Designing your own skin care products has never been easier, thanks to online ordering and a variety of apothecary stores dedicated to supporting your endeavors. Even if you aren't looking to start your own business, there are 14 tools essential to making your own DIY beauty recipes. For those just getting into making their own personal care products, you may have already noticed that there are several things missing in your kitchen and those items are standing in between you and perfecting a recipe. Naturally, just like any hobby, you'll have to invest in some supplies to take it to the next level.
One of the main reasons people are so interested in making our own skin products is to find an effective treatment that works specifically to our needs. Cross contamination, inaccurate measuring, and impure or expired ingredients can make many helpful treatments useless or worse, cause irritation making it impossible to truly get the benefits of making your own products. Another reason beauty mavens are making their own products is to have total control over what goes into our bodies. Control starts in the kitchen before anywhere else! Taking the time to purchase, for instance, separate bowls that you use for food you put in your body and food you put on your body will make your journey to DIY beauty way more successful.
This short list of 14 inexpensive tools will get you started on your DIY personal care needs and for those on a budget, I'm starting at the top with the most important tools for your journey to a purposeful skin care regimen made by you, for you.
A scale keeps your recipe more precise when measuring dry or solidified ingredients; measuring cups are great, but they are measuring fluid ounces which is slightly different than regular ounces. If all your ingredients are dry or they are all in liquid form, you can get away with using your kitchen tablespoons, but using a mixture of solidified and liquefied ingredients will be more exact when using a scale. It makes such a difference that I've put this inexpensive item number one on my DIY essentials list.
Funnels are a funny tool that you only realize you need when you absolutely need one; these cheap tools are going to control your spillage when transferring to storage containers and they are even more important when making a recipe because there's nothing worse than carefully measuring out your ingredients and then spilling a third of them before it even gets a chance to be mixed in. Purchase a stainless steel funnel so that it's works for fixed and most essential oils.
Oils can be generally pretty volatile. Years ago, I used the cap of a spray bottle and put some excess clove oil into it, only a few hours later, the plastic cap had completely eroded and I learned my lesson. Essential oils will respond differently to metals and plastic — some metals work perfectly fine with certain oils and others can cause a freaky reaction. Play it safe and purchase plastic spoons for mixing to keep your essential oils safe and effective in your recipes.
Once I started working with herbal infusions, I knew my colander wasn't going to cut it. Colanders tend to have larger holes while mesh strainers will catch smaller bits from tea, herbs, and seeds. Make sure you don't have any unwanted dander in your products by getting a stainless steel mesh strainer that will catch everything.
The only way to conquer beeswax is with a double boiler, you can use a makeshift double-boiler, but I've found DIY double boilers can turn a 20 minute DIY cream into a two-hour adventure leaving everything covered in wax. Fortunately, you don't have to purchase a top of the line double-boiler to get the job done, a cheap, inexpensive stainless steel or metal pot should get the job done...we're not heating essential oils in these pots, so don't stress too much on what type of metal your double-boiler comes in.
This free DIY tool is actually the most important to me because my DIY skills are way stronger than my math skills. These kitchen converter applications are available on all smart phones for you to convert from ounces to grams or from fluid ounces to tablespoons: these apps will save you time and product!
7. Hand Blender
If you have a blender that's used exclusively for your DIY beauty recipes, then you are already ahead of the game, but you may find that stand-up blenders or food processors are too strong for certain recipes. For example, the pressure can leave an indent in a lip balm recipe or there seems to be no middle grown between under-blending and over-blending products. Hand blenders give you way more control, they're easier to clean and get all the excess product, and they tend to be less messy than a stand-up blender. Once you start getting into making more products, you'll get a strong sense of which ingredients are better blended, hand-blended, or mixed manually.
One thing that will ensure you get all your product out of a blender or bowl is a spatula. The broad shape and bendable functionality will help you get every last bit of product. Keep it separate from the spatulas you use for cooking and keep both a silicone and stainless steel one on hand for different ingredients.
Once you've found an ideal recipe for a beauty issue, you're going to want to replicate what you did exactly and just like with our trusty scale, liquid ingredients will be measured more precisely in fluid form just as our dry ingredients are in weight. I like to keep a supply of measuring spoons separate from my cooking measuring supplies and to keep things moving? Invest in jiggers to quickly measure out ounces.
10. Rubber Gloves
When you're working with natural ingredients sans preservatives, it's easier for bacteria to survive in your finished product. Wearing gloves when making your own products is a critical step in quality control because whatever is on your hands will be in your recipe. You'll also want to keep your hands protected from undiluted essential oils as well as dryness from cleaning your products, otherwise the only recipes you'll be making is hand salve for your poor, chapped hands.
11. Coffee Grinder
Adding seeds or herbs to recipes can add some additional nutrients and you may want to powder them down to ease them into a mixture. Manual seed grinders work well, but a coffee grinder can give you that powdery effect quickly and effortlessly.
12. Spray Bottles
Obviously, some of your recipes will be housed in spray bottles, but you should also pick up some for when you're making concoctions. I like to keep a spray bottle of distilled water for wetting bath bombs or adding water to scrubs to control my water flow. You can also make an isopropyl spray to quickly clean your tools when working with multiple ingredients, these DIY sprays are great for quickly removing oil from measuring cups and will air-dry quickly in spray-form.
13. Pipette Droppers
Essential oils typically come with controlled tops to help you manage how many drops you're putting into a recipe, for the larger bottles that just have a screw top or to measure in larger quantities, a pipette dropper will help control your drops. Citrus oils tend to come out faster than thicker oils like patchouli and a dropper can stop you from over-pouring these oils. Purchase is bulk because you definitely don't want to cross-contaminate by reusing the same dropper.
If you're looking to get whole flowers and small seeds ground, but quite powdered, a mortar and pestle will do the job. These are great DIY tools especially when you're adding for aesthetic purposes and they even work for mashing dry ingredients together before blending.
Image: Kristin Collins Jackson (2), amazon.com