How to make customized face and body cream

homemadefacebodycream

I admit I’m a beauty product junkie.  I used to work across the street from Sephora, and was too frequently tempted to pop in during lunch and pick up a few items.  That was a fun but expensive habit.

On my continued quest to learn how to live a healthier, more natural life, I’ve started detoxing my beauty routine.

That means reading ingredients, looking for natural alternatives, and trying DIY beauty solutions to find what really works!

Creating homemade beauty products is a lot like cooking – you start with a recipe to learn the basics, and then customize them as you get more confident.  This is my very favorite part of DIY beauty: you can customize the products to your own skin type (and use really high-quality ingredients, without paying retail prices!).

 

In this article I give you a flexible recipe that you can use to customize your own face & body cream.

If you’d like a specific recipe, try making my popular Stress Relief Body Cream.

(Or, if you’d like a more gentle introduction to DIY beauty, try using honey as a face mask).

How to make a face and body cream

Making a face or body cream is a bit like making mayonnaise.

You have oils, and waters.  You blend them together to form the cream.

This is where the miracle happens.  Everyone knows that oil & water don’t mix … but when you blend them together with the right ingredients in the right proportions, suddenly they turn from separate ingredients into one thick, lovely cream!

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Give this recipe a try.

Remember to find some gorgeous packaging that appeals to you – as all the big beauty brands know, the packaging is half of the fun of using the product.

You can customize this cream with any type of waters, oils and essential oils that suit your skin type.

 

Make your own Face & Body Cream – choose your ingredients

Water Phase

You could use rose water, orange flower water (also called hydrosols) or an herbal infusion (also called herb tea!).  I like to include about one third aloe vera gel in this amount.

You can buy hydrosols here at Mountain Rose Herbs.

 

Oil Phase

You could use almond oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil (although this has a stronger smell).  I used a combination of almond and grapeseed.

You should also include beeswax and cocoa butter or shea butter to firm up the cream.

You can buy most of the liquid oils in the grocery store, but you may want to order beeswax and the butters online from Mountain Rose Herbs.

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DIY Face and Body Cream Recipe

Ingredients:

Waters – 3/4 c. total (use a combination of your floral waters and aloe vera)

Oils – 3/4 c. total (use a combination of 1/2oz beeswax, 1/4 c. cocoa butter, and oils above.)

Essential Oils – 5 drops your choice

 

How to:

  1. In a double boiler (or a bowl over a pan of simmering water), heat the oils until melted.   Some oils, like cocoa butter and beeswax, are solid at room temperature.  So you need to melt all the oils (solid & liquid) together, making sure you have 3/4 c. oil total at the end.
  2. Pour the oils into a blender (or, into another container if using a stick-blender).  Let the oils cool to room temperature.
  3. Start the blender – then slowly pour the water in – at some point the blender noise will change and you’ll notice that you have cream!  Keep blending to incorporate all of the water.  You can also blend the cream by hand, but be ready for a workout!
  4. Add the drops of essential oil, and stir to disperse throughout the cream.
  5. Scoop the cream into sterilized jars.  Label the jars (don’t forget to include the date!).

 

That’s it! Making face and body cream is just like cooking – but you end up with a super luxurious, fresh body product.

Have you tried making face or body cream? What are your favorite oil/scent combinations?

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94 Responses to How to make customized face and body cream

  1. Because this has so much water in it how do you prevent bacterial growth? some sources I’ve read state that after as little as 3 days, even refrigerated, bacteria can found…

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Judith, that’s the problem with creams, they have a short shelf life. However I’ve found that most of my homemade creams will last for several weeks – 2 months in the cool months, and in the summer just keep them in the fridge. As always, if they look or smell different, throw them out and make fresh!

      Essential oils are antibacterial, but you’re right that in these quantities it won’t kill all of the bacteria.

      • Ellen Ripley says:

        You can add small amount (0.5% > 2%) of grapefruit seeds extract that is a natural preservaitive and is antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal etc. and is also a natural antioxidant. Dissolves well in water, alcohol and oils.

  2. Marina says:

    Hello everyone! I have made this cream 4 times already and I LOVE IT! I would like to share my experience with you.
    So, the first try was with beeswax, olive oil and distilled water infused with chamomile. It was a complete success! I could not believe I made it my self. About olive oil I have to say that it absorbs completely after a few minutes and it leaves the skin soft and beautiful. I make my own face powder and blush and this cream is a great base for them.
    The second time was kind of a disaster because I mixed up the quantities, the beeswax was too much and the water wouldn’t blend in. So I added on top more olive oil and it started mixing but it turned out very thick. I kept it in the fridge so it wouldn’t split up again and used it on my feet. It made them sooooo soft, like a baby’s, it’s amazing!
    After that the other 2 times were a piece of cake! I used olive oil, coconut oil, grape seed oil, you name it… I love musk and sandalwood in my cream, it smells like you just got out of the shower!
    Bottom line, I believe that no more than 1/4 of the oil quantity should be beeswax because otherwise it doesn’t blend in properly and it splits. Also I make about 300 grams of cream and keep it in the fridge so it doesn’t go off and I have a small container of about 100 gr in my make up bag and fill it up from the one in the fridge every time it empties.
    I have oily skin and I have been fighting all my life with zits and open pores, I have spent A LOT of money buying special creams and soaps to make it go a way. Well, not any more. Now I say, the simpler, the better… Water, bees wax, olive oil. You really need no more.
    Thank you Amanda for the great recipe!!! Good luck to all, and to all happy cream making!!!

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Marina, thanks so much for sharing what’s worked for you – so glad you’re liking it! I totally agree, the simpler the better!

    • Thank you so so much for your wonderful sharing – it is exactly what I was looking for as I would like to make a cream for my man who has got oily skin. I will certainly follow the simple the better suggestion. Thank you x

  3. Kate Bee says:

    I just tried making a cream this evening with macadamia oil and rose water and emulsifying wax, it all looked fine then it curdled, is there anything I can do to fix it like when mayonnaise goes wrong? I made a good one before with beeswax, could it be the type of wax I used? Thanks

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Kate, if this happens just rewarm the cream gently on low heat, and then whisk/blend again to recombine. Sometimes this happens when the oil/water temperatures are too different. AH – did you not include any beeswax? You do need the beeswax in the recipe for it to hold…

  4. Holly says:

    Hi I made the cream it was lovely but after a couple of days it has started to curdle/split any tips on how to get it to stay emulsified? Thanks

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Holly, you can gently warm the cream on the stove, and then rewhip it with a blender or whisk … that should turn it back into a cream again.

  5. Holly says:

    Just made this for the first time, used hemp oil, mix of Shea butter and cocoa with some lavender and lemon essential oils it’s amazing and so easy to do, I will never buy a face cream again!! Truly inspired thanks Amanda :)

  6. carol says:

    Instead of cocoa butter, can I use shea butter instead?

  7. KJ says:

    Hi Amanda, I am also looking for a non greasy quick absorbing formula. Any suggestions? Thrilled to have found your website, thanks for all the great tips!

    • k says:

      I’ve been using hemp oil fr Wholefoods fridge section. The kind I put in my salad. Absorbs nicely so far. I’m looking for something even lighter if someone can find it. I tried the coco oil deod for my pit, hmm not working that well yet. I’m a bit stinky.

    • Amanda says:

      Hi KJ, I would try lighter oils like grapeseed + jojoba, as those should be the most quickly absorbed into the skin.

  8. kim hoang says:

    Can someone suggest a non-greasy oil that absorbs quickly so I can get dressed quickly. I’ve tried coconut oil which smells devine but greasy and so is jojoba. I’m using hemp oil from the fridge section of whole foods which I love how quickly it absorbs but it has to be stored in the fridge.

  9. Pat says:

    Hello – I used cold pressed coconut oil and olive oil but the mix just wouldn’t form a cream…any hints??

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Pat, it’s so hard to know without being there … did you use all the other ingredients too (the waters + the beeswax)? Did you make it in a blender?

      • Pat says:

        Yes I used the other ingredients as well. I had no beeswax so just used coconut oil and olive oil. However, I went to town and bought a block of beeswax yesterday and am going to do this again. (the first batch is a first class lotion though!) I live in a rural area in B.C. Canada so my choices are limited for ingredients. I’ll let you know how this next batch turns out. Thank you for replying,

        • Amanda says:

          Hi Pat, I think you’ll have much better luck with the beeswax in there! Beeswax is what hardens the cream, otherwise all the ingredients are soft/liquid at room temperature, so it remains runny like a lotion.

  10. Rachel says:

    This recipe is wonderful! Using the blender is the trick. Great for face and body!

  11. [...] DIY face & body cream [...]

  12. Susan says:

    I want to make this recipe for face cream, but would rather not use beeswax. Can you give me an alternative oil to use please.

    • Amanda says:

      Hi, I’ve not tried this myself, but it looks like you can use Candelilla Wax as a substitute for beeswax – just use half the amount of wax in the recipe. Again, I’ve not done this, so can’t say how it will work, but it seems like it should be a good substitute!

  13. Sally says:

    Hi,can I substitute the beeswax for jojoba wax pellets to make this vegan?

    • Amanda says:

      Hi, I’ve not tried jojoba wax pellets, so I can’t advise on that. I know some people use carnauba wax to replace beeswax, but again I haven’t used it myself. I think some google searching should turn up the right replacement for you.

  14. annexos says:

    Hi, just made 2 x batches of this cream. The 1st was a little runny but I can still use as an everyday body lotion. The 2nd was perfect and made a fabulous thick luscious face cream. Tried it out on my teenage daughter too and she loved it. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I love it.

  15. Suzanne says:

    Hi Amanda I have tried the recipe twice now and for some reason it has separated so I get a small amount of water on top of the cream not sure what I am doing wrong can you or one of your readers help please?? Thanks

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Suzanne, sorry to hear that! The most common cause of separation is that the waters and oils aren’t at the same temperature. If the temps are different, it will often separate. Maybe try my new recipe for cream here: http://www.vintageamanda.com/2013/04/stress-relief-body-cream/
      The process in that one is a bit different.

    • Alison says:

      Suzanne,
      I used to have the same problem (even with using a blender). I recently purchased a stick blender and I haven’t had the problem since! I don’t know why it makes a difference but everything IMO blends together so much more thoroughly, for me, with a stick blender. I used to add more wax or stearic acid or butter (if I was using) but it still would separate! I can honestly say my stick blender was one of the best purchases I ever made :)

  16. nosheem says:

    how to light acne marks?

  17. Stefania says:

    Hi Amanda,
    I will try your recipe next weekend, only that I will make only about 100 ml of cream (half a cup), so I need to adjust the oily part :)
    Does it matter for the consistency of the cream, how much beeswax or cocoa butter do I put? I plan to melt first like 10 grams of beeswax and 1 teaspoonful of cocoa butter, and when they melt I will put the other oils (I plan to put almond and avocado)..
    Does it matter the order of putting the ingredients?

    Thanks very much!

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Stefania, great! Let us know how you get on with the cream. And yes, the amount of beeswax or cocoa butter will affect the final thickness of the cream. Beeswax in particular sets very very hard, so the more beeswax you put in, the stiffer the cream will be. It doesn’t matter what order you put the oils together – just as long as they are all combined before adding in the water ingredients.

      • Stefania says:

        Amanda, I was done in half an hour, very easy..
        I finished with only one cup of cream, so I have put 6 grams of beeswax and just 2 grams of cocoa butter, then the rest of almond and avocado oil up to 1/2 half a cup, then the other half only with hazelnut witch, and 4 drops of citronella essential oil..
        I did the mixing by hand, and it wasn’t that hard :)
        I’ve got a very light and “fluffy”cream, now it is in the fridge..
        Thanks very much!

  18. Teresa says:

    Hi Amanda, I love this! Just thought I would add that jojoba oil is a great alternative too. Read up on it and you’ll see how wonderfully different it is from other oils, since in fact, apparently chemically speaking it’s not an oil… My skin can’t take something like olive oil but I’ve been using jojoba for years now. Also coconut oil, another great one!

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks Teresa! I love jojoba oil too – have been putting it in my facial oil mixed with a little bit of grapeseed.

  19. Anna says:

    Forgot one other thing! You’ve mentioned about writing the date on the container, but how long does it last for? And, is there anything that can be added to make it a ‘long-life’ kind of thing?!

    • Amanda says:

      Hi, the cream should last 3-6 months, but of course use common sense, so if it goes mouldy or starts to look or smell funny, throw it out and make another batch.

  20. Anna says:

    Hi.. All sounds really great! But, please tell me what the abbreviation ‘c’ is for, used for some of the the quantities??! Do you mean ‘cc’, or is it short for ‘cup’? Sorry but I can’t work it out because you’ve used ounces as other quantities .. :-)

  21. Rebekah says:

    Hi, this looks great. Thanks so much for posting this I am looking for healthful alternatives to the stuff available in the store and I am excited to try this recipe. Just one question. Can you recommend a reliable, trustworthy website from which I can order the basic ingredients? Thanks again – Cheers

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Rebekah, sure, there are lots of great websites where you can order the base ingredients, depending where you live. If you’re in the USA, try Mountain Rose Herbs.

  22. Timita says:

    Hello, Amanda! Great stuff!
    I made this and it lasted for a month. I kept it on my bathroom, away from direct heat and light, in a glass container with a regular lid, not even airtight. It didn’t go bad and it was enough for a month of daily use.
    I did squeeze a couple of vitamin E capsules into it, along with the essential oils. My combination of oils is grapeseed and avocado. They work great on my dry/flaky and not-in-my-twenties-anymore skin. Rosehip essential oil is great for wrinkles, and has a lovely scent :)

  23. Nicki says:

    Hi Amanda, do you have any experience yet as to how long the homemade cream will last before it goes bad?
    I’m sure gonna have to try this because all the cream recipes I’ve found so far include glycerin, which kind of defeats the purpose of making stuff at home, I think.

  24. Amanda says:

    Hi Suzannah, thanks for stopping by! If you do make the cream, let me know how it works for you (and what types of scents you use!)

    • Lizeth says:

      I was wondering, should I use SPF under this moisturizer?

      • Amanda says:

        Hi Lizeth, there is no SPF in this moisturizer, so if you want sun protection, then yes you would need to use SPF too (or it’s also possible to add some Zinc Oxide to the cream to give it some SPF protection… but you would have to do some research to find quantities and how to add it etc.)

  25. this sounds nice and easy. i bought some lovely handmade creams on etsy, but making them would certainly be cheaper.

    it’s so nice to not be soaking in chemicals!

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