Aug 8, 2007

make your own hand lotion

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.

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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.

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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.

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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. :)

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P.S. - for you Montessorians out there ... wouldn't this be a great practical life activity for older elementary children?


Marcy said...

Very cool. I've never gotten much into making my own beauty products, but there is a certain allure to knowing exactly what all's going into the stuff you smear on your body.

I can just see the kids loving this... I watched our older primary kids make cutter once in class, and they thought it was the coolest thing! =P

Wendy said...

Oh, yum. That sounds great. We may have to do that this weekend. I've done things with similar ingredients, but never with the mixer. I bet it makes it really fluffy and soft.

Thanks so much!

Bethany Hissong said...

It sounds delicious... I mean the smell... but it would be tempting to eat it! Wilbur Chocolates sells a lotion with cocoa in it...I find I gain weight when I use that one ;)

Reese Dixon said...

This is so great! Do I need to worry about having designated dishes for making the lotion? Or can I just wash off my beaters and use them to make mashed potatoes without any problems?

Lindsay said...

I love your blog! Your passion for children and the art of teaching fills every sentence. I can't wait to try out the lotion for myself! And I do believe I will teach the binder trick to my older art students at summer camp. :-)

normanack said...

How wonderful! I've made soap before (cold process with lye) but never creams. I'll have to do this with my kids.

I just discovered your blog and am so impressed and delighted. (I found it through a comment on I think.)

Bellydancingknitter said...

It would make a great science-math-language lesson, and the product can be used for the class and also as a gift for family members... Oh, or matching the cream scents to the essential oils.

Tracy said...

Meg, you amaze me. First the mei-tai, then the hand cream--they're both projects I've talked about with the girls this week!

Thank you so much for all your inspiration--your blog is a constant source of beauty and surprise.

Meg McElwee said...

Yay for lotion! FYI Reese, you can use your normal dishes for this, just be prepared to wipe off the excess lotion with a rag or paper towel before washing. This has worked fine for me and my meringue doesn't taste like lotion!

Randi said...

I have always wanted to try something like this! Thanks for the how-to!

Sarah said...

I make my own soap and lotions too, it's fun!

karen said...

I just ordered this book from Amazon after reading your blog. (stumbled upon in the bend-the-rules yahoo group) Thank you so much for sharing it!

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Olivia said...

Very neat! Thanks for sharing, cannot wait to try it! :)

Curious. . . do you think this would work using goat's milk instead of water?