How To Make DIY Face Cream: New Recipe For 2024

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It’s been nearly two years since I posted my new DIY face cream recipe. It’s not so new anymore, it seems! So, I decided to do another update. Each time I take a pass at this formula, I do my best to improve it. New ingredients, new benefits, new skins! Or at least that’s my mantra.

So, let me know how you find this natural homemade face cream. Inevitably, I’ll be back to replace it again in the next year or two. But until then, let me know what you think of the new formula. I’m so excited to hear what you think!

natural DIY face cream

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Here’s how to create your own natural, homemade face moisturizer at home! Say goodbye to expensive store-bought creams and hello to a natural, healthy glow!

Like the popular homemade wrinkle cream, the recipe below is great for reducing and preventing wrinkles; it’s also non-greasy and absorbs quickly into the skin. I often apply this anti-aging cream after using my homemade anti-aging serum or facial oil as it helps it penetrate the skin more quickly and it eliminates the oiliness.

So, I will show you how to make my Rose Anti-aging Cream for mature skin. Then, keep reading because, after that, I have eight more excellent face creams. I hope you enjoy these; I loved them all!

Benefits of Using Face Moisturizers

homemade face cream

Moisturizing is the most important part of skincare. Without it, the skin can look tired and dry and age faster.

The best face creams replenish moisture for the skin, as well as helping to lock it in so that our skin looks fresher and more supple for longer. Furthermore, as emulsions, they are amazing carriers for a whole range of different botanical and synthetic ingredients that can be fantastic for our skin.

Glycerites, tinctures, macerated oils, extracts of all kinds, emollients, silicones, esters, humectants, and so on can all be used here. Without a solubilizer, the emulsion is the only moisturizing product that can use water and oil-soluble ingredients together.

Furthermore, combining water and oil makes a DIY facial lotion relatively lightweight. It’s an excellent choice for anyone who doesn’t need or doesn’t like heavy skin care products. However, there is a lot of scope to customize your emulsions, meaning you can make them as heavy or as light as you want.

This means that no matter your skin type, you can always tweak your homemade face cream recipes to suit your skin type. This is not always true with DIY gel moisturizers and anhydrous formulas (facial balms & crème).

What’s In This Face Cream Recipe?

I’ve formulated this DIY face moisturizer to include a blend of gorgeous natural ingredients that will nourish all skin types. Let’s take a look.

Carrier Oils and Butters

I didn’t want to overcomplicate this formula, so I’ve gone for just the one carrier oil and cosmetic butter. For these, I’ve selected Argan Oil and Shea Butter. 

You may have seen it as an ingredient listed on many different hair treatments, but Argan oil is also fantastic for the skin. It’s intensely hydrating, packed with nutrients, and high in antioxidants. So kiss goodbye to dry, dull, and damaged skin. 

And I’ve paired this with shea butter, perhaps one of my favorite cosmetic ingredients. It’s even more nourishing and hydrating than the argan oil. 

It also helps to soften the skin, leaving it feeling silky, soft, and supple. You’ll be surprised how much dry skin can bounce back with care and the right ingredients. 

Humectants and Olive Squalane

Because no emulsion is complete without a humectant, I’ve decided to really treat myself. And so should you! Humectants are ingredients that draw moisture to a product. It helps keep them from going dry in between uses but also helps to keep the skin more supple. 

That’s right, humectants will draw moisture from the atmosphere and impart it to the skin when applied. Therefore, this formulation will continue to hydrate your skin long after you have applied it. 

Glycerine is perhaps the most universal humectant, and just about anyone should be able to get hold of it. But I’ve paired it with d-Panethol, which is fantastic at soothing skin, reducing inflammation, and delivering hydration to deeper levels of our skin.  

However, my favorite humectant of all is hyaluronic acid. It’s such a strong humectant that the plumping effect can actually help to ease fine lines and wrinkles. It’s also one of those trendy ingredients, so your friends will be impressed that you’re using it in your own formulations! 

ingredient for a face cream recipe


Now, we come to our essential oils. Not only do they smell amazing, but they also provide therapeutic benefits. I’ve selected rose geranium and ylang-ylang essential oils. They both have beautiful floral aromas that will pair well but about those benefits for our skin? 

Rose geranium is actually great for balancing the skin’s oil production. While this might sound like it’ll make the skin drier, which is true if you have oily skin, it does the opposite on dry skin. It’s magic stuff, really! 

The ylang-ylang is also deeply hydrating, penetrating deep to provide moisture at the very core of our skin. Furthermore, it synergizes with our rose geranium to help boost the production of natural oil in the skin. 


Squalane naturally exists in our skin and has many important functions in our body, too. It’s one of the skin’s natural lubricators, keeping skin feeling soft and moisturized on its own. 

However, as we age, production diminishes, and by 30, we probably won’t be producing any in our skin anymore. The body actively redistributes away, leaving the skin lacking. 

But we can replenish these levels by using a supplement in the form of olive squalane. It’s basically the same thing but derived from olives. And boy, does it sink in fast! It really is a magic oil.  

Making Your Own Floral Infusions

To give your homemade face moisturizer that little extra, you can substitute all of the distilled water in the recipe with floral waters (also known as distillates, hydrolats, and hydrosols).

The recipe already calls for some rose hydrosol. Still, you can, if you wish, substitute all the distilled water for this ingredient.

Alternatively, you can make your own floral infusion by steeping dried flower petals or herbs in boiling water for 10 minutes, then straining through a fine strainer or piece of muslin.

For a more in-depth look at how to make your own herbal and floral infusions, please take a look at my post, which shows you exactly how to brew one up in your own home!

Using Preservatives In Homemade Face Creams

The homemade face cream below can be kept for a couple of days without preservatives and for 12 months with preservatives added. We don’t, however, recommend omitting it. Who wants to have to make their own face cream every week?

This is particularly important if you go down the ‘making your own floral infusion’ route. You must use a preservative, or it will only stay fresh for a limited time. Even with the preservative in it, you will still have to reduce the cream’s lifespan to 4 months (12 months with purchased flower water/distilled water).

That’s not to say that I wouldn’t recommend making floral infusions; I definitely would; make sure you use a preservative to get your four months.

Adding The Preservative

preservative for a homemade face cream

When it states to add the preservative, you will notice I give a choice of when to add it. When buying your preservative, the packaging should always give a guideline of when it can be added, along with a maximum temperature limit.

Most can now be added at the cooldown phase; this is my preferred method as it eliminates the chance of overheating and destroying it. But always check the recommended usage guide before buying it. Unless otherwise stated, these homemade face creams keep for about one week without preservatives and 12 months with preservatives added.

Ok, let’s make my not-so-basic DIY face cream recipe!

Quick Substitution Guide

  • Rose Hydrosol: You could choose a hydrosol of your choice or replace it with more distilled water.
  • D Panthenol Powder: If you use the hydrated (liquid panthenol), this is not heat stable, so you will need to add it with your cool-down ingredients. If you choose to leave it out altogether, up the glycerin by 1g.
  • Argon Oil: Sweet Almond Oil or Jojoba Oil would be good but you could use any that you have to hand.
  • Shea Butter: Cocoa butter or Mango would work well.
  • Olivem1000: Another emulsifying wax of your choice, but this may affect the thickness of the finished product.  
  • Cetyl Alcohol: Cetearyl alcohol would be my first choice if I had no cetyl alcohol.   
  • Hyaluronic Acid Gel: As this is the star of the cream, it isn’t easy to substitute. Replace it with more glycerin, or maybe try sodium lactate.
  • Rose Geranium and Ylang Ylan Essential Oils: You can use any essential oil of your choice.
natural DIY face cream

How To Make Face Cream At Home

This natural DIY face cream recipe is for mature skin. It's often better for your skin, it's very simple to make, and comes at a fraction of the price.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 100 grams
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Author: Angela Wills

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  • In a heatproof beaker or container, mix the xanthan gum and glycerin with a flexible spatula until the gum has been dissolved.
    0.2 g Xanthan Gum, 4 g Glycerine
    mix the xanthan gum and glycerin
  • Add the distilled water, rose hydrosol, d panthenol powder to the gum slurry and stir well. This is our water phase.
    34 g Distilled Water, 30 g Rose Hydrosol, 1 g D-Panthenol Powder
    Add the distilled water, rose hydrosol and panthanol powder to the gum slurry
  • Place the Argon Oil, Olive Squalane, cetyl alcohol, shea butter and olivem1000 into a separate heat proof container. This is our oil phase.
    8 g Argan Oil, 5 g Olive Squalane, 2 g Cetyl Alcohol, 3 g Shea Butter, 5 g Olivem 1000
    ingredient for a face cream recipe
  • Make up a water bath by adding a few inches of hot water into a wide shallow pot. Sit both containers into the water and bring the water up to a gentle simmer.
    Stirring occasionally, leave the containers in the water until the water has been heated through and the waxes and butter has fully melted.
    Make up a water bath
  • Once heated, remove from the heat and pour the water into oils. Stir briskly for a couple of minutes to fully combine them. If you have a Norpro mini mixer, the metal blend attachment is great for small batches like this.
    After blending for a couple of minutes, the cream should have thickened and cooled. From this point, it's important not to use the mini blender as this would break the liquid crystal structures that are beginning to form. We do, however, still need to continue stirring, so transfer to a flexible spatula and continue mixing by hand until the cream cools to 40c (104f).
  • Once our cream has cooled to 40 (104f) we can start to add our cool-down ingredients. Start with the vitamin E, followed by the Hyaluronic acid gel, stirring these in well.
    1 g Vitamin E Oil, 5 g Hyaluronic Acid Gel
    preservative for a homemade face cream
  • Next, add the Rose Geranium and Ylang Ylan Essential oils and finally, the preservative. Give the cream a good stir to make sure everything is fully combined.
    0.4 g Rose Geranium Essential Oil, 0.4 g Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil, 1 g Preservative
    face cream Essential oils
  • Transfer to a suitable container ready for use. 
    1 Cosmetic Jar 4 oz
    Transfer face cream a suitable container ready for use. 


Unless otherwise stated all of these homemade face creams keep for about 2 days without preservative, and 12 months with preservative added.
Category: DIY Skincare
Cuisine: N/A
Difficulty: Intermediate

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Want To Ditch Store-Bought Moisturizers Forever? I’m Running a 50% off sale on the Face Creams & Moisturizers Course Today!

How Do I Use My Face Cream

Using your face cream is super easy. Apply a thin layer to the skin, massaging it using circular motions. This will ensure good penetration and an even spread.

If you have particular areas of skin that suffer from dryness, you can apply more liberally here. The cheekbones can often be a little drier than the rest of the face, so applying more here can be very beneficial.

How Often Can I Use My Face Cream?

Studies have shown that after 8 hours, only 50% of your face cream remains on the skin surface. So, you should absolutely use your DIY face cream daily. However, you won’t get much more benefit from using it more than twice a day, so try not to overdo it. I like to apply creams in the morning and at night. This will give you optimum benefits without wasting any product.

If you have very dry skin, you can combine this with a heavier DIY face moisturizer or a serum. You may also want to use this lighter cream in the morning and your heavy moisturizer in the evening for intense hydration overnight.

FAQ & Troubleshooting

My Face Cream Keeps Splitting

This is likely a problem with your water-to-oil proportions or your e-wax is not up to scratch. Take another look at your e-wax and make sure it’s a good quality one. Polar wax, NF, BTMS-50 are all good choices and work fantastic.

If your e-wax is fine, then your emulsion is destabilizing because your oil and water parts have been measured incorrectly. Make sure to take care when measuring your ingredients, and always use a good digital scale to get accurate measurements. Furthermore, this formula and suggested e-wax is for oil-in-water emulsions only.

What Preservative Should I Use?

Selecting the right preservative seems difficult but is actually pretty simple. You’re looking for something that is broad spectrum but can be soluble in either oil or water for an emulsion formula. I use either Geogard ECT, Preservative Eco, Germaben, or Saligaurd (Plantaserve P). Any of these will work just fine in your emulsions and should prevent any microbial growth for about 12 months.

You will notice that this formula also calls for an antioxidant, in the form of vitamin e. You can swap this out for Rosemary co2 extract if you prefer. However, it is not a preservative on its own. Antioxidants prevent oils and fats from oxidizing and becoming rancid. However, it will not prevent microbial growth in the form of bacteria and fungi.

Why Is My Face Cream Too Runny?

If your face cream is too runny, there’s likely a problem with the emulsifying wax. Check to make sure it’s in date, and that you’re using a good quality e-wax, such as Emulsifying Wax NF, Polawax or BTMS-50.

If you do find that your cream is too runny, and wish to salvage it, you can gently melt it down and add a few more grams of e-wax. This should thicken up nicely. This is best done before you add your cooldown ingredients.

8 More DIY Face Moisturizers

Effective Homemade Wrinkle Cream That Works!

Discover an affordable and easy-to-make homemade wrinkle cream that effectively fights the signs of aging, rejuvenating your skin for a more youthful glow.

homemade anti wrinkle cream

DIY Face Moisturizer For Dry Skin

For this DIY face moisturizer, I decided to embrace antioxidants by making use of green tea & lavender to make a moisturizer that really cares for my dry skin.

Two pots of lavender and green tea face cream

How To Make Aloe Vera Lotion For Men

Skincare doesn’t have to be just for women. So I decided to show you how to make aloe vera lotion for men.

diy men's body lotion next to an avocado and some almonds

Wrinkle Cream Recipe With Honey And Orange

Similar to my first homemade wrinkle cream this natural anti wrinkle cream is another great overnight treatment, it’s perfect for smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles in your facial skin. But you can also get some great results when using this cream on cracked heels or dry hands.

diy orange and honey wrinkle cream

Lavender and Aloe Face Cream

I’m loving this lavender and aloe face cream recipe! It’s great for sensitive skin, speeds healing, soothes, calms, and also restores your natural glow.

my best DIY moisturizer

Top Quality Homemade Face Moisturizer For Men

If a guy is going to use only one DIY skincare product, what should they use? This amazing homemade face moisturizer for men is what I came up with, and it really is amazing!

How To Make DIY Eye Cream Without Using Preservatives

Specially formulated to keep eyes looking bright, young, and full of life. This DIY eye cream doesn’t call for any water, it can happily keep for up to a year.

DIY eye cream

Luxurious Natural Face Moisturizer with Rose and Argan Oil

By making this gorgeous and natural face moisturizer with rose and argan oil, you can have a little piece of the A-list lifestyle, just for you at an affordable price.

Luxurious Natural Face Moisturizer Recipe with Rose and Argan Oil

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoy making these DIY face cream recipes and moisturizers; I know they all work well as I use them myself. Let me know how you get on, and ask any questions in the comments below.

And don’t forget to have a look at all of the other types of homemade skincare recipes you can make.

Author: Angela Wills

Title: Founder and Author - Savvy Homemade

Expertise: Beauty Recipes, Skincare Formulation, Soapmaking, DIY Crafts, Parenting


Angela Wills is an author, founder, and the driving force behind Savvy Homemade. With over fifteen years of experience, she brings a wealth of knowledge and dedication to every post she writes. She is fearlessly dedicated to creating tried and tested beauty recipes, skincare formulations, soap recipes, and many other DIY crafts that will work for everyone. Angela has a Diploma in Skincare Formulation, is a proud member of the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild, and infuses each DIY product with her passion and expertise.

Discussion (86 Comments)

  1. any idea why your pictures make the cream look creamy white, while mine is as yellow as eggs. (I used Beeswax, will try Emulsifying wax next time- not sure if that makes a difference?). The Vit E oil and Wheatgerm oil are both yellowish, is that it? (But then why does yours look white and creamy?)

    • Hi Jolene!

      I’m almost certain that beeswax is the culprit here. While you can get hold of white beeswax, if you give it another go with the emulsifying wax you should get a much lighter color. You’ll also find that your cream will be lighter in texture, and will absorb into your skin much more readily.

    • Hi Mark,

      Interesting question. I’ve wondered myself in the past and I have given it a go. I found that it was much more difficult to get the oil and water to stay together, and had to use significantly more beeswax than I would normally use of the emulsifying wax. I also didn’t much like the consistancy of the cream as it was incredibly waxy and would take a very, very long time to sink in.

      All in all, I really wouldn’t recommend it. If you’re looking for something to protect your skin from the elements, you’re better of making a balm (they aren’t just for lips and can be used pretty much everywhere!).

      • I’m disappointed to see this reply. I wondered the same when seeking to purchase my ingredients. When I click on your link for “Emulsifying Wax” in your DIY anti-aging skin cream, it takes me to a page that lists Beeswax, and you specifically say in your directions “Beeswax is my go-to”. Therefore, I ordered Beeswax, have used pricey ingredients to make this recipe, only to experience the same thing: separation, a thick waxy substance that does not seem very appealing.

        I feel that your directions and recommendations are very misleading if you now indicate that Beeswax is not the recommended choice.

        • Hi Jolene,

          I was sorry to read that you’ve had problems with this recipe. It’s important to read my recipes very carefully and follow the ingredients exactly as they are stated on the page. While I understand that you’ve click one of my links in the ingredients section, these pages can talk about ingredients more generally (as we direct people to these pages from all over out website) and it’s always best follow the instructions on my DIY blog post.

          Beeswax is not suitable as a emulsifying agent. Like you said, you end up with a waxy mess that can separate. While beeswax is my go to for anything I can use it in (i.e. candles, balms, soaps etc.), it really isn’t suitable here.

          I hope this clears things up. But don’t worry about having bought the beeswax, there will be plenty of uses for it and it really is a wonderful ingredient.

  2. Hi Angela. I have been making creams and lotions for while about a year. Avocado oil is good for dry skin. When I make it for myself I still use it because it keeps the skin moisturized. I never heard of melon oil. Your ratio is as I have noticed 60% water 30 oil and 10 emulsifier. I usually use this type of formulation. At the cooling phase I add helichrysum , lavander, rose essential oil, carrot seed oil,and vitamin e. It kind thins out the cream turns out great ! Preservatives like Germall Plus is .5 to 1.0 rate . Thank you for sharing these wonderful recepies.

    • Hi Margie
      The emulsifying wax is the ingredient that binds everything together, so yes you will need this to stop the separation of oils and water. That’s not to say you cant have some beeswax as well which will produce a harder product.

    • Hi Priya
      Always check the recommended usage guide before buying a preservative but as a general guide these homemade face creams should keep for up to 4 weeks without preservative, and 12 months with preservative added.

      But if you do go down the ‘making your own flower water’ route you must use a preservative or it will only stay fresh for a couple of days, even with the preservative added you will still have to reduce the creams life span to 4 months.

  3. Hi Angela,..I am also a male and will be making this natural cream you have suggested as for years I have had dry skin around my nose and face….and it irritates easily…I have never found a face cream to properly relieve it, and have been wanting to make something natural…..or when I have found something on occasion it seems that the formula changes and it doesn’t soak in anymore…it leaves wax like particles around the sides of my nose visible when i sweat,,,my pores are very, very tiny in this area because I used acne creams as a teenager that did wierd things to my skin like this…so about the wax added…can I substitute it with something less “waxy” as a binding agent ?..I pretty much have the rest of the ingredients listed to give it a go..creams soak in ok everywhere else on my face and forehead, just not my nose area, and I only want completely natural and healing from now on….thanks..John

    • Hi John, great to hear from you.
      I really don’t find this cream waxey at all as the oils are chosen to absorb quickly. Unfortunately when making a diy face cream the oils and water would separate without the emulsifying wax. You could experiment by reducing the wax a little, in fact my next face cream recipe will have just 5% emulsifying wax, that should be posted in a couple of weeks. I cant give you the ingredients yet as I need to perfect it before it goes live.
      You could also try a face oil or or a homemade serum as these do not contain any wax.
      All the best

  4. Hi

    I want to have a go at making this, I am male and wondering if there are any adjustments to make it a bit more manly in fragrance! Or is it quite fragrance neutral?


  5. I’m not really into DIY stuff, I always fail but I really want to try this recipe. It’ll be a challenge but I really do hope it works. It would even be a good item for gift giving if ever I make it right

  6. Thank you Angela for sharing the recipe.

    As I live in a warm place, can I omit the wax and keep the rest of the recipe?


  7. I absolutely love Orange Blossom scent and Orange Blossom water, but I’ve heard that it can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and more prone to sunburn. Has anyone had problems with having it in their face cream?

  8. I’ve made both these creams and I don’t like the smells of the rose water or the orange blossom water – is there any essential oils I can add to make the smell of these creams more palatable?

  9. Hi Angela! Thanks for all this awesome info. If you would kindly help me with your antiaging cream. All water separated out upon cooling. I continued mixing it but it happened anyway. Thanks a lot!

    • Hi Pablo. If separation occurs in cool down phase (step 5) place the container back into the pan of simmering water until melted, remove from the heat then continue stirring until cool.

  10. I made the cream at it feels a little waxy and won’t absorb easily, can I reheat and add some more oil or water to make it lighter.

    • Hi Tina
      Sorry I missed this comment, my apologies! Make sure you have all the ingredients weighed correctly using a digital scale. For me this was definitely not waxy and absorbed very well. You could try reducing the wax element, its ok to experiment with this recipe.

    • Hi Geraldine
      I agree this was so good, its non greasy and sinks into my skin so well… Iv’e used the whole pot and will be making some more tomorrow!


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