DIY beauty stuff

Discussion in 'Make It So' started by Vacuum Energy, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. Vacuum Energy

    Vacuum Energy waterwheel on the stream of entropy

    I'm not into the "mix my own shade of foundation" stuff, but I do make my own barrier cream, which I put on after my lotion to make moisturizing my skin last more than a couple minutes. (Sometimes I use Vaseline instead, but when I have a little extra money I make this stuff instead.) The way I do it is this:

    - 3 parts (by weight) olive oil (I use extra virgin because it's what I tend to have on hand for cooking)
    - 1 part (by weight) coconut oil (refined smells and tastes very little like coconut at all)
    - 1 part (by weight) beeswax (usually in 1oz bars of unrefined from small Etsy sellers)

    It all goes in a "double boiler" (fancy way of saying 'I stick a metal mixing bowl above a pot of boiling water and stir it around until everything melts') and after that I usually pour it into a glass canning jar to set.

    This results in a faintly honey-scented lotion (assuming I've picked the right Etsy seller this time) that solidifies a little below room temperature and softens a little above. It does take a few minutes to absorb but I think it's worth it.

    You can generalize this recipe somewhat - so long as there's a liquid oil and a solid wax, you can pretty much fudge anything in between. For example, the proportions! (If you screw up the proportions just put the stuff back in the double boiler and add whatever you didn't have enough of.) Increase the olive/coconut oil to make it a cream most of the time; increase the beeswax to make it a "lotion bar". (That would be more suitable for those of you with less absurdly dry skin - lotion bars will result in a thinner layer depositing on your skin.)

    Since someone asked for a completely scentless lotion I figured I'd give a couple other options:

    - the oil can be any vegetable oil; pick your own based on which one you don't mind. (While you could use mineral oil, that tends to result in something that doesn't absorb into the skin as easily.)
    - the coconut oil can also be shea butter, cocoa butter, mango butter, etc. (Note that This shop (found in a google search, I have no affiliation and have not ordered anything from them) identifies what all of the stuff in their store smells like.)
    - Wax. Beeswax is a fairly common choice, but paraffin and soy wax (which are more often used for candles) should at least be mostly usable here.

    Alternately you can ignore this whole thing and just use, like, straight coconut oil or shea butter, but cutting it with both oil and wax does reduce the cost and let you control the consistency.

    Safety note: Stuff with both water and oil in it (for example, some of the other homemade lotion recipes you see on the Internet) should be stored in the refrigerator and used within a few days, or otherwise it will grow bacteria in. If that's not feasible (batch size, use frequency, etc.) you should add a preservative for safety.

    Further safety note: Baking soda can seriously disrupt the functioning of your skin barrier (your skin tends to maintain a faint acidity; baking soda is relatively strongly basic) and should be used extremely sparingly. Lemons and other citrus fruits are "photosensitizing", which means that they make your skin extremely prone to sunburn. Formulations with both baking soda and lemon in them are a clear sign that the person you're reading has no idea what they're talking about.
    • Like x 2
  2. Emma

    Emma Your resident resident

    Sounds totally cool :) If I had the ingredients on hand I would totally try this. My forehead has recently developed the tendency to be really dry and flaky :(
  3. Lerxst

    Lerxst salty parabola

    Easiest sugar scrub ever: mix coconut or olive oil and brown sugar into a paste, slather on whatever needs scrubbed, scrub. Rinse with warm water, pat dry. Some of the oil will stay behind; it's best to leave it but you can wash it off with very mild soap if you need to.

    In the winter my legs itch and flake and this fixes them right up--on legs, elbows, feet, etc. I find it better to SCRUB WITH ALL MY MIGHT, especially on those itchy winter legs. Your mileage may vary. You can use it on your face, but scrub very gently.

    [edit: I forgot to mention that if you shave your legs and you scrub them with this and let the oil sit for a few minutes before you shave, your legs will be so unbelievably soft and smooth they will make newborn hairless kittens weep with envy.]
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
    • Like x 1
  4. Morven

    Morven In darkness be the sound and light

    I should try that, I get itchy legs in winter especially.
  5. Vacuum Energy

    Vacuum Energy waterwheel on the stream of entropy

    Honestly, my preference for exfoliation on my face is not scrubs but chemical exfoliation. (I use Alpha Hydrox AHA every other day at night after washing my face with Cetaphil); /r/skincareaddiction is usually a good source.

    Note that chemical exfoliation 1) is something you will need to patch-test on part of your face before putting it on the rest of your face (brief stinging is okay, you may not show an allergic reaction until 1 or 2 days later so continue with the rest of your normal skin care for 48 hours or so before making a proper decision) and 2) will increase your sensitivity to sun so you will definitely need to use a sunscreen daily. Furthermore, you usually need to let the AHA sit for fifteen minutes before putting on anything else, because trapping it under certain kinds of oils can make it cause chemical burns.

    This may seem like a large burden but the fact is that this is the only thing that properly solves flakiness on my face so I'm willing to stand everything else.
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