They’re all over your Pinterest. You’ve seen it all from shampoo to deodorant to pimple cream. DIY beauty products are everywhere right now! The idea of making your own bathroom products seems fun and adventurous, but it feels a bit overwhelming too. You’re not alone in those feelings.
You’re reading more about the harmful ingredients in most of the commercially made products and you want to reduce your exposure and that of your family, but again, with all the tutorials and different recipes out there, you’ve found yourself unable to move forward.
I was there for a long time. I remember the feeling. I so desperately wanted more natural options for my family that I was willing to spend ample amounts of money to purchase the “better” products. And for some of us, that’s where we’ll stay and that’s just fine. Some of us aren’t bent toward making everything (or anything!) at home. And that’s okay.
But for those of us who want to DIY, all these new ingredients seem like a waste. We don’t want to put out our hard-earned money for shea butter if we only need a tablespoon of it for one recipe. A recipe that we’re not even sure we’ll like. Am I right? But the awesome thing about DIY personal care products is that most recipes use the same ingredients, just in varying proportions.
So today I’m sharing with you the must-haves for DIY personal care products. These ingredients are ones I find myself using over and over for different recipes. I’ll also share some “bonus” ingredients that are nice to have, but maybe you won’t use too much of or use right away.
10 Essential Ingredients for DIY Personal Care Products
Butters are what give our products the creamy, smooth texture like lotions. These products often come from trees and are natural, raw materials great for moisturizing the skin. The fatty acids in these butters provide moisture retention and improved elasticity. They are a must for any kind of moisturizer!
This is my favorite butter to use because it’s easy to handle, is odorless, and melts easily. I use shea butter in everything from body lotion to deodorant to salves. This must have ingredient will find its way into most or all of the first products you make because of its versatility. Shea butter is extracted from the seed of the Shea Tree and is rich in vitamin A.
I love the butter from Better Shea Butter.
Cocoa butter is great to have on hand as well, but it’s definitely #2 behind shea because of the difficulty of use. Unlike the soft, creamy texture of shea, cocoa butter is solid. This makes it difficult to scoop out, measure, and use. But the smell of cocoa butter is superb! Since it comes from the cacao bean, as does chocolate, you can believe that the scent alone will have you hooked. A plus for this butter is that you can cook with it too!
Mountain Rose Herbs carries a food and cosmetic grade Cocoa Butter.
The beloved coconut oil, probably a favorite among us DIYers. The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil make it a must-have ingredient, resulting in antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties! Coconut oil tops the “oil list” because of its availability and superior healing abilities. The best type of coconut oil for personal care products (and cooking) is unrefined, virgin, organic.
I buy coconut oil in bulk either from Amazon or Tropical Traditions when it goes on sale (they have a buy one, get one pretty frequently with free shipping. You can sign up for their emails to know when this happens.).
A great choice because of its availability, the antioxidants in olive oil make it great for skin care products. When applied topically, these antioxidants can slow and even reverse premature skin aging and protect against ultraviolet light. Unlike commercial moisturizers, olive oil will not clog pores. It absorbs deeply into the skin, providing moisture while also cleaning.
You can get olive oil anywhere, but be aware that many companies adulterate their oil with other vegetable oils, ingredients we don’t really want to slather on our skin. Buy from a reputable company.
This is a fun one, if only for its name (which by the way, the j’s are pronounced as h’s. So, like a garden hoe and not a cup of Jo). While it is more exotic, and thus more expensive than the other oils, jojoba offers a wide range of health benefits to our skin. It moisturizes skin, is anti-inflammatory, treats skin infections, fights aging, and works wonderfully as a make-up remover.
It’s a fantastic conditioner which makes it great to use in face moisturizers and lotions. It’s one of the main ingredients in my beard oil.
I’ve enjoyed the Jojoba Oil I’ve purchased from Levan Rose through Amazon.
Because of its vitamin A content, beeswax is a great moisturizer. Beeswax has been replaced by petroleum-based chemicals in commercial products, but since we don’t want those chemicals absorbing into our skin and bloodstream, beeswax is a must for homemade products! Beeswax can heal skin irritations, like allergies and eczema.
I prefer purchasing beeswax in pellet form because they melt quicker than blocks, but compare prices and see which is more affordable. Mountain Rose Herbs sells both blocks and pellets. You can also find pellets on Amazon.
You knew these would make it on the list! We use essential oils everyday and so of course they’re in every single homemade product! Therapeutic grade essential oils gives you the benefit of smelling lovely and they also promote overall wellbeing. For instance, in lotion that we use before bed, we add lavender and/or roman chamomile to help promote relaxation. There really is an oil for everything! If you’re interested in learning more, I recommend getting the Modern Essentials book. If you’d like to learn more about which essential oils I use and love, contact me here.
Now, if you’re going to start making your own products, you’ll need something to put them in right? Your options are truly limitless. The cheapest route: use containers you already have. Empty mayonnaise jar? Put your homemade lotion in it. Save those deodorant sticks and put your DIY version in them. Mason jars are abundant in our house, so I like using those. The smaller ones like these or these are perfect. I also prefer using the plastic lids instead of the metal ring and lid (regular mouth and wide mouth). I also use amber bottles a lot for liquid products like my beard oil (not that I’m using beard oil!) or after sun relief spray.
These “bonus ingredients” are great to have, but they weren’t the first things I bought when I started DIYing. I highly recommend that you research these ingredients further to help you decide if/when they’re right for you, but you should also know that you can make incredible products at home without these two things.
Bentonite Clay wasn’t one of the first ingredients I bought, mostly because I was skeptical and wasn’t exactly sure what to use it for. This clay was traditionally used to help with mineral deficiencies, and it’s also great at pulling out toxins. My first experience with bentonite clay was with a mud pack which I applied to a sprained ankle, the pain and swelling decreased after two uses. I also love making a facial mud mask with the clay. Some people add clay to their homemade deodorant to help remove toxins that are inevitably in our skin and bodies.
Get bentonite clay here.
Like essential oils, dried herbs have many benefits to our wellbeing. Each herb has its own host of benefits, but some of the most popular herbs to use in skin care include arnica, calendula, comfrey, lemon balm, nettle, and yarrow. All of which you can find at Mountain Rose Herbs. Herbs have been used since the beginning of time to help promote wellbeing in every aspect of life, to soothe sore throats, to calm anxieties, to reduce inflammation, to reduce infection. They’re powerful and natural, it doesn’t get better than that for DIYers like you and me!
Do you make personal care products? What would you add to this list of must-haves?