Julianna Yu's Blog


{DIY} Face Moisturizer

The other day, I shared about my simple 1-ingredient oil moisturizer. Today, I’m sharing a DIY recipe I made up with a friend this past summer. Disclosure: I’m not an expert on skin care and everything I’m sharing is based on my experience and what I’ve read online. To be on the safe side, please contact a medical professional for advice prior to experimenting with oils as with any change in skin care regimen, you may experience adverse reactions. Thanks for stopping by.

After my initial visit to buy face oils, I found myself going back to the health food store and researching online about making my own moisturizer. I read many recipes which intrigued me but I was nervous about taking the leap and actually doing it on my own. This past summer, I made my own moisturizer from a combination of oils (coconut oil, cocoa butter, avocado oil, grape seed oil, vitamin e oil and lavender essential oil).

I had been collecting glass jars and recently used up a raw honey jar. I washed it a few times with hot water and dish detergent. If there was still any odour I would’ve removed the odour from the glass jar before sterilizing. Since it was a moisturizer I wanted, I decided to use my honey jar to store my DIY moisturizer.

I went to my friend Cherry’s house after work to make it one friday night (one of my favourite nights this summer!). We had been talking for weeks about our big Green Beauty night. LOL! At first I was hoping we’d be able to make some lip moisturizers and body butters but as the days drew near we were both realizing we probably should just focus on one product. This face moisturizer took priority because we were thinking ahead about cold fall and winter months.

Naturally, I researched recipes other people had and printed 2 and told her I wanted to do a combination of 2 of them and just add whatever she had that sounded interesting (avocado oil). That’s pretty much my approach for cooking too. If I have a particular type of food in mind and I haven’t made it before, I’ll research about 2-5 recipes and do some combination of the ones I like the best.I wanted to incorporate grapeseed oil and coconut oil. Prior to this, I was just using grape seed oil or sweet almond oil on my face.

DIY Face Moisturizer Ingredients

DIY Face Moisturizer Ingredients

DIY Face Moisturizer


When I made this, I wrote down everything but the shea butter and cocoa butter amounts. I am guess-timating my shea and cocoa butter amounts.

  • 4.5 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp shea butter
  • 1 tbsp cocoa butter
  • 1 tsp avocado oil
  • 2 tsp sweet almond oil
  • 2 tsp grapeseed oil (good for sensitive skin)
  • few drops of vitamin E oil
  • several drops of lavender essential oil
Before Melting Shot

Before Melting Shot


  1. If you are reusing a glass jar, remember to sterilize your glass jar. I did this the night before actually making it to save time.
  2. Put your empty jar into the pot and fill with cold water with enough to cover about 1/3 of it. Make sure not to get any water into your jar as we’re attempting to make a face moisturizer not a lotion.
  3. Bring water to a boil. While water is boiling, combine oils into jar.
  4. Once water comes to a boil, bring it down to low heat.
  5. Once the oils in the jar become translucent, everything has melted.
  6. Take the jar out of the hot water carefully and set it on a trivet. Add essential oils at this stage.
  7. Let the jar cool then place in the fridge.
  8. You can leave it overnight and when you take it out, you can store it in a cool/dry place. If it begins to liquify, just stick it in the fridge. I’ve been able to keep mine just in my room all winter and it has remained soft. There you have it, you’re own very unique DIY Moisturizer, made by you! Woohoo!! 🙂

Ideas for Next Time

  • The only thing I would do next time is cut back on the coconut oil and try using more butter or incorporating some beeswax and perhaps trying different combinations of essential oils to change things up.
  • As I edited this post, it occurred to me, I could probably have just melted the butters with coconut oil then added the other oils when the melted mixture was off the stove and cooling since the other oils didn’t need to be heated. Something that I didn’t really think about until I was writing up this post.
Oils are all melted

Oils are all melted

This was a lot of fun to make. Cherry is a “go by feel, what’s the rush?” kind of girl. I’m more of a “precise and cautious” person when it comes to doing something new. We talked about this and laughed because she was so cool with just “eyeballing” and I wanted to track every spoonful/step. 🙂 I told her I wanted it to be as precise as possible so if I wanted to tweak it next time, I could compare and see how my adjustment effected my outcome and it would be easier to share (with you lovely readers) how I made it. She told me that a little bit of coconut oil goes a long way and she was right. I would like to try cutting back on the coconut oil next time to see if it will make it less oily.



DIY Face Moisturizer: Ready to use!

DIY Face Moisturizer: Ready to use!

When using this, I only needed a small pea size amount for my whole face. A little bit goes a long way. This is the same reason why this is such an economical thing to do. I use to probably spend around $80-90 for my facial moisturizers for the year. Now, I can spend about $30-35 on oils and butters and use it towards more than just my face and for more than a year.

I was so happy that Cherry was cool about having me over to learn how to make my own moisturizer. I told her I was nervous about melting oils in a glass container at home. LOL! YUp, I still get nervous about being alone and MELTING stuff on the stove and since we were melting oils in glass, I just had this fear that something could go wrong if I was on my own.

I was incredibly excited to try this when it was done. When you open the jar, the scent of lavender hits your nostrils. I ADORE this moisturizer. It took a lot for me not announce it to everyone I talked to. That level of excitement people. haha

I primarily use it on my face on cold fall/winter days and on my hands overnight. I can pretty much use it all over but I mainly use it for my face.

My recipe didn’t use water but if you wanted to use water in a DIY beauty project (perhaps making a lotion or spray) definitely take a look at this very informative link on DIY 101: Working with water by Crunchy Betty.

Check out my friend Cherry’s post on her DIY moisturizer.

What scents do you like in your moisturizer? Do you have a DIY moisturizer recipe to share? What’s in your favourite moisturizer?

Please share!


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My Kitchen Disaster: Dark Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

First Attempt at Raw Chocolate Strawberries. Messy. But Tasty.

This is the second post of the Kitchen Disaster series. Start reading the series here

I have wanted to make raw chocolate dipped strawberries since I bought a pack of cacao powder. I’ve mostly just added it to oatmeal and smoothies. Last weekend, I picked up some strawberries and remembered I had everything I needed to try this. A quick search online and I found Gone Raw’s Dark Chocolate Strawberries recipe. I knew I needed a recipe that used coconut oil because I didn’t want to buy cacao butter (an ingredient I don’t have and a pricey one at that).

I’ll post my recipe for this when I get around to making it again and tweaking it.


– Chocolate sauce was too thick when I initially made it. It was thick like the brownie picture below (a pic of a brownie I made in November 2011). I added hot water and oil to thin it out. Eventually I remembered to use another bowl with enough hot water to help heat the chocolate sauce bowl.

– Also, end product looked messy (too much chocolate coated the strawberries) and shoudn’t have scooped the remaining chocolate onto the strawberries.

Brownie in the making – Thick texture

First Attempt

The coconut oil was already melted because the weather’s been warm enough. That saved me some time. I mixed in the cacao and at first, I was soo excited because the melted chocolate was taking form. It was slick and glossy like the top right picture in the 4 pic stitched image I shared above. However, once I had all that cacao mixed in, the textured turned thick. Although it smelled like a delicious chocolate brownie, I wasn’t aiming for something that looked like a thick brownie mixture.

This thick texture wasn’t going to allow for easy dipping. I considered smothering the chocolate onto the strawberries. But then I couldn’t call this “dipped” could I? It would be “smothered” chocolate strawberries.

I decided, I needed to thin it out, either water or oil. I tried a bit of hot water. I wondered, if maybe the coconut oil stiffened when the cacao got mixed in (perhaps the temperature of the coconut oil lowered in the process?) and I needed to “melt” it again. So I nuked it for about 15 secs. No dice, I dried it out a bit. GRReat..

I decided to do a double boiler using a bigger soup bowl full of hot boiled water and put my little bowl on top. The steam from the hot boiled water would keep the little bowl from solidifying. At the same time I added a bit of hot water. Nothing. I decided to add more oil since that was the only other option left. So I added more coconut oil and kept adding until I got this slick, shiney, gooey delicious chocolate sauce. By then I had added a total of 8 tbsp of coconut oil (the original recipe is 2 tbsp LOL).

I completely forgot about the tip about leaving some of the red of the strawberry exposed and tried to coat the strawberry with as much chocolate as possible. I had leftover chocolate after dipping them. So I spooned the rest of the chocolate on top of as many strawberries as I could. The result: goopy, sloppy looking strawberries. Incredibly addictive and tasty strawberries. I ate all but maybe 2 of them that night. 🙂

Notes for the future

  • Make sure that I start off with a bowl of hot boiling water underneath the chocolate bowl (double boiler).
  • Add oil to thin mixture – start with 2 tbl and adjust until I get the consistency I want
  • If you add more oil, taste and adjust agave/maple syrup until you get your desired sweetness.
  • Don’t scoop any of the mixture onto the strawberries – results in ugly and sloppy chocolate dipped strawberries.

 Have you made chocolate dipped strawberries before? What was your experience like?