Handmade Lotion

I did it!  I finally made some lotion for myself. 

Just to remind you of past events. Last year,  I bought some bar lotion.  This is a solid bar you rub on your skin to moisturize yourself.  I did this for two reasons: a) I wanted to reduce my plastic consumption and b) I wanted a natural lotion.  Liquid lotions have all kinds of junk in it to keep bacteria from growing and to keep the oil and water tied together.  The bar lotion was excellent and actually moisturized better than liquid commercial brands.  Early this year,  thinking that maybe going right to the natural ingredients might be even better than purchasing this relatively expensive lotion,  I bought some natural butters from a cosmetic ingredient distributor.  Ilipe tree butter was a bit too hard, cocoa butter was better but still not easily spreadable and the avocado butter was partially oil at room temperature.  I have been using the avocado butter every day.  It is working but the fact that is was more like a sticky paste/oil was not totally endearing it to me.  So a week ago, I read an article on how to make your own natural shaving cream.  One of the steps was to melt shea butter in a double boiler.  Hmm… does this mean I can simply melt my butters and combine them?  Can it be that easy?  Indeed, it IS that easy.

I got a pot and a stainless steel bowl that fit nicely into it.  I weighed out 2.5oz (roughly – I have a cheap scale) of ilipe tree butter and started it melting in the bowl.  When it was about 2/3rd melted, I added in about 2.5oz of cocoa butter. When that was melted, I added in the 3oz of avocado butter.  After it was all melted,  I poured it into two little individual yogurt containers that I pulled out of my Preserve5 recycling box.  I popped them into the freezer to resolidify.

Other than the fact that I upended one of the containers to shake it out before it was completely solidified, I would say the experiment was a complete success.  It did crack from hardening in the freezer.  I am not sure if that would have been prevented from slower hardening.  At room temperature, it has solidified into a malleable mass.  You can squeeze the block and it will move under the pressure but it is a solid.  This morning,  I took a chunk and rubbed in on my skin.  It melted like a dream… exactly how I was hoping the raw ingredients would work.  I am incredibly impressed that I managed to get a good consistency on my first try.  I was afraid that I might have to remelt and alter the percentages to get something decent.  I might try to get something a little harder next time by reducing the amount of avocado butter or maybe increasing the illipe tree butter.

When it goes on, it still smells strongly of cocoa butter.  If you remember,  I purchased prime pressed so 100% of the scent is in the butter.   I don’t mind this smell but Eduardo hates it.  It also has undertones of the illipe tree butter and after several hours I have to say that I can’t smell the cocoa butter.  I think I smell the illipe tree butter and maybe a hint of the avocados.  I don’t find it offensive.  I am investigating the possibility of adding some kind of essential oil to the mix.  I want to be very careful with this because I heard bad things can happen if you put in too much essential oil.

But there you go… 100% natural, handmade lotion for my use.  It was actually fun to make and I think I might like experimenting a bit with it.  It has made me wonder if perhaps I couldn’t start a little side business of making natural moisturizers.


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