How to make your own cosmetics?

The realization of natural cosmetic products is within everyone's reach... from the budding formulator and chemist, to the most creative among us, including the simple neophyte in the field, stingy with new discoveries! However, it is necessary to respect some good manufacturing practices. A non-sterile environment means that hygiene measures must be respected to the letter. This is one of the first important points to consider. The question of the equipment and ingredients to be used is also important. Not to mention the famous conservation issues, which it is essential to be aware of when making your own homemade cosmetics! Making your own cosmetics is above all mastering the choice of effective ingredients, adapted to your needs but also, and this is not negligible, saving money.

The rules of hygiene to be respected

Making your own cosmetics is certainly fun, easy, interesting... but it requires, above all, hygiene and certain rules of use. Among the ingredients used, those based on water, hydrolats in particular have an increased sensitivity to microbiological contaminants for example. Thus, certain steps appear as essential:

  • Disinfect utensils and containers before each use. It is best to first wash with hot soapy water, rinse and then disinfect with alcohol (70%) before air drying. For an optimal wash, sterilization is a good way to eliminate all micro-organisms.
  • Having a clean, waterproof and also easily washable work surface will make your preparation easier.
  • Obviously, it is essential to wash your hands well, avoid hand contact with the ingredients as much as possible or even use gloves.
  • Depending on the ingredients used, and if specified, it is preferable to wear a gown, glasses or even a mask in some cases.

Homemade cosmetics: how to store them properly?

Homemade cosmetics are usually made with natural ingredients, and who says nature says sensitive and evolving products over time, without added chemical preservatives. Special measures must then be taken into account to best preserve your beloved products.

For all of your preparations, a general rule of thumb is to keep them away from light, especially if they are composed of fragile, easily oxidizable ingredients such as vegetable oils made of fatty acids. For more sensitive preparations based on water or hydrosol, be sure to keep them in the refrigerator. They can only be kept for a few days without preservatives, whereas creams, balms and butters, rich in oils and low in water, can be kept for weeks or months at room temperature.

You can also decide to use natural preservatives such as grapefruit seed extract, vitamin E or even cosgard, a synthetic preservative but approved by Ecocert for cosmetics. Essential oils also have effective anti-oxidant properties. The recommended concentrations are specified according to the preservative and the final product.

In any case, do not hesitate to throw away your product if you notice a suspicious aspect, a mould, an odour or a particular colouring.

Small tips... label your product, date it and be sure to keep it out of reach of children. You can even store it, with all your array of ingredients and equipment, in a dedicated place to avoid any risk.It is obvious to respect the recommended dosages and you can even keep a traceability book with the ingredients used with their batch number, their DLUO, etc...

Perform a skin tolerance test

By making your own products, you also try to avoidallergic risks by choosing the right ingredients for your own skin, scalp, or many other things...

However, some of the natural ingredients used naturally contain allergens. It is therefore advisable to perform anallergy test on the hollow of the elbow before using your product. Put 2 drops, or apply a mini dab of product to the crook of the elbow and then observe for 48 hours. If there is no reaction, everything is fine. If not, if you observe an irritation or other, you probably have an allergy to at least one of the ingredients of your mixture. Is it an ingredient used in too large a quantity or simply an allergy to a particular ingredient? It will then be essential to identify the culprit...

With homemade cosmetics the risk of allergy is not really reduced, however, they have the advantage of being able to identify the ingredient involved and thus leave it aside for future preparations.

What equipment and ingredients should I bring?

I reassure you you will not have to sell your kidney to buy the necessary materials for your little patouille. Making your own cosmetics is a bit like cooking... You will easily find in your kitchen the necessary equipment, however it is possible and preferable moreover that it becomes sacrificial utensils and dedicated to your patouilles! The main utensils to have, at least to start, are empty bottles and jars, of different volumes depending on the product you want to make. It is also essential to have measuring equipment such as a scale, a measuring cylinder or even pipettes. In containers, a simple bowl accompanied by spoons, whisk or spatulas will be welcome. Don't forget the labels!

However, be careful to use equipment dedicated to your ingredients. For example, clays cannot be handled with metal utensils!

Regarding the ingredients, some are quite basic and present in many home cosmetics. Vegetable oils, essential oils, hydrolats, clays, emulsifying waxes, cosmetic actives or even preservatives, each of them requires an adapted use and recommendations to be followed according to the final use but also to the user. Be sure to consult the technical data sheets of each ingredient before using it.