Make Skin Care At Home
Before You Begin – A Few Simple Rules to Remember
These rules will become second nature to you after a while, but in the beginning refresh your memory by reviewing them before you start each new batch of homemade skin care goodies. Today, let’s learn some basics to make skin care at home.
Don’t assume that because you read or see information that says that you can ignore these rules that you can ignore them. People write all kinds of things, with little or no input into the information and little thought to whether or not it is correct.
These rules are based on solid research and experience, and they wouldn’t be here if they weren’t important.
1. Never place your coconut oil, beeswax or other healing ingredients in the microwave to melt them. Microwaves heat by forcing the molecules of whatever they are heating to reverse polarity at high speed.
This is what causes the ‘friction’ of the internal heating by microwave. “Atoms, molecules and cells hit by this hard electromagnetic radiation are forced to reverse polarity 1 to 100 billion times a second.” 1 This is why no living tissue can survive the microwave energy generated in a microwave oven.
There is no living thing that can survive such violence to their cells. The oils and ingredients we are working with are fragile and their healing properties rely on their vitality (‘aliveness’) and freshness. Microwaving alters their constituent properties. In just the same way that a microwave cannot be used to warm transplant blood without causing the death of the patient, warming virgin coconut oil and other sensitive and volatile oils impairs their health giving properties.
2. Instead, to melt or warm your ingredients, heat a few inches of water in a small sauce pan.
Remove the sauce pan from the heat. Place your ingredients (the oils, beeswax, shea butter etc.) in either a large deep mixing bowl or a onequart mason jar with lid.
Then place the mixing bowl or the mason jar into the pan of water allowing the ingredients to melt.
Remove the bowl or mason jar from the pan as soon as the ingredients are melted.
You may also wish to pour off the hot water from the pan or kettle into a bowl and dip the container with your ingredients into it, to avoid the excess heat of the pan or kettle.
The less heat used the better. Most of these ingredients can be melted by holding them in your hands in small amounts, so they do not need a great deal of heat applied to melt them in larger amounts, just consistent warmth.
As you start to make your own recipes, remember that cold and expeller pressed oils retain the most therapeutic value if they are never heated.
For this reason, adding them to recipes when the other ingredients are just warm is the best practice.
3. Even if you make lotions, butters, bars and/or massage oils frequently, don’t just re-use containers.
Wash and dry all your utensils and containers between uses. Sterilize mason jars every so often. Or, at the very least run them through a hot dishwasher.
Just as we keep our oils and butters from getting too hot, we want to keep our containers and utensils clean and avoid contamination.
While it is true that coconut oil is a great antibacterial and antimicrobial, it is also true that operating in a clean environment is a basic requirement to avoiding the growth of pathogens. So, keep it clean.
The idea that you can make a batch of lotion or massage bars and just leave the containers to use next time without washing is a fallacy. I am not sure how it got started, but please don’t do it. Hot soapy water is a wonderful thing.
Know Your Ingredients
You can make a whole cabinet’s worth of body and skin care products right at home using coconut oil. It is simple, fast and generally very easy to do.
There are variations to consider based on what you want as a final product. If you want a lotion that is more liquid than coconut oil at room temperature (which is a solid at 76°F or below) then you can add liquid oils to the recipe to ‘cut’ the coconut oil. This will give you nice thick creamy lotions.
To make lotion bars, or whipped body butters, you can use a combination of coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter or other natural butters and bees wax.
You can also work with straight coconut oil and only add fragrances and/or herbs, salts or sugars to make shower scrub bars. You’ll just need to keep them in a cool place (below 76°F.)
Many people like to keep ice-cube sized body scrub bars in the freezer and pop them out for single use in the shower.
It is a clever and convenient way to have plenty of body scrub in easy single use storage. Just place the scrub cubes in an airtight container after they harden up in the freezer.
Liquid Carrier Oils
Just as you want cold pressed or expeller pressed virgin coconut oil, you want healthy vital ingredients for everything else you use. To get the most out of your ingredients, especially the oils, you want to follow the same guidelines.
Let’s take a look at what cold pressed and expeller pressed means, and why it matters. Cold or expeller pressed oils are the only types of oils I use in my recipes, whether they are for body, skin and hair care, or in the kitchen for dinner.
- Cold Pressed: Low heat mechanical extraction where temperatures are rigorously controlled at 80-90°F.
- Expeller Pressed: Produces pure oil through mechanical pressure with frictional heat from the press minimized to 120-200°F.
Here are some of the oils you may want to consider adding to your skin, hair and body care recipes and some of their properties to help you select oils which will address the particular benefits and attributes you are looking for.
Partially refined and unrefined oils are generally darker and more aromatic than refined oils. They come in different grades and can be for dietary and cosmetic use or only for cosmetic use. So do not assume carrier oils are edible if you do not know. Some oils may be fine on our skin but not work well in our digestive system.
Check the information on any specific product before you purchase it to know what you are getting. You can usually start with fairly small quantities to get to know the different properties of various oils and learn which ones work best for you.
Finally, some but not all of these oils are susceptible to light-induced rancidity, some only to heat-induced rancidity. Keep them in a cool, dark place, or in the refrigerator. Under proper conditions they are stable for one to two years. Each one is different!
- Almond Oil (Sweet Almond) – Excellent for all skin types, wonderful softening properties. Sweet almond oil works very well in body care recipes, has a shelf life of up to two years and is economically priced.
- Apricot Kernel Oil – Similar to Sweet Almond oil, it’s best for sensitive and prematurely aged skin. Excellent for skin care recipes, use generously in your recipes. Shelf life of 2 years, moderately priced.
- Avocado Oil – Excellent for sensitive skin, also known for its relief of difficult skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Super high in amino acids and a whole host of essential fatty acids. Highly recommended for all problem skin conditions. Shelf life of 2 years and moderately priced.
- Baobab Oil – This light, slightly floral and fast absorbing oil from the African tree of the same name is an excellent remedy for dry skin and hair. Use it in recipes designed to condition dry hair, and in lotions for dry skin. Shelf life of 2 years. This oil tends to be rather expensive.
- Camelina Oil – This is a lovely oil for use in cosmetic recipes. It has many of the characteristics of flax seed, and is in fact a ‘wild’ flax often considered a weed in the U.S. It is a delicious oil, and is loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, so you can put it in your salads and on your skin with good benefit. More stable than flax seed oil, recommended shelf life of 2 years if kept in a cool, dry dark place. Very reasonably priced.
- Evening Primrose Seed Oil – this well-known healing oil has been used in Europe for at least three centuries. It is used as a supplement and in skin care products. It is extremely sensitive to heat, should be kept refrigerated and never heated. Evening primrose oil, because it is a known healing oil used medicinally around the world, is less expensive than Baobab oil, but generally rather pricy. Buy it in small quantities to reduce the cost. It has a recommended shelf life of 1 year.
- Grapeseed Oil – High in chlorophyll and an excellent oil for lotions and creams, grapeseed oil is hypo-allergenic and works well for sensitive skin types. It is also an excellent oil to use in your homemade mayonnaise and salad dressing recipes. It keeps well when refrigerated and should not be heated. Although the organic oil is considerably more expensive than the non-organic oil, it is highly recommended for the following reasons. Grapes are some of the most highly sprayed of conventional crops and can therefore be saturated with pesticides and fungicides. Also, organic grapeseed oil has much higher antioxidants, chlorophyll and healing properties than the non-organic varieties. Both organic and non-organic grapeseed oils have a recommended shelf life of 2 years.
- Hemp Seed Oil – like evening primrose oil this is another healing oil which has shown remarkable healing properties. It absorbs very well, and provides healing and regenerative properties to any skin care recipe it is used in. It is also an excellent dietary oil and has the highest nutritional value of any oil. Rich in a variety of minerals (calcium, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, iron and zinc) it is also an excellent source of protein, antioxidants, carotenes and phytosterols. The organic oil is priced comparably to apricot kernel seed oil and other more common oils making it a very economical healing oil. Hemp seed oil has a recommended shelf life of 2 years.
- Kukui Nut Oil – Hawaiian kukui nut oil is a deep penetrating oil excellent for dry skin and hair. It makes an excellent massage oil and can be mixed with coconut oil to make a very pleasant massage oil to which essential oils can be added. It is a stable oil when kept cool, but will break down in extreme heat. Add to recipes after they have cooled to below 90°F. Very reasonably priced, it is comparable to almond oil in pricing and has a shelf life of up to 1 year if stored in a cool dark place.
- Olive Oil – This classic oil, cold pressed and extra virgin, is a stable carrier oil to use in skin, body and hair care recipes, and in cooking. It is superb for cosmetic and personal care applications. When making homemade mayonnaises and dressings with olive oil, it is recommended that a light oil such as Bertolli’s be used. Olive oil is economical, reliable and stores well. Keep out of direct light and away from heat. It can be added to recipes while they are still warm but should never be used for high heat cooking or added to body care recipes until they cool to below 100°F. Olive oil is reasonably priced and has a shelf life of up to 2 years when stored properly.
There are literally dozens of seed, nut and vegetable oils you can use in your recipes for healthy skin and hair. From broccoli and carrot seed oils to raspberry seed, emu or Aloe vera oils, there are plenty to choose from. Just remember to look at their origin, try to find organic choices and always ask how they are made if the information is not provided.
Pesticide use has so increased in the U.S. over the last ten years that any ingredients of U.S. origin should be organic. Look for tested and reputable products that provide certification. After all, the whole idea here is to create healthy alternatives that are nourishing and economical!
Some other popular oils to consider to make skin care at home:
- Argan Oil
- Neem Oil
- Sesame Seed Oil
- Blackberry Seed Oil
- Passion Fruit Seed Oil
- Shea Nut Oil
- Borage Seed Oil
- Peach Kernel Oil
- St. John’s Wort Oil
- Carrot Seed Oil
- Pomegranate Seed Oil
- Sunflower Oil
- Hazelnut Oil
- Pumpkin Seed Oil
- Tamanu Oil
- Jojoba Oil
- Rosehip Seed Oil
- Walnut Oil
- Macadamia Nut
- Oil Safflower Oil
- Wheatgerm Oil
- Meadowfoam Seed Oil
- Sea Buckthorn Oil
After swallowing this post, I am pretty sure that you are ready to make skin care at home. Continue to read more about Essential Oil Recipes here.
Originally posted 2020-08-18 21:52:25.