Wednesday, October 29, 2014

DIY Nighttime Facial Moisturizer / "Essence"

A little while ago I ran out of nighttime moisturizer suddenly and realized I didn't have any backup in my stash, AHHH!  What does a girl do in this case...I could have ran to the drugstore that night and grabbed something but drugstore moisturizers have never worked well for me. I remembered, that a couple of years ago I had played around with water and glycerin as a moisturizer and didn't think too much of it, but since it was all I had on hand given the "oh no!" moment, I decided to play with it some more and add a couple more ingredients. 

Water and glycerin combination used as a moisturizer is a very old DIY beauty trick. If you look at most of your store-bought moisturizers, their first two ingredients are often just that: water and glycerin. Glycerin acts like a barrier that holds moisture in your skin, so with the water and glycerin together, you effectively moisturize your skin with the water, which is then held in by the glycerin (without it the water would just evaporate and take more moisture from your skin with it as it goes). I decided to add a couple more good-for-your-skin oils to the mix just to last the night and go buy another moisturizer ASAP.

I didn't actually go buy another moisturizer though... because the result of the DIY blew me away! It worked so darn well and made my skin look so good I kept on using it... it's been about 2 months now and I have to say my skin has actually been much better for it (I continue to be shocked by this). My hubby is vegan and had been long warning me about the chemicals and preservatives in my skincare but I never listened to him. This has really made me rethink what I'm putting on my face every day. 

Let's go through the super simple "recipe" first, then I'll talk more about what changes it made to my skin.

Ingredients: distilled water, glycerin, [vitamin E oil, jojoba oil
                        [the oils can be changed to other types depending on your skin]

I use a small disposable bottle, but you could use any container you like.
First fill about 3/4 with the distilled water.

Then add in small amount of glycerin (approx 1:10 - 1:8 ratio with the water, we'll talk about adjusting after)

Then add in your oils of choice, I made mine approximately 1:10 ratio.

Close the cap and shake. It will separate of course. When I use it, I shake it well and pour out a small amount into my palm. Then I rub my hands together and pat it onto my face after cleansing/toner (much like a facial essence).

This does give a slick kind of feeling to the skin due to the glycerin, which is why I only recommend this for night time use. I have not used this under makeup so have no idea how it would perform in the daytime, but best to use your SPF moisturizer in the daytime anyhow for sun protection.

If the slick feeling is too much for you, try to lower the amount of glycerin you use (more glycerin, more slicky-ness).

So what have I noticed in the last 2 months... I seriously have not had any breakouts...NONE... Now I normally don't get much anyhow, but every month with hormones I do get patches of small acne on my forehead and occasionally on my chin. I have not had any of that since! I also get a lot of redness and flushing (probably also hormone related), and that has significantly decreased too.

Another area of significant change is dry patches. I got tons of dry patches... I've tried many brands of department store moisturizers but none completely got rid of those patches (even with daily exfoliation). Apparently, many of the alcohols and other solvents used in the commercial moisturizers can dry your skin out even more! Currently, a couple of major patches of struggle are gone entirely, what's left is significantly improved.

I have to say, as much as I love to buy and try new products, this is one thing that has made me think that I may not buy another nighttime moisturizer again... this has no preservatives, no weird chemicals that we are not quite sure what it does...   only thing is you have to remake it every 2-3 weeks (no preservatives right).

Another benefit is custom adjusting. I know my skin will get drier and drier as the weather gets colder, so what I plan to do is increase the glycerin slightly and increase the oil content more so. I will update down the road how that works out.

One more benefit...this is super cheap... The giant bottle of glycerin is like $5. The oils cost more but I use so little in the mix that they'll last a long time.

So have I convinced you? Have an open mind and give it a try yourself! What works for my skin of course may not work for yours. You also have to be careful with certain oils that may actually clog pores (ie. coconut). Do experiment a bit though, and see if you can find a combo that works for you. You can then save that money to spend on better daytime sun protection or just fun cosmetics in general :)

Let me know if you try this and if it works for you! Share with me also any DIY skincare that you make :)

If interested in more DIY, check out the following archive posts: DIY tinted lip balm, DIY avocado face mask, DIY lip scrub


  1. wow that's pretty impressive to make your own night time moisturizer and have amazing results! Skin care products are so expensive these days and DIY ones are just as good, I want to try too. I have been looking online to make bath bubble bar/fizz lately and really want to try to make my own.

    1. that's why I was so shocked I wasn't expecting anything other than a temporary fix. I wonder now if a lot of my skin issues are actually caused by the very products I use to try to fix them? Ooh DIY bubble bath would be interesting, look forward to reading about that when you try it out!

  2. Oh wow, this is amazing! Only DIY I've done is with some perfume sprays. I used to be into mixing essential oils into unscented lotion or something. ;)
    I still mix de-ordorized Argan oil with my body moisturizer but that's not pre-mixing like this.
    I like the idea of "adjusting". Thanks for sharing! :)

    1. Oh what a great idea to add your own mix of favorite scents into lotions! I like that!

  3. I've used my own mix for about 2 months and it didn't go bad. Just added about 1/4 teaspoon of vitamin C powder to the mix. I also add that to my homemade face moisturizer and it keeps it good for months. Anyway, I really love the mist!

    1. On interesting idea to add preservative! I will try that next time!

  4. I got a friend that compiled her own DIY skincare product list of recipes and you could also use yogurt and oatmeal if you're in a pickle. It works like an anti-aging cream