From time to time, I have to answer to the question why do I bother to make cosmetics by myself. Making cosmetics is already so self-clear to me that I haven’t thought about it much anymore. Long time ago I decided to use the purest, cleanest possible cosmetics without any additives. Years ago, it was almost impossible to find such a product in stores. Last week, while visiting the local Market, I decided to take a look at their cosmetics shelf. There were some products that I am analysing deeper in this story. The purpose is to tell you about the differences between the ingredients of homemade cosmetics, natural cosmetics and conventional cosmetics.
There is a huge variety of cosmetic products available today
It’s been quite a long time since I last took a look at the supermarket cosmetics selection. I usually visit stores specialising in natural cosmetics. The selection of our own local market surprised me positively, even though the whole store is undergoing a massive renovation. Certified natural cosmetics were also found on the shelf. This is a very good thing. Natural cosmetics are starting to be mainstream these days. A good thing!
Do you know what your cosmetics contain?
According to EU legislation, cosmetic packaging must have a clear list of ingredients, i.e., INCI, visible on the label. Many certainly know this, but INCI is rarely seen. The INCI vocabulary is mainly in English. Many of the ingredients are chemical compounds with challenging spellings. The names of herbs and plant parts are in INCI in Latin language. Many manufacturers have made it easier for the consumer by translating Latin plant names into English as well.
Three different day face creams and their INCI lists
I will open you INCI lists of three different day face creams. I will not mention product names or manufacturers as I do not want negative publicity for anyone. I think it is great that there are companies and entrepreneurs. Otherwise, we should prepare everything by ourselves. I myself buy commercial cosmetics from time to time.
Two of the day face creams were found in the Market and I made one day face cream myself at home. All day face creams are emulsions, meaning they contain mostly water. Of course, the caring element in the emulsions is oils and solid fats. In addition, all products contain active ingredients as well as excipients such as emulsifiers, thickeners and preservatives.
Moisturizing day face cream found in the market
This day face cream is a domestic product. The packaging reminds me of a very light and reduced cream. Let’s see what the product contains.
- Dicaprylyl Carbonate; absorption enhancer
- Betadine; antiseptic, iodine
- Decyl Oleate; skin protective and moisturizing agent
- Glycerin; safe, moisturizing ingredient.
- Propanediol Alcohol; solvent, moisturizing ingredient
- Arachidyl Alcohol; skin softening ingredient
- Behenyl Alcohol; thickener, emulsifier
- Cetearyl Alcohol; emulsifier
- Erophorum Spissum extract, tussock cottongrass extract
- Phenoxyethanol; preservative
- Arachidyl Glucoside; emulsifier
- Dimethicone; siloxane, a skin-protecting ingredient
- Cetearyl Glucoside; emulsifier
- Sodium Polyacrylate; acrylate that binds water
- Ethylhexylglycerin; preservative, skin irritant
- Allantoin; oxidation product of uric acid, humectant
- PEG-8; moisturizing polymer
- Tocopherol; Vitamin E, antioxidant
- Potassium Sorbate; preservative
- Ascorbyl Palmitate; fat-soluble form of vitamin C.
- Sorbic Acid; sorbic acid is a preservative
- Ascorbic Acid; Vitamin C
- Citric Acid
- Benzyl Salicylate; salicylic acid
- Citronellol, Limonene, Parfum; perfumes
A natural cosmetic day face cream found in the market
This day face cream is a natural cosmetic product. The product is an emulsion, meaning it contains a lot of water and some vegetable oils. The product is ECOCERT certified. Some of the ingredients also have an organic label. The product is rich in plant-based active ingredients.
- Meadowsweet extract
- Heptyl undecylenate; a substance made from castor oil that binds moisture in the skin
- Cetearyl alcohol; emulsifier
- Caprylic / capric triglyceride; MCT oil that is neutral oil. Made from coconut oil
- Cetyl alcohol; emulsifier
- Macadamia oil
- Cetearyl glucoside; emulsifier
- Almond oil
- Lily new
- Madonna lily extract
- Sodium PCA; moisturizing ingredient
- Xanthan gum; thickener
- Glycerine; moisturizer
- Benzyl alcohol; preservative and fragrance component
- Dehydroacetic acid; preservative
- Vitamin E; antioxidant
- Soybean oil
- Potassium sorbate; preservative
- Sodium benzoate; natural preservative (from rowan berries)
- Citric acid
- Linalool, limonene, citral, geraniol, citronellol; perfumes
Homemade day face cream
Homemade day face cream is ready in about 30 minutes. This cream contains calendula as an active ingredient. I chose cold-pressed sunflower oil, which is rich in natural vitamin E. Sunflower oil is rich in well absorbed linoleic acid.
- Water, purified by activated carbon filter
- Calendula extract, made from calendulas from my own vegetable garden
- Cold pressed organic sunflower oil, pressed about a month ago
- Olivem 1000; Emulsifier, made from olive oil
- Geogard 221; Preservative, contains Dehydroacetic acid and Benzyl alcohol. You can read more about the preservative here.
Why do I want to make my own day face cream?
From the INCI lists above you can see the number of ingredients used in the products. There is a crucial difference between raw materials and the amount of ingredients. An industrial product must last up to a year in perfect condition. Therefore, a huge number of different emulsifiers, thickeners, stabilizers and preservatives are needed.
The day face cream found in the market contains a huge number of different chemicals.
This example product also includes a few synthetic polymers. Synthetic polymers are popularly plastic. In this product, the plastic is liquid (siloxanes). The actual plastic word is usually used only for cured synthetic polymers. Liquid plastics are also harmful to the environment.
In the example product, no single ingredient sounds very harmful. In fact, market cosmetics have improved a lot in recent years. The most harmful chemicals have been left out, even if they have been allowed. However, the cream is made up of a great many different ingredients. There is a good chance that the whole will eventually start to irritate the skin.
The list of endless excipients is not in the product to benefit your skin. Excipients are present in the product to keep the structure of the product together and to prevent microbial growth and rancidity. And you do apply these excipients to your skin on a daily basis.
Natural cosmetics -quality day cream has ingredients thoughtfully
Many ingredients come directly from nature. The product contains vegetable oils, plant extracts and excipients made from plants. In natural cosmetics, preservatives and emulsifiers are the safest on the market.
The product contains quite a lot of excipients. Excipients are essential in commercial products. The excipients ensure that the product remains in good condition for a long time on the store shelf and for a long time at home. Commercial cream cannot be prepared without excipients. Anhydrous creams are a different matter. Many different manufacturers make them without additives.
A homemade day face cream contains only a few ingredients.
I carefully selected the ingredients for my cream that suit best my own skin. I can choose the most suitable oils myself. Sunflower oil is rich in linoleic acid, which is gentle on the skin. Linoleic acid is highly perishable and is therefore hardly used in commercial cosmetics.
When I prepare the cream myself, I can also be sure to the quality and freshness of the oil. We cannot know the age of commercial cosmetic oils. No cold pressed oils was used in commercial products.
Creams contain mostly water. What is the quality of the water used in the product? Generally, the cosmetics industry uses distilled water. For my own product, I can choose genuine spring water or purify tap water with an activated carbon filter.
A homemade day face cream has just 2 excipients
The ingredients of the product and their quality are of course important. What is not in the product is also important. I can leave out everything unnecessary and harmful to the skin from a home-made day cream. In addition to the natural ingredients, only an emulsifier and a preservative are required. Fragrances, thickeners and synthetic, structure-enhancing chemicals do not treat the skin. The chemicals in cosmetics are often very allergenic. Many chemicals and excipients are certainly not good for the skin. So why would I add them to the cream?
Do you make cosmetics by yourself?
Rose oil is very popular in skin care as such. However, rose oil can be used as an ingredient in home cosmetics. This time I made a cream using rose oil. This cream can be applied to the whole body. It’s neither too oily nor too heavy so it’s perfect for summer.
I’ve often wondered how I could prepare an ointment that does not make my skin feel unpleasantly oily. Of course, we can avoid the problem by choosing the best absorbent skin oil. However, we have to wait some time before the skin has absorbed enough oil. Rose oil-based cream does not have this problem. It is instantly absorbed and leaves the surface of the skin soft and dry, like velvet.
What are the ingredients of the whole-body Rose Oil cream?
The secret of my rose oil-based cream lies in the xanthan gum. Xanthan gum is a safe cosmetic ingredient. If you’ve ever read any negative stuff about xanthan gum, it is always related to food. Xanthan gum is used as a food additive in candy, confectionery, salad dressings and in many other foodstuffs.
What is xanthan gum?
Xanthan gum (E415), the INCI name for XANTHAN GUM, is made from sugar by bacteria. The product is dried and ground to a white powder. I don’t know the manufacturing process exactly, but it doesn’t sound a very dangerous ingredient in cosmetics. Xanthan gum gives the cream an extra texture and viscosity. Xanthan gum is used as a thickener along with an emulsifier.
What does xanthan gum do in the product?
Xanthan gum is not only a thickener but also a moisturizer. Because xanthan gum’s molecule size is big, it stays as a protective layer on the skin. Such a protective layer retains moisture in the skin. That’s why xanthan gum is an absolutely essential ingredient in this cream.
Xanthan gum also absorbs moisture itself. This is why the surface of the skin feels wonderfully peachy. Xanthan gum provides a good foundation for makeup. It gives the skin a matte finish on which is easy to apply directly makeup or even powder.
Xanthan gum gives the cream a gel-like structure.
Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol such as glycerol. The purpose of Sorbitol in this product is to provide additional moisturizing features. Sorbitol also thickens creams.
Rose oil is a semi-finished product for cosmetics. I have prepared it using how-to make herbal oil instructions. I used rice bran oil and dried rose buds for extraction. The extraction was completed in about 4 weeks. If you don’t have rose oil right now, you can use some other herbal oil you’ve extracted.
You can read more about roses as cosmetic ingredients here.
Prickly pear oil
Opuntia oil is not necessary. Opuntia oil, or prickly pear oil, is pure luxury. I added this special oil to bring more skin caring fatty acids and antioxidants into the product. Opuntia oil is a very moisturizing oil that is said to be even more effective than argan oil on the skin.
I wanted to get a product that I could also use on my face. Opuntia oil gives this cream an extra absorbency and healing features.
Rose water, aka hydrolate is a product produced by steam distillation. Hydrolates are floral waters that are formed as a by-product of the distillation of essential oils. Essential oils are fat soluble parts of the plant and hydrolates are water soluble parts.
Rose hydrolate should be purchased from a reputable retailer. A cheap product sold under the name Rose Water in Ethnic Stores is not genuine rose hydrolate but synthetically produced fake.
Rose hydrolate not only gives the cream a longer shelf life but also adds a lovely rose scent.
I have used plain boiled tap water in this cream. You can choose between distilled or otherwise filtered water.
However, do not use tap water as such. I recommend you boil the water first as this will improve the shelf life of the cream.
I chose the Olivem 100 emulsifier for this product. It is a very stable and easy to use emulsifier. It is also an ECOCERT certified product. So, your cream will be on the same level than natural cosmetics.
I only made this product for a week’s use and I stored it in a sterilized glass jar in the refrigerator. Therefore, I did not need any preservative. In case you want to use a preservative, I recommend Geograd 221 preservative. It is an ECOCERT and COSMOS certified preservative. Recommended dosage is 0.2-1% by volume of the product. If you make 100ml lotion you only need 0.2-1 ml of Geogard 221 preservative. For such a small amount, I recommend you to get a small douche. It has a scale for such a small amount of liquids.
Spruce sprout glycerite
I have made glycerite from spruce sprout. It became quite strong so this time I used only ½ teaspoon. It was the first time ever I made it. It smells wonderfully pitchy and spring forest. I recommend you to try it. I’ve told about Spruce sprout here.
We can make the cream also without glycerite. You can also use glycerol alone. It is also a sugar alcohol and a very moisturizing ingredient.
How to prepare a protective cream based on rose oil
You need these tools
- 1 clean, sterilized glass jar
- Metal bowl for water bath
- Milk frother to mix the emulsifier
- Spatula (silicone)
You need these ingredients
- 50ml boiled water
- 25ml rose hydrolate
- 20ml rose oil
- 5ml opuntia oil
- 5 grams of Olivem 1000 emulsifiers (two teaspoons)
- A bit of sorbitol powder
- ½ teaspoon of xanthan gum
- A bit of beetroot powder to bring a rosy colour, optional
- ½-1 teaspoon of spruce sprout glycerite, optional
- Preservative (Geograd 221), optional
Do like this:
- Mix water, rose hydrolate, rose oil, opuntia oil and Olivem 1000 in a metal bowl.
- Lift the bowl into the water bath and let the water in the pot heat up gently
- Stir the mixture until Olivem is completely melted
- Remove the bowl from the water bath and mix the xanthan gum, sorbitol and beetroot powder (colour)
- Use the frother to mix thoroughly
- Let the cream stay in the water bath at 75-80 degrees Celsius for about 30 minutes. Check the temperature on the thermometer. This step destroys potentially harmful bacteria from the cream.
- After 30 minutes of heat treatment, lift the bowl out of the water bath and blend once more until smooth.
- At this point you can add spruce sprout glycerite and beetroot powder if you wish.
- If you want to add a preservative, let the cream cool down to 40 degrees and then add the preservative drops.
- Once finished, place the cream into a sterilized glass jar.
- Store in a refrigerator.
- The preservative-free cream will last for about 2 weeks, with the preservative for about 2-3 months.
I’m really satisfied with this cream. This cream moisturizes effectively the skin dried by summer. It also provides effective skin protection. The skin feels soft and peachy but at the same time moisturized.
I look forward your response, how this cream suits to your skin. I also want to know how did you like the cream’s composition and feel of your skin. Feedback is always welcome and I really look forward to it. So, please add your comments to the comment section. Thank You!