This has been the moisturizer to end all moisturizers for us. It’s lush, deeply hydrating, made with all natural ingredients, and so easy to whip up at home. It has also gained a mini-cult following among our friends. It’s been reported to help with cold sores, eczema, and chronically dry skin. It’s impossible for anyone to stay indifferent to the luxurious texture (very much like whipped butter) and dreamy scent (not unlike the most heavenly dessert) of this moisturizer. It evokes all kinds of emotion :) I’m pretty sure that every person who tried it urged us to package and sell it. Instead of doing that, we thought we would share the recipe here, which just seems more fun in every way. Also, we find gift guides to be overwhelming and don’t have one for you this year, but this magic moisturizer would make for an amazing, thoughtful, homemade gift.
Magic Moisturizer is now available for sale here.
Anya: A few years ago, I got really into making my own natural skincare and tried lots of different moisturizer recipes. A lot of them were nice and smelled really good, but none turned out completely perfect. That was until I decided to experiment with mixing raw cacao butter into a moisturizer formula I kind of liked, and the result completely blew me away. Cacao butter gives the cream a special, light, whipped texture, and the scent is out of this world. I especially like combining it with citrusy essential oils like blood orange, sweet orange, lemon, and lime, since orange and chocolate is one of my favorite scent pairings ever.
I’ve been using this moisturizer exclusively for the past two years, and I honestly can’t imagine life without it. I usually apply it while doing this facial massage, which makes it absorb really well.
Masha: I have very dry skin that likes to be moisturized both morning and night. I’ve tried a bunch of natural moisturizers, and this homemade one came out on top every single time. I love the way it smells and how deeply hydrating it is for my skin. I also like the fact that I can curate the ingredients, depending on what I feel my skin needs, especially when it comes to the essential oils. As a bonus, this cream really helps soothe my eczema, which pops up above my eyelids occasionally, when I’m stressed. I make sure to include some lavender oil in the recipe in those cases, since it’s really healing for inflamed skin. It’s also wonderful to use for our favorite gua sha routine.
Since this moisturizer is homemade and full of natural oils, it’s not exactly non-greasy. What I personally like to do is put it on right as I wake up. That way, it has a chance to absorb while I eat breakfast and get ready, and I dab away any extra shininess with a washcloth once I’m ready to head out the door. And at night, the little bit of shine on my face is not a problem, since I put it on right before bed.
A Little Bit on Essential Oils
The beauty of making your own skincare at home is that you can completely curate your own ingredients, especially when it comes to essential oils. There are essential oils that are good for all kinds of skin conditions, like acne, scarring, eczema, rosacea, dryness, etc. It’s best to do your own research, experiment, and see what essential oils work for you. Our favorite two books on the subject are Renegade Beauty and Just the Essentials.
It’s also important to note that essential oils are powerful stuff, and might evoke skin sensitivities, so it’s a good idea to test them out and see if your skin likes them, before committing to making a whole batch of the moisturizer (or anything else).
2 of our favorite essential oil combinations for this moisturizer:
– Italian lemon, lavender, spearmint
– blood orange, sweet orange, lemon, lime
skincare superstars that we include in every batch:
– carrot seed
other great ones we often add:
– palma rosa
– bay leaf
– clary sage
- 2 oz raw cacao butter - shredded
- 2 oz virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil
- 1 oz good quality beeswax - shredded
- 4 oz any good quality, virgin, cold pressed oil like olive, avocado, almond (or a mix of a few)
- 1 oz cold-pressed jojoba oil
- 1 tablespoon cold-pressed calendula oil (optional)
- 1 teaspoon pure vitamin E oil
- 9 oz distilled water
- about 80-100 drops of any mix of essential oils of choice (see above for more on essential oils)
- Melt the cacao butter, coconut oil, and beeswax on a double boiler. Remove from heat. Mix in the rest of the oils and vitamin E. Once you remove this mixture from the heat, it might start solidifying quickly, especially if you're in a cool temperature room, so act fast and prepare for the next step in advance.
- In an upright blender, start blending the distilled water on low. Slowly pour in the oil mixture, turn up the speed to medium-low, and blend until it emulsifies, about 1 minute. Add the essential oils and pulse to combine. Take care not to over-blend.
- Transfer to (preferably glass) containers with air-tight lids. Keep in a cool, dark place up to 2 months or refrigerated up to 4-5 months. I like to keep a small batch of the moisturizer out in my bathroom for quick access, and the rest in the refrigerator, which will keep the moisturizer fresher for longer. The moisturizer softens at room temperature and hardens when refrigerated.