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Save money by making your own cosmetics

How to make your own cosmetics

Recipes abound on the Internet and in books with details of how to make quality moisturisers, facial scrubs and makeup using natural ingredients, in your own home. By following these tips, you can make cosmetics that your skin will love, both safely and inexpensively.

Getting started

Making cosmetics does involve an initial cost. Basic equipment includes an enamel double-boiler (for melting waxes) and heatproof glassware, measuring jugs and a glass dropper, an electric whisk and wooden spoons – metal utensils are at risk of reacting with ingredients – and a plastic spatula. You will also need to factor in the cost of jars and bottles to dispense your products into. Basic ingredients include beeswax and emulsifying wax, shea butter and cocoa butter, distilled water and liquid paraffin, Fuller’s earth, essential oils and vitamin capsules. Be prepared to add bran, honey or buttermilk to facial scrubs. The initial outlay is likely to be around £100-£200 for both equipment and ingredients.

A sound investment

This might sound like a lot of money, but remember that the equipment need only be bought once, the containers can be reused and if purchased carefully, the basic ingredients are relatively inexpensive. The majority of moisturisers and cleansers are made of emulsified oils and waxes mixed with distilled water. Look online for special deals. Get together with a cosmetic-making friend or two, and save even more money by buying wholesale. Where possible, purchase locally. In the autumn, beekeepers are practically giving beeswax away. Used economically, a 5 kilo-sized hunk can last for a few years.

Seeking the best

Existing statistics show that the average woman spends up to £2000 per year on cosmetics, highlighting that making your own products can save tens of thousands of pounds, over a lifetime. This is assuming that you seek only the best in skincare, of course. Very cheap products are available to buy, but chemical analysis proves that these items often contain ingredients that are harmful to the skin. One advantage of making your own cosmetics is that you can tailor a product exactly to suit your needs. Even quality commercial products are plumped with preservatives that can cause allergic reactions.

Health, safety and beauty

Test an ingredient by placing a small quantity of it on your wrist for 12 hours. If a reaction occurs, then exclude it from your batch of product and find a substitute. Keep all your equipment and containers scrupulously clean; sterilize if necessary. When in production, use only distilled water. Where possible, include antioxidant and antimicrobial ingredients to discourage bacteria growth. Avoid putting your fingers into a product; use a cotton swab instead. Products containing food ingredients, like egg or avocado face packs, should be used within one week. Follow your nose; if a product smells off, then don’t use it. Be prepared to set aside a portion of your fridge for storage, and you and your cosmetics will enjoy a happy life together.
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