Tools & Equipment for Making DIY Skincare Products at Home

To make your own DIY skincare products at home, you need a good formulation and some simple equipment. #DIY Skincare #Cannabis Skincare

As someone who enjoys creating their own skincare products, I know that having the right tools and equipment can make all the difference – especially if you are a beginner. Making your own cannabis skin care products can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it’s important to have the right tools to ensure that the process goes smoothly and that your products turn out well.

Essential Measuring Tools

As I make my cannabis and cosmetic products frequently, I know how important it is to have the right tools and equipment. When it comes to measuring ingredients accurately, there are two essential tools that I always have on hand: digital scales and a digital thermometer.

Digital Scales

Digital scales are an essential tool for making DIY skincare products. These allow me to measure ingredients accurately and ensure that I’m using the right amount of each ingredient. These are essential equipment needed because I weigh everything – whether they are powdered or liquids.

You will see lots of formulations online that call for teaspoons, cups and a pinch of something else. This is not safe when you formulate using ingredients like essential oils and preservatives. When you make a good product, you want to be able to do it just the same next time. Grams are accurate, and they allow you to know the percentage ratio exactly, every single time.

When choosing a digital scale, look for one that has a high level of accuracy and can measure small amounts of ingredients. They need to weigh from 0.01g upwards. Try to get a set that weighs up to about 500g. More than that and they tend to jump up in price hugely, less than that, and they are really annoying having to measure everything separately.

I recommend using a digital scale that has a tare function, which allows you to reset the scale to zero after adding an ingredient. This makes it easier to measure multiple ingredients without having to use multiple bowls or containers.

The “M” button on many scales means “mode” and allows you to changes to ounces, Troy ounces and so on. They are for jewellers and drug dealers LOL. Always remember to check the settings before you use it to make sure you are weighing in grams and not carats! 

Digital Thermometer

A digital thermometer is another essential tool for making DIY skincare and cannabis products. It allows you to measure the temperature of your ingredients accurately, which is important for ensuring that your products are properly emulsified, and also not damaged by excessive heat.

Some emulsifiers need to be at a certain temperature before they function properly. Some active ingredients and preservatives need to be below a certain temperature to ensure they work and are not damaged by heat. Don’t be tempted to use that old meat thermometer with the picture of a chicken, pig, and a cow in the back of the kitchen drawer. Yep, I tried that, and it doesn’t work well. You need to know the exact temperature.

Every temperature in my book is given in Fahrenheit and Centigrade. A digital thermometer will have a button, so you can choose which one you want to use. They do not need to be expensive ones from a chef supply shop. I don’t like the glass ones because I used to break too many of them. You can certainly use them if you want, and are less clumsy than me.

Plastic Pipettes

When you are adding very small amounts of liquid ingredients, a plastic pippete is ideal. Concentrated actives or essential oils can be very difficult to get out of a dropper bottle. Use some kitchen paper to take the dropper out, use the pipette and weigh the ingredient, and put the dropper back in the bottle.

Mixing and Heating Equipment

When it comes to making DIY cannabis skin care products, having the right mixing and heating equipment is essential. In this section, I will discuss the different types of equipment you will need to create your own skincare products.

Saucepan

You will need a saucepan to heat up ingredients such as oils, waxes and butters as part of a double boiler or Bain Marie. Using one of your existing saucepans is a cheap and simple way to make your own Bain Marie. Use any saucepan made of any material, as it is only the base of the boiler and your product does not touch this.

Silicone Trivet

This can be used to protect your work surface from heat damage when using a saucepan. It is also useful for holding hot glass or metal jugs when using your saucepan as a double boiler.

Half fill your saucepan with boiling tap water and drop a silicone trivet in the base. This means that the bottom of the container you are going to make your products in does not touch the bottom of the saucepan, and there is your double boiler.

Borosilicate Glass Jugs

Borosilicate glass jugs are heat-resistant and can be used to melt ingredients in your double boiler You will need at least two borosilicate glass jugs of different sizes to make DIY skin care products.

These are for heating your fat phase, water phase and for making gels. You can safely use an immersion blender / stick blender in a borosilicate glass jug, just be careful. They clean up easily in a dishwasher, and if you are careful with them, they are very durable. The measurements printed on the side are guides only – that doesn’t matter for us because we are weighing everything, remember? 

Stainless Steel Jugs

Stainless steel jugs are another possibility instead of the borosilicate glass jugs. Stainless steel is very durable and you will need at least two jugs of different sizes. Try to avoid really heavy-duty ones as the digital scales will take the weight into account.

No other metals please, no plastic, copper, enamel and definitely no aluminium. You may not realise, but the measures on the sides of these items are also not usually very accurate. 

When cooling the borosilicate or stainless steel jugs down, use the saucepan with cold water as a water bath.

Mixing Implements

Having the right mixing implements is crucial. Here are three essential tools you should consider adding to your collection.

Silicone Spatulas

Silicone spatulas are a must-have for any skincare DIYer. They are perfect for scraping every last bit of product out of containers, and their flexible heads make them ideal for mixing and spreading. Plus, they’re easy to clean and won’t absorb any of your skincare ingredients. Definitely do not use a wooden spoon – it’s not at all hygienic!

Flat Bottomed Whisk

This is often called a sauce whisk, and it is definitely not a balloon whisk. A balloon whisk is specifically designed to aerate and lift a cake mix or batter. This is the exact opposite of what we want. A flat-bottomed whisk stays lower in the emulsion, and when used slowly, does not aerate. It does, however, move the emulsion around so that it comes into contact with the fat and water. The goal is to get as much contact as possible with the fat and water. You could use the silicone spatula if you don’t have this. 

Immersion Blender

An immersion blender, also known as a stick blender, is a powerful tool that can make quick work of mixing and emulsifying your skincare ingredients. Some emulsifiers require high shear to form an emulsion successfully. You and a hand whisk are not going to get anywhere near the speed you need.

Don’t even think of using your kitchen mixer because, just like the balloon whisk, it is designed to aerate. This is not desirable for most emulsification systems, and the finished product is likely to separate or split.

An immersion blender is especially useful for creating creamy lotions and body butters, as it can blend even the thickest ingredients into a smooth and silky texture. Just be sure to choose a model with a detachable head for easy cleaning.

 It does not need to be a fancy one with all the attachments or endorsed by some celebrity chef – just a basic, cheap one is all you need.

Straining and Clean-Up

You only require a strainer if you are doing formulations that involve straining herbal infusions and decoctions. Your cannabis is going to be processed in the POT by NOIDS and the included strainer in that package is the best I have ever used. For the infusion of other herbs, like Calendula or Horsetail,  a conical strainer is a good choice.

Ethanol

Obviously not strictly equipment needed, but it is important. This is to disinfect and cleanse the tools and equipment before you use them. It’s a good idea to do the same afterwards too before you put your equipment away.

You can also use Everclear, Rubbing Alcohol or Isopropyl Alcohol instead. Any of them can be used in a spray bottle for convenience. These are not the types of alcohol I recommend for making tinctures. These cleaning alcohols are not safe to use internally.

When using ethanol, it is important to handle it with care. It is flammable, so keep it away from heat sources and flames. It is also important to use it in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes.

Containers

Once you have finished making your skincare products, you will want to put them into tubes, lotion pumps or jars. Only use containers that have been designed for cosmetic use as some of the plastics offered can react with the ingredients and preservatives.

The natural ingredients are very prone to fungal contamination which is in the air we breathe. Don’t touch the insides of jars or the lids with your bare fingers. I prefer to mist them with pure ethanol and stand them upside down on kitchen paper to allow them to be dry and sterile.

After you have filled your containers with your fabulous products, it is important to clean them up properly. Make sure to wash all your equipment thoroughly with warm soapy water and dry them completely before storing them away. 

You can also have some pure ethanol in a spray bottle to mist the products after you have cleaned them. This will prevent bacteria from growing and ensure that your equipment is ready for your next DIY skincare project.

Kitchen Paper

I really want to emphasise the importance of good hygiene here. Clean your work surface first and wash your hands. Lay down some kitchen paper to put your tools and equipment on after you have cleaned it with the alcohol. Don’t pick the ingredients up with your fingers – use the clean tools you have.

I have seen articles and videos using some of the ingredients I use on a regular basis. In their video, the person is pushing ingredients off the spoon with their fingers and not using ingredients correctly.

A modern preservative will not clean up a dirty product after you have contaminated the ingredients. The use of a preservative assumes you have a clean product to start with. Doing this means you can have a cannabis cosmetic with a good shelf-life of 12 to 18 months on average, which also means that you can create a larger batch.

Conclusion

Mastering DIY skincare successfully and safely, especially with cannabis, hinges on having the right tools. Accurate measuring tools like digital scales and thermometers ensure precise ingredient ratios and optimal temperatures. Using quality mixing equipment such as saucepans, silicone trivets, and borosilicate glass jugs is really helpful for perfecting formulations, and none of it is expensive.

Hygiene is paramount – use ethanol for disinfection and select cosmetic-grade containers. By adhering to these practices, you can craft premium cannabis skincare with confidence and a good shelf-life.

glass laboratory flask with cannabis leaves

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