DIY Lotion: only 3-5 ingredients!


In the unlikely case you've been wondering, I've been knee-deep in the To Do List lately, and items like blog posting had to be pushed way down on the priority ladder by default. More importantly, real rest/sleep crucially needed to find a way to surface at the top or everything else would be rendered pointless and/or shoddy. Thus, the slightly extended cyber silence.  In other words, I'm arriving at a place of feeling rather relaxed but a little behind, yet choosing to enjoy a little bit of time spent with the bottom-dwellers of my task list, crossing fingers that tomorrow the workaday world will start taking care of itself again with renewed momentum. For today, I'm lounging with lavendar and chamomile. Lavendar and chamomile are the essential oils I decided to include in a half batch homemade lotion. It's a little like the hand balm version of Sleepytime tea.  And actually, this post is meant to be a wee little shout out to my friend Melissa and the fabulous blog she sent me, a sonoma garden, created by an organic gardening husband-and-wife team in Sonoma. There's lots to explore there, but my favorite so far is a super post on making an easy beeswax lotion, which has gifted me with a sweet nostalgic throwback to being a kid and a nourishing and practical product to satisfy the adult I'm trying to maintain as the leader of my life today.

What childhood is complete without some serious "potion-making" in the bathroom? Mine were mostly comprised of my Dad's shaving lotion, mouthwash, and liquid soap or shampoo, plus surprise ingredients for endless variation. Making homemade lotion isn't quite so spontaneous and mirthful as that, but then again, what you create doesn't get washed down the drain, chances are you're not going to get in trouble over it, plus it's beautifully soothing on the skin. On the blog, the recipe officially calls for double the amounts I used, but the yield is more than ample, easily filling a 5-ounce container or more. It's incredibly easy, both to make and to clean up after, too. I'll be honest--I haven't put the time in yet to research what to look for in skin care, but I can't see how you can go wrong with beeswax, olive oil, and coconut oil. That's all you need, really. After mixing these together (in a jar, in a saucepan of water), you can add a little vitamin E and some essential oil, but you really don't have to. The lotion's ostensibly a little bit on the "greasy" side,  about the consistency of Aquafor or petroleum jelly, but a little dab spread in a thin veneer seems to soak in really nicely without clogging pores. Rubbed gently into the hands, the difference is pretty immediate. Out here at altitude, in the dry winter air, you there's no lying to yourself. You can tell.

Here's the (half) recipe I used, thanks to a sonoma garden:

  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil
  • 1/4 c.   beeswax (I used a 1 ounce pastille from Sprouts, which I broke up a little first)
  • 1/4 t. vitamin E oil (I squeezed out 3 vitamin capsules (optional)
  • about 10 drops essential oil of choice (optional)

All you do is combine  the oils and and beeswax into a pint sized canning jar. Put the jar into a saucepan filled with water reaching 3/4 of the way up the jar, not so high that water could be at risk for bubbling its way into the oil mixture. Heat over medium/low, stirring occasionally until everything's melted. Let cool to room temperature,  stirring vigorously with a fork every 15 minutes or so. Once at room temperature, add in the Vitamin E and essential oil, and voila! Quick fun, the job's done.  :)