Skin Care

Homemade Beauty Products: Our Worst Best Friends

Ingredients in our beauty treatments have undergone years of research and many come with warnings. Even so, making your own cosmetics is becoming an increasingly popular trend. The natural touch! Making our own day cream, face mask, or shampoo can be great, just so long as we understand the ingredients.

But does that mean that our homemade anti-wrinkle cream will work as well as a shop-bought treatment? Apart from having research and development facilities, cosmetic labs are able to test products before they hit the shelves. Hundreds of treatments are tested multiple times in order to find the best version. All of these are tried and tested until a skin-friendly, efficient formula is selected.

The first glitch when it comes to DIY treatments is that they haven't undergone rigorous testing. Which means that we can find ourselves with irritated skin or allergies. The best thing to do is to apply a tiny amount of your mixture to the inside of your wrist. If your skin reacts badly, ask your local chemist or GP for advice.

The second glitch? Preserving our latest DIY creation. If you're planning to go down the homemade route, you'll need to quickly use up your treatments. As they don't contain preservatives, they'll quickly go off and, once again, you may end up with an allergy. If you do decide to go ahead, make sure you carefully wash your hands and containers.

If you add some vitamin E to your treatment and keep it in the fridge, you'll extend its shelf life, but only by a few days!

We're not saying that you should completely avoid DIY treatments – they're cheap, eco-friendly, popular, and fun! Just do your research and maintain caution. Slathering on some argan oil, cleansing your skin with Moroccan black soap, or enjoying a honey-base face mask won't pose any problems. However, adding too many drops of your favourite essential oil, for example, could be dangerous. So make sure you read all the instructions that come with an ingredient and stick to the recommended dose.

You won't need any specialist equipment to get started: a whisk, two bowls, and a hot plate is all you'll need to make an emulsion! Add to that smaller pieces of equipment so that you can fine-tune your treatment: dosing spoons, a beaker, and a dosing glass for measuring ingredients and pipettes to transfer them from one receptacle to another.

We also suggest you pop on an apron, plastic gloves and protective goggles. Don't choose your ingredients willy-nilly, get expert advice from specialist suppliers and start off with simple recipes that use fresh, organic ingredients.

Plus, you'll find dozens of websites with tutorials, illustrated instructions, information on ingredients, and how to add them to your recipe. It's a bit like cooking.... Start off with basic ingredients that you can measure/weigh, heat, and mix to get your fabulous finished product! Good luck!