Need Expert Advice on Making Skin Care Products
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Maria
Posted on: November 27, 2000

I’m an esthetician (specializing in skin care). I’ve recently been interested in herbs and have been reading up on them. I am so impressed with them and cannot believe people don’t use them as naturally as they used to. What I would like from you is some information or advise in going about making skin care products. Right now I’m experimenting with dry herbs and would like to stick with that for now but eventually will start growing them. I have a home remedy book with different recipes for making skin care products.

My question is do: I have to go by that or could I make my own remedies with the knowledge I have already about the few herbs I have experience with?

There is no particular reason why you must make and use products that are described in reference books, using only herbs and recipes that are described in them. But that does not mean that any herb you may experiment with is appropriate for skin care products. For example, there are some herbs that are allergenic and can cause dermatitis in sensitive people. Even if you are not sensitive to a particular herb, you may give a friend or client a sample of your products and they may be sensitive. Chamomile, a herb used a lot in shampoos and other products, is allergenic in some people, and there are others.

Overall, I would say that of the herbs that are sensibly used in skin care products there are very few that have problematic implications for use in skin care products. Still, it may be wise to stick with the herbs that have proved to be safe over many years of human use. If you are experimenting with a herb that is not commonly used in cosmetics presently then you should do some research on the herb’s potential effects when applied to the skin. Herbs that are used in food are likely to be safe, while herbs used in medicine need to be scrutinized more carefully.

There are some good books on using herbs for cosmetics and skin care. We carry "Skin Deep" which is available online at Richters.

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