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Homemade lotions provide all the benefits of chemically laden store-bought lotions without the health risks linked to endocrine disruptors, skin absorption enhancers and contaminants.
While you can buy natural products with safe ingredients, they are usually packaged in plastic bottles and jars. A couple of studies have found plastic chemicals like phthalates and BPA leach from these containers. Plus, homemade lotions are cheaper and you can customize them to your skin and personal preferences.
If you're new to lotion making, start with the simple recipes, don't stress if they don't come out perfectly and remember to have fun.
When you make homemade lotions you can avoid exposing yourself to:
Liquid oils, oils that are solid at room temperature and essential oils are common ingredients in homemade lotions.
It's really easy to make your own hand and body lotion. Keep it simple when you're first starting out by making lotion bars.
You'll need a liquid oil, coconut oil, beeswax, essential oils (optional), a muffin tin and unbleached muffin papers.
A recipe I use often is two parts liquid oil, like grapeseed, jojoba or almond, to one part coconut oil and one part beeswax. Beeswax is a wax used to thicken and harden lotions. You can adjust the amount you use to make your lotion bar harder or softer.
Place the oils in a jar and place in a pot of water on the stove or in the microwave to melt the solid oils. You can then add a couple of drops of essential oils if you want.
Once everything is melted pour into molds. I like to line a muffin tin with unbleached muffin papers. Clean-up is a snap, the paper makes it easy to hold and you can peel away the paper as you use it up.
CREAMY BODY LOTION
Making creamy body lotion is a bit more complicated than the lotion bar. In this recipe you'll combine oils with aloe vera gel, which is mostly water. This requires blending in a food processer, blender or my favorite, a stick blender.
I like to use hand blenders, because while making lotion is fun, cleaning up afterwards is not. Stick blenders are much easier to clean then processors and blenders.
For this recipe you'll need:
Aloe vera gel - 1 cup
Anhydrous Lanolin - 1 teaspoon
Vitamin E oil - 1 teaspoon
Coconut oil - 1/3 cup
Beeswax - 1/2 to 3/4 of an ounce
Almond oil - 3/4 cup
Any essential oil you want to add - 1 1/2 teaspoons
A few small jars.
Mix the first 3 ingredients in a bowl. Melt the coconut oil and beeswax in a microwave for 30 seconds and then 10 second intervals until melted. Add almond oil to the melted oils, reheating if needed. Now the fun part, slowly pour the heated oils into your bowl while beating at low to medium with the stick blender. When it starts to look like mayonnaise, quickly blend in the essential oil. Immediately pour into your glass jars to thicken.
LOTION FOR OILY SKIN
Oily skin will benefit from a lotion that includes witch hazel. It is a mild astringent, tightens pores, reduces inflammation and acts as a disinfectant.
For this lotion you'll need:
*Borax, a mineral, is used as an emulsifier to keep liquids and oils from separating. There is a lot of controversy about whether putting borax in homemade lotions is safe. The only suitable alternative is vegetable emulsifying wax. You would have to play around with the amount to use, but generally to keep water and oil from separating use a 5% concentration.
Slowly heat the first 3 ingredients in the microwave or a double boiler until melted. Warm the last 2 ingredients until the borax is dissolved. Slowly add the oil mixture, mixing with the blender stick until it becomes creamy. Pour into small jars.
EASY WINTER FACE CREAM
This is a great cream for protecting your face from dry, cold winter air. It's easy to make and because it doesn't contain water, it can be stored for up to one year.
For this recipe you'll need:
Warm first 3 ingredients until the beeswax is melted. Add the essential oils and pour into a small jar. Shelf life of 1 year.
EYE WRINKLE CREAM
I think rose water is wonderful for mature skin. I used to distill my own (really, it's easy) from wild roses. Now I just buy it, put it in a misting bottle and spritz it on several times a day and use it in face and eye creams.
Mix the first 3 ingredients in a bowl or saucepan and warm slowly to melt the beeswax (microwave or very low heat on stove).
In a separate bowl or pan warm the rosewater and stir in borax until dissolved.
With a blender stick or whisk, quickly drizzle the rosewater into the oil mixture until the cream thickens. Cool the mixture and then stir in the essential oil. Scoop it into a small jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
I hope you have fun trying out these recipes. Let me know how they turn out.