Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Luxurious Lotion

If you spend some time looking at the labels of lotions you will probably become more cautious about what products you are using on yourself and your family.  When you start to research the topic in more depth you may never want to buy lotion again.  Take a look at this article by the environmental working group Know the Ingredients in your personal care products - it may send shivers down your spine.

What more reason do you need to began making some of your own body products?  If you need them, I can give you a few:
  1. It is fun!
  2. You have complete control over what ingredients you use
  3. Be creative, you can create whatever scents and styles you desire
  4. You have control over how creamy, thick, etc your lotion is
  5. Most importantly you know you are putting a safe product on yourself and your children.

The following recipe is from Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Heath, a wonderful book if you'd like to try making more of your own body care products.  Here is what you need to began.

  • 2/3 cup Water.  distilled water will do, but try  some different hydrosols to add a delicious scent and the benefits of the hydrosol.  I love rose hyrdrosol, which is renown for it's benefits for aging skin.
  • 1/3 cup Aloe Vera Gel
  • 1 to 2 drops Essential oils if you'd like.  But do not use if you are planning on putting your lotion on babies and small children
  • Vitamin A or E for a preservative
  • 3/4 cup Olive, almond, grapeseed or apricot oil
  • 1/3 cup Coconut oil or cocoa butter
  • 1/4 tsp lanolin or 1 T shea butter
  • 1/2 to 1 ounce grated or pastilles beeswax

I get all of my supplies from Mountain Rose Herbs an incredible company, that practices ethical harvesting of endangered herbs and organic herbs and supplies.

I use an organic olive oil as my carrier oil  of choice (other options are olive, almond, grapeseed or apricot).   To get my oil ready for making lotion I fill up a ball jar with my soothing skin herbs of choice.   I always use calendula, an incredible skin herb, I add a mixture of comfrey, yarrow and lavender to name  a few.  Than fill up the bottle with your oil, place it in a sunny windowsill for about 6 weeks and it will be ready to use in your lotion.  Every time I make lotion, I fill up another jar, place it in the windowsill and when I am out of lotion and ready to make more the oil is ready.

When you are ready to make your lotion, you simply pour out the oil into cheesecloth to strain out the herb and  it is ready.   The herbs can than be composted.

Step 1:
Combine the waters in a glass measuring cup.  Set aside.

Step 2:
In a double boiler over low heat, combine the oils.  Heat them just enough to melt.

Step 3:
Pour the oils into a blender and let them cool to room temperature.  The mixture should become thick, creamy, semisolid and cream colored.

Hot oil

Room temperature oil

Step 4:
When the mixture has cooled, turn on the blender at its highest speed.  In a slow, thin drizzle, pour the water mixture into the center vortex of the whirling oil mixture.

Step 5:
When most of the water has been added to the oils, listen to the blender and watch the cream.  When the blender coughs and chokes and the cream looks thick and white, like buttercream frosting, turn off the blender.  You can slowly add more water, beating it in by hand with a spoon, but don't overbeat!  The cream will thicken as it sets.

Step 6:
Pour into cream or lotion jars.  Store in a cool location.

Now you have this wonderful rich lotion that goes on smooth and doesn't feel greasy, and doesn't leave you feeling dry either.   Wonderful!  Enjoy

Oh and hopefully your baby will look like this during the entire preparation :)

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