Homemade Lotion

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When I was pregnant I was searching the Internet for holistic advice on pregnancy. I found this recipe for stretch mark cream, and although I really wasn’t concerned about stretch marks (I hear they are mainly genetic, but healthy lifestyle also helps to limit them too), I decided to try it for fun. I had never made lotion before, and I’m all about making my own everything because if I make it, then I don’t have to worry about toxins, additives, or other not-so-great ingredients. Added bonus: homemade products are usually cheaper.

So I started by ordering some shea butter and dried calendula flowers. I made a small batch and it worked! Yay! I decided to make another batch and switch it up a little bit, add a few other ingredients, and change the quantities. I experimented a little. The recipe below is the one I came up with.

My family uses it not only for a body lotion, but also to help with lots of skin issues. Anything that is wrong with the skin, this tends to help. My mom had an awful itchy rash on her wrists, and nothing was working. Then she used this stuff and it reduced the itching and redness. Her rash went away, we don’t know for sure that it was the lotion that cured it, but it certainly did help! We also use it for chapped lips, eczema, and any other skin problem.

And recently, I used this cream as a hair mask. Sounds kind of weird, but I knew coconut oil was good for your hair, and so did a little research and found that shea butter, cocoa butter, and aloe were also good for hair, so I gave it a try. And it made my hair softer and shiny. It’s been kind of depressing with my hair falling out in great quantities after I had my baby, so this was exciting.

All of the ingredients are so great for the skin (& hair). I won’t go into detail in this post about their properties, but I know that the reason this lotion is so successful at helping skin issues is because of the wonderful properties of the ingredients and because it doesn’t have artificial scents, colorings, or any other impure additives. (Also, I call it a “lotion”, but really it is probably more of a “cream” because it is thick, not runny). Anyway, here is the recipe:

 

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Healing Lotion

½ cup Shea Butter
¾ cup Cocoa Butter (or Cocoa Nibs)
¼ cup Coconut Oil
1/8 cup Pure Aloe Vera
½ cup Dried Calendula Flowers mixed in olive oil
Essential Oils: 10 drops of each lavender, melaleuca, and frankincense

Step 1: First, the calendula flowers need to be steeped into the olive oil. You can do this over a stove, but I like to do the slower method because it preserves more healing properties. Here is how to steep: Put the dried calendula flowers in a glass jar, and pour olive oil over them (the olive oil should cover the flowers by about 1 inch), then put the lid on the jar. Place the jar in a brown lunch bag, then put it by a windowsill where it will get filtered sunlight. Keep it here for 1-2 weeks, shaking the glass jar once a day or so.

When you are ready to make the lotion, filter the flowers out of the oil. You will need a strainer, a big bowl, and cheesecloth (or any fabric). Line the strainer with cheesecloth, and put the strainer over a big bowl. Pour the calendula and oil mixture into the lined strainer to separate the oil from the steeped flowers. Then squeeze out any oil you can from the flowers. You can compost the steeped flowers, but you will keep the oil for the cream.

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Step 2: Once the flowers are strained, the shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, and aloe vera need to be melted. The easy way to do this is over the stove in a double boiler, but the better way (to preserve minerals) takes just a little longer, but it is still really easy. You kind of make a double boiler effect off of the stove. Boil water over the stove, and then pour it into a large bowl. Place the measured shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, and aloe vera in a smaller bowl, and put that bowl into the hot water. If the water becomes cool, pour it out and replace it with hot water again so the ingredients continue to melt. Also, as everything starts to melt, stir it around to help it melt faster. This method will melt the ingredients at a slower rate, which will help to preserve the healing minerals. I know it’s a lot of work, but I promise, this lotion is amazing!

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Step 3: While everything is melting, add the essential oils to the calendula oil. Once the shea butter mixture is melted, let it cool down for about five minutes (don’t let it cool too long because it needs to still be liquid), then combine it with the calendula oil mixture. Immediately pour the liquid cream into glass jars (I like to use mason canning jars), and let it cool at room temperature. The lotion will solidify. If you want a thicker lotion, use extra cocoa butter. If you want it to be thinner, add extra olive oil.

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Adapted from: http://wellnessmama.com/8183/diy-salve-for-stretch-marks/

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