Give a gorgeous, homemade, natural skincare gift this year to delight your friends and family. It will really show your loved ones how much you care and is much more fun than battling through crowded shops!
We have curated some of our most fabulous recipes in this Holiday Recipe Guide. All of the recipes feature gorgeous festive ingredients like sweet orange, frankincense and myrrh, and are quick, easy and beautiful to create, requiring only a few ingredients.
Perfect to gift… or to keep for yourself!
Remember to use only clean equipment and tools, and always follow good manufacturing practices (GMP) when making any skincare products.
Soothing Hand Lotion
This is our favorite hand lotion and we use it every day throughout the winter. It’s very nourishing and moisturizing, while also being light and quickly absorbed.
Why spend a fortune on expensive hand creams? Hands can get so dry in the winter; now you can make your own at a fraction of the cost of high street brands!
Benzoin is wonderful for chapped, dry skin, lavender is super healing and orange is a natural antiseptic and gentle disinfectant.
Natural skincare recipe
5g Xyliance emulsifier (learn more about Xyliance and alternative options here)
7g shea butter
4g sunflower oil
4g avocado oil (we use the green unrefined version in this recipe because we find it much more nourishing for our skin. You could replace this with refined if you wish)
75.1g purified deionized water
0.3g xanthan gum
1g preservative (or according to manufacturer’s instructions. Some options are here)
0.1g Vitamin E
0.4g orange essential oil
0.3g benzoin essential oil
0.3g lavender essential oil
To vary the scent you can replace the benzoin with frankincense, cedarwood, or ylang ylang essential oil. You can also substitute the carrier oils for others if you wish.
- First weigh your water phase ingredients. It’s easier to disperse the xanthan gum in the glycerin first so sprinkle the xanthan gum onto the water and combine with a stick blender or mix thoroughly with a spoon or whisk.
- Pour the glycerin and xanthan gum mixture into the water. Mix thoroughly.
- Combine the oil phase ingredients in a beaker.
- Prepare two water baths/bains-marie.
- Heat both the water phase and oil phase containers in a water bath/bain-marie until both reach the same temperature (70°C), measuring the temperature with a thermometer. Once both phases have reached the same temperature, carefully remove them from the water bath/bain marie.
- Pour the water phase into the oil phase. You can also pour the oil into the water, but some oil always gets left behind if you pour it that way around! Blend with a stick blender with a few minutes to emulsify. The warm emulsion will still be very fluid.
- Cool the emulsion down by placing the beaker in a cold water bath (sink or saucepan filled with cold water) and mixing until cool.
- Once the temperature has reached 40°C add the cooling phase and mix until uniform.
At this point you can check the pH of your product if you wish. If your preservative isn’t too pH dependent, you can likely skip this step. The easiest way to check the pH as a beginner is to spread a small amount of the emulsion on a pH strip and wait 1-2 minutes for the strip to show the pH. Then you can adjust the pH if needed. We give much more information on how to test and adjust pH in our range of courses.
Transfer to your packaging of choice and once cooled to room temperature place the lid on.
Foaming Orange Frankincense Bath Soak
This luxurious mineral bath soak is unique as it will foam when sprinkled into the bath water, creating beautiful bubbles. It’s easy to make and creates a gorgeous and impressive product.
It has a high content of minerals thanks to the salt in it and the milk powder adds a luxurious, moisturizing touch. The bath soak helps exfoliate, moisturize, soften, cleanse, detoxify, calm and soothe skin, plus it creates some lovely bubbles and provides a beautiful fragrance! What’s not to love?!
Natural skincare recipe
72g sea salt
22g sodium lauroyl sarcosinate
4g milk powder
1g orange essential oil
0.6g frankincense essential oil
0.4g sandalwood essential oil
IMPORTANT: We recommend wearing a mask when making this product as powdered surfactants have very small, airborne particles.
- Weigh phase A (the salt) and set aside.
- Weigh phase B (the sodium lauroyl sarcosinate and milk powder). Add to a mixing bowl and mix gently to combine.
- Weigh phase C (the essential oils), add to phase B and mix thoroughly.
- Mix all the ingredients together until evenly combined.
- Pour into a suitable air-tight container.
Add around 1oz or 30g to running bath water for a luxurious, soothing bath soak.
Remember to check essential oil safety data before use and do a patch test. Don’t allow any water to get into the product and store in a glass jar or tin – the bath soak will then have a shelf-life of around six months.
Simple Shea Body Butter
This recipe is super easy to whip up and so wonderful on the skin. Use for amazingly soft, smooth skin!
Natural skincare recipe
80g shea butter at room temperature (soften a little in a water bath/bain marie if the butter is cold as it won’t whisk if it’s too cold)
18g cold pressed sunflower oil (or any other vegetable/carrier oil)
2g (approx 40 drops) essential oil of your choice (optional – if you don’t use any essential oil, then use 20g of cold pressed sunflower oil)
- Whisk the butter with an electric hand whisk until light and fluffy.
- Add the sunflower oil and whisk again.
- Finally, add the essential oil, whisk one last time and decant into your containers of choice.
Shea butter is soothing and nourishing and leaves skin really soft and smooth. It’s great for all skin types, especially dry skin.
Remember to check essential oil safety data before use and do a patch test. Don’t allow any water to get into the product and store away from direct sunlight – the body butter will then have a shelf-life of around six months.
Orange and Myrrh Lip Balm
Lips balms are so easy to make. Here we show you how to make your own lip balm using cocoa butter and beeswax for their soothing and protective properties, orange essential oil for its wonderful smell and myrrh essential oil to help heal chapped lips. It’s simple to make and wonderful to use!
Natural skincare recipe
(Makes 6 x 15ml jars)
10.5g cocoa butter
20g sweet almond oil
20g avocado oil
20g apricot kernel oil
14g castor oil
0.4g sweet orange essential oil (approx 10 drops)
0.1g myrrh essential oil (approx 2-3 drops, optional)*
*please avoid using myrrh essential oil during pregnancy
- Put all ingredients, except the essential oil, in a water bath/bain marie and allow the butter and wax to gently melt.
- Remove from the heat, add your drops of essential oils and pour into jars.
- Mix thoroughly, for example with a spoon or spatula.
- Allow to cool before putting the lid on.
That’s it! Simple and lovely! These make such wonderful and inexpensive gifts.
Rose and Cocoa Butter Bath Truffles
These truffles are super simple to make, look beautiful, and leave the skin silky and smooth. We like to call these bath bombs ‘bath truffles’ due to the indulgent cocoa butter they contain.
Personalise the recipe by using essential oils, colors and petals as you wish!
You’ll notice that this recipe doesn’t equal 100g. This is because 100g isn’t really an
appropriate or workable amount of product to make in this case.
Natural skincare recipe
180g bicarbonate of soda
60g citric acid
20g cocoa butter
1g essential oil (approx 30 drops, optional)
- Melt the cocoa butter gently over a water bath/bain marie. Allow to cool slightly.
- Mix all the dry ingredients together. You may wish to put them through a sieve to make sure there are no lumps. Add your essential oil and mix in well. Add colors too, if you wish.
- Slowly drizzle the melted butter in, a little at a time, and mix well. You want the mixture to stick together when you squeeze it.
- Pack firmly into a mold – silicone molds, ice cube trays or cake cases work well. You can add a few flower petals to the bottom of the mold so that when you turn them out the petals are on the top of the bath truffle. Alternatively, if you are using cake cases you can place a rose bud or other petals on the top.
- Put in the fridge and allow them to harden (about 1.5 hours).
To use, run a warm bath and pop one in just before you get in. Relax and enjoy!
Shea, Starflower and Sea Buckthorn Face Cream
This moisturizing and rejuvenating face cream with shea, starflower and sea buckthorn is a deeply hydrating and rejuvenating cream, lending wrinkle-smoothing, cell-regenerating, firming and protective qualities to skin. It is a medium-weight face cream, ideal for those with dehydrated, damaged, under-nourished and aging skin. It is a particularly helpful moisturizer for winter months, in dry or cold climates where protecting the skin with rich emollients and occlusives may be necessary.
Natural skincare recipe
6g emulsifier, eg Olivem 1000 (INCI: Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate)
9g rice bran oil
5g borage oil
5g shea butter
1g cetyl alcohol
2g hydrolyzed oat protein
15g aloe vera juice (liquid)
33.7g purified water (deionized)
15g neroli hydrosol
0.2g xanthan gum
0.1g vitamin E
2g sea buckthorn CO2 extract
0.5g palmarosa essential oil
0.5g geranium essential oil
*As this product contains water, a broad-spectrum preservative is necessary (Vitamin E, rosemary extract and grapefruit seed extract are NOT preservatives). We like using Preservative Eco (INCI: Benzyl Alcohol, Salicylic Acid, Glycerine, Sorbic Acid) from Aromantic (UK) as it is an Ecocert-certified preservative. This is also sold as Geogard ECT, available from Voyageur Soap and Candle Company (USA) and Plantaserv M, available from New Directions (Australia). If you are using an alternative preservative you must check the usage rates with your supplier and adjust the recipe accordingly.
- Measure all of the oil phase ingredients into a water bath/bain marie (according to the recipe above), and bring the temperature to 75℃.
- Measure all of the water phase ingredients into a water bath/bain marie (according to the recipe above). Bring the temperature to 75℃. You can mix the glycerin and xanthan gum together into a slurry first and then add this to the rest of the water phase whilst stirring, to aid dispersion.
- Pour the oil phase into the water phase. Use an electric stick blender to blend at high shear until the cream has emulsified.
- Allow to cool, blending periodically. As the cream cools it will thicken.
- Once the cream is cooled (below 40℃), you may add the cool phase ingredients and mix well.
- Decant into an air-tight pump dispenser or jar.
The beginning of your natural skincare journey!
These recipes are just the start of your journey to making your own natural skincare products! In our accredited online Certificate in Making Natural Skincare Products we include 23 recipes for creams and lotions plus there are 100 other recipes for serums, oils, body butters, lotion bars, face masks, body scrubs, facial exfoliators, toners and gels.
By studying with us you’ll gain a good foundation of knowledge of different types of natural skincare products, when and why to use preservatives, emulsifiers and antioxidants, detailed information about a wide range of ingredients, including their uses and benefits, and you’ll receive a wealth of recipes to try out. By the end you’ll be able to make a complete range of skincare products with confidence (and customize them if you wish).
Plus you’ll be joining our supportive student community and if you have any questions our tutors are on hand to help.
We can’t wait to welcome you!
Download your free Natural Beauty Recipe Book!
We'd love to help you get started with making your own skincare products - products that are natural, safe and effective!
Discover our favourite recipes for:
- Frankincense Anti-Aging Facial Serum with Coenzyme Q10
- Lavender and Geranium Rejuvenating Facial Serum
- Protective Winter Time Hand Cream
- Orange and Ylang Ylang Facial Moisturizer for Dry Skin
- Grapefruit and Orange Stretch Mark Body Butter
- Soothing and Moisturizing Facial Mist
- and more!
Plus discover natural emulsifiers and preservatives, essential oils and the equipment you need to get started!
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