How to Make Face Moisturizer With Essential Oils

With autumn and winter fast approaching, we are looking at how to get the best from our homemade face moisturizer. During the cold weather, maintaining healthy, glowing skin is at the top of most peoples' lists, as the weather and indoor heating can wreak havoc on our skin.

There are a few secrets to making face moisturizer with essential oils; mix a water-based cream with hydrosols, glycerine, carrier, and essential oils to create a perfectly tailored and sublime product for your skin type.

You will find a rich and nourishing recipe suitable for even the most sensitive skin. This is what we will be focusing on and making here. You can also discover the best way to use carrier oils in your face moisturizers and other products, like face serums.

Why Should I Make My Own Natural Face Moisturizer

I always make my facial moisturizer and have been doing so for many years. So for me, there is no better alternative.

Making my moisturizer gives me complete control over the ingredients. I can verify their provenance and sustainability, giving me peace of mind in knowing that I am not only helping the planet but the economies of those communities growing these excellent plant-based ingredients.

Making my skincare gives me control to choose natural and organic plant-based products over mass-produced, chemical-laden lotions and creams. It allows me to ensure that I am not using palm oils or parabens and frees me from buying into the mass commercialized markets, including these in their products. As a result, I am one less person buying them; you could be another.

Skincare creation also allows me to choose essential oils that are perfect for my sensitive skin... I can add tiny amounts of more rich oils for a real treat without my skin telling me off afterward.

Finally, I can include ingredients that target the exact issues of my skin type and the season. This is imperative because my skin can get very dry and flaky at this time of year if it's not cared for properly.

Then, I can decide if I want to add any extras, like hyaluronic acid or retinol, and how much I want to use at any given time. The hyaluronic acid I use has a safety percentage of 10%, which is the maximum amount I can add. But it allows me to add much less in the summer, for example, when my skin isn't quite dry. In the winter, I can dial it up to the maximum amount. I'm careful never to overload my skin with more than it needs, which can be important when using things like collagen. Use too much, and your body dials down its production. It is essential to know how to balance this and when.

Essentially, making my face moisturizer with essential oils is about control - 

    • Control over what makes it into the pot and what does not. 
    • Control over where my ingredients come from, their sustainability, and the ability to avoid palm oil and parabens.
    • Control how to target my skin's needs at that particular time—avoiding what it does not need.
    • It even gives me control of what pot I use and if it can be recycled. I clean, sterilize and reuse my jars all the time. By doing this, I am reducing what could go into landfill.

Also Read: How to Make Facial Toner with Essential Oils

How to Make Face Moisturizer with Essential Oils: Step-by-Step

Base Ingredients

    • 100g (4 Oz) Water based cream base or Aqueous cream
    • 1 tbsp. Glycerin
    • 1 tbsp. Camellia Carrier Oil
    • 1 tsp Witch Hazel
    • ½ tsp Hyaluronic Acid 
    • 25 ml (0.85 FL Oz) Rose Geranium Hydrosol 
    • 50 ml (1.69 FL Oz) Spring Water (bottled or boiled)
    • 1% preservative - Follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Now Choose Your Essential Oils Combination Based On Your Skin Type

Essential Oils and Absolutes

'Best for all' version - Floral and Fresh - Suitable for most skin types 

Safety: Not suitable for use during the first 37 weeks of pregnancy (Ylang Ylang)

Deluxe and Decadent Version - Floral and Green - Sensitive Skin
    • 3 drops Violet Leaf Absolute  (Viola odorata L.)
    • 5 drops Rose Maroc Absolute (Rosa damascena)
    • 3 drops Rose Geranium Essential Oil (Pelargonium asperum var roseum)
    • 1 drop Sandalwood Essential Oil (Santalum album

Safety: Not suitable for use during the first 37 weeks of pregnancy (Ylang Ylang)

Non-Binary Version - Woody and Deep - Suitable for all but super sensitive skin
    • 1 drop Cedarwood Essential Oil (Cedrus deodara) (If you have susceptible skin - drop this one and add another depth of Yarrow or Violet Leaf)
    • 3 drops Sandalwood Amyris Essential Oil (Amyris balsamifera)
    • 1 drop Yarrow Essential Oil (Achillea millefolium(Swap out the Rose geranium hydrosol for Yarrow hydrosol if you are shaving).
    • 1 drop Vetiver Essential Oil (Vetiveria zizanoides)
    • 1 drop Sandalwood Essential Oil (Santalum album

Safety: Not suitable for use during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.


    • Measuring Scales
    • Non-reactive mixing bowl
    • Stainless steel spoon
    • Measuring Jug
    • Measuring spoons
    • Jars and Lids


    1. Read when you need to add your preservative according to the manufacturer's instructions and note when to do that, so you do not forget to add it. 
    2. Weigh out your aqueous cream or water-based cream and place it into the mixing bowl.
    3. Add in your carrier oil and the hyaluronic acid and mix well until thoroughly combined.
    4. In your measuring jug, measure the hydrosol, add the spring water, and mix the fluids.
    5. Add the witch hazel and glycerin into the water mixture, and mix well again.
    6. Slowly pour a small amount of the fluid mixture into the aqueous cream base in the mixing bowl, and combine well with the spoon. Then continue to add the fluid mixture in small amounts until the desired consistency is obtained.
    7. If you feel it is too thick at this stage, add more spring water, and combine well until the desired consistency is reached.
    8. Add in your essential oils carefully and stir well until thoroughly combined.
    9. You may find pouring this mixture from the bowl into the cleaned measuring jug to fill your jars easier. 
    10. Lid immediately. Label and date your jars. 
    11. Always do a 24-hour patch test on your inner elbow or wrist before applying it to your face.

Any Special Notes

The best thing about making your facial skincare is that you can tailor them yourself. Once you know which base is the perfect balance for your skin and how to change that over the year, the sky is your limit.

For instance - in the winter, I might add solid coconut oil rather than camellia oil. I could leave out the Witch Hazel and up the glycerin. Just a tweak here and there, and you can have a base cream that suits you all year round.

For that reason, I recommend making small batches that will last you about two months at a time. There is no point in making a year's worth for the ingredients to sit aging in the jar. Make small batches more often.

Also Read: How to Make Body Butter with Essential Oils

Natural Face Moisturizer Recipe - My Favorite Winter Recipe


    • 100g (4 Oz) Water based cream base or Aqueous cream
    • 2 tbsp Glycerine (vegetable)
    • 1 tbsp. solid Coconut Carrier Oil (Cocus Nucifera)
    • 1 tsp Hyaluronic Acid 
    • 25ml (0.85 FL Oz) Rose Geranium Hydrosol (Pelargonium asperum var roseum)
    • 25ml (0.85 FL Oz) Yarrow Hydrosol (Achillea millefolium)
    • 25ml (0.85 FL Oz) Rose Hydrosol (Rosa damascena)
    • 1% preservative - Follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Essential Oils and Absolutes

Follow the instructions as before.

For super sensitive skin - Use only the Rose Otto and Violet Leaf Absolutes in the essential oil mix. Use water instead of the hydrosols and leave out the Hyaluronic acid. Test your sensitivity to the preservative with a patch test; if you tolerate it, add it. If not, leave it out and keep your jar in the fridge. Discard after two months.

Always do a 24-hour patch test on your inner elbow or wrist before applying it to your face.

Safety: Not suitable for use during the first 37 weeks of pregnancy. (Rose, Jasmine)

How to Use this DIY Facial Moisturizer

This superb moisturizer is so simple that you can use it up to 3 times a day, but you should not need it more than twice a day. Morning and night. It is light enough and a perfect base for wearing under makeup.

You always want to apply your moisturizer to clean your skin. I spray my skin with my homemade lemon balm hydrosol, so it is slightly damp. It helps to lock in more moisture.

Apply light upward patting motions to the face, neck, and décolletage, and take care of the delicate eye area, working inwards rather than stretching the skin outwards.

It should absorb quickly and be 'touchable' within 30 seconds to a minute.

Always allow 5 minutes to absorb fully before applying it to makeup.

Also Read: How to Make Night Cream with Essential Oils

Important Questions

Is it OK to Put Essential Oils Directly on the skin?

No, you must never apply essential oils directly to the skin.

You must always dilute your oils in a carrier oil or base product.

Before diluting your essential oil, it is vital to look at your essential oils' safety data, as the safety data percentage can be different from oil to oil.

For instance, look at these three commonly used oils and how different the safety data percentage is.

Dilution rates for a healthy adult
Bergamot 0.4% dilution Jasmine 0.6% dilution Lavender 3% dilution

Therefore, always check the data and learn the contraindications of the oils you are using before you put them anywhere near your skin, let alone your face.

Can I Use Coconut Oil on My Face as a Moisturizer?

You can use coconut oil on your face, but I would use it sparingly in your formulae.

You have to compare the benefits of hydrating your skin versus nourishing skin.

Coconut oil is more of a nourishing product, and this is something you want to control the usage of in your skincare regimen. Too much oil can have the opposite effect and dry your skin, which is counterintuitive.

I also like to think of using a product like a coconut oil to lock in the moisture or the hydration of your moisturizer and then nourish and protect the skin—an added layer, per say.

Every day, after a bath, in the depths of winter, my fingers will slide into the pot of solid organic cold-pressed coconut oil and ladle my body in the rich nourishing and soothing oil. Yet, rarely does it make it onto my face. Occasionally, on a wet, blustery day, I might give my cheeks and forehead a quick slick with it to protect them from the elements.

While it certainly has a place in my moisturizer, other skin care products, and toiletries, as a stand-alone product for face moisturization, I can recommend it better. However, I urge you to use it sparingly and infrequently, as you risk drying your skin further and clogging your pores.

Can You Use Other Carrier Oils?

Yes, there are some beautiful carrier oils that you can use on your face. One of my favorites to use in facial skin care is Camellia oil. I have also had stunning results with Sea Buckthorn oil, which you have to limit how much you use because it is a bright, vivid orange color. No one wants to look like a Tango advert. But a small amount in your facial moisturizer brightens your complexion. Avoid using it last thing at night because it can leave some color on your pillow.

However, while carrier oils certainly have their place in facial moisturizer creams, they are, ideally, more suited to use in face serums and for doing facial massage treatments.

Why not look at my recent article How to Make a Face Serum with Essential Oils for a deeper understanding of how to use carrier oils on your face?

Want to know more about How to do a Facial Massage Treatment? Then look no further.

You also have to consider the long-term effect the oil might have on your skin and if it will block your pores. Look at this article, Best Non-Comedogenic Carrier Oils For Face, to learn more.

How Long will my Homemade Face Moisturizer Last?

With the preservative added, these formulae should last at least 12 months. However, it is best to use them within 6-9 months.

You will want to store your moisturizer in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Ideally, I prefer dark glass jars that stop the light from getting to your oils, helping them to last longer.

Store them in a cool, dark place with an ambient temperature.

Use a spoon or spatula to remove the product from the jars to stop any contamination from your hands that may spoil it.

Final Thought

I have always had positive comments on my skin, and I noticed this week, in a video of the remembrance of Queen Elizabeth II, that someone mentioned what beautiful skin she had too. But what do people mean when they say, "You have such lovely skin"?

Do they mean a clear complexion? Free of blemishes? Unlined? Not the case for the Queen, for she sported her wrinkles of wisdom with pride and a twinkly blue eye. Her complexion, however, was flawless. Despite the ravages of British weather, she was often out and about.

Whatever the reason people may compliment your skin, the key to great skin is a good skin care regimen tailored to your skin needs over the year. What you need in summer will differ from what you need in winter. So discover what works for you.

I have kept my skincare simple and uncomplicated for many years, using homemade products bursting with plant goodness and oozing delicious essential and carrier oils.

I have learned what my skin needs, what it will tolerate and what it will not. I look longingly at those lovely-sounding and delicious-smelling shower gels, but it will never happen with my sensitive skin. So instead, I indulge in beautiful oils and make my gorgeous soap; it is even gentle enough to wash my face in.

Become an advocate for your skin; listen to it; it will tell you what it needs and does not want.

Clean it gently, feed it heartily, nourish it judiciously, and it will serve you well. So there is…Making face moisturizer with essential oils…the secret to glorious, smooth, and youthful skin.

Also Read: How to Make Perfume with Essential Oils

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