While natural lotions may glide on smooth, you may soon notice your skin feeling just as rough as it did before you applied the product. What gives? Many lotions are water based. They can feel ultra silky as a result, but they don't have the healing power of rich, emollient oils. Many can also contain alcohol—which is especially drying on the skin. Other ingredients (like added fillers, colors, and fragrance) can also diminish the healing power of that expensive lotion you just bought.
Good thing is you don't have to be Estee Lauder to make your own lotion. In fact, it's easier than making most meals! Want to give it a try? Check out this recipe that's getting rave reviews in my house right now:
- ½ cup beeswax (or caranuba if vegan)
- ¾ cup coconut oil
- ¾ cup cacao or shea butter
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup apricot kernel oil
- 2 tablespoons calendula tea* (optional)
- 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
- Your favorite essential oils
Get your double boiler ready (or make your own by filling a big pot ⅓ with water. Use a smaller pot to set over the water—but water should not creep into the mixture).
Place beeswax, coconut, olive, and apricot oil along with cacao or shea butter in the pot and let it melt gently. It is best if you can get smaller chunks of the beeswax, but not necessary.
While the oils melt, get jars ready. I like small mason jars with wide mouths, but any type of jar will do. The wider the mouth, the easier it is to get to your mixture. Avoid using plastic as it can contain the harmful ingredient BPA (bisphenol-A). You can also use metal tins or even a ceramic mug or bowl (think a chipped one or missing a handle, etc.). You will need to create a lid for this though!
Ok, so you have your clean vessels waiting and your mixture is melting. Perfect. Now, pick your scents. A nice wintery aroma might be white fir, rosemary, or cedar. But you can use any fragrant essential oil or combination. Perhaps you try to mirror the fragrance of your favorite store-bought brand.
Once the oil and wax has melted, remove from heat and pour into a a high-powered blender or Vitamix. Let it cool for a few minutes before you turn the blender on. Heat creates pressure and will explode out of the top of your machine (unless you have a Vitamix!).
As you blend, pour in the honey, essential oils, and calendula. Immediately transfer to your jars and let cool uncovered for a few hours before using.
*Calendulas are in the marigold family and you can find them for sale at farmers markets, flower shops, or perhaps growing in your yard! You want to use organic flowers when possible. Calendula has potent skin-soothing effects particularly for rough, red, chapped skin.
To make, gently boil the flowers (stem and all) in water for 30 minutes. Strain off the pulp and compost it. You can refrigerate the unused 'tea' for about a week. Try adding it to a warm bath, using in a hydrating face mask or in a homemade facial toner.
Now that you've got your homemade winter skin-saver, don't skimp! Use on heels, elbows, knuckles—even chapped lips! It's best right after the shower when your skin is still damp and your pores are open.
Also makes a wonderful gift!Learn more about Jill Ettinger
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