Winters in Wisconsin are brutal on my skin. I've always had dry skin, but between gardening in the summer and the subzero temps that get down to -40 with wind chills up here, which don't stop for us to haul wood and tend the chickens each day! My hands are a mess! A painful, split and cracking, chapped mess.
I set out to make a healing lotion. I've done several lotions before. In fact, I've been dappling with making lotions for about 7 years now. The breastmilk lotion I made a year or so ago was fantastically healing! But it didn't last long. Within a week it was molding. I was so embarrassed to have sent some to a friend. Probably by the time it got to her in the mail, it was already gross. :(
Anyway, I set out to try to find something else that would work. This lotion that I made today is WONDERFUL! It is so rich and creamy feeling and absolutely delightful to smell and rub all over ya! It's just .... well..... it's AMAZING!
Some of the ingredients are not your typical household ingredients. Nor is this a cheap lotion. It is a bit pricey. But considering the amount of money I've wasted on store bought lotions that didn't work and dermatologist appointments, I think it's very reasonable and worth it.
First of all, I used Kokum Butter, as well as Shea Butter. Both can be purchased at Mountain Rose Herbs.
Kokum Butter is a white, hard butter similar to Cocoa Butter. However Kokum butter supports your skins elasticity and natural flexibility and helps to rejuvenate tired, worn skin cells.
Shea butter is a softer butter that forms a breathable, yet water resistance film on your skin.
I also used Coconut Oil and Sesame Oil. The benefits of coconut oil are too vast and long for me to even attempt to list them all. Trust me, it's amazing stuff! As far as for my choice of sesame oil, well, it was just an easy to come by, reasonably priced, carrier oil. I didn't want to use olive oil, but I needed a good liquid oil. I find grapeseed oil to be drying, so didn't want that. I wanted to possibly share some of my creation with a friend who has a son with nut allergies, so I needed to skip the almond oil. So I just picked sesame oil. Turns out that after a little research, it's a GREAT oil for dry skin, is easily absorbed, has antioxidant properties, and even UV protection! However, pretty much any liquid oil would work fine.
In fact, I've also incorporating Safflower Oil in place of the Sesame Oil. It really just depends on what I have on hand at the time that I'm making it. Safflower Oil is also a great source of Vitamin E and even has wrinkle reduction properties! Something all of us beautiful women want, right?
For more info on the oils please check out these links:
Aloe Vera. You can either buy aloe, or do what I did initially and actually use the aloe straight from the plant. Aloe is known to hydrate skin and accelerate repair! Per Natural News
Lanolin. Yes Lanolin! The thick stuff you use when you start breastfeeding and have sore nipples! Being a La Leche League leader, I have PLENTY of Lanolin available! I went easy on it in this recipe because I wasn't sure how it was going to work and I didn't want this lotion to be too thick and sticky. Info on Lanolin, if you're interested.
Emulsifying wax. I ordered this from Mountain Rose as well. It is used to blend oil and water so that it doesn't separate.
Purified or distilled water.
Essential oils of your choice. You can use any oils that are good for dry skin. I chose oils mostly for their smell. But, Lavender, Lemon, Orange, Frankincense, Myrrh, Tea Tree Oil, Eucalyptus, Chamomile, would all be good. I prefer certified organic essential oils from either Mountain Rose or Aura Cacia.
Pure Vanilla Extract. I couldn't find my vanilla fragrance oil so just put some extract in it. :) Did the trick!
And lastly, some Grapefruit Seed Extract as a preservative.
In a double broiler, I warmed and melted all the butters and oils together.
When they are thoroughly melted, I added the water, wax, lanolin and aloe. I left them on the stove for 2-3 minutes before pulling them off to blend. I figured it couldn't hurt to warm up the other ingredients slightly to blend better.
At first, you can see the water and oils/butter separated.
I used an immersion blender. Also known as a stick blender. It blends up very quickly and easily. It's still warm at this point, so will be more liquid than when it completely cools. Then, I added my oils or fragrances at this point. Pulsed a couple more times to blend those in.
Poured it into my containers and cleaned up! Done!
It is amazingly rich, thick, creamy and it smells divine!
If anyone wants to purchase some from me, let me know!
You can Shop here!
If you would like to request unscented or different essential oils, or fragrance oils for scent, let me know! As a CYA - I'm just a mom, at home, making stuff. It may take me a few weeks to get your order to you. Especially if you happen to order while I'm waiting for supplies to arrive. So please be patient with me. :) I will do my best to be quick though!
Last update on 3/29/13