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Well-Known Member
Dec 1, 2014
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Vancouver Island Canada.
Oil of Olay bottle finally empty! Yahoo!
So, today I tried making a moisturizer for daily use on my 66 (barely) year old skin. I was aiming for non-pore clogging, as un-greasy as as possible, small (1 4 oz. jar) batch, just for me.
The end result was pretty, filled 1 1/2 4 oz. jars, probably because I whipped the holy bejesus out of it, and, it had a nice texture. BUT, it is is greasier than I would like (although 3 hours later my face feels lovely), and it smells like somebody's dirty socks. Yuck.
I don't sell. This is just for me.

This was my recipe:

45 gr Shea butter
30 ml rose hip seed oil
15 ml Argan oil
1 tsp vitamin e oil
1 tsp Aloe Vera gel
1/2 tsp kaolin clay
5 drops frankincense EO
10 drops lavender EO

Whipped up the Shea butter and drizzled in the rest.

Whadda Ya think? How can I make it a little less greasy, a little more appealing fragrance-wise (love fragrance) and, well, whatever.

Thanks in advance.
Well, you don't have much water-based liquid, so it's going to be oily/greasy simply because this product is mostly fats. Why not make a real lotion with an emulsifier and a higher % of water-based ingredients? You will get a much lighter product that will spread smoothly over the skin easily, yet leave only a light film of oil/fat that can be absorbed more easily by the skin.

I'd also use less rosehip -- I make a lotion with rosehip too, and over 20% rosehip is overly greasy and heavy on my face. Shea can be a bit much for my face as well. I prefer lighter oils such as jojoba and meadowfoam instead. Fractionated coconut or plain coconut oil would be other alternatives.

Why the clay? I don't think I'd care for clay in a leave-on facial product, but maybe I'm missing something. Just wondering.

When you mix a water based ingredient (aloe) with oil-based ingredients (everything else), you are creating a situation favorable for microbial growth. A preservative is highly recommended. My go-to preservative is liquid Germall Plus. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which is fine, but it's not a preservative in the sense that it can prevent microbial ickies from growing.

Also when you mix water and oil together, the product will be more stable if you use a chemical emulsifier, such as emulsifying wax (aka e-wax) or BTMS (aka conditioning emulsifier). Asking an emulsion to stay stable only with mechanical emulsification (whipping the holy bejesus out of it) is asking for trouble -- the emulsion can easily fail and your product will weep or completely separate.

I recommend weighing everything, including the EOs, although I might make an exception for them if you're making really small batches. But for all of the other ingredients, I guarantee you're going to get better consistency from batch to batch if you use a scale that weighs to 0.1 gram or better for measuring all of your ingredients.
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I used the kaolin thinking maybe it would counteract the greasiness a bit, sort of like cornstarch does in my body butters and I couldn't find any reason not to. I always try to measure on a scale in grams but I really had a difficult time finding recipe ideas that were not in cups and teaspoons. I converted as much as I could.
So, it sounds like more water based liquid, a preservative and an emulsifier are required to produce a non-greasy cream or lotion. And less Rosehip seed oil.
Any thoughts about the EO mix. Both seem really good for the face but, ugh! Gotta make it smell better than that!
This is a thread on using frankincense in face cream on Dish, I am not sure if you are a member (if not you might have to join to get the link to work). I remember reading it a while ago and being intrigued b/c people seemed to be pretty excited about its anti-aging properties, including posters from there that I trust know what they are talking about.

I don't remember what, if anything people said about the scent, though, sorry. It was kind of long and had a bunch of science-y detail in it, so I did not re-read it. Anyway, worth a read if you are a DISH member, I think.


I did re-read it just now, someone suggested using various floral and spicy eo's for the scent (one was lavendar), others said that it should not smell funky unless it is off somehow. So not sure what the bottom line is on that.
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As far as the scent goes, smell all of your ingredients separately before use to see -- if you don't like the smell out of the bottle (OOB), then it ain't going to be a good idea to use it in a lotion, especially for the face.

I strongly suspect your argan oil is a major contributor to the dirty sock smell. Shea can also be pungent if it's not deodorized. The rosehip is pretty mild smelling, but it can go rancid just like any other carrier oil.

As far as the two EOs -- they should be fine, but ... check your lavender EO for freshness. It should be fresh, spicy, and herbaceous OOB without any rancid/unpleasant overtones. If it does smell "off" in the bottle, it isn't going to smell any better if used in a product. Lavender can oxidize over time and should not be used on the skin when it smells off. Store lavender in the fridge if you can.

Frankincense has a longer shelf life, being a resin, but it never hurts to double check.

ETA: Also be sure to test your scent blend before you use it in a product - put drops of the EOs on strips of coffee filter and smell the test blends over 12-24 hours. Record your impressions as you go. I haven't spent any time trying to figure out how much EO you added as a % of the whole, but it looks like you added a pretty good amount of EO. I normally figure scent at 0.5% to 3% by weight in a lotion, and for facial use I often prefer them at the lower end of that range.

ETA: I appreciate your point that cornstarch or clay can reduce the feel of greasiness, but they will also leave a residue on the skin. IMO, I wouldn't use either in a leave-on facial product.
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Well, lesson learned......smell everything before you add it! I've had the argan oil and the lavender for awhile and have been away for the summer, so I'm going to smell them now. The others were new from the health food store. I did smell the frankinsense and didn't like it much but I have no frame of reference, never having used it before. I'll have to check out some other brands.
Think I'll drop the kaolin clay - although, I must say, once this cream sinks in, my face feels wonderful.
I am kind of close the in age to you Purplerain and still rosehip oil is causing breakouts for me. It is kind of heavy oil. She butter is occluding. I agree with DeeAnna, about making light lotion for your face, Instead of using so much oils use some light oil, even soya oil is good , macademia, hazelnut, they are considered to be "dry" oil. Maybe you should visit this blog:)

And, hey thanks not_ally for the link. I think I'll just go slather frankinsense all over my face!
BTW, just went and smelled all my ingredients and they all seem fine so I added more frankinsense EO and a titch more lavender as well and now it's fine. Never to be replicated
Hi purplerain, the above posters are right.
Due to our bodies chemistry, a water based product is lighter and absorbs better, so emulsifying wax and the cleanest water you could get or a water based product will make a diffrence, in both absorption and feel.
I love frankincense EO I use a 20% blend as my daily moisturizer. Since I started using it no more cystic acne and people say I look "glowy". It took awhile to get used to the smell but now I love it.