Make Your Own Moisturizer
When I was the beauty editor at teen magazine CosmoGirl!, we frequently published recipes for skin and hair masks made from common kitchen ingredients like honey, avocado, yogurt and eggs. The treatments were easy to make (albeit messy) and mildly effective. The new Facial Moisturizer Kit from Ktchn Apothecary is kind of like that, but with more grownup, potent ingredients—and far less cleanup.
This moisturizer kit has been compared to meal-delivery services like Blue Apron because it arrives in a cardboard box containing packets of pre-measured ingredients and step-by-step instructions. Unlike making Swiss Chard and Potato Shakshuka, however, creating my moisturizer was quick and easy (no chopping required). If you can heat up canned soup, you can make this moisturizer.
So why would you want to?
You’d like to know exactly what’s in your skincare. Ktchn Apothecary founder Kevin Lesser created this DIY moisturizer precisely because he was freaked out the first time he actually read the ingredients list on his store-bought lotion and discovered it contained two different kinds of plastic. Thus, the Ktchn Apothecary kit contains strictly high-quality, all-natural ingredients like beeswax pellets, finely ground oats, pure aloe, and a cocktail of seven oils (sweet almond, apricot kernel, avocado, jojoba, rosehip, carrot seed and lavender). There is also a plant-based preservative in the oil blend. It's important to note that, unlike store-bought moisturizers, the Ktchn Apothecary formula will not last for months and months, because taking out the plastics (a.k.a. hardcore preservatives) also makes the formula more perishable. You needn't store it in the fridge, but there is a shortened shelf life. To keep you from using your product past its prime, Kevin even created a spot on the label to write in your moisturizer's expiration date—approximately two months from the day you mix it up.
You want a basic, healthy-skin hydrator. If you’re using Retin-A, just got lasered, have a sunburn, or your skin is sensitized for reasons you’ve yet to ascertain, there is a place for this moisturizer in your regimen. It soothes and hydrates but doesn’t contain anything active that will inflame or irritate. I’ve been layering it under my Retin-A (read this to see why I never put Retin-A on my bare skin) and really like the way it feels. It's also suited to almost every skin type, including the acne-prone, as the oil blend is very low on the comedogenic scale (meaning it should not clog pores).
You think it sounds fun. The Cosmogirl! DIY beauty recipes were among the most popular pieces we published, largely because most of us (myself included) find it enjoyable to cook and create. In fact, I was so taken with the process, I even emailed Ktchn Apothecary’s publicist, Susan, to ask when the Ktchn Apothecary lip balm, eye cream, cleanser—and customizable additives—were coming out. Her response: It took Kevin two years to get the moisturizer kit just right, so he's sticking with just that…for the moment.
A few other things to note:
The texture of the moisturizer is less like a lotion and more like a balm or jelly. But the more your stir, the thinner and more lotion-like it will become.
The product smells like lavender. There are six other oils in the formula, but lavender dominates. I happen to love lavender, but if you don’t, now you know.
A little goes a long way. I initially over-applied my Ktchn Apothecary moisturizer, and, when I tapped my concealer on top, it pilled. So I went back and re-read the instructions, and sure enough, it clearly says to use a pea-sized amount. I’d slathered on a grape-sized dollop. So now I know.
The directions also suggest applying to freshly washed, damp skin to maximize absorption. I always do this with my face (and body) lotions, but if you don't...FYI.
The initial kit costs $45 (and includes a reusable beaker and small whisk). A replenishment ingredients-only kit costs $40 and can be auto-sent every 30, 45 or 60 days.
If you try Ktchn Apothecary, let me know what you think! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or respond in the Comments, below.