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Homemade Foundation Powder


It’s true. Many cosmetics, especially mineral-based products, use nano-particles to “protect” skin from the suns rays. The theory goes that since  regular-sized particles of zinc and titanium are a non-toxic way to prevent skin from burning, smaller particles can do the same without creating the “lifeguard nose” effect. Essentially, they absorb and/or reflect light differently so that your skin doesn’t turn chalky white after application.

Unfortunately, new research indicates that nanoparticles react differently with skin and may accelerate aging, cause DNA damage, and increase the production of free radicals associated with cancer. (Source 1: Many “Healthy” Sunscreens May Accelerate Aging)

For that reason, and a few others, I prefer to use whole, non-nano sized materials in my foundation powder. You can buy non-nano powder here, but it’s pricey.


Costs roughly $0.40 per ounce and provides a soft, translucent finish. Though the majority of your tint will come from cocoa powder, you can easily adjust color tones to complement your skin type: Cinnamon for warmer tones, bentonite clay for cooler tones. French green clay can also be added to soften reddish hues.


Base Ingredients:

  • 1 – 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1 – 2 tablespoon cocoa powder 

Optional Additions

  • Cinnamon, finely ground for warm skin tones* 
  • Bentonite clay for cool skin tones
  • French green clay or a blend that minimizes redness

* Mixed with honey, cinnamon has a long history of topical use for acne. However, large amount may irritate skin, which is why I recommend it as a subtle addition to this recipe rather than the main source of color.


Blend 1 tablespoon cocoa powder and one tablespoon arrowroot, then check color intensity against your skin. I usually test on the inside of my wrist. Add additional arrowroot if a lighter color is desired, additional cocoa if a darker color is desired.

To add warm tones to your powder foundation: Mix in 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Add additional cinnamon in 1/4 teaspoon increments until the desired hue is reached. One thing to keep in mind is that the amount of cinnamon used should be small in comparison with the other ingredient, because large amounts may irritate skin.

To add cool tones to your powder foundation: Mix in 1 teaspoon bentonite clay. Add additional clay in 1/2 teaspoon increments until the desired hue is reached.

To reduce reddish undertones: Mix in 1 teaspoon French green clay. Add additional clay in 1/4 teaspoon increments, testing as you go. To test this formula, I recommend applying a little to the face and allowing it to sit for a few minutes. It may look a bit greenish initially, but as it absorbs a bit that will disappear.

To Apply:

Apply with a soft makeup brush.

Looking For More Recipes?

My ebook, DIY Organic Beauty Recipes, is a 198 page guide that will show you how ridiculously easy it is to make your own beauty products, like:

  • Quick yet luxurious gifts for friends and baby showers
  • Fabulous shampoos and conditioners
  • Tooth whitener
  • Lotion
  • Body sprays
  • Deodorants and more.

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