Thursday, March 10, 2011

DIY: Facial Mist

For two years, during college, I lived in San Francisco and from time to time,  I would drive across the Bay Bridge to Berkeley and hit all my faves: Blondie's Pizza, Moe's Books and the original Body Shop--I especially LOVED this Body Shop shop because it was the original store and all of the products were so simple, lovely and natural.  Do you know the story of how it all started?...check this out:

In the early 1970s, Anita Roddick (then Anita Perilli) visited a shop in Berkeley, California selling naturally-scented soaps and lotions called The Body Shop. The Berkeley Body Shop run by Peggy Short and Jane Saunders used natural ingredients, and helped to employ and train immigrant women.The Body Shop name was a clever pun, as the original Berkeley store was opened in a converted auto body shop, C.J.’s Old Garage on Telegraph Avenue.

The natural, environmentally-minded and intimate cosmetics shop inspired Anita Roddick to open her own shop back in the UK in 1976. In 1987, Roddick purchased the naming rights from the original Body Shop. From its first launch in the UK in 1976, The Body Shop experienced rapid growth, expanding at a rate of 50 percent annually. Its stock was floated on London's Unlisted Securities Market in April 1984, opening at 95p. After it obtained a full listing on the London Stock Exchange, the stock was given the nickname "The shares that defy gravity," as its price increased by more than 500%.

In March 2006, The Body Shop agreed to a £652.3 million takeover by L'Oréal. It was reported that Anita and Gordon Roddick, who set up The Body Shop 30 years previously, made £130 million from the sale.  (excerpt from wikipedia)

And so The Body Shop went from teeny-tiny to mega-bucks...and their ingredients went from totally natural and pure to kinda/not so much... But I couldn't help myself once, 2 or so years ago, when I had some time to kill at the Baltimore International Airport and I wandered into one of the now--super slick franchises.  Nostalgia drew me in and I was wooed over by all the fancy bottles and pretty smells.  Before I knew it, I had walked out of the store with my purchases.  One in particular, the Vitamin E Face Mist, was my favorite.  I would spray it on after make-up to help set and for a little moisture...I really, really liked it.  Until...I looked at the list of ingredients:

Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Alchohol Denat., Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Methylparaben, Lecithin, Rosa Centifolia (Rose) Water, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Propylparaben.

And I thought to, this such a bummer!! Why do they have to put all that junk, like parabens & Butylene Glycol, in there--it seemed so antithetical to how the whole thing started..and then I got thinking...hmmm....

What of the ingredient list would I want?
Glycerin: produced when vegetable oils (especially coconut oil and palm kernel oil) are turned into soaps and other products; glycerine is produced as part of the process. Glycerine is a common ingredient in cosmetics, toothpaste, drugs, lubricants and other personal-care products because it is a humectant, meaning it helps your skin retain moisture, and is a common processing element in various industries.
Tocopheryl Acetate: Vitamin E
Panthenol: VItamin B5
Lecithin: Fatty substance derived from the soy bean that is used as an emulsifier.
Rosa Centifolia (Rose) Water
Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil

What would I not want:

Phenoxyethanol: a preservative
Parabens: are a class of chemicals widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Parabens are effective preservatives in many types of formulas. These compounds, and their salts, are used primarily for their bactericidal and fungicidal properties. They are becoming increasingly controversial, however, because they have been found in extremely low concentrations in breast cancer tumors (an average of 20 nanograms/g of tissue). [3] Parabens have also displayed the ability to weakly mimic estrogen (a hormone known to play a role in the development of breast cancer).[3] No causal link between parabens and cancer has been established, however.
Butylene GlycolThis chemical is a preservative used to keep skincare and beauty products from spoiling. It’s sometimes used to create a “whipped” appearance to existing products as a marketing ploy or to create more volume in a jar, while reducing the actual amount of product. (In other words, you spend more for less!).
Alchohol: as a cosmetic ingredient, it is used to help emulsify other ingredients because it is a solvent; it has a drying effect.

So basically, my ingredient list would look like this:

Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Alchohol Denat., Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Methylparaben, Lecithin, Rosa Centifolia (Rose) Water, ButylparabenEthylparabenIsobutylparabenPropylparaben. hard would it be to make it myself??

Turns out...not hard at all...I rounded up all the ingredients at the local co-op.

facial mist recipe
1 tablespoon vitamin e oil
2 tablespoons glycerin
1 tablespoon jojoba oil
1 tablespoon aloe vera gel
4 tablespoons rose water
1/2 cup witch hazel
1 cup distilled water
3-6 drops chamomile
6-8 drops rose essential oil

Combine all ingredients in jar with tight lid and shake well.  
Pour into smaller spray bottles.
After shaking bottle (always give it good shake before using...
mist face after make-up, 2-3 times, or for a little refresher during the day. 
 Especially nice if stored in fridge and used in summer time; 
also helps face feel nice and moisturized during dry winter months.

This batch makes a little bit over 2 1/2 cups.  Extra can be stored in refrigerator until ready for use.

Even though, I just kind of made this up and it does smell and feel a little bit like what I bought, I am by no means an expert or even remotely know what I am doing--mainly, its just a bit of dare/challenge to me to see if I can pull something off that I like...and I do like the spray I made very much.  I totally encourage you to try making your own skin care products, but you too should experiment and play around.  It's really fun and this way, your product will be custom-made for you--by you!


  1. Thanks! I'll try it.

  2. the preservative is CRITICAL and a non-paraben preservative can be used such as liquid germall plus. Without it yeast mold and bacteria can grow and be present long before it's visible to the naked eye. Please do more research before posting blog posts like this because they are NOT SAFE without the proper preservative. Liquid germall plus would be a good choice at the rate of 1% of the total weight.

    1. and why not add tea tree oil in it's place?

    2. Because tea tree oil is NOT a preservative. Some EO's are antimocrobal or good antioxidants, but they are not antibacterial. There are currently no known natural preservatives. Without one, you don't want to use this product for longer then 3-5 days, and that's only if refrigerated.

    3. How about adding wine or apple cider vinegar?

  3. I really love the post, but you do need a preservative because tons of bacteria can grow and you definitely don't want to be spraying that across your face. If you don't want to add preservative, refrigerate the mixture for a week and you can remake it every week. But again, for long use you definitely need a preservative.

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