Friday, March 29, 2013

Make Your Own Lotion

Making your own hand lotion is very easy! Although it takes a few minutes of prep time, the actual time it takes to combine all the ingredients together is less than 10 minutes! I know there are lots of hand lotion recipes on the Internet, but you won't find this one anywhere, I made it up myself!

Before we start making the lotion, we need to sanitize the lotion containers. If you use glass jars, you can sterilize them by boiling. I use plastic bottles so I need to sanitize them with bleach. I pour one cup of bleach into a sink full of water and add the bottles and the bottle tops.

Swish them around a bit and let them soak for a few minutes. Then, take out and let dry. I usually do this the night before I make the lotion.

By the next morning, everything is dry and ready to go. Let make some lotion! Here is the recipe:

Kate's Silky Hand Lotion
42 oz. water
10.8 oz oil  (This can be any oil: olive, canola, cocoa butter, anything!)
2.4 oz glycerin
2.4 oz emulsifying wax
1.8 oz. stearic acid
.4 oz citric acid
1 -2 TBS Vitamin E oil

1 TBS Germaben II
6 tsp. scented oil (I usually use Almond scent but you can use anything you would like.)

Each ingredient adds something to the recipe.Over the years I have made this, I found that you can't leave out anything and still get a good quality lotion (like what you would get in the stores only better). That includes the scented oil. You can use essential oils from a health food store if you would like but it needs to be there.

All of these ingredients are measured by weight not volume.  Having a good scale is a critical part of my soap making/lotion making tools so I want to be sure to mention it in case you don't have one.

Start with the water. If you use boiling water everything will melt together nicely. If you don't start with boiling water, you can heat the water on the stove as you add the other ingredients. You can use the oil(s) of your choice. For this batch, I used olive oil, cocoa butter and shea butter. (I actually added a total of 11 oz of oil not 10.8 oz because I didn't add it up correctly when I was weighing it!) Here is what all of the other ingredients contribute to the lotion:

Glycerin: An emollient to soften the skin. I have read on the Internet, not to use too much because it can be drying to some people. That isn't a problem with the small amount used here.

Emulsifying wax: This wax is necessary so the oil and water mix together and stay together.

Stearic acid: This helps to add body to the lotion and gives it a thick creamy feeling. You can also do that by adding more of the expensive oils like cocoa butter and shea butter, but if you over do those they have a tendency to make the lotion a bit greasy feeling. A little stearic acid goes a long way so using this is cheaper than adding more of the expensive oils.

Citric acid: I use a lot of citric acid in making cheese, hand lotions and bath salts. I buy it by the bucket (food grade only since it goes in cheese!) It helps adjust the PH level of the product to help prevent mold from growing.

Germaben II: This is a product that is added as a preservative.  If you only make a little lotion at a time and use it up fairly quickly, you don't need this. The citric acid by itself will do just fine. However, my lotions can sit for a year or longer (for example - I keep one in the car but don't use it that often.) There isn't any way the lotion would last without this preservative. It is made from some of the common preservatives in store bought lotion.

Now you might be thinking, "Where on earth can I get all those ingredients?"  Actually they are easy to purchase. I got all of them at Majestic Mountain Sage. I have been purchasing both soap and lotion supplies from them for over 20 years. Go to the search field and key in each ingredient and it will pop up. You can also go to the catalog and look at all the lotion supplies. I get no compensation for mentioning them, I am just a satisfied customer.

Add all the ingredients to the pot except the Germaben II and the scented oils. This is what it will look like before everything gets hot. 

You can see the emulsifying wax, stearic acid and some of the oils (I didn't add them all before I took the picture) sitting on top of the water. You will heat the pot until everything melts and the water turns milky white. It doesn't need to boil.  Here is a picture of mine when everything was melted.

To get the oils to mix into the water, you will need to use a Hand Blender. (I have never tried using hand crank egg beaters so I am not sure if they would work or not. I should purchase another set of beaters, just for lotion making, and try it.) 

All you need to do is pulse it a few times to get it to incorporate.

Let the lotion cool down a bit. It should be very warm but not so hot you can't touch it. Then, add the scented oils and Germaben II (if using it). Pulse again a few times to incorporate. Let it cool a bit more and pour it into the bottles.

I use a funnel and ladle to spoon it into the bottles. (Be sure to sanitize the funnel and ladle too.)

When finished, wipe down the bottles and add the bottle tops.

This is by far the best lotion I have ever used! Make some of your own, you will love it too!!

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