These days we’re looking for any and all DIY projects to keep ourselves busy. if you’re bored with puzzles, cleaning your pantry and every other closet in your house maybe it is a good time for a new DIY project. Making your own skincare products is surprisingly fun, and it’s one of the best ways to ensure the ingredients you’re putting on your skin are healthy and clean. Few people realize that the most important skincare tool you have—your moisturizer—is easily customizable, and you can whip up your own formulation that will keep your skin hydrated and young-looking. And after all, when have we ever had a better time to get our skincare regime in order?
That said, there are few things worth knowing before you start! Below, we’ve put together three DIY moisturizer recipes based on the needs of different skin types, along with some essential tips on how to treat your skin—and how to treat yourself!
Why Make a DIY Moisturizer, Anyway?
Playing chemist with your own skincare is super-fun, and that can be reason enough, but it’s also got some serious rewards:
The great thing about making DIY moisturizer is that you can perfectly customize your formula for your needs. You can choose ingredients that will help with the unique condition of your skin or specific essential oils that will make you smell amazing.
There Are No “Icky” Ingredients
We always feel safer when we know exactly what we’re rubbing into our skin. When you make your own DIY moisturizer, you can avoid all of those complicated or potentially harmful ingredients that are common in store-bought products.
It’s Way More Affordable
Mainstream moisturizers are often seriously marked up, so with a DIY moisturizer, you can save a lot of money by sourcing your own materials and mixing your own all-natural formula.
You will feel so accomplished when you finally rub your own creation into your skin, and it’ll be even more rewarding a few months later when you notice just how soft and supple your skin looks!
It’s Surprisingly Versatile
Every single one of our DIY moisturizer recipes is great for both the face and body, so don’t feel constrained! You can use them however you like.
Easy DIY Moisturizer Recipes for Different Skin Types
Making a moisturizer is a lot like cooking—you can make something really simple and quick that everyone will love, or you can make a more unique DIY moisturizer that will perfectly suit your skin.
A few safety notes before we start: with all of these moisturizers, make sure all tools and containers are thoroughly clean. Before trying your moisturizer on your face, patch test it for a few days by applying it to your forearm or behind your ear, just to make sure you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients.
Once your moisturizer is ready, judge your formula for texture and make adjustments. If it’s too solid, add more oil to it, while if it is too thin increase the amount of shea butter.
DIY Moisturizer for All Skin Types
Our recipe for all skin types stars cold-pressed sunflower oil, which is extremely moisturizing, yet unlikely to cause breakouts, and is even rich in the antioxidant Vitamin E (as opposed to regular sunflower oil, which can be comedogenic). Shea butter gives the blend a bit of thickness, but it is also astringent so it takes away some of the greasiness of the oil and adds a boost of anti-aging compounds.
2.5 oz. Shea Butter
1.5 oz. Cold Pressed Sunflower Oil
5-15 drops of custom essential oil blend
Melt the shea butter in a double-boiler, and then place it in a bowl. Add the sunflower oil and the essential oils, and then use a hand mixer to blend everything together. After 3-5 minutes you should have a nice mixture which you can then pour into a clean jar or tub. Allow it to solidify in the fridge, and wallah! You’re good to go.
DIY Moisturizer for Dry Skin
Coconut Oil has a ton of amazing uses, and we especially love it for moisturizing and soothing dry or sensitive skin. You can replace the shea butter with cocoa butter for a slightly richer texture and sweet scent.
1 oz. Unrefined Coconut Oil
1 oz. Cold-Pressed Sunflower Oil or Almond Oil
2 oz. Shea Butter or Cocoa butter
5-15 drops of your custom essential oil blend
In a double boiler, melt the shea butter and coconut oil together. Then, add the sunflower oil and essential oils, and mix everything together with a hand mixer. Place the final result in a clean container of your choice. Put it in the fridge overnight to solidify. If you’ve got some cute containers lying around, these make great gifts.
DIY Moisturizer for Oily and Combination Skin
Grapeseed oil is known for its Omega-6 content, which is great for warding off acne, and has a slightly pore-tightening effect, which is why we love it in this DIY moisturizer recipe for oily skin. You can replace it with rosehip oil, which contains Omega-9 and a lot of vitamin A.
1.5 oz. Grapeseed Oil
2.5 oz. Shea Butter
5-15 drops of your custom essential oil blend
Melt the shea butter in a double boiler, and then combine it with the grapeseed oil and essential oils. Mix them together well with the help of a hand mixer, and then decant into a clean container. Place it in the fridge to slightly solidify. Wonderful!
How to Use a DIY Moisturizer
Our DIY moisturizer recipes all rely on skin-softening ingredients that help keep moisture in the skin, and they work beautifully with a long skincare routine. You don’t need to stop using the products you have—so you can hang on to that fabulous Korean moisturizer or anti-aging serum—and use your DIY moisturizer to help lock it in, especially when the weather gets extra dry. Here are some “best practices” on how to use them:
Using Your DIY Moisturizer on Your Face
Use your DIY moisturizer after you’ve cleansed your skin and removed any makeup.
If you use toner (including DIY ones with witch hazel or apple cider vinegar), splash it on your skin or smooth it on with a cotton pad.
Next, come the water-based essences and serums, and finally, if you need an extra moisture boost, you can apply a water-based cream lotion.
Then, to finish things off, scoop up a bit of your DIY moisturizer from its jar with a spatula rather than your bare hand, and rub it between your hands to melt it down a little bit. Massage it into your skin slowly, making sure to indulge yourself with an impromptu aromatherapy session with a deep inhale!
Using Your DIY Moisturizer on Your Body
The best time to moisturize your body is right after you’ve gotten out of the shower. After a steamy shower your skin is totally saturated with revitalizing water, but once you get out of the shower, most of that water will evaporate within just a few minutes, leaving your skin even drier than it was before.
By rubbing your DIY moisturizer into your skin immediately you can lock all of that amazing moisture in place.
Just scoop out a bit of moisturizer, use the heat of your hands to melt it down a bit, and then use circular motions to rub it into your damp skin. Voila, your skin will be silky soft and it will smell incredible!
How Long Do DIY Moisturizers Last?
Just like with food, moisturizers can spoil. Just as eating spoiled food can make you sick, using a spoiled moisturizer can introduce bacteria or fungus to your skin which can cause a skin infection.
Homemade cosmetics never last as long as store-bought ones, and it’s not always easy to tell how long they will actually last. It’s not always obvious when homemade moisturizer has gone bad, so you can hurt your skin without knowing that anything was wrong with your formula.
By making your own skincare in a clean environment and with sanitized tools, you can mitigate some of the risks of your moisturizer breeding bacteria.
When your moisturizer is only made up of stable ingredients like oils and plant butters, as our recipes are, it can last anywhere from 3 months to a year, depending on the shelf-life of each oil. If you mix oil that lasts for 6 months with oil that only lasts for 3 months, the final result will have a 3-month shelf life, which is the same shelf-life as the most quickly expiring ingredient.
Choosing the Perfect Essential Oils for Your DIY Moisturizer
Here’s the lowdown on some of our favorite essential oils and who they’re best for, so while you can pick based on fragrance alone, you can also decide based on the effects you want.
Lavender is an essential oil famous for having a wonderfully calming effect. It puts the mind at ease, prepares it for sleep, and it can have a soothing effect on the skin which is lovely for all skin types.
Chamomile essential oil is also known for its calming effects. It is rich in chamazulene, an anti-inflammatory compound that turns the essential oil blue and infuses it with soothing effects that are great for sensitive skin.
Tea Tree Oil is considered the best essential oil for acne-prone skin! When diluted in a moisturizer and used regularly, it can help clear out breakouts almost as well as topical acne medication.
Rose flower essential oil smells incredible and has an uplifting effect, but it is also a powerful antioxidant that makes it especially lovely for warding away the early signs of aging.
Geranium has a wonderfully refreshing scent and a calming effect on the mood, while for the skin it offers diverse effects that can help all skin types by being lightly antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory.
Patchouli is a musky essential oil known for having a wonderful reparative effect on the skin that can give both soothing and anti-aging effects.
These are just a few of our favorite essential oils, but there are plenty more amazing options with wonderful scents and effects! For facial moisturizers, we do generally recommend staying away from citrus peel essential oils since they can make the skin more sensitive to sun exposure.
While essential oils can have robust skincare effects, they can also be irritating for certain people. If you are sensitive to scents, in addition to patch testing, you might also just want to skip the essential oils altogether.
And, it’s always good to remember that any good skincare routine should include a healthy diet and plenty of water!