First Clean your kitchen sink real good…..Just kidding
In the good old days it might just had started this way. Today with modern technology it has became more difficult. But you can still do it with normal kitchen utensils just make sure they are very clean.
Every cosmetic lab has one day or another bought stainless steel pots from a restaurant supply. They are made by the same company than you can buy in lab supplies store, just less expensive.
There are basically 3 different ways to make a Skin Care product: Gel, Emulsion and fat mixing.
I will start with the easier one:
Very easy to make and very simple, all you have to do is to choose oil and fat material of different viscosity and mix them together until you get the wanted consistency.
The best example is of this can of product is the well known Eucerin cream. This product is made of 70% Petrolatum 20% Lanolin and 5% Cholesterol. This formulation is over a century old and is why is made this way.
Lanolin and Cholesterol are the actives ingredients and are essentially the same product. Cholesterol is the active ingredient in lanolin and is extracted from lanolin, when Eucerin was made the only form of lanolin available was very smelly, so to minimize the smell and increase the active ingredient content the manufacturer added cholesterol.
Petrolatum is the carrier for the active ingredient. You can buy petrolatum in a very extensive number of viscosities, from a water like to a very heavy grease, so it is easy to formulate product of many different viscosity from hard to very fluid.
As a philosophy, I myself do not believe that petrolatum is good for your skin, and I do not use animal by product either, which are mainly waste material from other industries. Lanolin is the only exception. Lanolin is a byproduct of the wool industry, is removed from the wool in the processing of the fiber and it is not destructive of the sheep.
You can make a similar product by using cocoa butter and olive oil, starting by heating cocoa butter and adding olive oil very slowly and cooling it down to check the viscosity. You can redo this process until the viscosity is what you want, when it is… Voila!
You have made your first skin care product.
At the end you can also ad your favorite fragrance and be as creative as you want, you can use one solid one liquid, five solids 10 liquids whatever suit your creative mood.
Products have been made with everything from lard (pig fat) to caviar. Recently the benefits of shea butter on your skin has also been talked about extensively.
One thing I just want you to know and not to fail victim of slick advertising campaign: The cosmetic industry has been the dump site for the waste material of many other industries. For example to maximize their profit the fur industry after removing their skins cook up the mink cadavers skim up the fat and sell it to you as mink oil! So does the emus, broken sturgeons eggs cannot be sold either so they sell caviar extract. Most animal by product are waste from other industries.
Furthermore no matter what is said you can get better ingredients for vegetable sources!
Now lets talk about emulsions: Those are the most difficult,
You need a well balance of fat materials, water and water based material such as extract and an emulsifiers. Emulsion cream in skin care are varying between 40% to 90% water 10% to 60% fatty material and 5% to 15% emulsifier.
The best known emulsifier is a mixture of 60% Stearic acid and 40% Cetearyl alcohol and use 6% to 12% of this mixture in your oil phase.(You can buy emulsifying wax from many vendor on eBay ).
An emulsion can have a minimum of two phases to 5 or more.
We will keep it simple and demonstrate a three phase emulsion.
First gather all your fatty material including the emulsifier and heat them to 75 degree Celsius, this is your oil phase, next heat water and water soluble materials to the same temperature of 75 degree Celsius, this is your water phase. (Do not heat the extract at this time, the active ingredients in botanical extracts do not resist to high temperature).
When both at 75 degree Celsius mixed them together, at this time you will ad at least 1% to 6% of Triethanolamine (TEA) to stabilize the emulsion and raise the pH. Keep mixing until the all thing cool down to 40 degree Celsius.
At this point you can add the heat sensitive products, and this is your third phase. If you add preservative be careful usually preservative are heat sensitive too. Bravo…you just made your first skin care emulsion!
Gels are very interesting, all you need is a gelling agent Methyl Cellulose is a good one and also Carbomer better known as Carbopol, but you can choose over 100 suppliers.(You can buy Gelling material from many vendor on eBay )
All you have to do is dissolve 0.5% to 1% of gelling agent in water, when completely dissolved you ad your water soluble extract and raise the ph with (TEA) triethanolamine et voila you have just made your first skin care gel!
There are plenty other skin care products you can make as long as you have the key ingredients that make up most of these. Here’s a video to guide you on what to stock up on.
If you like to cook you will love to make your own skin care products.