4/01/2008

DIY...Is it all it's cracked up to be?

In the world of do-it-yourself, there's home repair, tech gadgetry (see make.com for some pretty cool projects) and then there's your skin.

I started dabbling in DIY skincare a few years ago. My introduction started innocently enough with homemade lipbalm...some recipes incredibly successful--a chocolate-mint balm that used real chocolate chips...yum--and a few not-so--picture a sluggish mess of shea and cocoa butters sitting on a layer of glyercin goo...ewwww.

After a short while, I graduated to essential oils and aromatherapy home-study (ahhhh, lavender oil, the cure-all). The result of a solid year or so of investigation? Not much, I'm afraid, but I do still use a homemade concoction including sweet orange oil to clean my bathroom and freshen my linens. Plus, I know exactly which little smelly bottle to reach for when the signs of a cold sore pop up.

About a year and half ago, I found a little website called Skin Actives Scientific. And my DIY hobby became an obsession.

Skin Actives--and other suppliers like it--offer individual active skin care ingredients. The same ones found in the best, most expensive and most effective skincare products available on the market today--along with a nice selection of ready-made products--at a fraction of the price. So you can literally make your own version of Creme de la Mer...or just about any other high-end skin care product you can think up...as long as you have the INCI ingredient list.

My own first DIY products--mostly face treatments--were hit and miss. And many of them--the misses, anyway--looked a like anything from a vegan's kitchen project gone bad to, well, baby poop.

Since then--after a few skincare experiments gone awry--I've learned *some* restraint, had a lot of fun...and gotten much improved skin, too boot. I'm 37 1/2 years old, and my age is often guessed at least 10 years younger (even with my grey hairs showing!).

Over the next few months, I plan to post some of my successful recipes, along with some tips about what to do and not do when mixing your own skincare concoctions. I hope you enjoy the process as much as I have and that you save a few bucks. Who knows? We might just start a little DIY skincare revolution right here. Well, I can dream, can't I?