The Basics Of Making DIY Cosmetics

   Since I have been posting several DIY recipes,  I wanted to go through a couple of basics guidelines which will help you successfully mix stuff, create your own recipes or modify existing ones.

* Some ingredients can be applied on the face in full concentration without harm (water, hyaluronan) while others need to be diluted. On the product description it should say in which concentration it can be used (if not, research this online). For example mandelic acid is moisturising in concentrations up to 10%, in higher concentrations till 35% it acts like a chemical peel. Higher concentrations than that can damage the skin.

* It is a good idea to buy from websites that have good product descriptions. I buy from and recommend Zrob Sobie Krem, although the English version of the site is not quite ready yet.

* The percentages here refer to grams, not ml!  So if you are making 50gms of cream, 10% will be 5gms. When planning what you want to add into your product, write everything down, making sure that you are accounting for 100% of the product. For serums, I like to first decide how many gms of the product I will be making, then list the exact amounts of extracts, humectants, etc I want to use and calculate how much water I need to add in the end. For example if I want to make 100 gms of a very basic mandelic acid toner, I can use 5gms mandelic acid (I'm just starting out with acids so I want to start gently), 5gms hyaluronan  and 90gms water.

* If you are using a ready recipe and want to skip an ingredient, you need to replace it with another ingredients or with water otherwise the concentrations of the active ingredients will be off. In the toner above I can skip the hyaluronan but I have to replace it with water (or another ingredient) otherwise I won't have a 5% concentration of mandelic acid.

* Use sensitive scales to calculate all of this. Jeweler's scales are best.

* Some ingredients have to be heated up to dissolve. Some can be damaged by heat. Always check this in the product descriptions. If necessary, mix up the heat-friendly ingredients together and then let cool before adding heat-sensitive ones.

* Some ingredients dissolve only in water, some only in oils. When making cosmetics we talk of the "water phase" -- this means using water (or a hydrolate) and adding to it all the ingredients that dissolve in water. In the "oil phase" we mix into the oil all ingredients that dissolve in the oil. In the end the water phase and the oil phase are mixed together with the help of an emulsifiers (a substance that helps water and oil combine).
     When buying ingredients, always check whether they dissolve into water or oil. If you want to make a serum without oils, you obviously cannot add any ingredients that dissolve only in oil.

* There are several different emulsifiers out there. Check the product descriptions to see whether they have to be added to the eater phase or the oil phase, heated or cold, and at which pH levels it works.

* The pH level of the product is very important. The recommended pH level is between 5,5 -6 (except for acid peels and vit C serums). The wrong pH level stresses out the skin and may even "burn" it. You need pH strips to test your mixture. To make it more alkaline you can add baking soda, to make it more acidic add lactic acid.

* Use distilled water whenever possible. Tap water can contain chemicals and minerals, mineral water also contains minerals which may not necessarily be good for your skin.

* There needs to be a balance between active ingredients and humectants (moisturising ingredients). A cosmetic with only vitamins and extracts but no moisturising ingredients won't work well on the skin.

* You can replace most oils with other oils. Always read up about the properties of the oils that you intend to use.

* Use non-metal containers and tools. Some ingredients may react to metals, so stay on the safe side. Glass, porcelain and plastic is best.

* Keep all of your tools clean. Clean them thoroughly, and disinfect with alcohol or boiling water.

* I have a running list of DIY cosmetic ingredient suppliers here.

* You can find my DIY cosmetic tutorials here.

    Let me know if you have any questions :)

Source: Italiana

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