We are very well aware that most of you will do the DIY skincare production by going to your closest supermarket or grocery store to buy the ingredients that are listed in the recipes. We are also very well aware that those of you who choose this way do need to produce your own homemade products but you may not have too much time available. And we also do know that especially the “slow food” lovers are not satisfied with this arrangement.
Why People are Turning to DIY Skin Products
While some of the ingredients would be quite impossible to obtain any other way than buying them from local stores or even ordering online (like vegetable glycerin), there are plenty of other ingredients that can be obtained through processing the herbs and botanicals that they come from. People that want to be absolutely sure that everything they put on their faces and their bodies is absolutely 100% natural and without any human intervention will appreciate this section. It’s not a simple process, but you can essentially make yourself a skin serum that works.
Obtaining essential oils
Essential oils come from whichever plant suits your fancy. The next step in going DIY all the way is to produce them at home instead of buying them. All you need is a rather big jar and your double boiler (bain-marie for those that don’t have one). Fill the jar with the flowers of your choice and pour in either almond or sunflower oil until it covers the flowers completely. Put the jar in the double boiler. Heat in low temperature for 2 hours and then percolate the oil. Discard the used flowers, put new flowers in the jar pour in the percolated oil and repeat the process until you are satisfied with the properties of the essential oil obtained.
Obtaining herbs and botanicals
We have discussed the possibility of increasing the healing power of a DIY skincare cosmetic by adding herbs and botanicals. In the recipes you will find ingredients like aloe, chamomile and calendula. To obtain the oils from these ingredients instead of buying them, here is what you do.
In a similar manner with the essential oils use a rather big jar to add a batch of completely dried herbs or botanicals. Cover them with any kind of carrier oil (olive, grapeseed, apricot kernel, jojoba etc…) Fill a slow cooker with 1/3 water, put the jar in (leaving it uncovered) and allow to boil for 6 or 8 hours. Strain the herbs with a cheese cloth. This process is not to be repeated otherwise the medicinal properties will get lost.
Part of the reason for someone to start producing homemade skin care products is to avoid the preservatives commercial products include and which are actually the main reason for the environmental damage not to mention a few adverse side effects for the human users. However, you do have a couple of options with 100% natural substances that can be used as natural preservatives and extend your products shelf life for quite a while.
Here are the options:
Rosemary oil extract: Apart from its distinct and very nice aroma which can be added to your products, it’s highly rich in anti-oxidant properties. If you add it in a percentage between 0.15 to 0.5% of your total mix it should act as a preservative good for several months.
Grapefruit seed extract: We mention grapefruit but it is actually every member of the citrus fruit family whose extract from the seeds and pulp presents significant anti-microbial properties. Those properties are so strong that it is actually used as an antiseptic on drinking water. A percentage of 0.5 to 1% is good enough to preserve almost every lotion.
DIY needs time and effort. But it’s worth it.
The benefits of homemade cosmetics have already been discussed in detail including the benefits to one’s psychology by being creative. It is a matter of what kind of person you really are that will determine how deep you will get yourself into making your own cosmetics. It is a highly recommended occupation if you have plenty of time to spare.
Going DIY all the way will require hours of preparation for the herbs and botanicals, the essential oils and finally the cosmetics themselves. It will also take an effort wherever whisks and manual mixing will be required. However, if you consider the pride that you will feel at the end of the day with a product that you saw to its production from top to bottom, it is definitely worth every second you spent on it.
Just remember that if you go another step further and you decide to go out on your own in the countryside to collect the herbs, botanicals and other flowers yourself, there are a few things you need to know:
- It is best that you collected them from an area as far away as possible from a city or a town as they are less probable to be polluted.
- The best time to collect them is early in the morning.
- You can create a stockpile if you pulverize whatever you collect after you have let it dry out completely and keep it in tightly closed cotton bags or air tight jars kept away from sunlight and condensation. Pulverization is necessary otherwise you will find quite an assortment of plants growing in your basement.
It would also be best if you did not produce anything for anyone else that it is not generic. Even if you know their skin type it is impossible to know every detail that pertains to their skin. This is one part of the DIY process that you should be extra careful for.