For a richer life

Make Money from Homemade Beauty Treatments

Make Money from Homemade Beauty Treatments SoapyLovesDeb/Flickr

Make money by selling homemade, organic, 100% natural beauty products. If you need a bit of extra cash this Christmas, and love being a bit crafty, why not try your hand at whisking together some bath salts or sugar scrubs.

Once you’ve perfected your craft you can sell them at your local jumble sale, at a product party you host, or just give them away as presents so you don’t have to spend on stuff from the shops. Tell us about your hits and misses on the money making forum too!

Why make your own?

Bath salts and sugar scrubs can sell in the shops for around £12, but they are so simple and cheap to produce that you can make an easy profit selling them as gifts.

Most, if not all of the ingredients can be bought in the supermarkets and if not there are loads of websites where you can get hold of all the other items.

Add a little panache in presentation and people will be tempted. Plus, you can make bespoke packs, cater for people with allergies, produce vegan friendly products and work on your own signature products that aren’t available elsewhere.

This flexibility beats the high street hands down, plus you can probably charge much less than the high street equivalents, but still make a healthy profit.

Once you’re confident of your abilities you can start hosting product parties for friends and family and make some real cash from your hobby.

The first thing you are going to need is ingredients. Some of the things included in the recipes below may seem incredibly obscure. But they are actually very easy to get hold of and are much cheaper than you might expect.

Here are the main ingredients in homemade beauty products:

  • Plant fats/butters: These are the solid fats extracted from certain tropical plants. You’ll need them for products such as body bars and melts and they are also used for moisturisers and creams. Some commonly used ones are cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut butter, and mango butter.
  • Plant oils: These are liquid fats extracted from certain plants. The cold-pressed varieties are particularly good for the skin. You can use them to dilute essential oils or blend them with the solid butters to make creams and moisturisers. Some commonly used ones are almond oil, apricot oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, jojoba oil.
  • Macerated oils: These are plant oils with medicinal herbs and scented flowers steeped in them. You can make these at home. Some commonly used ones are calendula oil, rose oil, carrot oil and monoi de tahiti.
  • Essential oils: These are concentrated aromatic essences distilled from certain plants. Some commonly used ones are rose (for rejuvenating mature skin), lavender (for cleansing and healing), rosemary (for hair-care) and chamomile (for soothing skin).

Here are some additional ingredients which you can use to personalise your products:

Flower waters/distillates – used in deodorants, facial toners and as the watery part of moisturiser.

Herbs/flowers – the ‘active ingredient’ which can be used whole, ground down or infused.

Kitchen edibles – food that can be used in your beauty products (for example, oats, beans, yoghurt, fruit, sea salt etc).

Where to shop

Try sites like Baldwins and Sheabuttercottage where you can buy these ingredients at reasonable prices. Aromantic is also a good site for herbs and flowers.

Lots of the ingredients are things you’ll have lying around in your kitchen cupboards or that you can find in the wild (like lavender). Alternatively a quick trip down to the supermarket will sort you out for other bits and bobs.

Equipment

You should also have most of the equipment you’ll need at home. Potion-making tends to require the same bits and pieces as cooking. So, generally speaking, apart from some of the more exotic ingredients, you may already be well-equipped for making your own unique holistic products!

Here are some of the items you will need to make your lotions and potions:

  • Heatproof bowls
  • Mini whisks
  • Stirrers (chopsticks will do)
  • Cheese grater (for grating lemons, cocoa butter)
  • Sieve (for straining macerated oils)
  • Soap moulds (ice cube trays work well for melts and mini cake tins are good for massage bars)
  • Pestle and mortar
  • Food processor (for body butters and moisturisers)
  • Coffee grinder (for grinding herbs, flowers)

Presentation Tips

Selling is often not about how great the product is, but how well you present it. Get creative with your bottles and gift wrapping and you’ll be able to charge more.

This doesn’t necessarily mean a big spend for new bottles and lots of cellophane wrap. Reuse any bottles and jars that you’ve got lying around at home – just wash them in hot, soapy water first, rinse in cold water, then place somewhere warm until they are bone dry.

Glass is the best material for your lotions, as it won’t taint your products, and it’s readily available around your house. You can even collect old bottles and jars from friends to reuse, and hotels will often save you the mini jam jars they use at breakfasts, which are great for lip balm pots. Scraps of old cloth can be sewn up into simple drawstring bags making cheap and pretty packaging for bath melts, massage bars and bath salts.

If you don’t have this stuff lying around the house, ask your friends if they’ve got anything. You can also try getting free samples from the perfume counters in department stores. Plus try your local supermarket and see if you like some of the little presentation bottles that olive oils, vinegars or mini products come in.

If you do want to invest in some new presentation vials Colouredbottles is a great site. It sells pretty glass bottles and jars in bulk. If you just want to start off with a few items, you can buy them from their eBay site.

Make gift sets

It’s also very cheap to get some gift sets together to sell. For instance, you can arrange a jar of hand scrub, some hand-balm, and a nail brush inside a cheap terracotta flower-pot for a gorgeous gardener’s gift set. Or why not try making a selection of herbal bath tea blends (dried herbs and flowers in mini muslin bags) and arrange them inside a second-hand teapot.

If all does go wrong a bit of clever marketing a la l’Oreal can fix everything. For example, most mixtures can be re-melted and remade with an adjustment of solids and liquids, so when it comes to consistency you’ve always got a second chance.

But if something seems unfixable, just rename it cunningly:

  • A too-liquid moisturiser becomes a lotion
  • A too-hard face-cream becomes a lip-balm
  • A very hard moisturizer is a bath melt
  • A very stiff face scrub becomes fragrant bathing grains

A few ground rules

1. Never eat or drink your potions (even though they may look tasty!)

2. Make sure your hands are dry before using the potions as water can encourage bacterial contamination.

3. Always store the potions and ingredients in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

4. Be good and make sure all your equipment is squeaky clean before you make your potions

5. Never use a bit of water to get out the remaining bit of potion at the bottom of the bottle.

6. If you are pregnant, make sure you’ve consulted the NHS website to check they are safe. Alternatively the info should be available on the Aromatherapy Council’s website.

7. There are no 100% natural preservatives which work as well as the chemical ones, so store you potions in accordance with the instructions on each recipe. If in doubt, chuck it out.

8. Remember to always do a patch test before you use any lotions, just in case you are allergic.

9. If you do want to go into business selling beauty products, it’s essential that you do your research, as you may require insurance and safety testing.

We got all these recipes from The Holistic Beauty Book by Star Khechara published by Green Books.

The book has over 100 natural recipes for gorgeous, healthy skin so you can get creating your own treatments right now. You can pick up a copy on Amazon here.

Vanilla Spice Scrub

Shelf-life: 3 months

Skin types: suitable for all

Ingredients

  • 300g white granulated sugar
  • Half a bottle of vanilla essence
  • 100-200ml unrefined sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp of nutmeg powder
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon powder

How to make

1. Mix the sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon in a bowl

2. Add the oil and vanilla essence while stirring until a thick paste is achieved. If the mixture is too stiff, add a little more oil

3. Store in a jar (Kilner jars look pretty)

How to use

Dampen skin, and massage gently into skin. Rinse off thoroughly.

After eight(ish) chocolate mint scrub

For a slightly more exotic scrub, why not try the after-eight(ish) chocolate mint scrub. Most of these ingredients can be bought at the supermarket, and you can get the virgin coconut oil from Sheabuttercottage.

Shelf-life: 3 months

Skin types: suitable for all

Ingredients

  • 50g fair-trade/organic dark brown sugar
  • 30g organic or raw cocoa powder
  • 50g dried peppermint (or several opened-up peppermint tea bags)
  • 100-150ml virgin coconut oil/butter

How to make

1. Mix the sugar, cocoa powder and dried peppermint in a bowl

2. Gradually add the oil while stirring until a thick paste is achieved

3. Store in a jar (Kilner jars look pretty)

How to use

Massage the chocolatey mixture gently all over damp skin; rinse off thoroughly.

Oaty Goodness

Another cheap-to-make beauty product is a ‘soap bag’. One of the ingredients is vegetable or olive oil soap. You can get these from your local health store, and they can cost less than £1.

Shelf-life: 3 months

Skin types: suitable for all, especially sensitive skin

Ingredients

  • 50g fine oatmeal
  • 50g grated pure vegetable soap
  • 50g dried lavender
  • Variation: Use other herbs like ground rose petals or ground orange peel, or an exotic blend of your own!

How to make

1. Grate the soap

2. Grind the lavender using the coffee grinder

3. Mix up all three ingredients in the bowl

4. Cut a circle of muslin about the size of a large saucer

5. Place a heap of mixture in the middle

6. Gather the muslin together like a little sack containing the blend

7. Tie it up tightly with string or raffia

8. Store the ready-made bags in a large glass jar

How to use

Use in the shower and soak the little bag under the warm water; it should start to feel squishy and soapy. Use the bag like a bar of soap. The muslin will exfoliate while the oats soothe and the soap cleans. Because the soap is ‘diluted’ with other ingredients, it is not so drying to the skin.

Honey & Oat Cheatin’ Soap

Another vegetable or olive oil soap based beauty product that you can make cheaply, and sell for a good profit, is soap. Making soap from scratch uses a really strong chemical (sodium hydroxide), which can burn skin really badly. The following recipe makes a new and customized soap from melting down an existing one.

Shelf-life: 6 months

Skin types: suitable for all

Ingredients

  • 200g plain vegetable soap (i.e. the plain olive oil soap you can find in health food shops)
  • 100ml water or herbal tea (cold)
  • 30g medium oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey
  • Variation Vegans can still make this soap – just leave out the honey and add your favourite plant oil instead for a silky soap.

How to make

1. Grate your soap very finely

2. Place in a bowl with the water and set aside for a couple of hours, stirring now and again. Next place the bowl of soap and water on top of pan of simmering water

3. Add more water if necessary

4. Keep the heat as low as possible so that the soap melts very slowly

5. Stir gently until it is a stringy gloop (could take up to an hour!)

6. Once smooth and molten add the honey and oatmeal

7. Stir in quickly then straight away pour into your moulds

8. Leave the soaps to set for 24 hours

9. Once set tip the soaps out of the moulds and put on a wire rack to dry out

10. Turn over every couple of days and the soap should be ready to use in 2-4 weeks

How to use

Use with water like everyday soap and remember to rinse well.

Herbal bath bag

And finally, a herbal bath bag, which is a great alternative to soap, and this recipe uses only two ingredients (or three, if you like) which cuts down on cost.

Shelf-life: 3 months, as a dry mix

Skin types: suitable for all, especially those suffering with eczema

Ingredients

  • 50g organic fine oatmeal (or oatmeal and ground almond blend)
  • 50g dried organic lavender

How to make

1. Grind half of the lavender in a coffee grinder, leaving the rest whole

2. Mix all the ingredients together

3. Tie up in a muslin circle with raffia to make a little sack

4. You can make several of these up at once and store them in a glass jar

How to use

Add to warm bath and use the oaty bag like soap; once it is wet it will feel a bit slimy – that’s the soothing oat-milk coming out. It really does clean effectively but won’t dry skin like soap and is very healing for dry sensitive skin and eczema. Use a bag once only.

We got all these great tips and recipes from The Holistic Beauty Book by Star Khechara published by Green Books. The book has over 100 natural recipes for gorgeous, healthy skin so you can get creating your own treatments right now. You can pick up a copy for just £8.39 on Amazon.

  • Gina

    How utterly irresponsible of the author of this article, to completely leave out the need to have proper safety assessments and liability insurance. This is not a ‘golden goose’ opportunity, but actually a very time consuming and rather expensive business to get into. Certainly not as easy as putting a few bath salts in a bag and making it look pretty.

    Please do not take this article at face value, but do your research thoroughly and test your products rigorously before you even attempt to sell them. Have a look at a forum called ‘The Dish’, which will offer you a wealth of information and help if this type of business is what you would like to do.

    • Laura

      I agree. To suggest that people can make and sell products without Liability Insurance among other things is ridiculous! A very time consuming business thats involves alot more than prettying things up.

    • Connie

      #9 says to do your research and that insurance may be necessary. FYI

  • Kenneth Matsunaga

    I have use Makari for 6 years it has no effect omn me. Origin is one product that leaves my face clean and beautiful but it does not lighten or tone as descibed

  • Trista Ellsworth

    I am african american and I have very dark marks on my shoulders and upper back as a result of wearing the wrong sized bra. Now that I am wearing the correct sized bra, I would like to know if either of the products would fade the dark marks from my shoulders and upper back as I am in a wedding in August and the dress is strapless.

  • http://scorpbeats.com sbeez

    hey
    a good place to get essential oils and other carrier base oils is justaromatherapy.co.uk they have a good range

  • Nell

    Hello
    That is a great article. I am very interested in making my own beauty products, and I am very excited there are people around who can share their tips.As about making money from the products you make at home, shouldn’t you have a licence or something for that? Thank you very much for the information share, I will try your recipes!

  • Poppy

    Just following on from Rachel. I make a lot of my own natural products but within the EU you are not allowed to sell them without proper safety assesments and also ideally with some form of insurance. It is expensive and complicated to get your products to the situation where you are able to sell, Here is a good guide of the procedures you need to follow in the UK http://www.thesoapkitchen.co.uk/certification.htm

    If anyone were to have some kind of a reaction and claim your product caused it you would be in big trouble if you sold without having all this!

    That means no selling privately, craft fairs, boot sales or whatever unless you have all this stuff in place! Such a pain although of course it makes sense to keep people safe from unscrupulous manufacturers I guess!

    • Mel

      Thanks Poppy! This is exactly the answer I was looking for. I knew it couldnt be that easy to sell homemade products online. I’m developing a line of face and body oils to sell so just doing my research and own testing at the moment. Thanks again, your post has been really helpful to me. Regards. MEL

  • http://www.google.com Freida Haddan

    I just clicked around from an additional ws sign web site and figured I should take a look around. Like what I see so now Im subsequent you. Look forward to looking at your some of your posts once more.

  • Rachael

    Hi, in order to sell handmade cosmetics (which includes all bath and body products) in the UK you need a safety assessment from a certified chemist or other such professional.
    Prices vary but at least expect to pay £150 or more. Also there are very strict regulations for labels, ingredients, allergen declarations etc It seems a bit irresponsible and surprising to recommend such a way to make money!

  • Anthony Powell

    Hi, a good place to get essential oils and other carrier base oils is justaromatherapy.co.uk they have a good range of Ingredients, i usually buy mine from there as well as baldwins.

  • Carolyn Hidalgo

    Forget the golden goose…give me one that lays chocolate! Thanks for the great post!

  • pure virgin coconut oil

    The first query that’s typically posed is whether or not coconut oil is healthy to use. Makers of other oils have often attempted to smear coconut oil as a poor oil because it is chiefly made up of saturated fats. Aren’t those the bad fats? In numerous cases they’re, but inside the case of coconut oil their makeup is extremely various from other oils. Coconut oil is primarily made up of medium chain fatty acids that happen to be healthy. Most other saturated fats can’t say this. The stability saturated fats helps to make sure that that coconut oil will not break down into trans fatty acids and free radicals when subjected to to higher temps.

  • just me

    I’m interested in selling my home made beauty products.
    Just trying to figure out how to charge?
    can anyone give me helpful tips?

    as i dont want to either over charge or undercharge

  • JO

    I have this book and am enjoying the scrubs and soaps and would like to progress but i have heard that to make and sell a cosmetic /bath product you have to have a licence

    Your advise please

  • Sheena McCallum

    I must say I am very impressed with this article as it seems to cover and answer, in detail, all the concerns I had in making organic beauty products. I have just been made redundant so I am really taken with this and am thinking if I start practicing now I shall have it perfected in time for Xmas presents!! I definately will be checking out The Holistic Beauty Book and my thanks to Jasmine and the Moneymagpie Team.