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Recipes: Lotions and Creams

 

Lotions and creams are emulsified blends of oil and water made to nourish and moisturize skin. Most lotions are oil-in-water emulsions, but water-in-oil lotions are also made. Creams are thicker and tend to leave more of a film or residue. Sometimes that's what you are looking for in skin care.

It's best if the oil and water mixtures are around the same temperature when combined and warm to hot. The best emulsifier is wax, which is added to the oil mixture before blending. It is best to melt the wax into the oil, but be careful because some oils, like avocado oil, cannot withstand high heat. Butters, honey, essential and fragrance oils are also melted into the oil blend. Aloe vera, extracts, teas and tinctures are added to the water blend. Powders can be added to the oil or water mixture.

Cool down the oil and water mixes slightly before blending so hot liquid and gas do not force themselves out of the blender or bowl and burn you. Use your thermometer to determine temperatures. Cover and blend or beat in a bowl for at least one minute on medium. Allow your lotion to cool down a little and blend or beat again, this time for 2 minutes. You may need to do this a few more times... 30 seconds each time... to get a perfect consistency. I always let it sit for an hour covered. I stir it every fifteen minutes with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, to get out all of the air.

Use a funnel if you have to and pour your lotion into sterilized containers. Always wait until your blend is room temperature before containing it. It's important not to heat up plastic and release toxins into your precious mixture. And, even if you use glass, there are many air bubbles in a hot mixture.

 

Start simple and write down every recipe that blended perfect, even if you aren't happy with other qualities like scent or color. This will help you learn your groove in ratios. The successful combination of oil and water is easily thrown off balance. Don't be discouraged when some of your blends come out separated or coagulated. It still even happens to me every now and then when I am experimenting with new blends. Just learn from it.

 

Keep your new lotion or cream refrigerated until you are ready to use it up. If you don't use preservatives, it may only last a week at room temperature. If you do use natural preservatives, it should last at least 6 weeks at room temperature.

What is pH?

PH is short for the power of Hydrogen. It's the measure of acidity or alkalinity in a solution. In pure water at 77°F, The hydrogen ions are equal to the concentration of hydroxide ions. This is the "neutral" marking and means the pH level is 7.0. In solutions where the hydrogen ions exceed the concentration of hydroxide ions, the pH falls below 7.0 and is an acid. In solutions where the hydroxide ions exceed the concentration of hydrogen ions, the pH rises above 7.0 and is a base. In lotion you want your pH to be balanced. Too much acid can harm the skin and too much base will spoil very quickly. I keep my pH a little low. 6 is great for lotion. (Test strips are easily found on the web for cheap) Citric Acid is a great pH stabilizer used at no more than 0.3%. If you find your lotion too acidic, baking soda at no more than 0.5% should bring it back to neutral- and add a nice texture.

 

Here are some quick reference guidelines:

  1. In lotion, never use more than 30% oil unless you like the "shiny" or even greasy after look. Sometimes I use less.

  2. The least amount of water, the longer your blend will last. Try using a strong antioxidant tea or aloe vera as your water. At the very least use distilled water and bring it to a quick boil before adding to it.

  3. Do your research and use ingredients that themselves are long lasting.

  4. Use 1 tablespoon emulsifier or wax per ounce of oil. Melt into oil.

  5. Honey is added to oil at 1% when desired.

  6. When infusing herbs into oil, let them simmer for at least 3 hours. When infusing herbs into water, let them simmer at least 30-45 minutes.

  7. Herbs, roots and tinctures are added to water at no more than 0.5% each and strained well.

  8. Potassium sorbate and citric acid work extremely well at 0.3% and in combination with a dash of cinnamon. Dissolve in your boiled water at the beginning.

  9. Always add either Vitamin E at 0.5% or Rosemary extract at 0.3%, but not both, to the oil mixture to keep the oil from going rancid and turning yellow in your lotion.

  10. Stearic acid, xanthan gum or lecithin powder can be used at 1% - 2% to thicken. These are added to the oil mixture until dissolved.

  11. Keep heat medium to low.

  12. Don't use the microwave to heat. It changes the molecular structure of your ingredients.

  13. Make sure oil and water are hot but not too hot and approximately the same temperature when mixing.

  14. Use rose petals, blueberry, raspberry or citrus teas to color or fragrance if you need your lotion to last long. Berries, other flower petals and other teas work well in quick blends that may only last a week or so.

  15. When using essential and fragrance oils, you usually won't need more than 1 drop per 2 ounces.

  16. Make sure your blend is at room temperature or cool before adding to it's containers.

  17. Don't forget to keep everything as sterile as possible.

  18. When scaling down my lotion recipes that call for an already small amount of citric acid, cinnamon or potassium sorbate... just use a very small pinch of each for the same effect.

 

 

 

I use the following calculators whenever I am working on a new recipe. You can also use them to scale down or up a recipe you already have. I hope you find them helpful.

Quick Example- You are going to make 48 ounces of lotion and you want it to contain 33% aloe vera and 25% water. In the "Percentage Calculator" you type in 'what is 33% of 48 and the same with 25%. Hit calculate. Your answer is 16 oz aloe vera and 12 oz oil. You can then convert that to any measuring device you want using the next calculator. There is another example on our natural preservatives page.

 

 

Percentage Calculator
What is % of ? Answer:
is what percent of ? Answer: %

 

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Lotion Recipes - Making up your own is always best but here is a start

Golden Blend Body Lotion- 16 ounces or 2- 8 oz bottles

2 ounces apricot kernel oil
2 ounces jojoba oil
1 teaspoons stearic acid
1 tablespoons shredded beeswax
2 tablespoons emulsifying wax
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon arrowroot powder

10 ounces honey vanilla chamomile tea
4 ounces aloe vera juice
just under 1/4 teaspoon citric acid and potassium sorbate
just under 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (powder)
SHOULD LAST ABOUT 4-6 WEEKS OUT OF THE REFRIGERATOR

Anti wrinkle Face Cream- 24 ounces or 6- 4 oz jars

0.5 ounces avocado oil (keep heat low)
1.5 ounces kokum butter
or mango butter
2.0 ounces coconut oil
1 ounce red raspberry seed oil
1 drop Vit E oil

1 teaspoon stearic acid
6 tablespoons emulsifying vegetable wax
1 teaspoon arrowroot powder

12 ounces raspberry green tea with 1/2 teaspoon each of rosehip buds, juniper berries, and comfrey. Strain well.
6 ounces aloe vera gel
rounded 1/4 teaspoon citric acid and potassium sorbate
rounded 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (powder)

SHOULD LAST ABOUT 4-6 WEEKS OUT OF THE REFRIGERATOR

 

Heavenly Blend- 6 oz jar or bottle

1 ounce Grape seed oil
1 ounce Apricot Kernel Oil
2 tablespoons emulsifying wax
1 drop or a pinch of rosemary extract

3 ounces aloe vera
3 ounces honey chamomile tea

SHOULD LAST ABOUT 1 WEEK OUT OF THE REFRIGERATOR

 

 

Baby Products

  • Milk Bath- Soothing and moisturizing. Combine (shake or press) 1 cup dried cow or goat's milk with 1/2 cup cornstarch and add to baby's bath with one tea bag of lavender or chamomile tea (or 2-3 drops of chamomile or lavender essential oils- for babies 6 months or older).

  • Baby Balm/ Diaper Rash Cream/ Healing Ointment - Combine 2 cups base oil (grape seed, sunflower, apricot, olive or combination) with 6 capsules or 2 tablespoons vitamin E oil and 1/3 cup dried comfrey and 1/3 cup dried chamomile in a sauce pan and place on medium, then low heat. Let the oils infuse with herbs for at least 3 hours. Let the oil cool a little and strain out the herbs with a cheese cloth. Add 5 tablespoons of beeswax or other emulsifying wax. Stir together until wax is completely melted. Cool slightly then and pour the salve into clean jars or tins. For a white, super healing, zinc oxide butt balm- beat 3 tablespoon zinc oxide into warm oil/wax mixture. Best after refrigerated for one week and then taken out to remain at room temp. If you add a dash of potassium sorbate and/or cinnamon to the oil, it will last longer.

  • Baby Powder- Ground 1 tablespoon each of dried chamomile and lavender into a fine powder and mix them with 1 cup arrowroot powder. Press together then place in clean container and shake.

  • Baby Oil- Combine one cup of grape seed, sunflower, apricot or olive oil with 3 capsules or 1 tablespoon vitamin E oil and a few drops of vanilla essential or fragrance oil . Stir or shake. No need to heat.

  • Quick and Easy Rash-Healing Baby Powder- Combine 2 tablespoons arrowroot and 1 tablespoon zinc oxide powder. If you don't have zinc oxide, arrowroot alone works perfectly well.

Note: Despite popular belief from the same generation that rubbed mineral oil and vaseline all over us and covered us in talc, cornstarch grows yeast and can make a rash worse. If you do find your baby with a yeast infection (raised and spreading fast)... apply a thin layer of plain yogurt on the child and leave it for an hour. If the child is old enough, feed him or her yogurt as well. Rinse off gently with a soft cloth that has only warm water on it. After that- air the baby our for at least 30 minutes undiapered (it's good to air out any rash). Just put down a sheet and some toys or something. I would then apply the 'Quick and Easy Rash Healing Baby Powder' while diapering.

Baths

  • Oatmeal Bath- Pour 1 cup whole oats or oatmeal to a clean sock. Add 1/2 cup powdered milk and 6 drops of your favorite essential oil and tie. Let sock soak with you in the tub. Squeeze it until it runs clear.

  • Lavender Milk Bath- Add 1/2 cup powdered milk and 6 drops lavender essential oil to a hot bath and soak.

  • Herbal Bath- It's like soaking in tea! Combine your favorite smelling and soothing herbs and place them in the center of a small piece of lace. Tie it with a ribbon and soak it in 1/2 a bath for 20 minutes. Add more hot water and soak with your pretty tea ball.

  • Aura Cleansing Bath- Add 1 rounded tablespoon sea salt and 7 drops of sage essential oil to a full, room temperature bath. Soak at least 10 minutes. (Replace sage with lavender if you are pregnant or get seizures)

Facial Cleansers

  • Soapwort Cleansing Cream- Bring 1 cup distilled water to a boil and lower heat. Simmer 1/2 cup fresh or 1/4 cup dry soapwort leaves and flowers on medium-low for 10 minutes. Strain and cool. Blend or whip with 1 egg yolk for dry skin or 1 egg white for oily skin. Slowly blend in 1/2 cup of raw, mashed fruit of your choice. Use either avocado, strawberry or peach.

  • Witch Hazel Splash- Bring 1 cup distilled water to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and add 1/2 tablespoon each of dried witch hazel leaves and flowers, dried rosemary leaves and dried rose hip buds for 30 minutes. Strain. If skin is dry- add 2 capsules or 1/2 tablespoon vitamin E oil and 2-3 drops mint essential oil. Cool and place in clean container. Shake before using.

  • Acne wash- Bring 1/2 cup distilled water and 2/3 cup white wine vinegar to a boil and lower heat. Simmer 1 tablespoon dried juniper berries, 1/2 tablespoon witch hazel, and 3-4 drops tea tree essential oil for 20 minutes. Strain and cool. Shake before using.

  • Kiwi Cleansing Mask- Mix and mash together 1/2 peeled kiwi fruit with 1/4 teaspoon olive oil and 2 teaspoons clay of your choice. Spread on face and leave on up to 30 minutes.

Facial Masks

  • Pure Avocado Mask - Rub the fruit and oil from the inside of the avocado peel into your face and leave overnight. Wipe off with warm water and pat with a towel in the morning.

  • Dry Skin Avocado Mask-one egg yolk and one half avocado peeled and mashed. Blend well. Apply and leave on face at least 20 minutes, rinse with warm water and pat dry.

  • Oily Skin Avocado Mask- One egg white, one teaspoon lemon juice, one half avocado peeled and mashed. Blend well. Apply and leave on face at least 20 minutes, rinse with warm water and pat dry.

  • Moisturizing Peach Mask- One half peach peeled and mashed blended in a blender with one third to one half cup milk. Apply to face and leave on at least 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

  • Oatmeal Mint Mask- One teaspoon olive oil, one half cup oats (can substitute barley), one half cup distilled water infused with fresh mint or mint oil. Blend well. Apply to face and leave on at least 30 minutes. This mask is good for all skin types.

  • Egg White Mask- Apply whipped egg whites to face, breasts, arms, thighs and bottom to firm and tighten skin. Leave on at least 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water and air dry.

Scrubs

  • Pure Strawberry Scrub - Cut the top off strawberry generously when preparing to eat. Rub the flesh left on the tops all over face. Exfoliates, renews and moisturizes skin. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

  • Peach Scrub- Combine 1/2 mashed peach with 1 teaspoon ground peach seed and 2/3 cup milk in blender. Scrub face, rinse with warm water and pat dry.

  • Avocado Seaweed Scrub- Mix and mash 1/2 peeled avocado with 1/3 cup milk and 1 teaspoon crushed or powdered kelp/ seaweed. Scrub face, rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Sunscreen

This is the only sunscreen I make and use. I make it all of the time out here in Arizona for my family. My husband works outside and needs it every day. My kids play outside. I have a 2 year old with fair skin. It has an SPF of approximately 30 - 40. I have never had it tested though. That's based on the spf of the ingredients. It is made with only products that help skin repair from sun damage and block the sun. It is quick and easy to make. It is perishable. It is strong protection yet gentle to the skin. It won't hurt your babies eyes when they are swimming. It smells really good. Like candy. Enjoy. Sun is good... in moderation :)

  • 10 ounces- Bring 3 ounces distilled water to a boil. Remove from heat and add a pinch of potassium sorbate. Put in an all natural raspberry green tea bag and let it set. Now bring 3 ounces of coconut oil and 1/8 teaspoon red raspberry seed oil to a light simmer and add 3 tablespoons natural, vegetable emulsifying waxuntil melted. Remove from heat. Ring out your tea bag and stir 4.5 ounces warmed up aloe vera juice or gel into your tea. Add 2 tablespoons zinc oxide to your aloe tea mixture slowly as it cools while stirring. Now pour the tea, aloe, zinc mixture into a glass bowl and start blending with your beater on low. Slowly add oil and wax mixture until blended. Blend on medium high for two minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes. Add 1 more tablespoon zinc oxide around the top of the mixture. Blend again for a minute or so. Add 3-4 drops Geranium Essential Oil. Blend again. Add 5-10 drops of vanilla essential or fragrance oil. Blend one more time. Place in small containers and keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them, they will last a few weeks out of the refrigerator under normal summer conditions.

 

It does take a certain something to make good lotion.
It's like being a good cook!

The more you enjoy creating and the more time you take with it... the better you will be. We need more good, homemade lotion makers in the world... for now. Until the big companies finally start giving us truly healthy and affordable alternatives to the toxic crap on the shelves now. Everyone, regardless of age or concerns, votes everyday when they make a purchase. When people choose to purchase natural, non-toxic products from small businesses they are making a statement to our government and to the big corporations in a major way. If enough of us make the switch, it will impact our bodies, our environment and our economy in a major way- for the better.

Be careful and read the labels on the back of the lotion bottles at the health food stores. They are not all good. And most of the good ones don't smell very good. And the good online options are few and far between and there are a lot of lies and deceptions out there. That's why I made this web site. I encourage further research and welcome any additional information by email. There are some other really good sites, but I felt like I had to travel to 100 places to find 3 real answers sometimes. I am hoping to start a chain of truth giving and knowledge passing... of good lotion making and free advice for new lotion shops :)

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LotionSecrets.com does not assume responsibility for any advice given. All advice should be weighed against one's own ability and circumstance and applied accordingly. It is up to the reader to determine if advice is safe and suitable for their own situation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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