Save Money...Treat Your Skin...Green Beauty at Home

Monday, January 14, 2008

Today I am going to share a recipe I use regularly at home.

A few years back, I found a recipe in a natural beauty book and have since modified the oils used, resulting in this recipe. I have used it now for 3 years!

You all know I am no longer buying body products containing synthetic preservatives. My skin has not had a paraben rubbed into it for over one year. I stopped using preservatives containing propylene glycol in August. In fact, I no longer use retail body lotion because of unsafe preservatives. Lotions contain water and this is why you need a chemical preservative if you're buying retail or etail...otherwise your product has a shelf life of less than one month normally.

I have made base lotion without synthetic preservatives using grapefruit seed extract and rosemary extract, but the results in terms of shelf life vary from batch to batch depending on such factors as humidity, light exposure, packaging, etc. I have tried "natural" bases sold using these ingredients as well with a stated shelf life in the 6-month range, only to have them get mold by 3 months. The only safe way, in my opinion, to have 100% natural lotion is to make your own every week or two.

I have tried even the newest "safer" chemical preservatives, such as Opti Phen and Cosmocil CQ, but the jury is still out on those, so I do not use them. I have actually been in a couple months' long process of testing a highly effective, but quite safe preservative derived from glycine, a natural amino acid. I will report back at a later date on that one!

You may think that making your own body lotion (or other body and bath products) is very difficult for home use and not worth the "bother". In fact, doing this can be lots of fun! When made in small batches, you can try new scents often. You will have your initial investment in the oils and fragrances (if you want a scented lotion), but your skin (and pocketbook) will ultimately thank you!

This will make about 4 ounces of body lotion.

1 /4 teaspoon of Borax (near your laundry detergent at the grocery store)

1/4 cup of distilled water

1 T. kukui nut oil

1 T. sweet almond oil

1 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 t. vitamin E oil

2 T. beewax (grated with your cheese grater)

1 T. clover honey

*Mix the Borax and distilled water together. Set aside. Now place a saucepan of water on the stove and heat to medium-high. In a stainless steel bowl, mix oils with beeswax and honey. Place the bowl over the water to create a double boiler effect. Simmer until melted together, stirring often. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add in the water and Borax mixture. Stir. Now add in several drops of essential oil or else desired amount (up to 1 t.) of fragrance oil. Stir (I use a wooden spoon).

Pour into a dark amber plastic bottle or a mason jar with an airtight seal. Store in a dry, dark cabinet for up to 2 weeks, no longer.

You can get super creative and buy several fragrance oils to make your own blends! Have fun with it!

Prefer a heavy "butter" formula? Try this....I like plain old shea butter...I prefer refined (through a non-chemical process only) because I detest the smell of raw shea butter. Try Organic Creations for this.

Now, take your shea butter and whip it in your Kitchen Aid. Whip it for AT LEAST 15 minutes....I do it for much longer, actually. Then add in fragrance oil or essential oil and store in an airtight container. As this has no water, you will be able to keep it much longer! GREAT for dehydrated skin, knees, elbows, etc....

WHERE TO BUY:

For the butters and oils, I like Organic Creations. Visit them at http://www.organic-creations.com/servlet/StoreFront.

*For bottles and jars, try SPECIALTY BOTTLE (http://www.specialtybottle.com/). Wide mouth jars can be found at WHOLESALE SUPPLIES PLUS (http://www.wholesalesuppliesplus.com/).

*For fragrance oils, there are many wonderful sources. HOWEVER, you will not find one clear cut winner for EVERY scent. I buy from 4-5 vendors. MAKE SURE THE SCENT SAYS "SKIN SAFE" as some are not!

Here are some of my favorites:

http://www.sweetcakes.com/

http://www.daystarsupplies.com/

http://www.scent-works.com/

http://www.flickersfragrances.com/

http://www.brambleberry.com/

http://www.justscent.com/

http://www.candlepro.com/ (Nature's Garden)

Hit or miss, but still some nice oils to be found:

http://www.candlesupplys.us/ (Indiana Candle)

http://www.thecandlesource.com/

http://www.saveonscents.com/

and the ONE shining star on eBay with some great ones (they are only 1 and 2 ounce so you won't be out much money at all if you get a "miss":

Seller is toys*dot*com.

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