Homemade Lotion

Update:   I have made this recipe so many times that I know it by heart.  I love it!  The site that I adapted the recipe from has added a version with preservatives, you can view it here.  I've never used preservatives (I always add tea tree oil) but I use mine quickly.  Thanks for stopping by!  Please let me know if you have any questions! Much love, Jaime.

Over the last year, I have been on a big natural bath and beauty kick.  I haven't shared much about it because I am the kind gal who likes to try stuff out and do some research before I start running my mouth about things.  I realize this may seem funny to some of you because,  I run my mouth a lot.  But, I do promise there is a method to my madness. Anyway, my internet searching and book reading has finally got me a couple of good recipes that I would like to share.

Now it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why someone would want to make their own health and beauty products.  The biggest reason is ingredients.  For the last few years I have been working to cut back preservatives in our diet.  It is only natural to start applying the same scrutiny to our bath and body products.  I love having control over what I am putting on my body.  I actually started looking into making soaps and such because Jason gets crazy dry skin in the winter.  Nothing was working for him.  In attempt to get Jason to stop whining give Jason some relief, I started researching and experimenting. The thing is, once you start messing around with making your own bath products you get kind of addicted.  There is a certain "damn the man" quality in making something that most people have to buy.  Perhaps I am odd, but I love the feeling independence that comes from making basic staples (like soap).  When you make your own bath products you end up with a high quality product made for pennies. Well, pennies once you build up your ingredient arsenal.  The initially investment in things like essential oils, cocoa butter and such can be a little pricey.  Once you have them, you get a lot of mileage out of them.  I have been slowly filling a cabinet up with hippie stash of natural ingredients.   I try to get as much as possible from my local natural food stores.  What I can't get locally, I order from Mountain Rose Herbs.  This place has crazy good reviews, and for good reason.  They have great products (and containers).  Most their stuff is organic and/or fair trade. Anyway, once you get a stash you can make all kinds of fun stuff.

Now on to the lotion . . .


Disclaimer #1:  I made these before the baby came.  I just didn't want anyone to think that I am spending my first week with a toddler and a new born making lotion.  This last week I considered the day a success if I got dressed and washed a load of laundry.

Disclaimer #2: These were gifts.  I don't decorate the jar I use at home, I am far too lazy.

I found this recipe on A Sonoma Garden, which is great blog with some lovely natural living information on it.  I only made one small change. I added a little tea tree oil for it's anti-fungal properties (more on that below).  This recipe is a great jumping off place for whipping up your own creations.  You could easily add different scents and/or oils to create all kinds of unique and awesome lotion.  I just happen to really love the lavender and tee tree oil scent.  I am getting ready to make up a 1/2 batch with no sent for Alex, he has some crazy dry skin.  But for now, the basic recipe adapted from A Sonoma Garden:

How to Make Homemade Hand Lotion

1 1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup emulsifying wax* (NOT beeswax)
1/4 cup olive oil
24-36 drops lavender essential oil
1/8 teaspoon of tea tree oil (vitamin E oil could also be used)

*I had to order this online, I couldn't find it anywhere locally.  It has to be emulsifying wax for the lotion to . . . well . .  emulsify : ).

In a glass bowl (I used my trusty pyrex measuring glass) combine the olive oil and emulsifying wax and microwave for 1 minute until it is all melted. The temperature on this reads about 155 degrees.

Heat 1 1/4 cup of water in the microwave for 1 minute or until about 120 degrees. While that is heating up,  add the essential oil and tea tree oil into melted wax/olive oil mixture and whisk together.

Pour the hot water into the wax/olive oil mixture and watch it turn milky white.  Then pour the hot lotion into wide mouth pint size jars and let cool overnight. I like to put the lid on it while they cool to keep it free of germs.  I always have to stir mine once it is cool, the top tends to be thicker than the bottom.  A few good stirs (I use a chop stick) and the lotion is good to go (it won't have to be stirred again).

Disclaimer #3: This is lotion doesn't contain preservatives.  That means, if not used in a timely fashion, it will get moldy.  If you use sterile jars, very clean measuring cups and utensils it should last around 3-4 months.  I use mine pretty quick, so I haven't had it spoil.  It is important to put it in a clear container, that way you will know if it is going bad.  I've read that storing it in a place that get light will help it last as well.  While tea tree oil isn't a preservative, it has anti-fungal qualities which I why I added it. I keep mine on my night stand and try to remember to use it each night before bed.  I find it a very relaxing scent.


Happy lotion making!

PS.  If you make this recipe or have any other homemade bath product recipes I would love to hear from you!