We’ve reached that time of year when off go the heavy coats and thick tights and on go the sandals and sun dresses. I don’t know about you, but the first day my bare legs are exposed sans tights to the world is rough. Winter tends to leave my skin not only deathly white, but parched and miserable. Enter homemade lotion. All it takes is olive oil, water and a little bit of emulsifying wax to create thick, yummy moisturizer for a fraction of the cost. I’m crazy for natural rose fragrance so I substituted some of the water for rosewater, but in the future, I think i’ll just stick to adding essential oils instead. A nicer texture and cheaper, to boot! -amy m.
CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!
What you’ll need:
- pyrex measuring cup
- canning jars
-Hot Water (1 1/2 cups or 375 grams) (12 oz by weight) (Amy substituted with rose water)
-Oil (1/4 cup or 50 grams) (1.8 oz by weight).
-Emulsifier (1/4 cup volume or 28 grams) (1 oz by weight)
-Essential Oil (drops) 7 grams or 1/4 of an ounce
-Preservative (.5% – 1% per manufacturer recommendation) = 2.3 grams – 4.6 grams range
A note on preservatives (and an updated ingredients list), courtesy of Kelly Bloom of Southern Soapers, is below. Thanks Kelly!
There are several options for preservatives. These three are the most commonly used by small home crafters, hobbyists, and even small indie businesses. They are easy to obtain in small hobby size. Here is a quick skinny on them:
Optiphen – very popular broad spectrum (prevents bacteria, mold, & fungi growth) because it is paraben free. About 2% of population experiences some sensitivity on face or tender skin (like babies). Always add this preservative to your formula last, after the emulsion has cooled down a bit.
LiquaPar Optima – very popular broad spectrum (prevents bacteria, mold, & fungi growth) and it has 50 years of cosmetic industry testing behind it. It does contain parabens, so not a choice if you want to market product as ‘paraben free’. Always add this preservative to your formula last, after the emulsion has cooled down a bit.
Germall Plus, Liquid – very popular broad spectrum (prevents bacteria, mold, & fungi growth) that is both paraben free and very effective, without sensitivity issues that Optiphen might pose with some products. Always add this preservative to your formula last, after the emulsion has cooled down a bit.
Determining how much preservative to add:
Generally, most preservatives are a very very small percentage of the total formulation. About .5% to 1% by weight of the entire product formulation. The total lotion weight before preservatives is 460 grams, or about 16 oz by weight. To calculate preservative, you take 460 grams and multiply by .05 (the .5% rate) for a total preservative use of 2.3 grams. You can see how amazingly little this is to protect the formula!
- Combine wax and oil in measuring cup.
- Heat on stove top slowly, until melted. Add several drops (around 20) of essential oils. In separate container, microwave water for one minute.
- Pour hot water into melted wax/oil mixture. It should turn opaque and require no stirring.
- Pour hot lotion into jars and seal. Let set overnight.
- As your lotion contains no preservatives, be sure to refrigerate and be on the lookout for mold. [Some lotions without preservatives can go bad as quickly as one to two weeks, so be sure to toss anything if bubbles, lumps or mold appear]