
See preservatives are necessary when we want our organic products to last longer than their usual shelf life.
Also, many times there is no visible difference but our products are getting stale within. We only get to know about it when we see discolouration or fungus growing inside or there is a weird smell coming out of it.
So, it is advisable to use preservatives to be on the safer side if we are not intending to keep the product in the refrigerator.
It’s a very broad topic and I will talk about preservatives in some other article but for now, just giving you a few options you could buy from and certain ingredients you should avoid.
List of preferred Preservatives;
2. Optiphen Plus
3. Optiphen ND
6. Germaben II
7. Germaben II IE
8. Phenoxy Ethanol
9. Ecocert Geogard Ultra
Make sure you avoid products with the following ingredients:
- Benzoyl Peroxide
- Artificial Dyes
- Synthetic Colors
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
To sanitize all our equipment.
Sometimes we fail to remove the stubborn patches of oil or butter patches on the equipment. In this case, spraying rubbing alcohol over them before use makes sure our final product is safe and secured.
Also, it can be used to fix many dried out cosmetic products such as mascara, eyeliner, blusher or a compact.
There are many videos about DIY rubbing alcohol quick fixes!
We need essential oils to add natural fragrance to our products. As compared to synthetic fragrances, essential oils are non-toxic, and helpful for skin care and hair care.
There are many essential oils available with unique and calming fragrances.
To watch my video about 5 essential oils everyone must have to solve our day to day problems click here
List of preferred Essential Oils;
1. Lavender essential oil
2. Tea tree essential oil
3. Peppermint essential oil
4. Spearmint essential oil
5. Eucalyptus essential oil
6. Lemon essential oil
7. Orange essential oil
8. Rosemary essential oil
9. Ylang ylang essential oil
10. Chamomile essential oil
11. Sandalwood essential oil
12. Bergamot essential oil
13. Rose essential oil
14. Frankincense essential oil
15. Geranium essential oil
The use of butter in cosmetics makes them creamy and moisturizing.
Choose any of the below-mentioned butter which is locally available in your region.
- Shea butter
- Cocoa butter
- Mango butter
- Kokum butter
- Macadamia butter
- Almond butter
- Coconut butter
- Hemp seed butter
- Olive butter
- Babassu butter
Carrier oils are one of the main ingredients when we are making our own cosmetics as they are used in almost all of them.
There are few versatile carrier oils that everyone has access to such as;
- Coconut oil
- Almond oil
- Jojoba oil
- Olive oil
- and Sesame oil
At least try to keep these 5 carrier oils with you as they are very helpful in our day to day life.
Other Carrier oil options are:
- Sunflower oil
- Tamanu oil
- Argan oil
- Grape seed oil
- Carrot seed oil
- Evening primrose oil
- Rosehip seed oil
- Tamanu oil
- Moringa oil
- Wheat germ oil
- Apricot kernel oil
Try to opt for cold-pressed carrier oils as they are in their purest form and retains all the essence.
To make DIY soap, a soap base is the most convenient ingredient; it only requires melting, pouring into the mould and hardening it to prepare our DIY soaps.
We can add and subtract other ingredients as per our requirement.
Just remember the ratio should be 1 part soap base to1 or less than 1 part other ingredients.
Try to buy organic soap bases preferably goat milk or glycerine based clear options.
To know my recipe of homemade fairness soap I use click here.
It is a very important ingredient to add to many DIY cosmetic products to make the product more moisturizing.
Also, it is the base medium in which the gums we are using as a thicker is dissolved.
Liquid Castile soap
It is a basic ingredient needed in making many DIY cleaning products such as face wash, body wash or shampoo.
It is a 100% natural, bio-degradable and vegan option that is mainly derived from certain oils such as; olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, palm oil.
To make your own homemade face washes using aloe vera gel you can check out this video!
Zinc oxide powder
It is necessary if you are planning to make your own sunscreen at home.
Zinc oxide is also helpful to treat regular breakouts.
Vitamin C powder
Vitamin C powder is used in DIY fairness cream and also sometimes it can be used as a natural preservative.
It is a bit harsh on the skin so try to dilute it in other liquid or oil solutions.
Vitamin E tablets
Vitamin E oil has antioxidant properties that’s why it is a versatile ingredient in many DIY haircare and skincare products.
It is also used to extend the shelf life of any homemade cosmetic products.
Aloe vera gel
If you don’t have aloe vera plants around you, then you should at least have ready-made aloe vera gel.
Aloe vera is used in almost all DIY cosmetic products because of its moisturizing, cooling and healing properties.
These are the basic things you should have if you are planning to start making your own homemade cosmetics. Then as you start experimenting you probably would require other ingredients as per the demand.
Like, different moulds, silicon trays, empty containers of different sizes and shapes, empty spray bottles and so on.
If you can’t buy all of these at once keep them listed in your to buy the note and purchase them according to the recipes I share with you guys for different DIY cosmetics. 🙂
If you still have any questions feel free to ask me. You can write to me about it in the comment section below.