How to Make Your Own DIY Beauty Products
If you had told me two years ago that I’d be making my own deodorant, I’d have thought you were crazy.
“I’m just not that crunchy, and I certainly don’t have the time,” I would have said, probably accompanied by an eye-roll and further snarky comments. But it turns out it’s fun to mix up potions. It suits both the scientist and the witch in me.
Like most of us, I’m sure, I’m crazy busy. I have a full-time job, plus another half a job, a kid, and a really immature husband (so it’s like having two kids). What ultimately motivated me to try DIY was my skin: I’m so sensitive that even clean products don’t always fit my needs. That’s why I want to encourage others to try DIY, especially those of you who think you’d never do it. Because it doesn’t have to be either/or: I will always love to use brand-name products, but there are a few things I regularly make for myself, too.
Remember that when it comes to DIY, it’s whatever you want it to be. You could make something really luxurious or something very simple and inexpensive. DIY can meet very specific needs, and is likely to be cheaper, especially in the long term. Your DIY will also make sweet gifts.
With that said, here are some pointers that may help you get started…
1. Keep it clean. Use your NMDL radar when researching DIY, because not all the people talking about it are into clean ingredients.
2. Use the right materials for mixing. Try Pyrex to heat/mix in, and wooden or silicone utensils. I’ve often seen the advice to avoid metal for DIY, and I find it easy to believe some ingredients could react with the metal. I break the rule a little with occasional use of an immersion mixer, and I measure dry ingredients in metal.
3. Don’t microwave. If you have to heat you ingredients, do so gently, double-boiler style, and avoid microwaving. You want to preserve the healing qualities of your ingredients. Also, if you overheat, it will change the consistency of your final product.
4. Recycle. Save pretty glass containers from your other products for storage, or you can buy these fairly cheaply. I have found some BPA-free plastics that I use for certain things.
5. Work with your own budget. DIY is as expensive or inexpensive as you want it to be. You can choose fancy or common carrier oils and butters, high end or modestly priced essential oils, etc.
6. Start small. Begin with something simple to convince yourself you can do it. Get some bulk sea salt and a few essential oils you like, and mix up bath salts. Or melt your favorite butter (like shea or cocoa) with a lighter oil (try a 3:1 ratio), and add EOs (or not) to make a great body butter that will do wonders for your hands and feet.
7. Copy your favorites. When you are ready for something more advanced and experimental, use the ingredients list of your favorite products as a jumping off point.
8. Find a good shop. Look for a local brick and mortar to buy ingredients and packaging. Or try these:
Mountain Rose Herbs, for everything—EOs, butters, oils, packaging—and it’s all super clean.
Elements Bath and Body, for ingredients and packaging. They aren’t all clean, so use discretion. I mention them for their awesome BPA-free twist up tubes I use for deodorant.
Skin Actives, for active ingredients. I buy individual actives from them, but the ready-mades are not clean.
American Weigh, for a scale to weigh your actives. I have the AMW-70 Precision Pocket Scale.
I love the recipes readers have been posting (you can find them here, or by doing your own a DIY search on our site). Have you been inspired yet? If you have, what helped you get started?