" Blog da Horta Biológica: DIY | Natural Moisturizing Cream | Step by Step Tutorial | Recipe for All Skin Types

DIY | Natural Moisturizing Cream | Step by Step Tutorial | Recipe for All Skin Types

At the request of several of our readers and subscribers, today we bring you a recipe for a homemade moisturizing cream. We have already shared here on the blog our very simple recipe for Homemade Natural Moisturizer with 3 ingredients only, but in today's post, we will teach you how to make a moisturizer from scratch. The recipe we created for this post can be used on all skin types. At the end of the post, also check out our educational video with step by step instructions for this recipe.

Before jumping into to the recipe, it is important to get some basic knowledge about the formulation of a cream. The purpose of this post is not to teach how to formulate, but to understand, in a simple way, how a cream is made. So, let's get by parts...

Phases of a Cream

Making a real cream involves several distinct phases. Let's look at each one.

Oily Phase

In this phase, in a glass container, the fats are added: vegetable oils, waxes and/or butters. This is when you must choose the ingredients that best suit your skin type. So that this recipe can be made at home by as many people as possible, we chose jojoba oil, since it can be used on all skin types. However, as an example, here are some easy-to-find vegetable oil alternatives for each skin type:

Dry skin: olive oil, coconut oil or sweet almond oil

Oily skin: grapeseed oil

Acne-prone skin: argan oil or St. John's wort maceration*

Combination skin: grapeseed oil

Sensitive skin: sweet almond oil or calendula maceration 

Mature skin: argan oil, evening primrose oil or Rosehip oil aka Sweet briar*

*These vegetable oils cause photosensitivity, so they should only be used in night creams.

The purpose of the oily phase is to nourish the skin and balance its texture.

Aqueous Phase

In this phase, in another glass container, distilled water and other water-soluble ingredients are included. In smaller proportions, you can include hydrosols or floral waters, plant infusions, etc. This is also the phase in which a humectant agent such as vegetable glycerin is added.

The purpose of the aqueous phase is to hydrate the skin and maintain its elasticity.


Since fats and water do not blend, it is necessary to include an emulsifying agent that allows the molecules of both solutions to bond. There are various emulsifying waxes, some are more suitable for thin, light creams, others for thicker creams. The emulsifying agent is added to the container of the oily phase.


After the emulsion, important additives are added, such as antioxidants, preservatives and essential oils with active principles suitable for each skin type. Again, and so that this cream can be made fearlessly, we have created a recipe with essential oils for all skin types, lavender and rose. Here are some essential oil alternatives for each skin type:

Dry skin: ylang ylang, neroli

Oily skin: tea tree, rosemary, cedarwood

Acne-prone skin: sage, geranium, cypress

Combination skin: palmarosa, frankincense

Sensitive skin: lavender and roses are also recommended

Mature skin: sandalwood, myrrh

Now that we have talked about the phases of a cream, let's move on to the materials and ingredients needed for this recipe.


To make it easier to gather all the materials, here's the list:

  • Precision scale
  • 1 Heat-resistant glass container for the oily phase
  • 1 Heat-resistant glass container for the aqueous phase
  • Glass containers for weighing the additives
  • 1 stainless steel pan
  • Silicone spatulas
  • Pipettes (in case the containers of the ingredients do not have a dropper)
  • 1 Milk frother 
  • 1 Feed syringe (optional)
  • 1 Glass container with lid to store the moisturizer


This recipe results in about 50g of cream and these are the ingredients:

Oily Phase

Aqueous Phase


Making natural products at home gives us greater control over the quality of the final product because we can customize and choose the most suitable ingredients for ourselves. To get a real idea of the importance of what we put on our skin, we suggest reading our post: Understanding Cosmetic Chemicals

Understanding These Ingredients and Their Functions

Simply and briefly, let's look at what each of these ingredients does.

Jojoba Oil 

This oil is actually a liquid wax with regenerative properties and its composition closely resembles the skin's natural fat. It is suitable for all skin types and is quite stable and long-lasting, which means that it does not go rancid easily. For all these reasons, we chose this oil for this recipe.


We put beeswax in this recipe at the request of one of our readers and it may also be a useful way to use this wax for those who, just like us, have home production. In a cream, beeswax should be used in minimal amounts, otherwise the cream will become too greasy and thick. We do not recommend using more than 1% of the total recipe or formula, especially for those with oil-prone skin. 

If you do not want to add beeswax to your cream you can remove this ingredient from the recipe and add the equivalent in jojoba oil. 

OliveM 1000

This is an emulsifying wax, flaked, derived from olive oil. There are other emulsifying waxes, but this is one of the most suitable for creams as it creates a fine, stable emulsion that is very well absorbed by the skin.

Distilled Water

Distilled water is used to formulate cosmetics because it is free of mineral salts and other substances that can cause reactions with other ingredients and jeopardize the final result.

Vegetable Glycerin 

It is the humectant that retains water in the emulsion and helps keep the skin hydrated for longer.

Vitamin E

In addition to its many beneficial properties for the skin, it also works as a preservative agent for fats, extending their shelf life.

Grapefruit Seed Extract

Since a cream takes water in its composition, it is necessary to add a preservative that prevents the appearance of fungi and bacteria. For this recipe we chose grapefruit seed extract because it is a natural preservative. There are some laboratory-made preservatives on the market that, due to their less aggressive composition, are accepted in natural cosmetics. These preservatives are able to extend the shelf life of products for longer. However, because we make our products at home, we prefer this extract because it is totally natural. We will talk about the preservation of this cream at the end of the post.

Lavender Essential Oil

Just as we were careful to choose a vegetable oil for all skin types, we also chose essential oils that can be used by everyone. Lavender is one of the most versatile and gentle on the skin. 

Rose Essential Oil

In this recipe we put a very special finishing touch. 1 drop of rose essential oil. Along with lavender, roses are one of the most versatile and powerful plants when it comes to skin care. We advise you to read our post: Rose Water: Benefits and How to Make It for more information about the properties of roses. 

Pure rose essential oil is highly concentrated and 1 drop is enough for this amount of cream. If you don't have this essential oil you can replace it with another one or you can add nothing else.

Here we would like to thank our dearest friend Kalinka Hristova (intobulgarian.eu) from Bulgaria who so kindly gifted us with pure and very high quality rose essential oils produced in her beautiful country. Our many thanks and a big hug to Bulgaria!


Now let's get to know the recipe. 

Oily Phase
  1. On a precision scale, weigh out the beeswax and the OliveM 1000 emulsifier.
  2. In a heat-resistant glass container, weigh the jojoba oil. These fats are weighed separately because beeswax and OliveM 1000 are dry to the touch and jojoba oil is liquid. Thus, in case of error, you can remove the excess without the dry elements being soaked in oil.
  3. After weighing all the fatty ingredients, add the wax and the OliveM 1000 to the jojoba oil in the heat-resistant container. Thus, you have your oily phase ready.

Aqueous Phase
  1. Always on the precision scale, weigh the glycerin.
  2. In a heat-resistant glass container, weigh the distilled water. Again, weighing is done in separate containers in case the liquids overflow.
  3. After weighing the aqueous ingredients, add the glycerin to the water in the heat-resistant container. Thus, you we have you aqueous phase ready.

Weigh the Additives

  1. In different containers, weigh out the vitamin E, grapefruit seed extract, and lavender essential oil. The rose essential oil doesn't need to be weighed, as it's just one drop.

Bring To a Boil

  1. Place the two heat-resistant containers in a hot water bath in the same pan.
  2. Once the fats melt, remove the containers from the heat.


  1. Immediately after removing from the heat, add the water phase over the oil phase. Water over oil, as it's done in soap making.
  2. Stir with a milk frother to emulsify. At this stage, you can place the container in a cold water bath to help emulsify faster.

Add the Additives

  1. Let the emulsion cool down a bit, and before it gets thick, add the additives. In between each additive, you can stir a little more so that they are well incorporated. 


  1. Once the emulsion is cool, transfer it to a container. A spoon, a silicone spatula, or a feeding syringe can be used for this task.


This cream does not require refrigeration, but keeping it in the refrigerator will help extend its shelf life. Since the preservative is natural, the cream should last about 4 weeks before it starts to go bad. It may last longer, or shorter, depending on the conditions in which it is stored. 

Tip: Because it is so delicate, this cream is intended for facial use. However, body skin also benefits greatly from these ingredients. So, in case the cream's shelf life is already passing 4 weeks and there is still a lot of cream left in the container, in order to avoid waste, the cream can be used more on the body than on the face so that you can finish it before it goes bad.


  • People with very sensitive/reactive skin, babies and pregnant women should avoid using essential oils. This cream can be made the same way, removing the essential oils at the end.
  • When making homemade products, even though all the ingredients are natural, it is important that you check beforehand whether you are allergic to any of the components. The homemade recipes can be changed according to the needs of each person.

Many thanks to our readers who give us tips on things they want to learn. With your help, our blog is getting richer in content. It is by sharing that knowledge is built!

Xo Xo

Ana and Luís

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