One of the greatest challenges when you want to make your own all natural skincare products is finding the right top quality DIY skincare?ingredients, that have been ethically and sustainably sourced, in small sizes, with as little research as possible. Don’t get me wrong–there are plenty of natural skincare ingredient “one stop shops” online with high quality natural ingredients, but I know from experience that when a brand new?handmade skincare enthusiast goes to one of these sites, one of two things happens (and please let me know if this has happened to you in the comments below!):
- Complete and utter overwhelm at the amount of herbs, carrier oils, hydrosols, clays, essential oils, extracts, and so on. You start reading the descriptions, and select a few…then you keep looking and within a few minutes your eyes begin to glaze over. They.all.start.looking.the.same. You panic, close your window, and that’s the end of it. Out of sight, out of mind.
- You’re like a kid in a candy shop. You get excited by all the gorgeous descriptions of how magical each ingredient is (because natural ingredients truly are magical), enraptured by exotic oils and butters that you can’t pronounce but that have been THE beauty secret of X Indigenous Tribe in the remote forests of Y Country, and you must have it. And the herbs and essential oils…how can you possibly narrow them down? All of the sudden there’s hundreds of dollars of ingredients in your cart. You buy them, and find that there’s no way?you can go through all those before they spoil. And you also likely have to hire a closet organizer to create space to display all these ingredients that you’ll never use.
The struggle is real, my friend.
In my course, Create Your Skincare, one of the most important components is that I teach my students how to choose the right ingredients for their unique skin (you can get a preview of that in my 2-part e-book system HERE) and then guide them on where to purchase top quality ingredients. But I’m often asked if I know of anyone who sells kits of DIY skincare ingredients in sizes large enough to experiment with, but small enough that they won’t go to waste. Up until now, the answer has been not really.
The main reason is because ingredient selection is a very individual thing, and different people will need different ingredients. But the problem is also that most places that sell organic, non-GMO, sustainably and ethically sourced ingredients sell in quantities that are too much for someone who isn’t sure if they’re the right ingredients for them quite yet. And let’s be honest–top quality, certified ingredients like these aren’t cheap–with skincare ingredients, you do get what you pay for in terms of quality in most cases.
Well, experimenting with DIY skincare ingredients just got easier.
I was SO excited when I was contacted by my new friends at Oleum Vera–a new DIY skincare ingredient kit company that curates kits of small experiment-friendly, top quality, plant-based DIY skincare ingredients and reusable glass bottles, plus a booklet of recipes for inspiration.
I really love this concept, because not only do they provide you with ingredients, bottles, and recipes–but they’ve already done the work to find top quality organic, non-GMO, and sustainably-sourced ingredients. Their kits are all certified USDA Organic, and also by ECOCERT, and retail for $74.95. And for that price, you get a LOT of ingredients to work with. They also ship internationally which is awesome.
What’s in Oleum Vera’s?DIY Organic Face Moisturizing Kit
The DIY Organic Face Moisturizing Kit they sent me came with a variety of oils that I would consider to be “performance oils” because they are so antioxidant rich–and are normally quite expensive. I got pomegranate seed, tamanu, jojoba, Vitamin E, and marula oils in addition to glycerine, and lavender, tea tree, geranium, and frankincense essential oils (those are the 4 most common essential oils I happen to use).
The kit also came with a little funnel, and a spray bottle and two serum bottles with droppers that are glass on the inside. All the bottles–the ones for the ingredients themselves, as well as the ones intended to package the products you make, are reusable and can be easily cleaned out and sanitized between uses.
A little note about the packaging–since the bottles are opaque, you will have to measure out your ingredients in a glass beaker to be sure you know how much you’re using. Also, though the bottles come with stoppers, I’d love to see orifice reducers (funny name, yes, but that’s what they do!) on the essential oil bottles to make them easier to pour. They way they are now, if measuring drops (which the recipes do call for), you’ll have to use a separate dropper.
The kit says it comes with enough ingredients to make 3 toners and 3 oil serums, but I will point out that the toner recipes do require the purchase of additional ingredients such as lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, green tea, with hazel, honey, and vodka. The ingredients from the kit that are used in the toner recipes are the glycerine and Vitamin E.
Though the vodka may help with natural preservation, any of these toner recipes would need to be kept in the refrigerator and used within one week; as is the case with any product containing water and perishable ingredients unless a broad spectrum preservative is used (I teach you to do that safely and naturally in my online course Create Your Skincare, by the way). So to clarify, for the toners, there is enough glycerine and Vitamin E to make three, but you’ll need to hit up your health food or grocery store (and the liquor store) for the rest of the ingredients.
I personally made a toner with green tea, cucumber hydrosol, glycerine, Vitamin E, and my own rose tincture (made with organic vodka, organic red rose petals, and the sun).
The serums are much more straightforward, because to make an oil serum, you really only need carrier oils. The essential oils are a great addition (though I don’t recommend using them in an eye serum), and the Vitamin E is an excellent addition because its antioxidant properties help to prevent rancidity and maintain the integrity of the phytochemical constituents of each ingredient. There’s easily enough product in the kit to make three different serums–and honestly you could also use these as cleansing oils as well.
All of the serum recipes that come in the booklet are ones I’d recommend. I personally made a serum for my 12 year old daughter with the jojoba oil, marula oil, Vitamin E, and tea tree, and geranium essential oils.
Overall I think the Oleum Vera kits are a great idea, and I was very pleased with the quality. I look forward to watching this concept grow, as I think it’s a very user-friendly and affordable way to get top quality DIY skincare ingredients into the hands of many, and spread the joy of boutique skincare goodness to all!