DIY Ski Care

Many years ago, a colleague gave me a gift for Christmas. It was a home-made body scrub. I loved that gift, and after I used it up, I decided to make my own.

Then, I thought, why stop there? The Internet is a font of information on making DYI skin care cosmetics, and I dove in. I did a lot of experimentation. Today, most of my regular skin care is DIY, and I have in turn given samples to many of my friends.

Here are my favorite recipes for basic skin care cosmetics. If you can cook, even a little, you can make these easily. They are also inexpensive. You might need to experiment a little to create the formula you like best, but that is part of the fun. And you can choose whatever scent oils you like, or make custom gifts for your friends.

Also, you know exactly what is going into these potions, so you can be sure they don’t contain random chemicals. Just keep in mind that some things without preservatives, such as skin cream, will not keep indefinitely, so it’s best to make small batches. All of the recipes below are for small batches, but you can easily multiply them if you are making holiday gifts or party favors.

Happy mixing!

Ingredients and Equipment

Here are a few suggestions on acquiring ingredients and equipment for these recipes.

  • Bottles and Jars. Part of the fun of making some of these potions is to use professional looking jars. These can be acquired easily and cheaply on Amazon. For example: glass 1 ounce jars are good for skin cream and masques, small silicon muffin forms are good for making soaps, and waterproof jars are good for scrubs.
  • Shea Butter and Mango Butter. I get mine from Better Shea Butter. It’s best to refrigerate these if you want to keep them long-term.
  • Essential Oils and Scent Oils. My favorite suppliers are Radha and SVA. Both can be bought on Amazon, or Radha sells directly on its website. My favorite scents are lavender, peppermint, lemon, orange, nutmeg, jasmine and coffee oil. Rose oil is quite expensive. Coffee oil is also expensive, but a little goes a long way.

Skin Cream

  • 2 teaspoon mango butter
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 full eyedropper rose hip oil
  • 1/2 eyedropper scent oil
  • Melt the mango butter and coconut oil in a pyrex, in mild heat. It’s best to use the bread proof setting on your oven (which is about 100F/38C), and it should melt in an hour or so. Mix to get rid of any clumps. The microwave is harder to control, so I don’t use it.
  • Add the rose hip oil and scent oil, and stir.
  • Once it is melted and mixed, you can whip this with a hand blender if you like, but I find this unnecessary.
  • Cool in the fridge. This is helpful to prevent crystallization.

A few notes on this recipe. This cream is about the consistency of butter at room temperature (70F/21C), so you need to rub it in your hands to apply it. If you want a software texture, use more coconut oil in relation to mango butter. I use mango butter, but shea butter works as well. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature but melts fast, so if the weather gets very hot (above 90F/32C), this cream might melt into oil. If it re-solidifies slowly in ambient temperatures, it might crystalize, making it harder to apply smoothly–in which case you need to melt it back down and cool it quickly in the fridge. Finally, avoid scent oils like peppermint, ginger or nutmeg on creams that will go near your eyes, as it might irritate them. Lemon, orange, and lavender work fine.

Skin Scrub

  • 1/2 cup sugar (plain white, crystallized)
  • 1 full eyedropper scent oil
  • 1 full eyedropper rose hip oil
  • 1 piece of fresh orange or lemon peel (reduces crystallization by absorbing water)

Just mix it all up.

I store this in a water-tight jar in the shower and use it for face and body scrub. White sugar is very good for your skin. (Not so good for your teeth!) You can also use raw sugar if you prefer that, in which case you might add a carrier oil like almond or apricot.

This mix will crystalize as it is exposed to moisture, so make small batches. It is wonderfully fluffy when fresh.


  • 1 tablespoon matcha (green tea powder, pure tea only)
  • 2 tablespoons honey (get pure honey, no additives)

Mix together slowly. When it is all mixed, it will be like honey, but a little less sticky. You may want to warm it up slightly before use, to make it a little easier to spread. Be careful about doing this in the microwave, because you can burn yourself if you make it too hot. It’s better to warm it in the sun or in the oven on bread proof mode. This makes enough for about two applications.

Spread it on your face and wait about 20 minutes, then wash off with warm water.


  • 1 ounce rose water
  • 1 ounce witch hazel (get pure, no additives)

Mix together and put in a spray bottle. Use after washing to tone your skin.


It’s very difficult to make soap truly from scratch, so I start with clear glycerin soap and mix it with my ingredients of choice. Here is a sample recipe.

  • Plain soap (two 1-inch squares)
  • 1/2 cup coffee grounds (new, or reuse from when you make your coffee)
  • Coffee essential oil, a few drops

Melt the soap (microwave or oven on bread proof setting) in a pyrex, add the other ingredients, mix, and pour into a silicon mini muffin form. Allow to cool overnight.

Note: I need to check on the amounts and will update this page when I do. The coffee grounds make for a nice exfoliant, and the coffee oil smells lovely.

You can experiment with adding citrus zest, flower petals, or ground spices.

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