In order to avoid the plethora of potentially harmful chemicals that are added to most store-bought lotions, I make my own. By making my own lotions, not only do I avoid exposing myself to undesirable ingredients, I save a lot of money and I have fun in the process.
- organic virgin coconut oil
- shea butter
- vitamin E capsules (optional)
- essential oils (optional)
- appropriate kitchenware to create a double boiler
- molds to shape the lotion bars
- lip balm tubes or containers
- dropper (optional)
1. Place equal parts organic virgin coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax into a pot or heat resistant bowl. If I'm making lotion bars for just for myself, I usually only make about a half cup total each time to prevent ending up with too much that will go bad before I have time to use it. Also, since lotion bars melt a lot faster in the summer than in the winter, I add a touch more beeswax during the warmer months and a little less during the cooler months to compensate.
2. Create a double boiler by placing the pot/bowl inside another pot of boiling water.
3. Mix the contents with a spatula until it is completely melted, then take it off the heat.
4. Cut open some vitamin E capsules and squeeze it into the mixture if desired. One capsule per every half cup of the mixture should be sufficient. Also, add a few drops of essential oil to create a fragrance if you desire. Remember to mix well.
5. Pour or ladle the mixture into molds and set it aside to cool. Once the mixture has cooled to a slightly less liquid state, feel free to stick it in the refrigerator to speed up the process so the bars will harden faster. Don't worry if you don't have proper molds for making soaps and lotion bars. Anything will do — ice cube trays, cupcake tins, small bowls, etc. Just make sure the molds are made of a safe, heat-resistant material.
|It's difficult to see, but the heart- and square-shaped molds have been filled with the lotion mixture.|
I have one lotion bar in a glass jar on my nightstand and use it before I go to bed, but I find tin boxes work best if you want to keep one with you at all times.
Simply hold the lotion bar in your hand and allow the heat from your body to melt it. Then apply your natural homemade lotion anywhere needed on your body!
Lotions bars can be a little bit greasy, but I find it is easily absorbed after a few minutes and retains the skin's moisture much better than many commercial lotions. Keep in mind that since this is lotion made of all-natural products without any preservatives, it can go bad after awhile. I generally determine how long I should continue using the lotion bar by taking the date of the ingredient that will expire the soonest and deduct one month from that. This way, I make sure I am not putting any expired products on my skin.
Make sure you use organic virgin coconut oil and not refined coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil is non-comedogenic and has all the properties that are good for you, whereas refined coconut oil has lost most of its beneficial properties and is more prone to clogging your pores.
Some people like to use cocoa butter for their lotion bars, but I prefer shea butter for its non-comedogenic properties and to avoid allergic reactions, which a lot of people suffer from when they come in contact with cocoa butter.