INCI Name / Ingredient List
INCI: Alkanna Tinctoria Root Extract
Alkanet is a purple colored root which lends a beautiful color to oil so you can use it to tint handmade skin care products. Use a lot to make a deep pink or use a little to make a light pink.
INCI: Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil
Nut derived from almond trees in Europe. Almond oil is usually distilled to remove the toxic prussic acid. It has potent soothing properties. Nourishes, moisturizes, softens, soothes, and conditions.
INCI: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice
Aloe Vera is used in creams and lotions. It's a well known healing and soothing agent for damaged, dry skin. It is soothing and healing for burns, skin irritations, and raw open wounds. Liquid aloe vera may be added to cosmetic formulations, soaps, and straight on the skin.
INCI: Annatto Annatto seeds are orange colored seeds, which lend a beautiful, bright orange color to oil so you can use it to tint handmade skin care products. Use a lot to make a bright orange, or use a little to make a light orange or golden color
Apricot Kernel Oil
INCI: Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil
Also known as persic oil, this oil is taken from the kernels of the apricot fruit. It is a nice substitute for sweet almond oil and other light oils in recipes.
INCI: Maranta Arundinacea
Arrowroot is starch flour made from the root of the manoic plant. It is typically used in cooking as a thickener for dishes like soups and sauces. Its fine texture and white color make it a wonderful additive for body powders.
INCI: Hydrogenated Avocado Oil
Taken from the fruit of the avocado tree, avocado butter is very rich with a very soft texture that makes it perfect for skincare applications. Avocado butter melts readily into the skin to soothe and protect
INCI: Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil
Avocado oil is taken from the pulp of the avocado and makes a rich additive to skincare products for all skin types, especially dry and maturing skin. It is high in protein and vitamins A, D and E which help heal scaly, dry skin. Good for extremely sensitive skin.
INCI: Sodium Bicarbonate
Baking soda is a naturally occurring earth mineral that is available in the form of a white powder at grocery stores. It is used as a deodorizer, in tooth cleansers, and also as a leavening agent in muffins, breads, cakes and cookies. We like to use it in bath bombs because, with the citric acid, it makes the fizz.
INCI: Cera alba
The honeycomb IS beeswax. The substance that honeybees use to fill up any extra space that is greater than 'bee space' (including but not limited to gluing the honey frames onto the walls of the hive) is propolis (also called "bee glue".) Propolis is usually made by the bees from tree sap. It is stickier (when melted) and harder (when cooled) than normal beeswax. Most of the wax that is available for our use actually comes from the caps of the honey comb. When bees make their comb and fill it with necter, they then will flap their wings to help evaporate the excess moisture turning it into honey. When the honey is about 18% water, the honeybees will cap it with beeswax.
"Honey is made by bees after they pollinate various plant materials."
Sodium tetraborate is a natural chemical found in the earth, especially in dry, arid areas. It is used to soften water, and when combined with beeswax, has emulsifying properties to prevent separation of creams and lotions. Borax is mildly alkaline which makes it a nice gentle additive for cleansers and toners.
INCI: Buttermilk Powder
In days past, buttermilk was made when cream (from cows) was churned into butter and buttermilk for drinking and bread baking.
Today, buttermilk is made by adding bacteria to pasteurized milk, then heating the mixture until a desired acidity is reached. Salt and citric acid are sometimes added.
Because of buttermilk's high acidity, it is perfect for use in products for oily or acneic skin. Substitute buttermilk for just about any recipe calling for milk for this purpose.
INCI: Calendula Officinalis Flower
Calendula (also known as pot marigold) is an herb with pretty golden flowers that are anti-inflammatory and healing. Infuse the calendula flowrs into a base of rich extra virgin olive oil to make a soothing calendula oil that can be used in healing massage oils, lotions, soaps and balms. Heals skin damage, wounds, burns, tissues. Softens and soothes dry, chapped skin. Use 10% to 20% in soaps.
INCI: Canola Oil
Moisturizing qualities. Protein, can replace portion of more costly oils in soap.
INCI: Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil
Castor oil is a nice, rich, thick oil to add to solid perfumes and hair pomades. Added to handmade soap, it also helps boost the lather. It is very emollient and dries upon prolonged contact with air.
Sunfonated castor oil is castor oil that has been treated so that it is fully dispersible in water, thus making is perfect for bath oil products. The sulfonated castor oil is also known as Turkey Red Oil, but is is not red in color. Like regular castor oil, it is clear, but it is not quite as thick as regular castor oil. Pure, natural emollient oil that penetrates the surface layers of the skin and makes skin softer and more pliable. Adds richness and mildness to soaps.
INCI: Citric Acid
Citric acid (the reason lemons, limes and other citrus fruits have a tart taste) is a crystal-like, colorless, organic acid that naturally occurs in citrus fruits. It is used extensively in the production of food, carbonated beverages, detergents and cleaners, but also in cosmetics.
For cosmetics, it is mainly combined with baking soda to produce bath bombs. Mixing the citric acid with baking soda produces a salt called sodium citrate. When bath bombs are placed into bath water, carbon dioxide is released and the bombs fizz in the tub.
Clays are minerals from the earth that result from the degradation of mineral rocks. Ancient Egyptians used clay as both medicine and cosmetics. Animals search for clay to cover wounds and the reverse the effects of intestinal problems.
There are different kinds of clay, each distinguished by its actions and color. Here is an overview:
Bentonite is finely powdered and rich in montmorillonite. It feels silky soft and is wonderful for use in face masks and creams.
Fuller's Earth is an absorbent clay often used in face packs and masks to stimulate and draw excess oil from the skin.
Green Clay is the most popular, readily available and drawing of the clays. It is most suitable for oily and/ acneic skin. Green clay is not recommended for dry or mature skin types.
Kaolin (White Clay) is one of the lightest and least drawing clays making it especially suitable for sensitive, dry and mature skin types, and for children.
Pink Clay is created by mixing white and red clays. As a result, it's action will not be as strong as red clay alone, and it will not be quite as suitable for sensitive skin as white clay.
Red Clay contains a high amount of silica and iron and is suitable for skincare and cosmetics. It's drawing action is good, but not as strong as green clay.
Rhassoul Clay is is mined from beneath the shafts of the Atlas Mountains. It has detoxifying, cleansing, degreasing and astringent properties.
Yellow Clay is similar in action to red clay. For skincare purposes, the difference is really just in the color.
INCI: Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter
Cocoa butter is the creamy, rich fat obtained from the seeds of the cocoa plant. It is a major ingredient in chocolate, which accounts for its rich candy bar aroma. Refined versions of cocoa butter are available so you can have the wonderful skin soothing butter without the smell if that suits you more. Cocoa butter is solid at room temperature, and makes a wonderful additive for any skincare product, especially soaps, creams, balms and lotions. Creamy and hard soap, good emollient and conditioner. Limit to 15% in soaps.
INCI: Cocos Nucifera Extract, Water, Potassium Metabisulfite.
INCI: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil
Coconut oil is a solid, white fat used in cooking and cosmetics, especially soap. It is nice to add to hair sheens and lotions if you like a really rich texture.
Coconut oil is also available in a fractionated version, meaning it has been distilled and refined so the solids are removed. Fractionated coconut oil is clear with a very long shelf life and is great to use in facial and body oils and in oil-based and semi-solid perfumes.
Finally, coconut oil is available as "virgin coconut oil," meaning the fresh oil has been separated from the solids, thus producing an oil which retains the wonderful tropical aroma of fresh coconuts.
The textures of each of these 3 types of coconut oil is very different so be sure to use the type called for in the recipe. Unless the recipe states "fractionated" or "virgin," use 76-degree refined coconut oil. Excellent cleanser. Up to 15% in soaps.
INCI: Zea Mays (Corn) Starch
Corn starch is produced through the milling of corn to extract the starch, which is then processed and dried to a fine powder. In cooking, corn starch is used to thicken hot liquids such as gravies and soups.
For cosmetics, the most well known use of corn starch is in powders as a natural, more healthy alternative to talc. Corn starch is soft and gentle, making it the perfect body powder for babies and adults alike.
INCI: Gossypium Barbadense (Cotton) Seed Oil
Cottonseed oil produces thick and lasting lather, in addition to having emollient properties. It can be vulnerable to spoilage depending on the season, so use less of this oil. Maximum recommended usage - 25% of total base oils.
Used to sooth burned and irritated tissue, cucumbers are especially refreshing, toning and cooling. Placing a slice of cucumber over stressed or inflamed eyes, or placing a slice on a hot sunburned spot on the skin is a natural way to sooth and promote healing.
Ingredient that moisturizes the skin, smooths wrinkles, improves elasticity, and protects.
INCI: Emu Oil
Emu Oil is reported to help heal skin tissues and help draw other ingredients (like mint) down into your skin so they are more effective. Use 1 ounce per pound at trace.
INCI: Emulsifying Wax NF
Emulsifying wax (which can be either plant- or petroleum-based) is an ingredient that emulsifies the ingredients in a cream or lotion product, thus preventing them from separating in the mix. Emulsifying wax produces a much more reliable, stable emulsion than a beeswax/borax combination.
Emulsifying wax is created when the wax material (either a vegetable wax of some kind or a petroleum-based wax) is treated with a detergent (typically sodium laurel sulfate (SLS) or polysorbates) to cause it to make oil and water bind together into a smooth emulsion.
If using SLS-free ingredients is important to you, check with your supplier to make sure the wax they sell does not contain SLS. Likewise, if you prefer not to use petroleum by-products in your cosmetics, ask your supplier if the emulsifying wax they sell is petroleum based.
INCI: Magnesium Sulfate
Epson salts are mineral that contain magnesium, which brings about a soothing effect and help to improve circulation when used in the bath. Persons with diabetes and circulatory problems should NOT use Epsom salts without first consulting their health care provider.
Essential oil is distilled from plant material using water, steam or both. The process involves placing plant material over a grate and forcing steam through the grate. In the alternative, the plant material can be placed in boiling water. In either case, the heat from the steam and/or water causes the plant material to break apart and release an aromatic vapor. This vapor is condensed through cooling tubes into liquid form. This liquid is the essential oil of the plant, along with the hydrosol (water) of the plant. The essential oil and hydrosol are then separated from one another and separately bottled for shipping and sale.
Essential oils have remarkable qualities that enhance health, beauty and well being, helping to revitalize skin, encouraging radiance and resilience. Different essential oils product different results in different persons with different skin types.
To learn more about essential oils, visit our bookstore by clicking on "Bookstore" to your left and select from several books we recommend on the topic of essential oils and aromatherapy.
Fragrance oils are different from essential oils in that they are not distilled from the plant material for which they are named. Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as essential oil of such things as strawberry, peach, watermelon, kiwi, mango, fig, pomegranate or cucumber. Fragrance oils are combinations of synthetically manufactured chemicals which are designed to "mimic" the aroma of natural materials. Some fragrance oil manufacturers use small amounts of true plant oils to boost and enhance the final aroma of their oil, but for the most part, fragrance oils are composed of synthetic chemicals.
Evening Primrose Oil
INCI: Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil
Evening primrose oil is absorbed quickly into skin and provides essential fatty acids that are reported to help inhibit bacterial growth and encourage antibodies so the skin is better able to defend against infection or inflammation. It is not recommended as an additive in soaps made for oily complexions. Recommended Usage - 2 tablespoons per 5 pounds of soap, added at trace.
Fragrance oils are combinations of synthetically manufactured chemicals which are designed to "mimic" the aroma of natural materials. Some fragrance oil manufacturers use small amounts of true plant oils to boost and enhance the final aroma of their oil. For example, a small amount of pure rose oil is often used in rose fragrance oil because it is nearly impossible to create a synthetic material that does even a remote amount of justice to the scent of the real thing.
Because fragrance oils are synthetically manufactured, they can be duplicated time and time again, and smell exactly the same each time a batch is manufactured. This is a very valuable thing for cosmetics companies because customers tend to like to use products that smell exactly the same each time they buy them, and essential oils simply do not fit this bill because they differ from season to season, harvest to harvest and batch to batch.
Because they are synthetic, fragrance oils are avaiable in a wide variety of scents such as strawberry, peach, watermelon, kiwi, mango, fig, pomegranate or cucumber! While they are attractive to many from a pure fragrance standpoint, and are usually far less expensive per pound than many essential oils, fragrance oils have no real benefit from a skincare perspective. They can, however, successfully be added to bodycare products such as lotions and soaps which contain other ingredients that contribute skincare benefits.
Liquid Germall Plus
INCI: Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynl Butylcarbamate.
Glycerin is a clear, sticky liquid that is naturally produced during the soapmaking process. As a humectant, it attracts moisture, so is nice to use in products designed to provide additional hydration to the skin. Since glycerin attracts moisture from the environment, if a product contains glycerin, the product will attract moisture from the air and toward the skin. The effectiveness of glycerin in a dry climate is questionable since a dry environment contains no moisture to be pulled toward the skin. Glycerin is available in vegetable and animal derived forms. At MakeYourCosemtics.com, we prefer and recommend the vegetable derived product. In bubble bath, it gives the bubbles elasticity and lasting power.
INCI: Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil
Grapeseed oil is a light oil that is known best for its applications in food products such as salad viniagrettes. It penetrates the skin readily and is odorless if fully refined. (Many versions made for cooking will have a slightly nutty aroma). Its qualities make it a favorite of massage therapists, and it is a nice oil to add to "cut" a heavier blend of oils in a massage oil base. Use one ounce per pound at trace.
INCI: Corylus Americana (Hazel) Seed Oil
Hazelnut is an excellent moisturizer for soaps. It is low in saturated fatty acids, so use other more saturated fats to lessen your trace time and yield a harder bar. Recommended maximum usage - 20% of total oils.
INCI: Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil
Hempseed oil is not as stable as some other oils and can spoil quickly. It creates a silky bar of soap even if it is only used to superfat your batch. It is a less saturated fat, and since it is prone to spoilage, keep it as a small percentage of your mix to avoid having a soft, squishy soap that may spoil in a few months. Usage - As a Superfatting at 5% at trace or Base oil at 20-30% but no more than 40%.
INCI: Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil
Jojoba oil is the thick, pale yellow liquid taken from the seeds of a shrub that is cultivated in dry climates such as the deserts of the western United States. Because of its rich texture, it adds a denseness to skin lubricants and hair conditioners. Jojoba oil is actually a liquid wax which closely resembles the sebum produced by human skin. This makes the oil especially suitable for any skin type. Jojoba oil has a very long shelf life and is absorbed easily by all skin types.
Kukui Nut Oil
INCI: Aleurites Moluccana Seed Oil
The kukui nut is native to Hawaii and is high in linoleic acid. It is quickly absorbed into the skin. Excellent for skin conditioning after sun exposure, as well as for acne, eczema, and psoriasis. It offers just the right amount of lubrication without leaving a greasy feeling. For soap making, use 2 tablespoons added to 5 lbs of soap at trace just before incorporating the essential oils to add richness to the soap. A higher percentage, 10-20% of the total fats also makes an outstanding soap.
Lanolin comes from the oil glands of sheep and is removed from their hair after they are sheared. It is a sticky, waxy substance with a brownish color. Lanolin acts as a fantastic barrier to protect the skin from harsh environmental conditions. Many people are allergic to lanolin so use with caution if you are uncertain of potential allergies to this ingredient. The lanolin called for by recipes at this site is called "anhydrous" lanolin. This means it is pure lanolin without water added (as it sometimes is by companies that sell it in tubes). Be sure to use anhydrous lanolin. It can be ordered online and is available at most pharmacies. Emollient. Use about 1 tablespoon per pound of soap added to melting fats just before adding lye.
Lasting lather. Adds conditioning and good cleansing to soap.
Lemon is used extensively in skincare preparations for oily skin types. It cleanses and opens pores, providing an environment in which skin can breathe freely. Use lemon juice in cleansers, toners and masks to tone and encourage restoration of the pH balance of oily skin.
Some say repeated use of lemon juice can lighten blemishes and fade dark spots. Be careful not to use lemon before exposure to the sun as it can contribute to sunburn.
INCI: Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben.
Liquid Germall Plus
INCI: Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynl Butylcarbamate.
INCI: Sodium Macadamia Seedate
Macadamia is luxurious and slightly expensive oil. It has a long shelf life so it can be purchased in quantity for a good price. It is a wonderful addition to any soap. It is easily absorbed into the skin and acts as an emollient protecting skin cells from deterioration and thus leading to better condition for your skin. Use for superfatting your soap. Use 1 ounce per pound at trace.
INCI: Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter
Mango butter is an off-white substance that is taken from the seed kernels of the mango tree. It is not quite as soft at room temperature as shea butter, yet not as hard a cocoa butter. It makes a great moisturizer on its own or in creams, lotions and balms.
Milk is secreted from the mammary glands of various females from the animal kingdom such as cows, goats and deer. Most people are familiar with either cow's milk or goat's milk. Unless otherwise stated, the recipes you will find here refer to cow's milk. Milk is high in proteins. Whole milk contains a great deal of fat, which makes it useful for skincare preparations. Cleopatra is said to have bathed in milk to maintain her radiant complextion. For extra dry skin, use heavy whipping cream which has a higher fat content. For oily skin, use skim milk which has a lower fat content. Goat's milk contains skin-loving caprylic acid and is easily absorbed into the skin. It is frequently used in handmade soaps, lotions and creams, and is available in liquid or powder form. Milk softens the water and makes skin silky and smooth.
Monoi Oil, also known as Monoi de Tahiti
INCI: Coco nut oil (and) Tiare Flower
Monoi oil is expensive but luxurious product made from coconut oil. It oil has wonderful moisturizing properties and is great for your skin. Use it as a base oil at 60% or higher.
INCI: Azadirachta Indica (Neem) Seed Oil
Extracted from the bark of the Neem Tree. This oil has the ability to treat a variety of skin disorders such as dandruff. Use as a base oil up to 40%.
INCI: Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Meal
Oats are a popular whole grain said to help reduce cholesterol when taken internally. For skincare purposes, oats are used mainly in skin soothing oatmeal baths, moisturizers, facial scrubs and masks. Rich in bran protein, potassium, iron, hosphates, magnesium, and silica, oats have a gentle cleansing effect on the skin's surface, especially sensitive skin, and serve as a natural anti-itch agent. If a recipe calls for "colloidal" oats, use *very* finely powdered oats. Softens sensitive or irritated skin.
INCI: Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil
Called "liquid gold" by ancient Greeks, olive oil hails from the olives which grow on the branches of olive trees, a symbol of abundance, glory and peace. Roman gladiators used olive oil as a salve for their wounds. Interestingly, since olives are fruits, olive oil is technically a type of fruit juice. Olive trees thrive in a dry habitat of sunshine, heat and minimal rainfall. The extra-virgin oil variety is literally pressed from the olives and has a lovely green texture full of vitamins and minerals that the skin loves. Inferior grades of olive oil, from virgin to Pomace, are not as good for the skin, but are the best and most economical oils to use in handmade soap. Healing and soothing, emollient.
INCI: Hydrogenated Palm Oil
Little contribution to skin care. Fluffy lather, hard soap. Use for a good portion of soap.
Palm Kernel Oil
INCI: Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil
Like Palm Oil, Palm Kernel oil makes a soap that is very hard and lathers well. It has most of the same qualities as palm oil. Many people use it in place of coconut oil. Use it as a Base oil at 10% to 20%.
INCI: Arachis Hypogaea (Peanut) Oil
Peanut oil contributes long-lasting lather to a soap. It is highly unsaturated though, so it is prone to spoilage. Avoid using more than 20%. Peanut oil is similar to olive and castor oils and has a good amount of vitamin E. Use is as a base oil up to a 20% maximum.
INCI: Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil
Safflower oil is an unsaturated oil and should be used in combination with palm, coconut, or a similar oil. It is valuable for its moisturizing properties. Use 10% to 15% in soaps.
INCI: Sodium Chloride
Sea salt has been used for generations to enliven, rejuvenate and exfoliate the skin. When gently applied to the skin in a body scrub, it will leave the skin radiant and glowing.
Sesame Seed Oil
INCI: Sesamum indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil
Sesame oil is said to be good for Psoriasis, Eczema, Rheumatism, and Arthritis. It makes a good superfatting oil due to its moisturizing ability. It has a strong nutty scent. It makes a softish bar unless used in conjunction with other, more saturated oils. Use it as a 10% addition to base oils.
INCI: Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit
Taken from the pit of the fruit of the African karite tree, shea butter is used to heal small wounds, burns and skin ulcers. It contains fatty acids, phytosterol and unsaponifiables which stimulate the skin's renewal process, providing a more youthful, vibrant appearance. It's texture is typically soft and butter-like so it melts readily into the skin. Moisturizes and nourishes skin. Use 2% to 5% in soaps.
Derived from olive oil, squalane is colorless and odorless. It softens and restores the skin's elasticity, because the structure of squalane is so close to human's skin it is considered to be one of the best emollient in cosmetic and skin care. Squalane is all natural and suitable for all skin types.
INCI: Stearic Acid
Stearic acid is a white, wax-like substance taken from either animal fat or vegetable sources. When added in small quantities to creams and lotions (usually no more than about 2%), stearic acid adds a thickness and texture that is not obtainable with beeswax and borax alone. Stearic acid also adds a pearlescent quality to a cream, allowing it to "peak" when it is dispensed with a clean cosmetic spatula or finger.
Be careful to use stearic acid sparingly in any recipe because too much of it can lend a chalky texture to a finished cosmetic.
Sugar is a nice ingredient to add to recipes for body scrubs. It is generally too abrasive for use on the face and neck area but when used on the body, especially hands, feet and ankles, heels, elbows, knees and everywhere else, it is superb. Try it in our Honey Sugar Hand Scrub or Vanilla Rose Brown Sugar Body Scrub. Regular white sugar, Turbinado sugar or brown sugar can be used for any of the recipes.
INCI: Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil
Lays down slightly oily protective layer on skin that holds in moisture. Sunflower oil is a less expensive alternative to olive oil. It contains Vitamin E, so it naturally resists going rancid (Vitamin E is a preservative). Despite that, don't store it longer than six months. It is a less saturated oil so you want to combine it with other, more saturated, oils -- try to avoid using more than about 15-20% sunflower oil. It can make your soaps take longer to trace and to harden. Use as a Base oil up to 20%.
Sweet Almond Oil
INCI: Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil
Sweet Almond Oil is often used for superfatting soaps. It is a great moisturizer, makes a stable lather and helps condition the skin. Add 1 ounce per pound of fats to your soap batch at trace.
INCI: Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil
Vegetable shortening is normally made out of soybean oil. It is cheap and readily available and produces a mild, stable lather. Use it in combination with other exotic or moisturizing oils. Use this as half of your fats to keep costs down. It is a good filler and makes a very hard white bar when used alone and when mixed with other oils it makes a wonderful hard bar of soap. Use vegetable shortening as a base oil or combine it with other, harder oils for better results. Recommend use as base up to 50% of total oils.
Vitamin E Oil
Excellent healing oil and anti-oxidant in bath oils where botanicals have been added.
Wheat Germ Oil
INCI: Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil
This oil is thick, sticky and antioxidant. It's also very rich in vitamin E. Can be used to nourish dry or cracked skin and soothes skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis. Helps to prevent and reduce scarring and may prevent stretch marks. Mature skin, in particular, will benefit from wheat germ oil. Some people use it as a preservative in vegetable oils, soaps and toiletries, and others totally disagree as to its preservative powers. On its own, wheat germ oil oxidizes rapidly. It should be kept refrigerated. Use at 1 ounce per pound added at trace.
INCI: Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Distillate
Witch Hazel is an herb that makes a wonderful, cooling astringent and toner for the skin. It is made by steeping witch hazel herb leaves and/or roots in hot water or oil to create an infusion that can then be used in creams, lotions and moisturizing gels. The witch hazel found in grocery stores and chain pharmacies is almost always an alcohol-based liquid that is not as good for the skin as the natural herb-infused oil or water.