A year ago I never even imagined that I would be making my own beauty care products. I was pretty good at reading labels before choosing products off the shelf. I even started focusing on locally-made products where possible. But making my own? I didn’t really consider it an option. Not because I didn’t think I could, but because whenever I started looking into it I just got overwhelmed at all the information and advice.
It wasn’t until I started teaching workshops on homemade cleaners that I thought about making my own skincare products too. I am admitting this because many of the resources on DIY beauty products make it seem like you have to be a life-long DIYer to get started. I’m here to tell you, that’s just not true.
3 Tips To DIY Homemade Beauty Products
Just Start Somewhere
The DIY beauty scene is HUGE. And as someone who hasn’t been immersed in it, trying to get started seemed impossible. There are blogs, books, magazines, Facebook groups, more blogs… and every one claims to have the best recipes while contradicting advice given elsewhere. So I scanned some popular pages, looked for some common themes and recipes, and ignored the confusing contradictions.
After much research, I settled on one source for my recipes to get started: the David Suzuki Foundation’s Queen of Green. I’ve worked with Lindsay Coulter as a Queen of Green Coach so I knew that she actually makes all the recipes in her own kitchen and would be practical about her recipes. I cross-referenced some recipes with others, sourced the ingredients, and before I knew it I was in my kitchen melting beeswax and coconut oil.
I started with some staples: lip balm and body butter. Starting with a body butter is a nice option over a lotion because it doesn’t require any processing (whipping) for texture. And lip balm is something everyone can use, so it seemed a great place to start for me. Plus, they use a similar process and ingredients which saved time sourcing ingredients and I could clean up once after making two different products.
DIY Beauty Is Great For Many Reasons
One of the best parts about making your own products is you can add fragrance (or not) to your liking. Playing around with different strengths and combinations of essential oils is one of my favourite parts of making my own products.
Another benefit is cost. Buying packaged, all-natural products can be expensive. Making your own can be more affordable, especially if you buy ingredients in bulk (I order from New Directions Aromatics). In fact, my absolute favourite recipe is probably the most cost-effective yet is also easy and so luxurious. Treat yourself to a homemade sugar scrub and you’ll be hooked too (it’s also a great last minute gift for the person who has everything).
Make It All, Or Nothing, Or Somewhere In Between
DIY beauty doesn’t have to be complicated. Many swear by simply using coconut oil for everything (make-up removal, moisturizer, eczema treatment, etc.). If this works for you, then there’s no need to use recipes with more ingredients that you don’t need. For others, there’s a fun challenge in combining different ingredients for a perfect end-result. The beauty of DIY is that you can tailor it to your needs and interest.
While I would love to say that I rely only on made-from-scratch beauty care products, it just doesn’t work for me. My homemade concoctions compliment store bought products and I’m OK with that. I may venture into making my own soaps, and a homemade deodorant is next on my list, but I’ll take on those projects as my time and interest allows. As with my take on any green living strategy, DIY beauty care isn’t about all or nothing, or right or wrong. It’s about finding what works for you and your lifestyle.
So, if you’re curious about making your own beauty products, I encourage you to just start. If you start small, you’ll easily figure out if you actually like making your own before you stock up on different equipment and ingredients. You can also turn to Facebook groups like Soap & Lotion Makers of Canada or attend workshops to help you get started.
Plus, learn how to make your own essential oil perfume and read my interview about life as a green living coach.