In many cultures around the world, people used to make their skincare products as a tradition. Nowadays people are looking for ways to ease their daily schedule and they prefer products that are ready-to-use and easy to buy. That’s why the skincare business is growing every single day. However, consumers often choose to buy cosmetics that are made with organic and natural ingredients, which may have advantages for the skin.
On the other hand, people have also shown some interest in DIY cosmetics and there are more and more individuals on the Internet offering recipes for different kinds of homemade skincare.
We all know that hydrating your skin every day is one of the main things responsible for a youthful skin, especially if you are exposed to many toxins (in the environment or in the products you use). Thus, a homemade face hydration cream would give you a nice touch of a natural nourishment, giving you the satisfaction that you are using your own creation.
Every single one of us likes different kinds of moisturizers- there are million version out there and the important thing is to find the one that suits your skin best.
The process and ingredients
I am totally new to making my own cosmetics and, unlike cooking, I didn’t want to experiment at all. I wanted to find a recipe that I’d trust and then follow it step by step, because I had no idea what the basics are for homemade cosmetics and I didn’t want to ruin anything.
I tried Dr. Axe’s recipe for a face moisturizer suitable for all skin types. It had shea butter, jojoba oil, tamanu oil, peppermint essential oils and rosemary oil (which I forgot, oops).
Let’s talk a bit about the ingredients and how they nourish your skin. The simpler the recipe, the better it is (according to me).
This is fat, which is extracted from a nut tree (Vitellaria paradoxa), originating in Africa. It is edible and although it is used in skincare products, it is also a substitute of cocoa butter in the chocolate industry (Oluwaseyi 2014).
This butter has a creamy consistency which has skin softening and anti-inflammatory properties (due to the high amounts of tree-nut oils and vitamins) (Watson 2019). According to an article published in the American Journal of Life Sciences (2014), the anti-inflammation and sun protective properties of Shea butter are proven by scientists.
There are some studies that look into the anti-aging properties of the butter, but there is not sufficient evidence by now. However, it is believed that it is related somehow to collagen- whether it is promoting its production or reducing its breakdown.
And if you are allergic to tree nuts, don’t worry- the chances that you’d be allergic to this butter are very low (maybe because it contains mostly fats, and the protein content, which triggers the allergic reactions, is very low) (Watson 2019). However, this definitely does not exclude any risks of its usage. The American Academy of Dermatology has published an article about DIY acne treatments, where it is written that shea butter (as well as cocoa butter) might clog the pores of the skin, leading to more acne.
This oil as well as wax are made from a seed (Simmondsia chinensis) that is common in Northern Mexico and some parts of the USA. It is generally used in manufacturing of shampoos, skincare products and makeup. Additionally, sores and bruises are treated with it.
Jojoba oil acts as an emollient to sooth the skin and some people say that it can unclog hair follicles. Thus, bald people tend to use it because they believe that due to the unclogging, there is a higher chance to grow new bits of hair (WebMD 2020).
In regard to its nutritional content, jojoba oil is rich in vitamins such as vitamin E, vitamin Bs; and minerals- iodine, copper, chromium, zinc. Fatty acids such as erucic fatty acid, gadoleic fatty and oleic fatty acid are found as well.
All of these beneficial ingredients contribute to the benefits of jojoba oil: it moisturizes the skin, removes makeup, prevents burns and promotes skin health (Ruggeri 2019).
Tamanu nut tree is where the oil is extracted from and it has been used for many years medicinally in Asia and Africa. It is known for its beauty benefits. For instance, one study found that tamanu oil acts as an acne treatment because of its antibacterial and wound-healing properties (it acts against some bacterial strains- P. acnes and P. granulosum, which are the ones causing acne) (Leguillier 2015).
Other benefits include anti-aging prevention, treatment of dark spots and skin dryness. Some people treat inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema but not enough research is done to support this.
N.B.: Tamanu oil falls under the category of “health supplements” and it is not legally authorised by the FDA as a medical treatment for any disease. Moreover, if you have an allergy to tree nuts, it’s better to avoid using tamanu oil as it may promote allergic reactions (Santos-Longhurst 2019).
Peppermint essential oil
Essential oils are widely used to treat many different conditions such as muscle aches, seasonal allergies, inflammatory and chronic diseases. Peppermint is believed to have enormous antimicrobial and antiviral properties which act as antioxidants, antiallergens and pain-killers (McKay and Blumberg 2006).
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF DERMATOLOGY (AAD), 2020. 10 Tips for clearing acne in skin of color. [online]. United States of America: AAD. Available from: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne/DIY/skin-color [Accessed 11 April 2020].
OLUWASEIY, M., 2014. Effects of Topical and Dietary Use of Shea Butter on Animals. [online]. Nigeria: Science of Publishing Group. Available from: www.sciencepublishinggroup.com/journal/paperinfo.aspx?journalid=118&doi=10.11648/j.ajls.20140205.18 [Accessed 11 April 2020].
WATSON, K., 2019. Shea Butter for Your Face: Benefits and Uses. [online]. United States of America: Healthline. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/shea-butter-for-face [Accessed 11 April 2020].
WEBMD, 2020. Jojoba oil. [online]. United States of America: WebMD. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-618/jojoba [Accessed 16 April 2020].
RUGGERI, C., 2019. Jojoba Oil Benefits for Face, Hair, Body and More. [online]. United States of America: Dr. Axe. Available from: https://draxe.com/beauty/jojoba-oil/ [Accessed 16 April 2020].
LEGULLIER, T. et al., 2015. The wound healing and antibacterial activity of five ethnomedical Calophyllum inophyllum oils: an alternative therapeutic strategy to treat infected wounds. [online]. San Francisco, California: PLOS. Available from: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0138602 [Accessed 16 April 2020].
SANTOS-LONGHURST, A., 2019. Everything you need to know about tamanu oil. [online]. United States of America: Healthline. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/tamanu-oil [Accessed 16 April 2020].
MCKAY, DL. and BLUMBERG, JB., 2006. A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea (Mentha piperita L.). [online]. Boston: USDA Human Nutrition Research Center. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16767798 [Accessed 16 April 2020].