Homemade Makeup: Powder Foundation!
Summers growing up in Minnesota were always muggy. High heat and humidity combine to make make up run and smear. I thought things would be better in the higher elevations of the Blue Ridge Mountains, but now I know better. We live in a temperate rain forest and still fight the summer weather. So, what is one to do when you need to be at work or a meeting looking your best, but the weather says otherwise? Oil absorbing powder to the rescue!
Oil or sweat?
Your body is made up of numerous sweat glands. These release liquid during hot weather to help cool you down. When the humidity is high, sweat won’t evaporate well. You can use a towel on sweat to wipe it off, but what about your face?
From the neck up, your face contains many oil glands. You may sweat a bit, but the majority of what you lose is oil. It can be tempting to wipe the oil off with a wet cloth or a baby wipe, but the cloth can take away too much oil, leaving your face to produce more oil to compensate. And commercial baby wipes contain chemicals that may harm the delicate balance of your face and neck. It’s better to blot the oil, then use an oil absorbing powder.
Finding the Right Balance
When you buy an oil absorbing powder from the store, it can contain several items meant to absorb excess oil. These can be clays, baking soda, talc, ground oats, or any number of chemicals. I’ve fought with many of them and finally made my own.
I’m like a glazed doughnut, as my friend would say. Even at over 50 years old, my face is still like an oil slick. In using almost anything on the market, from the cheapest stuff at dollar stores to the most expensive stuff I could find, it all produced the same results. I’d put it on at 7am and by noon you could beam messages off of my forehead. And some of the powders I tried made me itch or break out. I decided there had to be a better way.
I started researching what was in the commercial powders I tried. Most all of them contained two ingredients that are sure to cause problems – talc and mineral oil. Powders don’t have to be pressed, but it does make them more convenient than loose powder. In order to press them, mineral oil is used to keep it from turning to dust. Some mixes contain baking soda. Sure, it will help control sweat somewhat and it’s a lighter color, but it is also a salt derivative and it can dry out your skin. And most all of them contain artificial color to make them match skin tones, some of which are not FDA approved.
With all the research in hand, I set out to create the perfect blend. Here is the basic recipe along with some variations you might like to experiment with.
(Not interested in making your own oil absorbing face powder? You can find all-organic loose powder here.)
Oil Absorbing Loose Powder Recipe
- ¼ cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch (find arrowroot powder here or non-GMO cornstarch here)
- 2 tablespoons finely ground oats
- ½ teaspoon spice for color – cinnamon, instant coffee, or cocoa powder work well
- 10 drops of oil (such as grapeseed or sweet almond) OR liquid vegetable glycerin (find carrier oils here or vegetable glycerin here)
- optional – a few drops of your favorite essential oil such as tea tree, lavender or rosemary (find pure organic EOs here)
- Whisk all of the dry ingredients together except for the spice. Begin adding in small amounts of the spice(s) you chose until you get the desired shade. If there are larger pieces from the oats, you’ll want to sift these out.
- Add the liquid a few drops at a time. The powder will gather around the liquid and form a lump. Mash this into the rest and mix it in. You may need to do this several times.
- Add optional essential oils. You may need less or more oil – adjust it to your liking.
- You can make this into a face powder with sunscreen by adding zinc oxide if you like. This is zinc that has been oxidized by heating and then cooling after it is vaporized. It leaves a white powder that mixes well in make up and is not harmful. Be sure to purchase non-nano zinc oxide so particle size is large enough to stay on top of the skin. (Find non-nano zinc oxide here.)
To use your powder, place it in a wide, short jar (like this). Using a fluffy brush, tap down into the jar to get some on the brush. Tap the brush on the sides of the jar to get any excess off. Swirl the brush on the inside of the lid – this helps pack some of the powder into the brush. Tap against the lid once more and dust onto your face and neck. Don’t stop at the jawline, but go over and onto the under side of the jaw. Once it is well blended, you’re done. You may need to touch it up once in a while, but it should last most of the day. If you find you need to replace it more often, use a soft flannel cloth to absorb some of the oil and try again.
How about you? Have you found a way to control excess oil? What are your best tips? Share in the comments section!