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?
There are many ways to make facial and body creams. This time I tried lecithin as the only emulsifier in the cream. If you haven’t tried skin moisturizing and softening lecithin yet then now is the time. As an emulsifier for homemade cosmetics, lecithin is not very commonly used. I think it should be because lecithin really does soothe the skin. It effectively moisturizes and softens dry skin. Lecithin cream a real dream-come-true winter cream. So, let’s make a simple, moisturizing cream from lecithin.
Liquid or granular lecithin?
Lecithin has not been used much in home cosmetics. Now is the time to introduce lecithin. It is perfect for emulsifying rich creams for winter use. Lecithin allows you to prepare your creams without double-boiler water heating. Lecithin does not like heating. Its sensitive skin care ingredients are destroyed if you use too high temperature too long in preparing process. The soy lecithin I am using is GMO free.
Preparing of lecithin
Granular lecithin dissolves best in oil. Lecithin dissolves also in water but it is easier to prepare an emulsion cream based on lecithin dissolved in oil. Dissolving process takes less time if granular lecithin is pre-grinded in mortar.
Dissolving lecithin in oil
Only a certain amount of lecithin can be dissolved in the oil. My rough estimate is 1 dl of oil can dissolve ½ tablespoon of lecithin. Exact amount depends on the oil you use. Straining is highly recommended after the dissolving process.
For straining, I recommend a strainer as dense as possible. Cotton gauze is also good. However, the oil will ruin the gauze so you cannot use it again. That’s why I prefer the strainer myself.
The strained oil containing lecithin is already a finished cosmetic product. You can use it, for example, on wet hair ends to protect them from drying out.
Choose the right oil for the lecithin cream
You can use almost any desired oil in your cream. I myself have used rice bran oil in creams containing lecithin. Various herbal oils, also called macerated oils, are also good. You can replace the oil partially or completely with herbal oil. Always dissolve lecithin in the total amount of oil. Choose the oil you prefer. There are some oils which I haven’t tried at all with lecithin like coconut oil. However, I do not particularly prefer coconut oil for skin care.
Here are some suggestions for suitable oils
- Sunflower oil; Suitable for the whole body and the whole family
- Rice bran oil; suitable for many skin types, especially good for removing signs of aging from the skin
- Moringa oil; a special oil that can be used as a hair oil to treat dry ends
- Calendula Oil; use in lecithin cream either wholly or as part of an oil mixture. Suitable for the treatment of irritated skin and children’s skin problems
What is the water phase?
Since we are now making a lotion, we also need some liquid for the lotion. Again, you can use your imagination and choose almost any water-based liquid suitable for creams.
Lecithin, like other emulsifiers, does not withstand salts and other minerals very well. For example, a seaweed poultice is very rich in minerals. Lecithin cream makes the seaweed poultice too thin. The ointment will probably thicken slightly in time but needs a pump bottle anyway.
Suitable liquids for lecithin cream
- boiled or distilled water; water is always the best option for simple lotions, sensitive skin, children, the elderly and people with allergies
- Infusion; you can replace some or all of the liquid with a herbal infusion such as raspberry leaf, chamomile, nettle, burr, marshmallow root etc.
- Aloe Vera juice; a true skin care ingredient
- Kombu (or other seaweed) infusion; please note the cream may become thinner.
Ingredients for lecithin cream
After you have selected the ingredients you want for your cream, you can start measuring them.
This cream does not necessarily need to be heated in a water boiler. However, if you want to minimize bacterial growth, you can heat the cream base in a double boiler for 30 minutes at 80 degrees Celsius. This will destroy most of the bacteria.
Use these ingredients
• Place 1 dl of oil (your choice) to a bowl
• Mix ½ tablespoon of lecithin in granules to the oil. Use an electric hand blender whisk.
• Mix the liquid so that the lecithin is completely dissolved. This may take some time. Let the mixture rest overnight.
Strain the liquid in order to get rid of all dissolved particles of lecithin
Add 1 dl of water and mix using blender
• The mixture becomes a mayonnaise-like, a very beautiful shiny cream.
• The cream will be preserved in a fridge at least 2-3- weeks. Lecithin cream does not like preservatives. For some reason, the structure of the cream is destroyed after adding drops of Geogard 221 -preservative.
How to use lecithin cream
Lecithin cream is a pretty greasy cream. However, thanks to lecithin, the oil is deeply absorbed into the skin, moisturizing and softening it. Therefore, it is advisable to take the time and carefully rub the lecithin cream into the skin. Just leaving the cream and applying it lightly will give you a very oily skin feel for a long time.
I do not recommend lecithin cream under makeup. If you apply the cream to the skin in the morning and immediately apply makeup, the cream will not be absorbed. If you apply lecithin cream in evening, you will have a very soft and moisturized skin in the morning that does not need much new moisture.
I’m really happy with moisturizing and skin softening lecithin cream.
Lecithin is a suitable emulsifier for oil-rich emulsions. There is a fifty/fifty oil and water in this recipe. You cannot prepare light emulsions when using lecithin. These heavier creams are perfect for winter and outdoor activities.
This cream leaves a greasy surface on the skin for a while. When the cream is completely absorbed, the skin feels soft and moisturized. Although I have added several times a day lecithin cream on my face my skin has not blocked up. No single acne has come on my skin while using this cream. The skin is calmed, moisturized and soft. My cream is made from a very simple and skin-friendly combination of rice bran oil + lecithin + water.
I use this cream as a night cream for the face and even for the whole body after a shower. Lecithin cream is also an excellent outdoor cream. A friend of mine, who is a passionate outdoor person and cyclist, often orders a can of lecithin cream from me.
Lecithin cream is not very stable
You can quite easily make lecithin, oil and water lotion without any chemicals. However, lecithin cream is not completely stable. The oil easily separates from the ointment but can be mixed in a couple of spins until smooth. By adding a thickener such as xanthan gum, the emulsion would be more stable. However, I wanted this cream to be a very simple product.
The good thing about home cosmetics is that you can compromise the composition of the cream without any problems. Home cosmetics creams and other products do not have to appeal to public or large customer base. If the cream requires mixing before use then what is the problem? This simple, effective and beautiful cream is worth that little effort.
What is your favourite outdoor cream?
Now I want to introduce you to one of the safest and most useful ingredients in cosmetics. Lecithin is rarely talked about in connection with home cosmetics. However, it is an ingredient used in many commercial cosmetic products. Lecithin is a very useful ingredient as it is very natural and suitable for almost everyone’s skin. Perhaps you are familiar with the health benefits of lecithin? In skin care, lecithin is usually not mentioned. Now we are focusing on the properties of lecithin in skin and hair care. How can you use nourishing, protective and moisturizing lecithin in your cosmetics?
What is Lecithin?
Lecithin consists mainly of fatty substances called phospholipids. Phospholipids are building material of cell membranes that are particularly rich in choline for humans.
Lecithin is found naturally from many sources like eggs, soy and sunflower seeds. Lecithin is a thick, waxy substance that is soluble in water but also in fat. Lecithin contains, in addition to choline, linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, glycerol and small amounts of biotin. Lecithin is used as a food supplement as it is believed to lower cholesterol level in blood. That’s why it is very easy to find soy lecithin on the shelves of supermarkets.
Lecithin is a very common ingredient in many industrial products
You can easily find lecithin as an ingredient in both cosmetics and foods. Sometimes lecithin may also be called as phosphatidylcholine. Lecithin acts as a thickener and emulsifier in foods. Not so many people are aware that for instance chocolate, is an emulsion in which lecithin is the emulsifier. In mayonnaise, lecithin is an essential ingredient. Humans are not generally allergic to lecithin. Naturally some may be. That is why it is so commonly used by food industry.
Lecithin is used in many cosmetic products precisely because of its emulsifying ability. However, lecithin is also rich in skin care properties. However, the utility of lecithin is rarely highlighted. Lecithin is at its best in creams with high percentage of oils. It is widely used in combination with other emulsifiers and thickeners. More steady emulsion is obtained by combining other emulsifiers and thickeners with lecithin.
How is Lecithin Made?
Lecithin granules available in shops are usually are made from soy. There is also lecithin made from sunflower seeds, which is sold in liquid and powder forms. Sunflower lecithin is significantly less common than soybean lecithin. Many people prefer liquid sunflower lecithin in cosmetics because it is easy to use. Also, sunflower lecithin is not GMO modified as soy products often are. The soy lecithin I use is GMO free. Sunflower lecithin is extracted much gentler than soybean lecithin. Its production does not require any toxic chemicals.
Use of lecithin as an emulsifier in cosmetics
Lecithin is not a very easy emulsifier. The problems are its slow dissolution in both water and oil. Grinding of lecithin granules helps a little the dissolution. Liquid lecithin is ready for use immediately. If you find some, just buy it.
Dissolve lecithin, preferably in oil
Although lecithin is soluble in both oil and water, I personally prefer dissolving it in oil. I have tested different methods of preparing lecithin creams. It is much easier to get the result you want by dissolving lecithin in oil first and then add the liquid to it. The emulsion requires particularly strong whipping. I recommend the use of an (electric) mixer.
Pure water is the safest liquid in lecithin emulsion
Boiled water is the safe choice for Lecithin emulsified creams. Lecithin is a delicate emulsifier that does not like all ingredients. I managed to dissolve the emulsion simply by adding a few drops of preservative to it. I will study making of lecithin creams more carefully in the future. I want to find suitable liquids and preservatives for the lecithin emulsion.
Lecithin cream is challenging but worth the effort
One weakness of lecithin is its slow absorption. The skin remains sticky for a long time. That’s why I recommend making lecithin cream as night cream. Allow it to absorb slowly. I do understand well why lecithin as an emulsifier has not been very popular in commercial creams. It is also quite a challenging ingredient in home cosmetics. Despite all of these problems, I am fond of lecithin cream. It makes the skin feel very comfortable, soft and moisturized. There is no any other type of ointment that can deeply moisturize dry winter skin in the same way.
Lecithin is a skin nurturant ingredient
In this article, I’d like to emphasize the skin care properties of lecithin. Because lecithin is generally used as emulsifier, its effects on the skin has not been notified. By using lecithin, you can make a simple lotion and many other products with all the nurturant ingredients.
- Lecithin is one of the skin’s own, natural ingredients. Therefore, lecithin is particularly suitable for skin care.
- Lecithin strengthens the skin’s own protection. It helps the skin to protect itself against external stimulus.
- Lecithin is a humectant. It absorbs moisture and keeps the skin moisturized. Lecithin’s hydrophilic, water-attracting property effectively hydrates the skin.
- Lecithin also helps skin retain moisture due to its linoleic acid content. It has both moisture-collecting and moisture-retaining properties.
- Lecithin changes the structure of the skin by helping the active substances penetrate deeper into the skin. Indeed, lecithin is often used as a carrier to deliver medicine deeper into the skin.
- Lecithin acts as an antioxidant on the skin by resisting the signs of aging
Lecithin also takes care of the hair
Lecithin is really good for hair care. Big haircare product manufacturers use commonly lecithin in their products. As a moisturizing ingredient, lecithin-containing products can be used to treat dry ends. The scalp also benefits from lecithin. Add lecithin to your hair masks.
How can lecithin be used in home cosmetics?
In home cosmetics, lecithin suits well to nourishing creams. Lecithin as an emulsifier is at its best in formulas with equal amounts of oil and water. A very light cream with lecithin cannot be made unless you use other emulsifiers. You can also combine beeswax or vegetable butter with lecithin. This naturally gives you more product stability without using any potentially toxic chemicals.
- Lecithin emulsion cream is a good night cream because it protects and moisturizes the skin very effectively.
- Lecithin can be used in hair products to treat dry and damaged hair.
- Lecithin products have been used to treat skin problems such as acne and eczema
- Lecithin creams are very suitable for baby care as they are natural and well tolerated.
- Lecithin may be added to skin serums. Lecithin helps to deliver active ingredients deeper into the skin
You can add small amounts of lecithin to the facial lotions. It helps the facial lotions to soften the skin and create a matte, non-shiny finish on the skin. Please bear in mind that lecithin colours the facial water grey.
Learn how to use lecithin in your products
Once you learn how to use lecithin, you will no longer want to give it up. I’ve used lecithin in my own products for a while now and I’m really excited. I always come up with new uses for lecithin.
I also find it great that I can easily purchase all the cosmetics ingredients I need from local store. Lecithin is a safe ingredient. It is a food that is intended as a supplement. Such cosmetic ingredients are the best. Cosmetics should not contain any toxic chemicals. Everything we apply to our skin is also absorbed by our body. Therefore, we should choose only really safe ingredients for our cosmetic products.
Have you used lecithin before?
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!
You may want to try making lotions as close as possible to those available in stores. Industrial creams are usually water/oil mixtures meaning emulsions. It is easy to prepare an emulsion by yourself. It is very simple and quick to make.
Many industrial creams contain a countless number of raw materials of which exact skin and environmental effects are uncertain. Nowadays, most creams also contain plastic. We should avoid the use of plastic as much as possible. The plastic in cosmetics finds its way to waters and to the food chain. Unfortunately, we all eat some plastic already.
No micro plastic
There are no plastic particles at all in certified natural cosmetics (like ECOCERT). Other ingredients in natural cosmetics are also very carefully selected. Natural cosmetics contain only the natural and environmentally friendly ingredients.
It is very difficult to find any basic creams in natural cosmetic series. That’s why I always make basic creams myself. They are easy and inexpensive to make.
Although this blog is dedicated to the ingredients of home-made cosmetics, I want to remind you about some basic things when preparing cosmetics by ourselves. How to make an emulsion is one of them and perhaps the most feared. However, there is nothing to be afraid of when making an emulsion. It is no rocket science.
After reading this story, you will no longer buy industrial lotions from the store. It’s so nice and easy to make them by yourself. This is how to make a home-made emulsion cream.
Why the emulsion is feared
There is no point in worrying because making an emulsion using modern ingredients is now safe and easy.
What could possibly go wrong when making an emulsion?
The emulsion breaks down
This is unlikely to happen. If you only make an emulsion using water and oil, it will not decompose by itself. The emulsion will only disintegrate if too much strong essential oils, clay, magnesium and/or other ingredients are added.
The emulsion never solidifies
Yes, the emulsion solidifies very quickly. The ointment base may look very liquid while still hot. After cooling, the cream solidifies well. It may become too solid easily.
The emulsion requires mixing for hours before it solidifies
This is how I have been taught long time ago. Nowadays, modern emulsifiers are easy to use, quick and do not require long mixing times.
Many pots, bowls and thermometers are needed
If you use the two-pot method, you need 2 pots and 2 bowls. In the one-pot method, you only need one pot and one bowl.
A certain temperature is required before the emulsion takes place
The temperature must be high enough for dissolving of emulsifier and all waxy ingredients. This usually happens at 60-70 degrees Celsius (140 – 158 Fahrenheit). The emulsion is formed as soon as the emulsifier is dissolved in the oil.
A lot of special equipment is needed to make the cream
For the preparation of a emulsion cream, you can use all the same equipment as for anhydrous (water free) ointments.
What the equipment I need to make a lotion?
You will get along well with a few simple tools. You do not need any fine scales, thermometers or mixers. Your kitchen is most probably well enough equipped and there is everything you need. As I told you, the same utensils are used for making anhydrous ointments and lip balms.
List of supplies for making ointment
- Steel bowl that fits in a pot
- Wooden clothespins or wooden chopsticks to adapt pot/steel bowl if necessary
- Kitchen cubic measure set starting from 5ml (0,17 us fl oz). The set of 5 is a very good tool, but even with small spoons you will survive. The small spoon is usually about 5ml.
- Small rubber spatula
- Small, clean glass jars. You can also store creams in baby food jars or other used glass jars. You can also buy new fine cream bottles online if you wish (I prefer recycled items myself).
- Sticker labels to the jars
The supplies list is easy, isn’t it.
Usually everything you need you can easily find in your own home. If your scale is not accurate enough, use cubic measurements. The easiest measure of cubic is a small spoon. If you want to make a big bottle of body lotion then you may need to measure a decilitre. Suitable amount to make cream is only 60ml. The small spoon is then the right measure.
This is how to make a homemade cream. Basic ingredients of a cream
This time we are doing a basic version of the emulsion cream. I really want you to learn the secrets of making an emulsion cream at once. You can later learn about the various raw materials you can use on this blog and on the web.
What is needed to make the cream
Here really was all that was needed to get the ointment together.
You can use distilled water, water purified by reverse osmosis, or boiled tap water. I usually use reverse osmosis purified water because I happen to have a reverse osmosis device at my disposal. Another very good option is to use boiled tap water. I use it every time I don’t get purified water.
You can use almost any oil you like. However, I recommend starting with some cheaper oil. For example, sunflower oil is very good and suitable for most skin types. The incredible properties of sunflower oil have been told earlier in this blog. Another good oil is safflower oil. In the past, safflower oil was widely available at all supermarkets, but nowadays it must be ordered online. Safflower oil is well absorbed by the skin and is a very neutral and well tolerated oil.
You can also use herb oil added to a base oil. You can also replace part of the base oil with herbal oil.
In this post, I will not go deeper into the mysterious world of emulsifiers. I’ll recommend just one proven emulsifier that suits well, OliveM 1000 (Cetearyl Olivate and Sorbithan Olivate).
Olivem 1000 is a highly balanced emulsifier. It is suits well for most ointments. OliveM 1000 is made from olive oil. It is skin friendly and also very eco-friendly. It is also PEG-free and Ecocert certified. Olivem 1000 meets the requirements of natural cosmetics.
The Olivem 1000 is very easy to use. It is sold in the form of waxy small chips which are melted in oil in a bowl heated by hot water.
Basic recipe for cream
Here is a basic recipe for making a cream. This emulsion is oil suspended in aqueous phase (o/w) meaning the basic liquid is water and smaller amount of oil is added. You are free to select different oils as long as they are liquid. As an alternative to pure water, you can use partly herbal extracts in addition to the water. You have to be very careful when using essential oils and/or hydrolats. If you want to use them, just add only few drops because they may break the structure of the emulsion.
You need these
- 100 ml (3.3814 us fl oz) of water or liquid herbal poultice
- 20 ml (0,6763 us fl oz) of sunflower oil
- 2 teaspoons Olivem 1000 emulsifiers
The process of making the cream
Get all the necessary materials and supplies on the kitchen desk.
Place the kettle on a plate and add just enough water in it so that the bottom of the bowl placed on top of the kettle does not touch the water surface.
If you have a bowl so small that it falls into the pot, you can use clothespins or chopsticks to make it fit. Place three to four chopsticks crosswise in a pot and set the bowl to swing over the chopsticks. Fitting with clothespins can be done by attaching clothespins to the sides of the pot to minimize the diameter of the pot. Use only wooden clothespins because any plastics will melt in this operation.
- Measure all ingredients in a bowl
- Lift the bowl over the pot and turn the heat on.
- Mix occasionally to see how the melting progresses
- Do not allow heated water to boil
- Once the whole mass has melted, leave the ointment bowl on the water for about 20-30 minutes. The water should bubble but not boil. This action kills all harmful bacteria and helps the cream to be preserved longer.
- Whisk the cream, but be careful not to whip too much air into the cream. The air reduces the durability of the cream.
- Remove bowl from the pot and let it cool down
Use the rubber spatula to pack the cream into small glass jars and label them. Write the name of the ointment, all the ingredients and the date when the ointment was made on the label. In the beginning I made a mistake when I did not label my products. Afterwards, it is very difficult to say what the jar contains and when the product was made. With a lot of different creams, labelling is a must.
Now you have the ready-made emulsion cream
This cream does not contain any preservatives. Therefore, you should keep it in the refrigerator. The ointment will remain usable for about a week or two, especially if picked up with a spatula or other clean device.
You can use the cream as it is. This basic cream applies to the whole body, including the face and around the eyes. You do not need to add any active ingredients to it. Many people use essential oils as a fragrance. If you want to add them please be very careful. 5 drops are often the right amount for this quantity of cream. If you add essential oils to the cream, stop using it on the skin around the eyes.
These instructions are the basic instructions for preparing the cream.
You would probably like to add more active ingredients in the cream. It’s easy to add the ingredients you want to the basic emulsion cream.
How to make day cream and night cream?
How to Make an Anti-Aging Ointment or Ointment for Young People?
You will find the answers to all these questions and many more as you follow my blog. I will tell you more about the active ingredients of the creams in the following posts.
Are you excited to try the cream? Please share your experience!