A few basic principles

A few basic principles

Before you start making your own cosmetics, here are a few ideas for products you can make at home. We’ve also created a list of the main ingredient categories and how they’re used.

Easiest product of all! You can use a neutral cleansing base, such as an unscented foaming gel for body and hair, and add a few drops of essential oil based on what your skin or hair need.
These products are emulsions. An emulsion combines two unmixable substances such as oil and water. In order for the emulsion to remain stable over time, the mixture requires an emulsifier that binds the 2 substances together. The same principle is used to make mayonnaise for cooking. In that recipe, the egg yolk is the emulsifier. So, to create your face cream or body milk, you will need:
  • a liquid: water or hydrolat
  • an oil: vegetable oil or butter
  • an emulsifier
You can add other active ingredients. Remember to include a preservative! You often need heat to create an emulsion. Be sure to follow the instructions in your recipe.
Masks immediately make your complexion more radiant, whether they use purifying, hydrating or other formulas. Each mask can be adapted to your skin type or what you need at the time. For one-time use, they’re generally made of:
  • a clay chosen for its beneficial properties
  • water or floral water to create a paste and hydrate skin
  • vegetable oil to nourish and soften
  • an essential oil chosen for its beneficial properties
Exfoliants remove dead cells and leave the skin soft. It’s easy to create your own single-use scrub with:
  • vegetable oil chosen for its beneficial properties or scent
  • exfoliant: sugar, coffee or salt, chosen based on the level of desired exfoliation and the application zone
Mix all ingredients and then use the mixture to gently exfoliate your skin
These are all ingredients known to have certain properties. They include:
  • vegetable oils and infused oils: known for their nourishing qualities, each vegetable oil and infusion has very specific properties. They also serve as carriers for other active ingredients such as essential oils. Vegetable oils and infusions are fat-soluble, meaning they are soluble in their fatty phases. For more information on vegetable oils and how they’re made, check out the article about them on our blog.
  • essential oils: rich in active ingredients, these oils are used in cosmetics for their various properties and/or their fragrance power. Use concentrations between 0.1% and 1% for facial products and between 1% and 3% for body products. These non-water soluble oils are generally mixed with vegetable oil so they can penetrate the epidermis more easily. Carefully read this advice on the precautions to take before using any essential oils.
  • hydrolats or floral water: known for their beneficial properties, floral waters replace the water used in “traditional” cosmetics and add other active ingredients to the product. Since they are less concentrated than essential oils, people with sensitive skin can use them and still benefit from the plant’s active ingredients. For more information on floral waters and how they’re made, check out the article about them on our blog.
  • active cosmetic ingredients: these are all ingredients with a certain property (hydrating, anti-ageing, exfoliating, etc.) that can be incorporated into homemade cosmetics. For example, vegetable glycerine is used as an active ingredient in cosmetics due to its hydrating properties.
These are all ingredients known to have certain properties. They include:
  • vegetable oils and infused oils: known for their nourishing qualities, each vegetable oil and infusion has very specific properties. They also serve as carriers for other active ingredients such as essential oils. Vegetable oils and infusions are fat-soluble, meaning they are soluble in their fatty phases. For more information on vegetable oils and how they’re made, check out the article about them on our blog.
  • essential oils: rich in active ingredients, these oils are used in cosmetics for their various properties and/or their fragrance power. Use concentrations between 0.1% and 1% for facial products and between 1% and 3% for body products. These non-water soluble oils are generally mixed with vegetable oil so they can penetrate the epidermis more easily. Carefully read this advice on the precautions to take before using any essential oils.
  • hydrolats or floral water: known for their beneficial properties, floral waters replace the water used in “traditional” cosmetics and add other active ingredients to the product. Since they are less concentrated than essential oils, people with sensitive skin can use them and still benefit from the plant’s active ingredients. For more information on floral waters and how they’re made, check out the article about them on our blog.
  • active cosmetic ingredients: these are all ingredients with a certain property (hydrating, anti-ageing, exfoliating, etc.) that can be incorporated into homemade cosmetics. For example, vegetable glycerine is used as an active ingredient in cosmetics due to its hydrating properties.
An emulsifier makes it possible to mix ingredients that could not be combined without it. For example, liquids and oils do not mix without an emulsifier, as explained above. This process is used to create a cosmetic emulsion such as a cream, milk or balm.
These ingredients regulate consistency and change product texture depending on how much is added. For example, beeswax adds texture to creams or balms while guar gum, a natural gelling agent, thickens shower gels and shampoos.
Essential oils are ideal for naturally adding scent to your homemade cosmetics while taking advantage of their beneficial properties.
Carefully read this advice on the precautions to take before using any essential oils.
You must add a preservative to prevent microbial growth in your products. For example, Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and an excellent preservative for oil-based formulas.

IMPORTANT: Before making cosmetics, it’s important to always review usage precautions. For recipes with essential oils, make sure to carefully read our advice on special precautions to take when using these oils.