I'm a compulsive ingredients label reader. Mumblings of "Eew! Who would put that on their body!" and "Oh, that can't be good for you," seem to escape from my mouth when shopping for food and toiletries.
Several years ago I happened upon this book which has numerous recipes for making your own personal care products. We've gotten a lot of use out of it - and have had a blast emulsifying water and oil, coming up with custom essential oil fragrance combinations, and packaging up the yummy products for gifts and our own use. Here's to handmade - for your hands.
6 oz. liquid oil (such as canola or olive oil)
3 oz. solid oil (coconut oil, shea butter, etc.)
1 oz. beeswax (find it here, along with other organic products)
9 oz. of water
20 drops of orange essential oil
30 drops of vanilla essential oil
Pour the 6 oz. of liquid oil into a 16 oz. heat-proof measuring cup. Add pieces of solid oil to the liquid oil until the total volume reaches the 9 oz. mark, then add the 1 oz. of beeswax. Put the measuring cup into a pot filled with water and place it over medium heat on the stove top. Stir until the all of the solids melt. This can take a little while.
Remove the measuring cup from the water and let it cool to body temperature. It will become more thick and opaque - keep stirring it as it cools. Briefly place the 9 oz. of water in its own container into the pot (still filled with hot water) to bring it up to body temperature.
Pour the 9 oz. of water into a larger mixing bowl. Get out your hand mixer and turn it on high speed. Slowly begin pouring the oil mixture into the water. Continue processing until the mixture reaches a thick, creamy consistency. Turn off the mixer and add the drops of essential oil, then mix it up a bit more.
Try not to eat it, okay? I know it smells good, but it's for your hands. :)
P.S. - for you Montessorians out there ... wouldn't this be a great practical life activity for older elementary children?