Last week I realized that I was running low on body lotion. I normally would have made the trip to the store to buy some more, but as I mentioned in Tackling the Cabinet, I wanted to make sure that my lotion is chemical free. I could have browsed through the isles of the co-op until I came across a good replacement, but this time, I decided to make my own at home. Plus, I didn’t realize how easy it was until I took a Natural Skin Care class with Kami McBride, the author of the The Herbal Kitchen. I took her class to learn about the benefits of using herbs in cooking and personal care products. After Kami’s class, I walked away with recipes on how to make a lotion, a body scrub, body butter, lavender oil, chapstick, and other goodies.
Not including going to three stores to pick up the supplies, the whole process of making lotion took about 30 minutes. I bought the coconut oil, olive oil and the aloe vera gel at my local grocery store. I bought the beeswax and the cocoa butter at the Beekeeping Store. As a side note, this is such a great store! They have a large variety of local honey and all kinds of goodies for making lotions, soaps, and candles. And last, I stopped by a Mediterranean specialty store for the rose water. OK, if you count the time it took me to find all the supplies, you are probably wondering why I went through such a hassle. Believe me, I don’t typically have time to cruise around on lotion expeditions; however, if you know where to go and just buy in bulk (triple the recipe or more), you can get all the ingredients you need in one trip for a whole year.
Now, what about the cost? I’m not going to pretend that making lotion at home is much cheaper than buying it at the store. But again, if buy your supplies in bulk, and especially if you make extra lotion as a gift for others, it is definitely cheaper. Plus, you get the benefit of knowing that all the ingredients are so good for you!
So today, I took that extra hour (which was well worth it), and made some of Kami’s Luscious Herbal Cream. Now, I have more lotion than I know what to do with.
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbls. coconut oil
2 Tbls. cocoa butter
1 Tbls. beeswax
¾ cup rose flower water
1/3 cup aloe vera gel
In a pot, melt all the oils together (olive oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, beeswax) over low heat, making sure that the mixture does not boil. After the ingredients are melted, leave to cool. In a separate bowl combine the aloe vera gel and rose water. The key to making sure that the oils don’t become solid when you combine them with the rose water/aloe mixture (in the next step) is to take the oils off the burner and cool them until they are the same temperature as the rose water. Pour the rose water/aloe mixture into a blender and then pour the oils gradually into the blender. Mix on high-speed until all the ingredients are combined and form a smooth lotion.
The shelf life is 3 months, but I’m sure it won’t last that long. I tripled the recipe and have more than enough for myself, my mom, and some friends. Last time I was at the antique store (which happens to be right next to the Beekeeping Supply), I came across a vintage jar with a gold lid, which I thought would make a perfect lotion container for mom.
In her natural Skin Care class, Kami McBride said, “if it can’t go in your mouth, don’t put it in on your skin“. I never thought about my skin care regimen in such a simple way. The skin is the largest organ in our bodies, which plays many important functions. Things I put on my skin are absorbed and go straight my blood stream. Naturally, I want to make sure that whatever I’m lathering on every day is beneficial for my health. Whether it’s making lotion every few months, reading the ingredients, or checking Skin Deep, these extra steps help me make healthier choices every day. Thank you for such a great class, Kami.