When you buy hand, face, or body cream, lotions, butters or serums you are buying essentially the same thing: a blend of water and oil. Differences between products come from the choice of oils, different proportions and additives such as preservatives, scent, and a host of other chemicals designed to enhance the feel, stability or efficacy of the product. When you buy moisturizer you are paying for packaging, marketing, shipping, real estate, innumerable middlemen and the lavish lifestyles of cosmetic giant CEOs... only a tiny portion pays for the actual moisturizer. In other words, making your own is CHEAP. No only that, it's EASY. And to top it all off, if your skin is sensitive, fresh moisturizer made with high quality ingredients you control is BETTER FOR YOU.
I've been experimenting for a while and I developed this recipe to help my husband's eczema. I needed a thick cream with as few ingredients as possible: when it comes to sensitive skin, less is definitely best. The fewer ingredients, the less risk of irritation.
This cream is thick and rich but is quickly absorbed by the skin and does not feel greasy. I even use small amounts on my face.

Step 1: Equipment

You will need a stick blender or a strong arm with a small whisk.

The container should be a 16 oz wide mouth jar, a recycled honey bottle or a similar container -- this cream is too thick for a pump. If you use a honey jar it should be the type which stands on the cap.
<p>Hi, my Q2 for the day. I have bought some neem oil to mix it with a base of grapeseed + castor oil, in order to make use of the &quot;miraculous&quot; healing properties of neem? The cream looks very well textured and runs smooth. The product smells awful though. Any suggestion on how to tame this aroma (decidedly for my next venture)?</p>
<p>I have to say your comment made me laugh... yes, Neem oil stinks. What I can suggest is A: using it in moderation, only 5-10% of oil content (by weight). This is not only for the smell, but because it is quite powerful and might irritate sensitive skin at higher proportions. B: don't use it for regular moisturizer, but only for therapeutic concoctions: use for lice, ringworm, insect repellent, athlete's foot, etc, not for your after-bath luxurious relaxing. C: maybe coriander might mask and make the smell more palatable? D: don't believe in miracles. Neem is great, but there is no such thing as a cure-all. My unscientific experience with it seems to indicate that it might help the ailments I mentioned above (I also mix a bit with a touch of soap and a lot of water to make a bug spray for my indoor plants) -- BUT it won't cure all these things on its own. </p>
<p>Hi, any suggestions on using &quot;cooking grade&quot; oils, for example almond or coconut oil, instead of the standard &quot;cosmetic grade&quot; variety normally used for cream making (this is what I have used in the past myself)?</p>
<p>Cooking (or food grade) oil is always fine to use for cosmetic use... it's the opposite which isn't true. You're not supposed to eat cosmetic grade ingredients, but anything you can eat, you can smear on yourself.</p>
<p>Hi,</p><p>Thanks for the wonderful instructions (I moulded the combination of ingredients more to my taste though). I was quite successful with my first try at cream making! Now I am being a bit more adventurous and trying to make some less-thick cream or lotion! Here is a simple question for any of you experienced pros: shall I increase the water content, together with the carrier oil content for making this diluted cream, or simply a bit more of carrier oil will do the trick?</p><p>Thanks.</p>
<p>For a thinner lotion, simply use more water or water-based ingredients. Keep the oils and ewax the same. And when you're mixing, pour the oils into the water, not the other way around.</p>
<p>Do you think that coconut oil would be a good oil to use to make this moisturizer? I found some ewax on Etsy for a good price and already have coconut oil on hand for other uses. Have you made this with coconut oil?</p>
Yes, coconut oil will definitely work as a substitute, I've tried it. I prefer grape seed for the smell and feel of the cream, but many other people swear by coconut. It's just a matter of personal preference and what you've got on hand.
Thank you!! I have both almond &amp; coconut oils on hand so I can experiment with both &amp; see which one I like the best.
Hi, i loved reading this article and will definitely try the recipie, as my dad and brother suffer from bouts of eczema. I just have a question about the emulsifier. Since it allows oil and water to mix, when applied to the skin, would the emulsifier also react with the natural sebum and dissolve it? And so when you wash your skin, would your skin be stripped, and be drier? <br> <br>Do you ever use any of the oils, like the ones you mentioned, jojoba and grape seed, directly on the face or body? I am currently using virgin coconut oil on my face. I like the way my skin feels but im not sure if this is the best thing in the long run.
I use jojoba oil by itself on my face. It is chemically similar to the sebum or oil our skin produces so it is readily absorbed by it. I also use Argon oil. It is an anti-aging oil. The jojoba oil is also awesome for my ultra dry curly hair. I thoroughly spray it all over my hair after an evening shower. Let my hair air as always. the next day I only use a cleansing conditioner then regular conditioner in the shower. Let my hair air dry again &amp; my curls are twice as curly, super shiny, so soft! I do it once a week.
Though I don't know for sure how the emulsifier acts on the skin on a microscopic level, I CAN say that the emulsion does not dry out the skin. When I wash my hands shortly after moisturizing, the cream does wash off, and who knows, maybe a little of my own skin oil comes off too, but whenever you wash or get wet, you should re-apply cream... so whatever has been washed off gets replaced. <br>And yes, you can apply straight oil to the skin, it's just not as convenient because it's harder to apply, it doesn't absorb as fast, and putting it all over can get messy. On a small surface which doesn't get covered in clothes (i.e. the face), it works perfectly. I usually just put a couple small drops of black seed oil on my face every day right after showering. It's easy, it feels great, I love the smell, and it's fine for the short and long term.
<p>I've been a chemist in and out of this industry for 30+ years. I hope I can get this out before too many people read and/or try this. I think I'm at the end of the mailing list here at instructables. Don't forget the lanolin, great stuff, not cheap, but great stuff. Also coconut oil has merit, and may sound strange, avocado, and as some have mentioned oils from nuts, any nut, but not peanuts ... that's really not a nut. I've been doing this for years for me and my sister, but never thought about posting it here. Great job!</p>
There's nothing wrong with reading and/or trying this!! As the title says clearly, this is a recipe for BASIC moisturizer -- i.e. simple, minimum number of ingredients to make a good moisturizer, and cheap. However I also emphasized in both the instructable itself and in the comments that other ingredients can be added or substitutes used. I've used lanolin, coconut oil and avocado oil too (and included them in some other recipes I've posted on Instructables), but there's absolutely no harm in starting with something simple. In fact, for very sensitive and allergic people it's a distinct advantage.
belsey, perhaps you misunderstood me. I am agreeing with you. This is a perfect base to start with, or use as is. However with this base one could then go in a variety of different directions. That's all
<p>Yes, I admit I was confused by your comment... When you said you're a chemist who hopes you &quot;can get this out before too many people read and/or try this&quot; it sounded like you were warning people against making this for safety reasons. I'm glad I misunderstood.</p>
<p>How well would this moisturizer work as a diabetic foot cream? The stuff the foot doctor recommended was way too expensive and smelled awful! I'd love to find an alternative.</p>
<p>I don't know anything about diabetic foot cream... Either it's medicated (which strikes me as doubtful) or it just does not contain ingredients diabetics need to avoid. As far as I know the ingredients here are perfectly safe for diabetics, but to be sure, check with your doctor. </p>
<p>It is not necessary to use the first catch of the day...however... it is more concentrated. Best time to collect is between 3-5 am due to the appearances of hormones. I do not stick to this...just the first session of the morning usually around 6am. I would not advise to mix urine with creams as there are a large number of chemicals in our urine and this mixiing with creams complicates things. Just use it plain. At first the whole process was strange as it was necessary to overcome years of incorrect knowledge about our urine. If... one purchased all the chemicals found in the urine... then mixed them with &quot;clean&quot; water... one would arrive at the same smell. Urine has a tiny...tiny amount of impurities, however, it is a filtering mechanism to eliminate that which is in overabundance for that time. A lot of computer generated analysis going on to decide which one and when to get it out of the blood. If you serve your dinner and there are leftovers at the table...what do you do with them? Do you consider them &quot;dirty&quot; because the are left over? Do you not just remove them? There you have the simplified version of a very complicated chemical filtering process made by the kidneys. My wife had a rash on her chest... the &quot;medical creams&quot; just turned it down but did not eliminate it. She applied urine and in 10 minutes it was gone... the itching as well. Please drink lots of water. Best to get more information and there is a lot of it available. Perhaps is good to note, (being an specialist in chinese herbal medicines and o a lot of herb combining) that there is a lot of misinformed information as well on the net. Best to get to the areas of investigative work to get things straight. From the &quot;Docs&quot; is generally not a good place as they get a bit edgy over things that work well and are inexpensive.</p>
<p>I am a Doctor of Oriental Medicine.... after so many years of good health I came down with Psoriasis. This skin condition is multifaceted and extremely difficult to get rid of yet..with patience I found Urine Therapy. I no longer have this skin problem... and also have the softest most envious skin imaginable due to the Urea. I add my comments so that exzema sufferers can stop suffering. Collect the first morning discharge... apply liberally to the skin...let soak in 10-15 minutes everyday. Usually in 1-2 weeks things have changed. It is not dirty... it is sterile and the smell comes from the chemicals not being dirty. Get over it... and it will change your life. </p><p>Blessings to all.</p><p>A.Ahrens</p>
One could also use urea -- not as cheap or easy to get, but less of an &quot;eww&quot; factor. However even that is not necessarily for everyone: whenever I put even the tiniest amount of urea in a cream my husband immediately starts to itch....
<p>Thank you Alberto-a7, I suffer also from psoriasis and I like the idea of using your own urine as have heard of urine being used to treat other skin diseases. Does it only have to be the first 'wee' of the morning you can use??</p>
<p>Where did you come up with Germall Plus? This is nasty stuff in that it causes your finished product to release formaldehyde. How about some vitamin E oil instead? </p>
<p>I also recommended vitamin E, but vitamin E is an anti oxidant which helps prolong the life of oils, so it's perfect for balms which don't contain any water -- it doesn't do much to preserve emulsions. Germall Plus is easy to use, effective and better than other preservatives. Also I did mention I generally prefer going preservative free, but for those who are selling or giving products to others, they need to be able to guarantee that the cream won't turn foul in a few days. They'll need more than vitamin E.</p>
<p>Just a little about using water.</p><p>When I trained as a pharmacy technician, many eons ago, the recipes for creams always called for using &quot;freshly boiled and cooled water&quot;. We often used sterilised distilled water in the pharmacy just because we had it on hand from stock.</p><p>Some of our trainee pharmacists were doing a project on Quality Control for their theses and decided to test the water from the De-ioniser in our manufacturing department. They found it was HEAVING with microbes - all nicely nested in the resin core. This led to a hasty revision of all the manufacturing recipes for anything for internal or external human use. After that the D.I. water was mostly used for diluting powerful chemicals (formaldehyde, phenols and such) and they renewed the core and checked it at increasingly regular intervals.</p><p>Since then I have always been wary of D.I. water and I personally would not use it to make creams, distilled water is fine (it won't have the ions in it that can react unfavourably with any of your other ingredients) and well boiled and then cooled water should be pretty safe.</p>
<p>an important point to remember when using metabisulphite based products to sterilize equipment is that a growing number of people experience allergic reactions from sulphites.</p>
<p>I'll bet One-Step is simply metabisulphite powder which you can purchase in bulk for around $3 a pound at wine making supplies and some bulk foods stores.</p>
Please put me on your mailing list. Holiday.geiger@gmail.com <br>Thanks, H
<p>You wrote this comment a year ago and I never saw it! Sorry, I will add you today.</p>
Sorry i cant upload photo for some reason
<p>Can't help you there... Were you trying to upload a picture in the comments? There's a button in the reply box for adding a picture, if that's not working you should contact instructables staff.</p>
What i could have done wrong...its not curdled while blending but its like a silky white water? Pls advice what you think?
<p>Sorry, I didn't see these comments till today. As you see in my pictures, a silky white color is correct.</p>
<p>I would like to know where you purchase your supplies. I've never gotten oil and ewax that didn't cost me $20.</p>
<p>There's a link to my supplier in step 3 -- this was a couple years ago, plus I bought in bulk so the price could have gone up since... I calculated the cost based on how much is used in one batch, not the full cost of that one-time purchase.</p>
Please that photo
What i could have done wrong...its not curdled while blending but its like a silky white water? Pls advice what you think?
Hi. Have you tried or do you think will work to use aloe vera jucie or gel instead water? Thank you.
<p>Yes, I've made cream with aloe vera juice or gel and it works well.</p>
I will try it then. Thank you very much for quick replay.
Hi, I've been testing out some ingredients and ways to make creams, but even with the ewax, it still ends up curdled... I did not wisk with an electric supply though, I only took a regular wisk and did it by hand. Could it be the problem? I would really love to give some as a gift for Christmas so I have to find a way to make it nice and silky.
Did you find the problem? If yes was the issue? Please advice. Thank you
That's never happened to me with ewax, and I've been using it for years -- then again I've always used a hand held blender. I can only think of 2 possible reasons: both the oil/wax mixture and the water-based mixture must be hot. Other possibility, whether mixed by hand or blender, the 2 need to be blended slowly together -- in other words, pour the hot oil into the hot water slowly (a very thin dribble), while beating it with all you've got. That should work. Third possibility: are you using these proportions, or improvising? You need to keep the balance (by weight, not volume) close to what I give here or you'll run into trouble. Good luck!
I made this moisturizer and I am so excited how it turned out. I bypassed the preservative since it is just for me and will be keeping it in the refrigerator (of course giving it a little smell test before I use it). I also used some grapefruit essential oil since fragrance doesn't normally give me much trouble. I used a whisk to emulsify and it was fine. Thanks!
Thanks for the reply. You're right about the oils being messy business. I tend to take out just a tiny amount of coconut oil and thoroughly apply it to my face, then gently wipe off the excess. It does take a while to get absorbed, but the end results are really great!
Hi, I love your recipes. I have very dry skin and have become photo-phobic (I stay out of the sun). The dry skin is from a lifetime of kidney disease (I'm 59) and the photo-phobia is because I've been transplanted (twice now &lt;3) and the drugs I take that allows the kidney to live in my body reduces my immunity to cancers and I have pretty bad sun damage to my skin and I've also had a lot of skin cancers removed. <br> <br>However, the point of this little message is to say that when I clicked on your link to add my name to your mailing list, I got a message to say, &quot;This is somewhat embarrassing, isn&acirc;€™t it? It seems we can&acirc;€™t find what you&acirc;€™re looking for.&quot; <br> <br>Is there another way to add myself to your mailing list? <br> <br>Thanks, <br> <br>Judanne <br>Tasmania
Hey all. I wanted to throw this out there for what it's worth. I do a bit of home brew. So sterilizing my tools is very important. I use a product called OneStep. Best I can tell, it's similar to OxyClean in that it's a powder and it cleans using oxygen. I think. I'm no chemist. But I'm betting it would work great on plastic bottles. Maybe check out your local home brew store and see what they have. I love the stuff I use. It hasn't failed me yet. I'll try this recipe and try my OneStep on some bottles. Let them sit for a year then open them up. Hopefully I'll remember and come back and post my findings. Thanks for the instructable!!!
hey! <br>Im starting my own company which sells lotions and moistrisers. This really helped to get me started. Thanks! <br>But how much does the recipie make?:)
Nice instructable.<br /> Can ewax be replaced by bee wax (easiest to find here) ?<br />
&nbsp;You will need to add a small pinch of borax if you want to use beeswax. Also you might need to adjust the quantity. I find creams with beeswax aren't as stable (the oil and water tend to separate) so maybe a pinch of xanthan gum would help too.

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Bio: I am a paper engineer, writer, maker and chemist wannabe. In addition to pop-up cards I design and build furniture, lights, costumes or whatever I ... More »
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