How to Custom Make Moisturizer at Home

face moisturizer homemade

Moisturizer and moisturizing cream is one of the steps in a daily skin care routine.  There is a common belief that people with oily skin should skip on moisturizers, oils and face butters.  However, it is a very common mistake.  

One of the reasons people have oily skin is due to dehydration and lack of moisture.  Receptors on the skin detect that it is dry and starts producing more oil; giving our skin greasy and shiny look.

In this post we will explore recipes of homemade moisturizers for face.

How DIY moisturizers benefit your skin / What is a moisturizer

homemade moisturizer for the face

All moisturizers that we prepare at home are emollients, occlusives and humectants.

Emollients– soften the skin. Examples of emollients are oils, butters, lipids and fatty acids.

Occlusives – create a physical barrier on the surface of our skin.  Their job is to prevent moisture from escaping our skin. The most common examples of occlusives are wax and demithocone (or selicons).  

Humectants – attract water and bring moisture to skin (and hair).  Examples of humectants are hyaluronic acid, honey, vegetable glycerin, sorbitol, water and lecithin. 

In other words, every time you apply a homemade moisturizer, you are strengthening your skin barrier, preventing moisture from escaping, attracting moisture and softening the skin.

How do you make homemade face moisturizer ?

All homemade moisturizers follow the same algorithm for preparation: 

Base + Emulsifier + Additives

 The main component is oil base: lanolin, glycerin, bee wax, butters and/or carrier oils.

Emulsifier: aloe vera gel, honey, herbal or fruit infusions, or distilled/mineral water

Additives: essential oils and vitamins

General steps in preparation of any homemade moisturizer for face

These are the steps that you should follow when preparing any type of homemade moisturizer, cream or body butter.

  • In double boiler melt the base.  The most important thing here is not to let base to boil; otherwise it loses all benefits.
  • Add emulsifier, stir for 2 minutes letting base and liquid mix together – usually emulsifier should be 2% of the total mass, however, if you desire a more liquid consistency, you could add more.
  • Remove mixture from heat, let cool and add essential oils of vitamins.
  • Whip the end product with a hand blender.
  • If you know general basic steps how to prepare a homemade moisturizer or cream, then you can customize ingredient to address your skin’s issues.   

You can choose your base according to its functions: healing, nourishing, rejuvenating etc. 

Same goes to emulsifiers and additives: for example, you might consider anti-inflammatory, healing, anti-bacterial and anti-aging ingredients when designing your product.

We will explore how to choose your ingredients for a homemade moisturizer a bit further in a post.

How to store homemade moisturizer and cream?

hair mask for dry hair

It really depends on the product and how you prepared it.  Some products could last as long as a year in a fridge and 6 month on a shelf.   And others have 5 day shelf life only.

I suggest that you read recipes instructions and also consider what kind of ingredients you  are using for your product.  

For example, I know from personal experience that herbal infusions do not last long, 5 days the most (on the self and maybe 2 weeks in the fridge).  

Then if I decide to make a product with herbal infusion, I would not expect it to last longer than 5 days.

What is the best homemade face moisturizer?

I think this is one of the most common questions (well, in different variations).  

And if somebody tells you the exact name of “the best toner, cream, essence etc” (whatever product you are seeking for), then you could be certain that it is not true.

Because everyone’s skin, issue, age, lifestyle, allergies, skin needs are very different.

So the truthful answer to the question: “what is the best product” should be “the one, that is suitable for your skin type and addresses your skin’s needs”.

Same goes to the “what is the healthiest moisturizer?” question.  The answer is: “the one that brings your skin benefits without causing adverse (bad) reactions”.

I know that there are tons of recipes of homemade moisturizers for face.  And you will find them on my blog as well.   There is nothing wrong in following the recipe especially if you are starting out.

However, I also advise you to read about ingredients on their own, what kind problems they solve and decide, whether your skin needs those ingredients. 

Start designing custom-made products that catered to YOUR needs.

You can always, always, always adjust a recipe to omit or add a necessary ingredient.

Moisturizer Base – Oils and Butters

homemade moisturizer shea butter

You can use any oil and butter or the combination of those for your product.  

I personally do not like coconut oil or butter for my face; I find that it clogs my pores and irritates my skin if I use for a long time.

However, it works very well for body, feet and hand creams. And many people like both and find that both sooth and nourish their skin.

Shea butter is the  butters of choice for facial creams and moisturizers.

As for liquid oils, I first pay attention whether oil is comedogenic (meaning, closing pores and causing whiteheads and blackheads) or not. 

I know for a fact, that almond, apricot kernel and coconut oils clog my pores very well and fast. Although if your refer to the table below, sweet almond oil should be very safe to use on the face.

I tried many oils and these are my favourite: jojoba, grapeseed, and sesame.  (and notice that both jojoba and grapeseed have the same indicator of 2 as sweet almond oil; however neither of these oils clog pores for me). If we were to consider richer and more expensive oils, I LOVE cranberry seed, rosehip and rose oils. 

Ultimately, decide whether you wan to make your cream/moisturizer for your face or body.   

Our face needs more delicate, non-comedogenic, non-irritating oils.  

Our body needs more rich and “fatty” ingredients, especially our feet, elbows and hands.   And our body does not really care about comedogenic properties. 

I made a table of oils and butters that suit best either face, body or both.  Hopefully, it will help you with your decision.

comedogenic vs noncomedogenic oils and butters

Emulsifiers In Your Moisturizers

chamomile benefits for skin

As I mentioned, emulsifier is a some sort of liquid that “soothes and softens” your oil/butter base.

These are my favourite emulsifiers: aloe vera gel or juice; honey, herbal infusions, rose water and or mineral water.

I substitute herbal infusion with mineral water if I want my product to have a longer shelf life.

If you go through my blog, you will find tones of information on many herbs, honey and aloe vera.  I am going to include links to those posts to ease the search.

aloe vera honey

Aloe Vera




Green tea


Rose Water

I always use tea tree oil for my additives, because this is what my skin personally needs.  You can find information about tea tree oil HERE.

I would like to direct you to the article by Healthline. There you can read extensive information about essential oils that are beneficial for our skin.

Rose water for skin, rose water for hair, rose water benefits

What can I use instead of face moisturizer?

You can simply apply any oil that you have and like.  There was a time, that I used cranberry seed oil only as a moisturizer and loved it dearly.

Always apply your moisturizer after toner and essence/serum – moisturizer will lock in all the good ingredients containing in previous two products. 

Can I skip moisturizer and use sunscreen?

Absolutely.  Especially if your sunscreen contains some sorts of oils and moisturizing ingredients.

Sometimes it is just too much for our skin to have both moisturizer and sunscreen on a boiling summer day.

I hope by this time you have an understanding on the basics of homemade moisturizer and cream preparation.   In the next post we will explore different recipes, so you can give your skin well deserved glamorous pampering and transformation.

Stay beautiful!!!!!!

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