Ready to make skin care products at home? Here are the top 7 tools every beginner needs to get started making DIY skin care.
What if I told you that you can make stunning, boutique-quality skin care products at home, right in your kitchen? All it takes is a few simple tools, some natural ingredients, and a good DIY skin care recipe, and you’ll be cookin’! (Metaphorically speaking, although making your own skin care at home is surprisingly similar to cooking. So, if you can make a grilled cheese you can learn how to make skin care products at home.)
Gather just a few supplies, and you’re ready to get started. Here are the 7 must-have tools every DIY crafter needs to make skin care products. These are the tools I use each and every day to make amazingly effective handmade skin care, bath and body products, right in my little kitchen.
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1. Small Stainless Steel Bowls
You’ll go through a lot of bowls while crafting your products, especially when you’re trying out different recipes or experimenting with your own formulations. And stainless steel is the perfect choice.
Stainless steel is non-reactive, easily sanitized, and durable enough to stand up to fragrance, essential oils, abrasive ingredients, and just about anything else you throw at it. They wash up easily and can be tossed into the dishwasher.
If I’d have to guess, because I haven’t counted for a while, I’d say I have more than 50(!) stainless steel bowls. But unless you’re teaching classes or make-and-take skin care parties like I do, you won’t need nearly that many.
For starting out, I recommend four to six stainless steel bowls. Various sizes are nice, so you have options depending on what you’re crafting.
- Two 3/4 quart size bowls as a good all-around size that works for most skin care products
- One or two larger size (about 1 1/2 quart to up to 3 quart) for larger batches of bath bombs and body scrubs
- One or two tiny bowls for crafting small products like lip balms and facial products
2. Mason Jars
I use these all the dang time, possibly even more often than my stainless steel bowls. Mason jars are perfect for storing your handmade skin care, and for melting and mixing your products as well.
Just like stainless steel, glass is easy to clean and sanitize.
Mason jars also stand up to high heat, so you can use them, either in the microwave or in a makeshift water bath, to melt oils and butters.
I love using pint-size mason jars for making body lotion. The lotion ingredients can be melted, whipped, and stored for use, all in the same jar–one-step easy peasy!
Grab yourself several sizes and you’ll be set up for making and storing nearly every type of product imaginable.
- Quart-size mason jars make great containers for storing bath salts and bath milks.
- Pint-size jars are nice for large batches of body lotion, or body scrubs (just don’t take them into the shower with you. Slippery glass jars and damp hands don’t mix!)
- The small half-pint jars and tiny 4 ounce mason jars are lovely for storing creams, facial masks, and scrubs.
I often use mason jars as my weigh containers for weighing out ingredients too. The 4 ounce size jars are especially helpful for weighing out small amounts of fragrance oils or essential oils. Because they are glass, they won’t become marred by full-strength fragrance/essential oils.
I prefer wide-mouth jars, because I can fit my immersion blender into them. Wide mouths also make it easier to get in there with a silicone spatula to scrape down the sides. (The 4 ounce jars are only available in regular mouth, though.)
If you’re having trouble finding mason jars (thanks, 2020…) you can absolutely use up-cycled jelly jars or pasta sauce jars. These aren’t OK for canning but they are perfectly acceptable to use for making/storing your handmade skin care products.
3. Silicone Spatulas
An absolute must! Use these for stirring, scooping, and getting every last bit of beautiful ingredient out of your jars and bowls.
Just like with mason jars, try to get several different sizes so you’re set for whatever DIY skin care product you’re crafting.
I have this exact set of silicone spatulas. They’re all one continuous piece of silicone, so they’re super easy to keep clean. With other spatulas, I’ve had stuff get caught up in between the handle and the spatula end (icky) or had the handle completely fall off. These have lasted several years already, are still going strong, plus they’re super inexpensive.
4. Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons
While most handmade skin care recipes are written by weight rather than by volume (more on that in a minute) there are some instances still where you can measure in cups, teaspoons, and tablespoons.
I most often use measuring cups and spoons when I’m creating fresh facial masks or easy kitchen skin care products, like the ones found in my e-book The Farm Girl’s 5-Minute Facial Recipes and my free Handmade Skin Care For Beginners email course. Because these recipes are so simple, and don’t rely on precise measurements, they can be quickly whipped up using cups and teaspoons.
Stainless steel, again, is preferred because it is non-reactive and easy to clean. But, honestly, I’ve used my plastic measuring cups and spoons from my kitchen plenty of times and they work just fine for most ingredients. Just don’t use them for measuring fragrance oils or essential oils, because these will eat away the plastic.
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5. Digital Precision Scale Or Jeweler’s Scale
While teaspoons, cups, and tablespoons will get you by for making simple products, for making skin care that work and feel just like the professional brands you’re used to, you’ll need a digital precision scale.
Most handmade skin care recipes are written in weight (ounces or grams) rather than by volume (cups and teaspoons). So, if you want to start following recipes to make lotion, creams, facial serums, lip balms, and other yummy cosmetic products, you’ll need a scale to do so.
Measuring by weight gives you a more accurate measurement, which is especially important when working with small amounts of ingredients. Even a few drops over or under can make a big difference in your final product!
For making effective skin care at home, a precision scale (also called jeweler’s scale) is a must. You’ll want a scale that weighs at least down to 0.1 gram or 0.01 ounce.
I’ll be honest, I put off buying a small precision scale for years. I had my large KD-8000 digital scale that I used for soap making and tried to get by with that.
As much as I love my KD-8000, it just isn’t designed to measure in small increments. I was super frustrated trying to measure out minuscule amounts of preservative, fragrance, or botanicals with a large scale. It just couldn’t weight in small enough amounts, so I was forced to make larger batches than I’d like just to get around the problem.
When I finally broke down and bought a jeweler’s scale… game changer! (And I was kicking myself for not buying one sooner.)
It made crafting small amounts of product SO. MUCH. EASIER. It was infinitely more precise than my other digital scales, so the quality and consistency of my handmade products improved immensely too.
You will get so much use out of your precision scale, I promise you. It will make your crafting so much easier, and you’ll get back the money you spent on this scale by creating the most amazing, professional-quality products imaginable.
6. Notebook and Pens
Such simple things, but I couldn’t do anything without my trusty notebook and set of colorful pens! Hands-down one of the most important tools in your DIY skin care toolkit.
Whenever you’re crafting, write down everything you do. Even if you’re “just” following someone else’s recipe, write down any substitutions, or changes you’ve made to the crafting instructions.
But don’t stop once you’ve completed the product. Make note of everything you liked, and didn’t like, about the product you made. How did it make your skin feel? Was it too abrasive? Too oily? Not enough scent? Dried your skin out?
Once you have those notes, you can thoughtfully revise the recipe the next time you make it. This is an easy way to start customizing your handmade skin care, and crafting products that are perfect for you.
By keeping this recipe journal (or, more aptly called a formulating journal) your crafting skills and product formulations will grow by leaps and bounds.
7. Tried-and-True Handmade Skin Care Recipes
Now that you’ve gathered your tools and implements, what’s the last thing you need make your own handcrafted skin care products at home? Great recipes, of course!
I’ve got you covered there, my friend. Here are some of my favorite handmade skin care recipes. I’ve formulated them to be easy for beginning crafters to make, while being incredibly effective and nourishing for your skin.
Recipes for Making Facial Products
You can create your own handmade facial routine with these simple facial products. I use most of these products myself every day!
- Green Tea Facial Cleansing Milk
- Easy Oatmeal Mask – With Tips to Customize It for YOUR Skin
- Strawberry Banana Fresh Facial Smoothie
- Rosehip and Evening Primrose Facial Moisturizing Cream
Recipes for Making Body Products
Exfoliate, moisturize, and give your skin an awesome glow with these lovely body care recipes.
- Easy Sugar Scrub for Beginners
- Mochaccino Body Polish (one of my personal favorites!)
- Peppermint Orange Body Balm Stick
Recipes for Making Bath Products
DIY bath products are among the easiest, and least expensive, handmade products you can make. If you’re a little timid about making your own skin care, these recipes are a great place to start.
I’d also like to invite you to sign up for my Handmade Skin Care for Beginners course (it’s FREE!) In it you’ll learn how to craft easy, nourishing skin care using simple ingredients from your kitchen pantry. Join the 3500 students who have taken the course and learned how to make skin care products at home, quickly, simply, safely, and effectively.