Your guide to the dos and don’ts of DIY eye cream.
There are many reasons why people go into DIY skincare. First of all, skincare products can be pricey, particularly eye creams. Sometimes, splurging on a small tub of eye cream, eye serum or eye gel just isn’t within the budget. Especially when the best time to incorporate an eye cream into our routine is even before we start to see signs of aging around our eyes and preferably in our 20s. And even when it is within budget, there’s also concern about if the ingredients are safe for use on the eye area.
Moreover, some people might also be making more conscientious and sustainable choices regarding the products they buy. These reasons are why DIY skincare products are so appealing – they’re cheap, natural, and environmentally friendly.
To help you get started on a DIY venture, we’ll talk about the important dos and don’ts when making DIY eye cream and share some popular recipes. Let’s dive in!
Tips for Making Your Own Eye Cream
Cleanliness is Godliness
Our facial skin is fragile, sensitive, and quick to react to anything we put on it. As such, cleanliness is a priority when creating DIY skincare products, especially ones we intend to use around our eyes.
An advantage of homemade eye creams is that we have complete control over what ingredients go into it. However, it’s important to keep in mind that reputable skincare labs adhere to strict sanitation guidelines. This means that we also need to exert extra effort to match those standards as closely as possible.
Unhygienic preparation can lead to bacteria growth in the product. This can cause breakouts or infections when applied to the face.
Here are a few recommended cleanliness tips when DIYing skin care products:
- Use personal protective equipment – like gloves, goggles, a mask, or a hairnet – when handling ingredients. This helps prevent you from inhaling fine loose powders or accidentally rubbing something into your eye. It also keeps you from unintentionally contaminating the product with hair fall, sweat, or saliva.
- Before working, sanitize your hands by giving them a thorough wash with soap and water.
- Sanitize all your tools and containers in hot water with a bit of detergent. You can also follow this up with a few spritzes of 70% ethanol or isopropyl alcohol to ensure no contamination. Tools that aren’t made from plastic can also be boiled in water as an extra precaution.
- Disinfect your workstation by wiping it down with alcohol or a multipurpose cleaner to prevent the transfer of bacteria from other surfaces to your product.
The main difference between sanitizing and disinfecting is that sanitizing simply reduces the number of bacteria on a surface without killing them, and disinfecting kills bacteria entirely with the help of chemicals such as alcohol.
On the other hand, sterilization kills all microbes, including their spores. But this can only be done with an oven or autoclave and hard to achieve at home.
Choose safe skin ingredients
Avoid citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are an excellent natural source of Vitamin C, which is great for hyperpigmentation and fighting free radicals. It also contains citric acid, a natural exfoliator, and niacin (vitamin B3), an anti-inflammatory. As such, citrus fruits, particularly lemons, are a popular ingredient choice for DIY skincare products.
However, lemons can also harm the skin if used excessively. Since they’re acidic, lemons can irritate sensitive skin types, especially if left on the skin for a long time. The use of lemons can cause hyperpigmentation or even burns,
Avoid coconut oil if you have oily skin
Coconut oil contains a large amount of lauric acid, which is known to have antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Not only does it effectively improve hydration and the skin’s protective barrier functions, but it also fights acne-causing bacteria. However, coconut oil is a double-edged sword as it is also highly comedogenic, and it can block pores and worsen acne in people with very oily skin.
Avoid essential oil if you are pregnant or have sensitive skin
Studies regarding the safe use of essential oils during pregnancy are limited. But, according to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), women are advised to refrain from using certain oils heavily during the first trimester.
It’s said that some aspects of essential oils can cross the placental barrier and metabolize into toxic substances that can harm the body if used in excessively large doses. Some can also cause uterine contractions, which can affect babies at this most crucial early stage of development.
Additionally, people with sensitive skin should avoid essential oils in their skin care products as they can cause irritation, contact dermatitis, and phototoxicity on the skin.
Use vitamins that are intended for topical use
Since vitamins and antioxidants are prevalent in store-bought skin care products, some may think that simply squeezing the contents of a vitamin E capsule into their DIY eye cream will benefit them in the same way.
For vitamin E to be beneficial for the skin, it needs to be formulated specially to make it easy to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin.
As vitamin E capsules are meant to be ingested, they aren’t designed to penetrate the skin’s lipid barrier as efficiently. Additionally, vitamin E inside capsules becomes extremely unstable when exposed to air. It can quickly deteriorate, causing free radical damage or burns when applied to the skin.
Preservatives or no preservatives
The presence of water in a product can lead to bacteria, mold, or fungi growth if contaminated.
If your DIY eye cream contains fruit extracts, honey, or clay, consider adding a natural preservative into the formulation. This helps to prevent spoilage and lengthen its shelf life.
Because of the effect of water on skincare formulations, some people choose to skip water altogether. Waterless preparations, however, are prone to oxidation and will still need a preservative. Vitamin E oil, in particular, is effective in lengthening the shelf life of such formulations.
Use glass or stainless steel containers
Do not use aluminum or plastic containers when storing DIY eye creams with essential oils as these can react negatively with the product.
Aluminum can react with potent essential oils and leak into the product. Meanwhile, plastics can absorb them, lessening their effectiveness and fragrance. Wooden or silicone stirring tools are also discouraged for this reason. Instead, use glass or stainless steel containers and tools to avoid this from happening and make your equipment clean-up easier.
Do not heat essential oils
Heating essential oils to 38-60°C can separate the oil’s components and reduce its overall quality.
For example, components of citrus oils and aromatic oils can evaporate if heated beyond 38°C, affecting their scent and chemical makeup. Carrier oils, on the other hand, are even more sensitive. They can become rancid after exposure to temperatures exceeding 32°C, and cause irritation when applied to the skin.
Top 3 DIY Shea Butter Eye Cream Recipes
Recipe #1: Moisturizing Shea Butter Eye Cream
- Shea butter (2 oz)
- Jojoba oil (1 tsp)
- Unrefined coconut oil (1 oz)
- Pure aloe vera gel (1 oz)
- Vitamin E oil (½ tsp)
- Lavender essential oil (5 drops)
- Frankincense essential oil (5 drops)
Directions: In a bowl, combine shea butter, aloe vera gel, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and mix until smooth. While mixing, gradually add the frankincense, lavender, and vitamin E oils into the mix. Keep stirring until fully incorporated. Once finished, store the mixture in a sealed stainless steel or glass jar.
Pros: Contains vitamin E oil that improves skin texture and fights free radical damage.
Cons: Contains coconut oil, which has comedogenic properties and may cause breakouts.
Recipe #2: Anti-Aging Shea Butter Eye Cream
- Shea butter (2 tbsp)
- Beeswax (1 tsp)
- Coconut oil (1 tbsp)
- Rosehip essential oil (1 ½ tsp)
- Geranium essential oil (4 drops)
Directions: Combine the beeswax, coconut oil, and shea butter in a mason jar. Place the jar in a pan of water and heat until the mixture melts. Stir the mix until smooth, then remove the jar from the pan and set aside to cool. Once cooled, mix the rosehip and geranium oils gradually while stirring. Once finished, store the mix in a sealed stainless steel or glass jar.
Pros: Contains geranium oil, an antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It also works to tighten saggy skin and improve wrinkles.
Cons: Contains coconut oil, which has comedogenic properties and may cause breakouts.
Recipe #3: Invigorating Coffee Eye Cream
- Shea butter (.75 oz)
- Cocoa butter (.75 oz)
- Jojoba oil (.25 oz)
- Vitamin E oil (5 drops)
- Rosehip seed oil (.25 oz)
- Coffee-infused oil (.5 oz)
- Lavender essential oil (10 drops)
- Chamomile essential oil (3 drops)
How to make coffee-infused oil: Grind three tablespoons of plain coffee beans. Then, pour the grounds into 4 ounces of olive oil or any other carrier oil you prefer. Heat the mixture for 15-30 minutes, then strain the oil into a new container.
Directions: Combine the cocoa and shea butter in a glass bowl and heat over the stove or in the microwave. Once melted, gradually mix in the coffee-infused oil, jojoba oil, rosehip oil, lavender oil, and chamomile oil one at a time. You can also add a few drops of vitamin E oil to top it all off. Leave the mixture to cool before storing it in a sealed stainless steel or glass jar.
Pros: Contains caffeine, which enhances microcirculation and brightens the under-eye area.
Cons: Heating of the coffee-infused oil may shorten its shelf life.
When using homemade or store-bought eye cream, keep in mind that they should never be placed too close to the lash line. Doing so may lead to the product accidentally seeping into the eye and irritating it. Thus, to reap the most benefits from your eye cream, it is important to learn the proper way to apply eye cream.
The benefits of DIY eye cream go beyond customising to our specific skin concerns. They’re budget-friendly and offer an opportunity to be kinder to our environment. With proper handling of ingredients and hygiene, you’ll easily create an eye cream that perfectly suits your needs in no time.
How did you find our tips? Did you think that we missed out on some important guidelines? If you think so or have your own DIY eye cream recipe you’d like to share, don’t hesitate to do so in the comments section! Be sure to check out our guides to buying vegan eye creams; natural & organic eye creams too!