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Style & beauty

Making your own cosmetics

(10 Posts)
JackyB Mon 07-Jun-21 09:40:40

In an attempt to reduce plastic waste in the bathroom, I have started to buy less things in bottles. Several bottles will not be finished up for a while, but regulars like body lotion and shampoo are now replaced by solid bars.

Body lotion as a bar is great. It is surprisingly easy to apply, comes in lovely fragrances and the best bit is, you can put your clothes on immediately after applying it.

I have now had a go at making some things myself using recipes I have found online.

Bath bombs - made with oat flakes, citric acid, bicarbonate of soda and olive oil. I must have done something wrong because the mixture bubbled up and spread all over the worktop when I put it in the mould. The website says to stop this happening, you should carefully add the citric acid right at the end. Will have to try again.

Hand cream (solid) - This is made by gently melting beeswax and cocoa butter, adding some olive oil and essential oil for fragrance. At first it was too soft and oily, but it has been standing near the kitchen sink in an open bowl for a while and now has a good consistency. I put apple scented essential oil in it but you can hardly smell that now - may have to use more next time.

Mouthwash. Dead simple recipe. Only makes a small amount - I don't trust it to keep for more than a couple of weeks. Boiled, cooled, water, a spoonful of bicarbonate, a spoonful of xylit and a few drops of peppermint oil and tea tree oil. Tastes nice, too.

Please share your recipes and especially tips for getting things right, if you have ever tried to make your own cosmetics.

Skydancer Mon 07-Jun-21 09:42:55

Cleanser - make "tea" out of Rosemary. Bottle it and use as a cleanser. Apparently Rosemary is good for skin and helps deter wrinkles!

JackyB Mon 07-Jun-21 12:03:40

Thanks - we have loads of rosemary in the garden. I don't usually cleanse as I just shower every morning, but having a designated product on the shelf might be an idea to just flannel off in the evening. Any wrinkle deterrent is welcome!

Skydancer Thu 10-Jun-21 13:17:52

JackyB - ha ha. I agree. I wish I'd read this tip 50 years ago! However hopefully it's never too late. I must say, it's so easy just to use a cotton wool wipe dipped in the Rosemary liquid and wipe it across the face. I did read that you must not dry it off but let it dry naturally on your skin. Will let you know when someone thinks I'm only 35.

Daftbag1 Fri 11-Jun-21 12:52:24

I used to make a unpack for my face using 2 tbsp fullers earth (easily purchased on line or at chemists), 3 drops lavender oil, 3 drops tea tree oil, and mix with water or egg . Cover f,ace and allow to dry. Once dry rinse off

Hithere Fri 11-Jun-21 13:45:45

You can also make your own deodorant - coconut oil, baking soda, tea tree oil, corn starch

Amberone Fri 11-Jun-21 14:10:58

There are loads of recipes around the web for home-made cosmetics.

I used to make a body butter out of a mix of shea butter and coconut oil. The shea butter on it's own always seems a bit hard when temperatures are low, so I mixed some coconut oil with it using an old electric mixer to get a soft fluffy butter that was easier to apply.

TwinLolly Sat 12-Jun-21 08:04:27

Body Butter

½ cup cocoa butter
½ cup coconut oil
¼ cup shea butter
¼ cup sweet almond oil or olive oil or castor oil
Few drops essential oil (optional)

1. Soften the butters then whisk together with oils until blended well and fluffy.
2. Decant into a clean container.

TwinLolly Sat 12-Jun-21 08:14:17


109 g water
79 g caustic soda
600 g light olive oil
18 g / 10 drops of essential oil (optional)

1. Add caustic soda to the water to create a lye.
Caution: Never add water to caustic soda – always add caustic soda to water. Adding water to caustic soda = explosive reaction. Use a meat thermometer to test the temperature. Lye is ready to use when it reaches 37.8C.
2.While the lye is cooling, heat up olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat until oil reaches 37.8C / same temperature as the cooling lye. The oil & lye must be as close as possible to the same temperature to properly blend.
Caution: If oil & lye are not close to same temperature - soap doesn’t set correctly.
3.Pour lye into the oil mixture. Stir or use handheld blender or mixer to begin blending everything together, causing mixture to thicken.
Continue blending/stirring for up to 15 minutes.
When you can see the trail left by the blender, the mixture has reached “trace.” It should have the consistency of honey.
Optional: Add essential oil & stir with a spoon to incorporate.
4.Pour into silicone/teflon moulds. If using metal tins, grease lightly with olive oil.
5.Leave to rest for a few minutes for the soap to thicken. Cover & leave undisturbed for 48 hours.
6.Remove from moulds & place soap on a cake drying rack & leave for 6 weeks up to a few months. The longer you wait, soap will produce fluffier suds & have a better texture.
7.Wrap in wax paper to store.

As a word of caution - don't use your moulds for baking cakes afterwards! Keep them separate.

TwinLolly Sat 12-Jun-21 08:18:19


8 oz (227 g) water
4.2 oz (119 g) caustic soda
10.5 oz (298 g) coconut oil
10.5 oz (298 g) olive oil
9 oz (255 g) shea butter
6 oz scent (optional)

1. Add caustic soda to the cold water to create a lye.
Use a meat thermometer to test the temperature. Lye is ready to use when it reaches 40C - 45C.
2. While the lye is cooling, heat up oils until they reach 40C – 45C / same temperature as the cooling lye.
3. Pour lye into the oil mixture and stir until thick, like mayonnaise. In need, use handheld blender or mixer to blend everything together, causing mixture to thicken to a trace.
4. Pour into silicone/teflon moulds. If using metal tins, grease lightly with olive oil.
5. Cover & leave undisturbed for 24 hours.
6. Remove from moulds & leave in a safe place to air dry for 4 to 6 weeks, under a cloth. The longer you leave the soap, the better the suds should be.