It was a normal weekday evening as I was preparing to remove my makeup before taking a bath. With a cotton pad in hand, I gave my makeup remover bottle a few pumps when it suddenly gave those dreaded final bubbly squirts and gave up. Nooooooo. While mentally preparing myself to fork out another $19 on a new bottle, I suddenly thought, “Wait, can I actually make this myself?” And thus began my first foray into making my own beauty products.
As an avid Pinterest fan, I’ve known for a while that making your own skincare products was possible, and that there is a whole online community that swear by it. However, I’ve always doubted the effectiveness of these homemade, natural products and dismissed it as a somewhat “hippie” hobby. It was time to put it to the test!
I went on a Google & Pinterest mission to find what I was looking for: a recipe that was 1) all natural, 2) easy to make, and 3) made from ingredients that I could easily get in Singapore. I narrowed down two makeup remover recipes that seemed the most promising, then bought the ingredients from iHerb, which is an affordable online marketplace for all sorts of things, really. For Singaporeans who can’t wait for the two-week shipping time, you can check out the legendary Mustafa as well. Both were treasure troves of a huge array of affordable DIY ingredients, but I went with iHerb as I could afford to wait and it was more wallet-friendly.
Both recipes I tried were ridiculously simple and required just two ingredients each. I laid out my ingredients in front of me, measured out one ingredient, the other, and then added both together. That was it. I kept re-reading the recipes thinking that I must have missed something out – how could it be so simple? But it was!
The first recipe I tried was from Michelle Phan. It was a simple concoction of just olive oil and aloe vera water, but unfortunately I had a few pimples popping out on my forehead within a week of using it. After doing a bit of research on the Internet, I found that olive oil is considered highly comedogenic (prone to producing acne/blackheads), and my skin definitely agreed. If you have less oily skin than me, you could still give it a try!
The second recipe though, worked for me! After trying it out for 2 weeks with no problems, I decided to add in a few drops of lavender essential oil. To be honest, it wasn’t so much for the health benefits, than for its relaxing scent. (You can read more about other great essential oils for relaxation here.) I’ve been using this for over a month now and I love it! Here’s how I made mine:
DIY Makeup Remover Recipe (based off this recipe)
- 3 tablespoons of witch hazel
- 2 tablespoons of jojoba oil
- A few drops of lavender essential oil (or your preferred scented essential oil)
Simply mix all these together in a bottle and shake well before use! You can scale up these ingredients to make as much as you want.
So my first DIY experience was a success! If you’ve been thinking about jumping in, here are some things you ought to know:
- Choice. Whether you want to use an organic product, or your skin is sensitive to certain ingredients, making your own products means you have total control over what you put on your skin. You don’t have to worry about what p-phenylenediamine is and whether your skin will like it. You can also scent it with your favourite essential oil (ahem, lavender).
- Creating a product that works for you. You know your skin best. With yourself as your own Potions Master, you can experiment in small batches until you find the best combination of products that your skin loves. You’ll no longer have to abandon large bottles of expensive products that break you out!
- Affordability. Though this really depends on your choice of ingredients and store-bought products, making your own beauty products can save you a lot in the long run. The ingredients for my simple DIY makeup remover only cost me about $25.09 for 621ml, compared to my usual store-bought remover, which costs $18.90 for 200ml. That is $4.04 per 100ml vs $9.45 per 100ml – the numbers have spoken!
- Fun! It’s a really fun process of choosing and mixing your ingredients together, not to mention the satisfaction of being somewhat self-sufficient. That’s it, I’m joining the Pinterest DIY community!
- You are your own guinea pig. Making your own products means you have to experiment with different ingredients to find the best ones that work for you. Be prepared for breakouts. Personally I think those few pimples are worth it for creating my very own magical product!
- It takes more effort to gather multiple ingredients, as compared to buying just one product from the store. You do need to shop around for a few ingredients, but I have found that DIY skincare recipes (whether it’s for a moisturiser, facial mask, or cleanser) use the same few magical ingredients like coconut oil (I love the smell!), shea butter, and certain essential oils. It is a one-time effort that is worth it!
- It can get expensive. Depending on how many different types of recipes you want to try, the cost can start to build up during the experimentation stage. However, once you’ve determined the ingredients that work for you, it will surely be more affordable in the long run! Perhaps you could gather your friends for a relaxing afternoon of experimenting and creating beauty products for each other (and of course, sharing the cost too ;))
- Effectiveness. Of course, my DIY makeup remover did what it was supposed to do. But in comparison to my usual store-bought product, it did take a just a little more time & elbow grease to get all the makeup off. It was definitely something I could overlook in favour of being able to choose what I put on my skin.
And there you have it – my very first DIY beauty product experience! I hope this has helped you decide whether to jump down the rabbit hole with me. Honestly this has opened a whole new world for me; I’ve started trying out recipes for moisturisers and facial masks as well! And I can’t wait to get into making my own lipsticks too – can you imagine, the possibilities are endless!
Do you have any concerns about making your own products, or are you a DIY guru and have a holy grail recipe to share? Tell me, I would love to try it out!
Wan Yi Koh
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