Moisturizer is one of the most essential elements of any effective skincare routine. Of course, just because moisturizer plays a major role in the appearance of your skin doesn’t mean that it needs to be a major detriment to your wallet. Sure, luxe formulas are satisfying to use, but getting creative with more affordable options can be just as effective. The trick is to know what to reach for—and we don’t mean store-bought products at the drugstore, either. Instead, consider the contents of your pantry. Moisturizer is fairly easy to DIY, and most recipes call for ingredients you likely already have at home.
Ahead, find three DIY moisturizer recipes to try—one for each skin type.
For Dry and Combination Skin: Shea Butter Moisturizer
If you have dry skin (or combination dry skin), Grigore says that adding a simple healing cream to your routine will help remedy the situation. “An ideal moisturizer gets the job done quickly and efficiently—meaning, you shouldn't need a ton of it, and it should give your skin a boost,” she explains. When it comes to formulating the ultimate DIY version of such, she applauds shea butter for its healing, protecting, and anti-aging powers.
“It improves virtually every skin ailment,” she says. Additionally, she likes to add cocoa butter into the mix thanks to its super moisturizing, ultra gentle nature. That and the face that it melts into a very light oil that easily absorbs into skin. To complete the ideal dry/combo skin cocktail, she recommends olive oil to thin out the overall formula just a smidge, which will make it easier to sink into the skin to really deliver its benefits. “The result is a super-luxurious staple that is also a powerful moisturizer and skin treatment,” Grigore says.
- ¼ cup shea butter
- ¼ cup cocoa butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Melt cocoa butter on the stovetop or in the microwave. “It should only take a few seconds so keep an eye on it and remove from heat as soon as melted,” Grigore instructs.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the pot/bowl. Mix thoroughly.
- Let the mixture cool down. “Allow it to completely cool—you can place it in the fridge until it solidifies; it usually takes under an hour,” Grigore says.
- Stir for the final texture. Once solidified, stir the ingredients together again to reveal the final texture, which Grigore says should be like butter.
- Transfer mixture into a jar. Grigore says that this combo will make enough moisturizer for six to eight months and should be used within that time since your hands will introduce bacteria into the product each time you use it. Of course, if you use a skincare spatula or spoon to divvy it out, you can enjoy it for the latter.
For Combination Skin: Hazelnut Oil Cocktail
According to Grigore, if you have combination skin that's oily in certain areas (like your T-zone), it could be from a lack of moisture and using too many stripping products. “Natural oils penetrate the pores quickly and help the skin start producing its own moisture again—which is the ultimate goal,” she explains. In terms of which oils to use, she recommends gentle, moisturizing hazelnut oil (which offers astringent properties), hydrating, collagen-boosting avocado oil, and sesame and jojoba oil, both of which are light as can be and work wonders to keep bacteria a bay on the surface of your skin.
- 1 tablespoon hazelnut oil
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil (or jojoba oil)
- Combine the oils. Pour all three oils into a small dropper bottle, screw on the lid, and shake to mix.
- It’s that simple. Though, keep in mind that this recipe only makes 12 uses, so feel free to double it if you’d like more. Amount aside, since it’s an oil moisturizer, not a solid lotion or cream, you’re less likely to introduce bacteria into the bottle since you can use the dropper to disperse the formula. Even still, Grigore recommends using it within six months of mixing it together.
- When it comes to applying the formula, she recommends massaging it into your face to really activate the oils. Additionally, it’s best used at night, as she recommends washing it off if you plan to wear makeup. That said, if you swoon over a dewy visage, another option is to only use a drop or two and pat it into your skin, removing any excess with a towel.
For Oily and Acne-Prone Skin: Bacteria-Killing, Moisturizing Mist
Last but not least, we have an acne-prone specific formula. According to Grigore, skin that regularly breaks out is in its most sensitive state. For that reason, the gentler the DIY formula, the better.
Part of being gentle is knowing which texture to opt for—and to remember that not all moisturizers have to be solid creams or lotions, or even oils for that matter. With that in mind, Grigore recommends skipping solid formulas and instead suggests concocting a hydrating hydrosol. “Plant hydrosols are perfect for this—you can spritz them all day and watch your skin thank you,” she explains. “They also kill bacteria and tone the skin, so you'll get enough moisture without aggravating your broken out skin more.”
- 2 tablespoons lavender water
- 1 tablespoon peppermint water
- 1 tablespoon witch hazel
- 5 to 10 drops lavender oil
- Combine the ingredients. Grigore says to pour all the ingredients into a spray bottle and shake well.
- Easy as that! Just be sure to use the full bottle within six months, as it loses its potency and can form bacteria after that time period.
- In terms of when to use a hydrosol, Grigore says whenever, wherever.
- “Spritz after washing skin and whenever you need it,” she reassures, noting that this hydrating mixture will heal and revive acne-prone skin.