Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Safe, All Natural DIY Face Powder…With Only Two Ingredients!

Safe and Natural DIY Face Powder

I remember vividly the day it dawned on me.

As I was paging through a magazine, I came across an advertisement for a birth control patch. Confusion filled me. How could medicine placed on the skin work internally? At this time, I had no idea what “transdermal” meant (Definition: relating to or denoting the application of a medicine or drug through the skin, typically by using an adhesive patch, so that it is absorbed slowly into the body).

As I read more fine print on the ad, realization crept through me. Wait. What? Anything I put ON my skin can be absorbed into my bloodstream?

How could I not have known this? Why I had I never considered this?

I grabbed a bottle of lotion nearby and attempted to read the ingredients list off the back. A few words were familiar, but most of the ingredients were indecipherable.

What exactly WAS I putting in my bloodstream?

It was time to investigate.

DIY All-Natural Face Powder from Kitchen Ingredients

Skin Deep

In my searches, I stumbled upon an incredibly helpful website called EWG Skin Deep (Environmental Working Group). This website has done the legwork of examining ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products, and rates them according to their safety. I spent many hours poring over the site and taking notes on products.

I learned that our skin is our largest body organ and what we put on that organ DOES effect the rest of our body.

I also found some startling facts on the EWG Skin Deep site such as:

  • “Most people use cosmetics and other personal care items without a second thought, believing that the government oversees their safety. Not so. No health studies or pre-market testing are required for these products.”
  • “The FDA does no systematic reviews of safety, instead authorizing the cosmetics industry to self-police ingredient safety through its Cosmetics Ingredient Review panel.”
  • “Cosmetic ingredients do not remain on the surface of the skin. They are designed to penetrate, and they do.”
  • “Personal care products are manufactured with 10,500 unique chemical ingredients, some of which are known or suspected carcinogens, toxic to the reproductive system or known to disrupt the endocrine system. Though some companies make products that are safe to eat, others choose to use dangerous ingredients like coal tar and formaldehyde, both human carcinogens, and lead acetate, a developmental toxin.”

Call me silly. Call me optimistic. Call me stupid, naive, trusting and gullible. For some reason, I had lived my whole life up to this point thinking that “the powers that be” were always looking out for me, making sure to keep me safe.

It was a rude wake-up call. NOBODY was looking out for the health of me and my family. It was up to me to become the guardian of the home, to recognize and avoid hazards to our health.

What we put on our skin is so important! But it’s also important to listen to your skin. It can tell you a lot. Find out why in this interview.


But where to begin? I went upstairs to the closet in the bathroom and pulled out all the bottles of shampoo, lotions, body wash, nail polish, perfume, hair products, cosmetics… piles upon piles. Reading the ingredients made me sink deeper and deeper into despair. I had paid good money for all these products that were doing our bodies no favors, and were even possibly causing us great harm.

Looking at the piles surrounding me, I knew that there was no way I could replace everything immediately, even if I COULD find acceptable substitutes.

So, in the spirit of Kitchen Stewardship®, I decided I would once again embrace the concept of Baby Steps.

DIY All-Natural Face Powder from Kitchen Ingredients

Baby Steps to Safer Choices

I made a deal with myself. We would continue using the products (figuring a few more months or years of using them wouldn’t make a big difference), and when the product ran out, I would find a replacement product using the EWG Skin Deep website as my guide. We started this process about 5-6 years ago, and there are still a few products I’m trying to work out – slow and steady!

It’s been said, “If it’s not safe to eat, then it’s not safe to put on your skin.” We’ve loosely been using this as our guide.

Of all the personal care products, I found cosmetics to be the most difficult category to replace. It seemed as if all the “safer” cosmetics were also incredibly expensive, usually 3-4 times the cost of the drug store cosmetics I was used to buying. Since we operate on a tight household budget, I had two options: Stop wearing so much makeup or start making my own.

I chose both.

At this point in my life, I was an at-home parent, so makeup was not a necessity most of the time. When I was working outside the home full-time, I had a full makeup regimen, including concealer, foundation, loose powder, blush, bronzer, highlighter, eyeshadow (3 shades!), eyeliner, brow liner, mascara, lipstick, lip gloss… the whole works!

Makeup was fun for me (as an artist, I love the act of “painting” a face), but after finding out how toxic it was to my health, it wasn’t so fun anymore. I gradually began to cut back on the products I used. I even *gasp!* went without makeup many days of the week (this coming from a person who previously would not be caught dead in public without makeup!).

A funny thing happened. My skin began to clear up. My face looked brighter. I didn’t need to wear makeup anymore to cover the blemishes (that perhaps were caused by the makeup in the first place?!?). I began to feel beautiful and comfortable in my own skin. It was invigorating.

But there were still occasions where I wanted to look a little more polished and put together. A book I was reading at the time, called Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too by Beth Terry, mentioned in passing using cornstarch as a face powder to reduce shine when the author was going to appear on a TV segment. Bea Johnson, author of the inspiring book and website Zero Waste Home told how she used cocoa powder as bronzer/blush and eye shadow.

Here was the motivation I needed! I began playing around in the kitchen and came up with a loose face powder that worked just as well as my old loose powder… and happened to be completely edible as well!

DIY All-Natural Face Powder from Kitchen Ingredients

Two Ingredient Recipe… Sort Of…

To make this face powder, you only need two ingredients:

However, since everyone with a slightly different skin tone, you may find it helpful to raid your spice rack/cupboard and find some additions there! I usually DO make the face powder with JUST cocoa powder and arrowroot powder, but that might not work perfectly for you. Here are some spices you may find useful to add in small quantities (start with just a pinch) to help you achieve the desired skin tone color:

In the summer, I will sometimes add a bit of clay powder for extra shine control. Personally, I find the clay a bit too drying to add in the winter time, but it might be great for you!

DIY All-Natural Face Powder from Kitchen Ingredients

Blending and Applying the Powder

  1. Find a small 4 oz mason jar or similar sized container.
  2. Start by adding 2-3 tbsp of cornstarch or arrowroot powder to the jar.
  3. Gradually add cocoa powder, a 1/2 tsp at a time, until you have reached the desired color.
  4. If the powder doesn’t match, try adding spices or clay powders to correct the tone (warm, cool, pink, yellow, red, etc.)
  5. To apply, dip a large makeup brush in the jar, shake or tap off the excess powder, and apply the powder with the brush in circular motions.

Tips and Tricks

  • Remember, this is a loose powder. It is meant to even out minor variations in the skin tone, reduce shine and give a “polished” appearance. It will not cover major blemishes or correct major variations in skin tone like a concealer or foundation does.
  • As with any cosmetic, be sure to test it on a small patch of skin and wait 24 hours to observe if there is any irritation or allergic reaction.
  • As an added bonus, you will smell like chocolate all day! Ok, maybe that’s actually not a great thing… you can blame your chocolate cravings on me! 😉
  • I’ve been using this face powder for well over 2 years now. Each batch lasts me about 6 months (I use it about 3-4 times a week, not every day).
  • I have not done a cost analysis, but I’m guessing each batch costs between .50 cents and a dollar.
  • If you try making the powder and discover it simply doesn’t work for you, there is little to no waste of time, money or materials. It takes less than three minutes to make the powder. The container is reusable. All the ingredients can be used for other purposes. What have you got to lose?
Copy of Safe and Natural DIY Face Powder

More Experiments…

I’ve considered attempting to create a pressed powder, by adding a few drops of oil to the face powder and pressing it into a pan. I wonder if anyone else has tried that?

Currently, I’m experimenting with making my own blush, using cocoa powder, beetroot powder, and paprika. The dry powder doesn’t give me the intensity of color I desire, so I’m wondering if mixing the dry ingredients with a touch of oil to make a “stain” or cream would work.

I’ve also discovered that cocoa powder does indeed make a lovely warm brown eye shadow.

It’s been fun experimenting with making my own cosmetics, especially when the experiments are inexpensive and don’t require me to purchase single-use ingredients. I love the fact that all the ingredients are multipurpose! If my trials fail, I’m not stuck with a cupboard of items that I will never use again.

Makeup is fun again now that I know I can make safe, edible cosmetics that will not harm me!

To keep taking care of your skin, keep it clean at the end of every day. Stay natural with this DIY face bar!

Have you ever tried making your own cosmetics? Have you found other safer options that work for you?

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

31 thoughts on “Safe, All Natural DIY Face Powder…With Only Two Ingredients!”

  1. Mar @EmyCooksMomentos


    Very interesting topic indeed. since I really prefer liquid instead of powder, I was thinking of using olive oil. am not sure how that would work but I know that is good for your skin as a moisturizer so might have a positive effect. another option would be coconut oil but that has a scent that might not be pleasing to all. Really orange oil is something to think about but not easily to get unless you make it. But it is possible. I do not wear too much makeup but do need it on occasions to do some business errands and look a bit professional according to standards. yes I do prefer natural stuff but not readily available. Great blog!

    1. Kendra Pedersen

      I have made my own tinted moisturizer by mixing a little coco powder in my whipped tallow face cream. A little goes a long way. Only two ingredients unless you want to add essential oils. Some people may not like the smell of the beef tallow. I think the coco power is enough to counteract the smell of the tallow.

  2. I would comment here that we need to remember that EO’s are also chemicals. That is, we can use them to treat certain conditions. Remembering also that our skin absorbs anything we put on it, I’d be sure to check and see what the EO you’re choosing is supposed to do for the body to make sure you don’t accidentally cause health problems. EO’s are pretty powerful health adjuncts, it doesn’t take much and undiluted EO’s can cause problems for some people. Just a thought.

  3. I’ve been wanting to try these types of DIY makeup recipes, but I’m concerned about ruining my clothes if I sweat in it.
    Living in Texas there’s just no way to beat the heat sometimes. I’m frequently in situations where all in attendance are expected to look presentable, but we’ll be subjected to the heat for part of the time.
    Can anyone tell me from experience if they’ve had any problems with the colors of the spices becoming too pronounced when your face becomes a little dewy, and if it’s enough to stain you clothes if a bead of sweat drops on your clothing? Has anyone come across some non-staining alternatives for color pigments?

  4. I’ve been using a blend of organic lotion and coconut oil for face and body. And using a bentonite clay detox powder for face powder. It’s drying properties do well with The coconut oil to make a great face blend.
    I LOVE the idea of adding spices to add color!!

  5. Thanks for the recipe. I’ve made my own face powder, which I’m happy with, I’m planning on doing my own blush soon, and hopefully will delve into eyeshadow too in the future. You mentioned in your article that you wondered about adding EOs to make a pressed powder. I tried it, but it didn’t work for me. Don’t know if I didn’t do something right, but the few drops of EO just clumped to a bit of the powder (they’re still in my container). I followed the recipe I was using and I didn’t want to overdo it on the EOS, so I just left it as is and use it loose. Please let me know if you try it and find that it works for you (and please let me know how!) Thanks again!

  6. You can use beet root powder for blush, or add to coconut oil to make lip balm/stain. Go on Pintrest, there are so many DIY makeup recipes! 🙂

  7. This is great info. Thank you for sharing! I too have tried to use the rule of not putting it on my skin if I wouldn’t eat it. This reminds me of a recipe I saw for dry shampoo. I think they used baking soda to absorb and then added cocoa to match their hair color. I want to try it but only think about when I am about to leave. I feel like it needs some experimentation as I am sure dusty hair would look more awkward than just sticking a hat on. 🙂

  8. I use hibiscus powder for blush and love it!! Going to try your recipe for face powder, sounds great. thanks

  9. Well, isn’t this fun! Tried it just now. Very cool. It struck me that, sitting on the front edge of summer, you could adjust the color on any given day to keep you “even” with your tan. Think about it. Cocoa and vitamin D.

  10. I’ve been using the corn starch and cocoa powder mixture as dry shampoo for over a year now. It works great and I never look too greasy even though I only wash my hair twice a week. I never even thought of using it for makeup! I’m definitely going to try it!

  11. This is VERY timely as recently I read an article about how someone was allergic to petroleum products of which cosmetics are full of. I realized that my now nearly 30 year battle with food allergies (I’m allergic to just about everything!) started when I began wearing makeup. I’ve wanted to rid my makeup bag, but can’t afford the “good” stuff, but then neither can I continue to wear what is contributing to my overall poor health. I have lessened the amounts of things I am wearing and also how often I wear makeup. But I can see how just even this basic recipe can be very freeing. Thank you for sharing your journey and recipe.

  12. Any suggestions for the brown tint that are not cocoa based? My husband is allergic to cocoa/chocolate and the smell would not be enjoyable to him.

  13. Debbie Engel

    I have been making my own powder for a few months now and the cocoa smells so good! You can add a little essential oil drop, too. I think I used some non-GMO starch, cocoa, cinnamon and clay. (I can’t find the recipe now, so I’m saving this page!) I like the alcohol idea above.

  14. I read somewhere that if you accidentally drop and break an eyeshadow or blusher into a million pieces, you can mix it up with alcohol and press it back into the little pan, wait for it to evaporate and tada! All fixed. I haven’t tried it but I think it might work better than mixing the loose powder with oil to make pressed powder, though.

    1. I’ve tried the alcohol pressing method with plant-based powders, and sadly it doesn’t work well. It will work with shimmer/pearl micas, but not matte powders. I’ve used my homemade lip balm as an eye shadow primer though, and it helps natural pigments (like cocoa powder and charcoal) stick to my eye lids. I’ve also added a few drops of fractionated coconut oil, and that does give the powder a little “grip”, but I’ve never tried enough to press it into a pan.

    2. I actually do this all the time! It has saved me tons of money on broken eyeshadow either my daughter or I have dropped. It’s also a great way to use the little bits left around the edges. I just scoop them out into a small round container with a screw lid from the travel section at my local wmart store. Once I get enough bits, or if fixing a broken palette I just mash all pieces with the end of my eyeshadow brush until everything is a fine powder, no clumps, and add alcohol. just enough to cover the powder. Let it sit overnight and the results are an amazing pressed palette. Looks the same and works the same. I was reading overt his post and thinking in my head that this is how I would prepare it myself. I bet it will be awesome. Thanks!

    3. Beetroot powder and clay can help with that as well for a better alternative. With additional benefits of beetroot of course.

  15. I’ve been using this same recipe for my face powder for the past year and a half. I agree, my face has never been healthier. I would never go back to store powder. I use arrow root and natural cocoa. I purchase the ingredients at an Amish bulk foods store by my home, and it runs me about $.10-.15 a batch! I highly recommend this to everyone.

  16. Squeeee! I do not wear makeup because of the fear of chemicals and because it’s not in our budget. I can honestly say it never occurred to me to try making my own. Thank you for posting this. I would love to see any other resources you’ve found helpful in the diy makeup department–maybe tips or videos on how to use them?

    Guess who just rubbed a little cocoa powder on her eyelids?–this girl. 🙂

  17. This so so cool! Looking forward to seeing if you come up with anything else.
    I recently started purchasing my makeup from a company called Redeeming Beauty Minerals.
    Emily (the owner of the co) makes all the products from hand and is a wonderful woman. Her products are affordable too 🙂

  18. I do make my own but it is out of mineral makeup ingredients. I use bentonite clay, kaolin clay, mica and zinc oxide. So I know it isn’t as healthy as spices and arrowroot but I tried that. It did not work for me:( AT ALL. I just wasted a lot of good spices lol. I only wear makeup maybe twice a week and I don’t wear much so I feel like the makeup I make is a pretty good alternative and I know it is better than the commercial products.

      1. My friend is actually in the process of publishing a book about making your own mineral makeup! I’ll let you know when it’s available 🙂

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.