I’ve started making my own cosmetics. That’s because I know what goes into women’s beauty products. It’s not pretty.
A class of compounds known as parabens are added to a wide range of cosmetic and personal care products. These chemicals mimic estrogen. So there’s growing concern they can potentially stimulate estrogen-driven cancer. It’s even believed parabens may be a contributing factor in the current breast cancer epidemic.
Mascara has a particularly ugly side. In the United States, it’s legal to add mercury to the mix. That means women apply small bits of mercury to their eyelashes, day in and day out. Flakes of mercury-laden mascara then fall on their face, right on the sensitive area around the eyes.
Can You Make Your Own Mascara?
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Fortunately, more people are waking up to the fact that some cosmetics are potentially dangerous. So a growing number of companies now sell all natural mascara, formulated without mercury. This is the kind of mascara I’ve been buying for years. It works every bit as well as the potentially toxic brands I once used. In fact, this mascara stays on my lashes much better than the conventional drugstore versions.
Since I’ve been making my own cosmetics, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well they work. It’s possible to replace every single chemical concoction with a safer version. You can buy excellent ready-to-use formulas.
Or you can make your own. And you probably won’t be disappointed. I’ve found that my skin responds much better to homemade plant-based moisturizers than it does to chemicals. In fact, going natural has led to a huge improvement in my skin tone. I no longer feel the need to put foundation on my face.
How to Make Your Own Mascara Easy
There are various recipes for homemade mascara online. I decided to make mine with beeswax pellets because I already have this ingredient in the house. Also, I know if my readers don’t already own beeswax, and need to order it, they’ll find a lot of other uses for it, especially if they like DIY cosmetic recipes.
Beeswax is necessary if you’re using plant-based emollients, such as coconut oil. That’s because it turns liquid once the temperature hits 76-degrees F. Beeswax stops this from happening. Beeswax is also what will keep your DIY mascara attached to your eyelashes, until you wash it off.
How to Make Your Own Safe Mascara
I’m fussy about mascara. That’s because I learned that it’s perfectly legal, in the United States, to sell mascara with mercury added. This is a highly toxic heavy metal that I don’t want anywhere on my body. Putting it on your eyelashes is a very bad idea. That’s because all mascara tends to eventually flake and fall off. If it contains mercury, these flakes land on your skin. There’s really no safe level of mercury, a possible carcinogen.
Once I learned about the mascara/mercury connection, I started searching for a safe brand. Fortunately, these do exist. I ended up buying Physicians Formula all natural mascara, made without mercury. This works wonderfully. However, I wanted to see if I could make my own.
If you make your own mascara you will potentially save money. But you do give up convenience.
For one, you’ll have to play with the ingredients to arrive at a consistency you like. It may take a fair amount of experimentation. (Natural mascara is pricey. But if you can afford it you might be happier with it.)
You’ll also want to make homemade in small batches. Because I’m not sure how long it will last. I wish I could tell you. But I don’t own a lab to test for bacterial contamination.
I think two weeks would be a good guess. After that you can make a fresh batch, since you’ll already have the ingredients.
You can use an old mascara wand to apply it. (Clean it with warm soapy water first.)
You will probably want to store it in a clean jar or clean glass food storage container. That’s because it would be immensely difficult to wash, dry and transfer the mascara into an old mascara tube.
How to Make Your Own Mascara at Home
For my DIY mascara, I already had all of the ingredients in my house, except for the natural activated charcoal. This is what was needed to color the mascara black. You can use more or less, depending upon how dark you want the finished product.
Previously, I’d made all natural hand salves and lotion bars. The main ingredients are equal parts coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax. I figured this would work for my mascara, although I did need to add a little bit of green European clay for a mascara-like consistency.
How to Make Your Own Mascara Easy
I try to do things the easy way. Oftentimes, I see complicated directions for double boilers. I don’t even own one. Instead, I melt the beeswax, coconut oil and shea butter in a heavy stainless steel pan. Then I add the other ingredients. Anyway, here’s my recipe.
Be aware that you might have to play around with the ingredients a little to get the exact consistency you want. Too much beeswax and it will be hard and balm like. If you don’t like the consistency of your mascara, play with it a little. Add or subtract charcoal or clay. If it’s too greasy, add more clay. It’s a forgiving recipe. But everyone has their own preferences.
1/2 teaspoon of natural beeswax pellets (You can order them here) If you desire slighting firmer mascara, you can add a little more beeswax. You will see the consistency when it cools. If needed, you can reheat it and add beeswax or a bit more additional charcoal, if you don’t think the mixture is dark enough.
1/2 teaspoon of organic coconut oil (You can order it here)
1/2 teaspoon of organic shea nut butter (You can order it here)
4 capsules of activated charcoal (You can order them here) You can add a little more charcoal if you want a deeper black mascara. The beauty of DIY cosmetics is that you learn to work with natural ingredients. You soon develop a feel for how to make them, and how to customize the recipe. Make sure to open the capsules and put the content into the recipe. The capsules will not dissolve.
1/2 teaspoon of natural volcanic clay (You can order it here) I like to use green European clay because it adds to the color.
1 drop of lavender essential oil (You can order it here)
How to Make Your Own Black Mascara
Melt the first three ingredients over very low heat until everything is liquid. Add the clay. When the beeswax pellets have melted add the charcoal and stir. Take away from heat and quickly add the lavender essential oil. Transfer into a clean glass jar with a lid. It’s almost impossible to put this in a regular mascara tube.
But you can use an old mascara wand that’s been thoroughly washed to apply your DIY mascara. Store in a cool dry place away from heat and light. The above recipe makes a lot of mascara. So plan to give some away to a friend.
Making Your Own Cosmetics
Once you start making one type of cosmetic, you realize how easy it is to make others. Now, everything I put on my face is either purchased from a company that sells non-toxic makeup. Or I just mix something myself. If you’d like to go for that totally natural look, you may also want to try making your own face powder.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use essential oils unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional.