Fountain of Youth for less than $35

DIY (do-it-yourself) Skincare can be fun, easy and best of all, work wonders on your skin…plus, it costs WAY less than those ultra-expensive beauty products, most of which are a bit of a rip-off (and some of which are a complete scam).

The following Fountain-of-Youth serum is one that can be used by itself but it can also act as a base for other active skincare ingredients. Click on the links to purchase the individual ingredients. Distilled water (a must…no tap water, please) can be bought at your grocery store:

Optional ingredients include aloe vera juice (substitute 1/2 tablespoon of water) and plain vegetable glycerin (add up to 1 teaspoon).

Seakelp bioferment is a kelp extract containing vital nutrients that feeds your skin. It’s the “magic” Miracle Broth ingredient in Creme de la Mer.

Hyaluronic acid (also called hyaluronate or hyaluronan), produced naturally by the human body, is a component of connective tissue whose function is to cushion and lubricate. It’s been nicknamed the “key to the fountain of youth” because it has been noted that some people who ingest a lot of it in their diets tend to live to ripe old ages and also because it provides volume and fullness to the skin.

To mix: stir together the water and hyaluronic acid first and let it set for a few hours to overnight. This mixture will thicken (you can add more or less hyaluronic acid depending on the consistency you prefer), then add the remaining ingredients, adding the preservative last. If you use another preservative, be sure to use one that is water-based or will work in a hydrophilic solution — and that you use the proper amount.

Directions: Apply to your face and neck after cleansing your skin, 1-2 times per day. Moisturize and apply sunscreen over the top of the serum.

Costs: $32 (plus shipping for the actives and Germaben II) depending on what distilled water costs at your grocery store.

Bonus: LOTS of leftover Seakelp Bioferment, distilled water and Hyaluronic Acid that can all be used in other youth-inducing skincare mixes you make yourself.

Please note: When mixing ANY products you put on your face or body, take extra care to wash your hands and use sterilized implements and containers (mixing sticks, bottles, droppers, etc.).

Next time, I’ll recommend different active ingredients to add to the base serum. Each active or group of actives will address different issues, i.e., free-radical protection, collagen building, firmness, and so on.

DIY Skin Care…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 disovered a little website called Skin Actives Scientific, a supplier of bulk skin care ingredients. And my DIY hobby became an obsession…as did my obsession with blogging about it.

Bulk actives suppliers, among them Bulk Actives, Lotioncrafter, The Herbarie and The Personal Formulator 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 was born in 1970, 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?

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