Years ago, when I first had the inkling of a thought that I might want to make my own skincare products, one of the things that delayed me jumping in was that I thought the process required a lot of expensive lab equipment or extra space to store said equipment. While this is definitely true for people who make larger batches of products or sell their products, expensive, scientific DIY skincare tools certainly weren’t necessary?for me back then (or even now), and aren’t either?for individuals and small businesses who are either just getting started or only produce in small batches for themselves, private clientele, or small-scale?sales.
While it’s important to have dedicated DIY skincare tools and equipment (you don’t want to use the same ones you use for cooking your food), they’don’t have to be?expensive or even lab-like.
Here are 5 essential DIY skincare tools I started with and still use today:
A kitchen scale that measures in grams and milligrams. While it’s fine to use the simpler’s method (one part of this, two parts of this, etc), or measure in cups and spoons (and it’s good to keep those on hand too!) for more basic formulations, it’s best to create your products using grams and milligrams. This is the best way to get consistent formulas, and exact measurements, which for certain ingredients like antioxidants, extracts, and preservatives, is an absolute must.
Prep glasses or bowls. I always recommend that people measure out their ingredients and have them ready to go before they start making a product. This is the best way to avoid common errors like adding something at the wrong time or leaving out an ingredient. I have a lotion cleanser formula (that I teach in Create Your Skincare) that for some reason I always used to leave out either the witch hazel or the arrowroot powder. Once I decided to measure everything out first, I stopped forgetting to add them. It sounds totally obvious, but for some people (like me), it isn’t an intuitive thing to do. I love using Pyrex prep bowls and beakers of various sizes.
Plastic pipettes or oral syringes with plungers. Many ingredients are only used in tiny percentages in a formulation. When making larger batches, it’s easy enough to measure them out using beakers or another type of prep vessel, but for individual and small batches, it’s necessary to be able to measure out teeny tiny amounts accurately–because with certain ingredients, adding too much or too little can mess up your formula. Plastic pipettes are great for liquids, but for glycerites or other more viscous liquids, an oral syringe with a plunger will save you lots of frustration. Of course you can get a super scientific calibrated version, but if you’re not making mass quantities oral syringes from the drugstore are just fine.
Whisks and/or a milk frother. Whisks come in many shapes and sizes and are widely available in stainless steel online. These are great for gently mixing most of your potions. However, there are times when you need a little more oomph–but not so much that you need full on blending power. A little battery-operated milk brother is perfect for this, and is easy to find for usually just a couple dollars.
Double boiler inserts. When heating butters, waxes, and certain other ingredients, it’s imperative to heat these very gently to avoid cooking out their skin-healthy?properties. Some people like fancy double boiler sets, but honestly, a stainless steel double boiler insert that fits on regular pots and pans will do you just fine. They take up less space and cost a fraction of the price of a regular double boiler setup or slow cooker.
There are other things you need to make products, ?but you can get a solid start with a much smaller investment with the items above.
What questions do you have about getting started with making skincare?
Tell me in the comments below!