How to make a DIY Aloe vera cream | 3 ingredients recipe (zero waste beauty)
Making a home-made zero waste cream can be challenging. Simply put, it is very difficult to blend different ingredients into a creamy and non greasy texture without the help of lab-made cosmetic ingredients. There are still great ways to make all natural creams but I would recommend using those for the body as they can be a bit on the oily side (for example, using shea butter or cocoa butter).
As much as I love creating recipes completely from scratch, my dry skin was in desperate need for a zero waste cream! So I prepared this recipe which I can tell you, was super easy and satisfying to make.
Why satisfying? Well, the recipe is basically a mix of aloe vera gel and oils. When these are mixed together, the aloe vera gel turns white and super creamy. It is super soft, fresh, white and transparent. You only have to try it to experience this!
Not sure where to buy the ingredients from?
Cosmetic aloe vera gel
The aloe vera gel will serve as a base for the cream. If you use aloe vera gel from the actual leaf, it will not blend and will separate from the oils. This is because cosmetic aloe vera gel contains emulsifiers necessary to blend with the oils. Make sure that these components make up to only 1% of the aloe vera gel.
You can find this in a glass jar here, and this will last you several batches of cream as you need just a little for this recipe.
The ratio we will use is 2 tbsp Cosmetic aloe vera gel (about 50 grams) for 1 teaspoon of oil (about 4 grams). If you want a dryer feel, use half teaspoon only (2 grams).
Essential oils are optional, you can use up to 5 drops for 50 grams gel. If you are using it on the face, limit the essential oils to 1-2 drops. Avoid using essential oils if you have sensitive skin.
To make a moisturising cream
Add one or two oils of your choice, depending on your skin type.
Check the little table below for inspiration to learn more about oil properties and which one works best for you!
To make a make up remover cream
Simply swap your oil content with castor oil. Castor oil is super cleansing so it is perfect to remove make-up. It is also low on comedogenic scale (0!) which means it will not clog your pores. Don't use too much as otherwise it could be drying to the skin. Avoid using essential oils.
Ratio: 1 teaspoon of castor oil to 50 grams aloe vera gel
To make an overnight cream
Swap your oil content with castor oil. Castor oil is super cleansing so it is perfect to remove make-up. It is also low on comedogenic scale (0!) which means it will not clog your pores. Don't use too much as otherwise it could be drying to the skin.
Ratio: 2 teaspoons of melted shea butter to 50 grams aloe vera gel
For a cooling and relaxing effect, add 1 drop of lavender essential oil and 1 drop of rose geranium essential oil.
How long will it take me?
less than 5 minutes. Not joking!
1. Place the aloe vera gel into a bowl
2. Add the two chosen oils in a separate bowl and blend them
3. add the oil a little by little (about half of it) and firmly stir with a spatula to incorporate well. The gel will start turning creamy white.
4. Slowly incorporate the rest of the oil and keep stirring vigorously until you have obtained a light cream. The consistency should be between a "mascarpone" and a face serum You can of course swap the oils with any oil you want. You could however, experiment with less or more oil. If you add less oil, you will end up with a cream which is more jelly-like. If you add more oil, you will obtain a heavier cream perfect for drier areas.
How long will it last?
I suggest making a small batch and storing this cream in the fridge and use it up within 1-2 months.
In fact, even if the aloe vera gel contains a preservative, adding oils to it means you are diluting the preservative amount in the formula.
If you want to learn how to make a facial cream from scratch with preservatives that you can store for up to 6 months, check out the blog post "how to make a facial cream from scratch"
Leaving this cream unscented will make it perfect for sensitive skin. If you are using an oil with a short shelf life (for example grapeseed or hemp seed oil, which have only 6 months shelf life) I recommend adding up to 1% Vitamin E oil. This will delay the oxidation of the oil and will prolong the overall cream shelf life.
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