There is no question that properly moisturized skin looks and feels better, especially during the chilly winter months when it is prone to flaking and itchiness. The problem is that it can cost a fortune to keep a supply of body lotion on hand. From the price, it is easy to wonder if the secret ingredient in some moisturizers is gold dust. What few people realize is that the basic recipe for any lotion is incredibly simple: Oil and water are combined and bonded together with an emulsifier.
In fact, anyone can create a month’s supply of luxurious body lotion in his or her kitchen for around a dollar. Even more exciting is the fact that you can make a moisturizer that is perfectly suited to your skin type, fragrance preference, and budget. If you want to keep your skin looking silky smooth and want to hold onto more of your hard-earned money, try this simple recipe.
As mentioned earlier, all you need to make body lotion is a skin nourishing oil and pure water. The emulsifier will help you create a more professional product, but you do not even need this if it does not bother you to shake up your moisturizer before applications. However, emulsifiers often have a second benefit that may make a trip to the store worthwhile.
They also have preservative qualities that keep oils, which can go rancid over time, from spoiling. In some cases, they can dramatically extend the shelf life of a cream containing fragile ingredients like fruit juice. Before we get into all of the many possible additives, though, here is the basic recipe for homemade body lotion.
Combine a half-cup of your chosen oil and two tablespoons of an emulsifier (usually beeswax) in a microwave-safe container like a glass measuring cup. Heat the mixture on the medium temperature setting, checking every thirty seconds until the ingredients have completely melted. Pour distilled water into the mixture, going slowly and stirring briskly with a fork or whisk until everything has blended together. For a fluffier cream, you also have the option of using a stick blender.
Just be sure to use a low setting and to submerge it before turning it on. Otherwise, you could splash hot beeswax and oil everywhere. Let your lotion cool down, during which time it will become thicker, and spoon it into a clean jar of your choice. If you like, you can double this recipe and transfer it into an old lotion bottle with a pump or squeeze lid for easier access. Put a lid on your moisturizer and enjoy it!
Oils: Now that you can see how easy the process is, it is time to talk about ingredients. The most vital part of the mixture is the oil, which will transfer its beneficial properties to your skin upon application. Depending on your skin type, some oils may be better than others, but vegetable-derived oils are always the best for cosmetic purposes. For extremely sensitive skin, grapeseed oil is an ideal choice. It absorbs quickly, leaves no greasy residue, and never causes allergic reactions.
If you have trouble finding this oil in the cooking section, look in cosmetic departments of natural health food stores. For most people, almond oil is a favorite oil because it has a light nutty scent and softens dry skin wonderfully. Coconut oil is also great for the skin, but you should combine it with another oil or avoid it altogether if your skin is especially oily since it has a high fat content.
Likewise, cocoa butter and avocado oil are extra rich oils best used with lighter vegetable oils like sesame or almond. If you are going to use your lotion on an extremely dry spot like feet and elbows, try using one part lanolin to two parts of a lighter oil for supreme nourishment.
Extras: While a basic three-ingredient moisturizer is excellent in itself, adding special ingredients will help you create a more personalized blend. To give your lotion a boost, considering adding one or a combination of these ingredients. Vitamin E, extracted from a supplement capsule, will preserve the life of the blend and increase its moisturizing power.
There are also several plant-derived products that are useful in cosmetic applications. For instance, rose is a powerful skin softener and relieves inflammation. Witch hazel, when added in amounts of about one teaspoon per cup of lotion, is mildly astringent and creates a cool feeling, which can be helpful during the stifling summer months.
Pot marigold (calendula), yarrow, and lavender promote healthy skin and smell divine. Either buy floral water from your local health food store (or possibly the liquor store for rose and orange water) or add two drops of an essential oil per cup of lotion.
Fruit juices contain beneficial enzymes that get rid of dead skin cells and help the new ones emerge. Depending on the type you use, they can also give your lotion a delicious scent, but remember that lotions containing them have to be refrigerated. Try a teaspoon of papaya juice, which alleviates dry skin, or cucumber juice, which is mild and soothing to itchy skin.
For a splash of fragrance, add a few drops of vanilla extract, fragrance oil, or essential oil once the blend has cooled completely. Experiment with blends to create the perfect enriching lotion for your body.
The cheapness and simplicity of creating handmade lotions make it easy to cook up new recipes any time you want. By using lighter oils and different additives, you can even create special facial lotions that will leave you looking radiant.
The only problem you are likely to encounter once you begin this craft is stopping. Not only will you want to make more lotions constantly, but you will also be filling orders for all your envious friends.The only problem