Easy Homemade Lotion Bars
Homemade is back in style and often the best gifts are those made by hand, not only for the TLC and time that goes into it, but also for the quality of ingredients.
If you go through a lot of lotion, you may want to try making your own lotion bars. Gardening can be rough on your hands in summer, and hard dryness in winter environments, so having homemade lotions and salves is wonderful!
Most of us don’t think twice about slathering lotion on our hands, and yet here’s the thing: skin is our body’s largest organ and it can absorb like a sponge. What we place on our skin gets absorbed into our body and bloodstream. So to think that we’re just applying lotion to our hands and that it doesn’t have to be all natural, is deceptive thinking.
I realized this when I started having allergic reactions.
Food for Your Skin
In my family we try to be very conscientious about what we put into our bodies and choose organic as much as possible. But for some reason its taken me a long time to fully grasp this concept in relation to things like hand lotion: that what we put on our bodies is absorbed into our bodies.
What helped me wake up and catch on to what I was doing to my body happened when I was given a prescription medication that was to be applied externally. The medicine was applied to the backs of my hands and inside of my arms, in order to be absorbed into the body.
Wake-up call! This medicine was entering my body and doing its work solely through absorption.
Our skin is like a sponge. Much of what we place on our skin gets absorbed.
So now, no more industrial sized lotion bottles from Costco containing unnatural and unpronounceable ingredients, most of which I don’t even recognize. But natural and organic cosmetics can be expensive… unless you make your own.
How Many of These Would You Eat?
One day my daughter commented on an image she was seeing online that showed using food for homemade cosmetic remedies. It seemed icky to her to use foods like avocado, or honey and oatmeal for instance, on the face.
But when you think about it, if a substance isn’t good enough to eat… to take internally, why would we place it on our largest absorptive organ… our skin? Because to do so is still to be taking it internally, just not through the mouth.
So we would eat avocado, but which of these ingredients from a top-selling lotion which I was using, would we eat? Maybe five out 26? We wouldn’t consume these if they were fed to us, yet to apply them externally ends up as if we had eaten them!
To apply this on your skin is virtually the same as eating it.
Ingredients from a popular hand lotion:
Water (aqua), Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Isopropyl Myristate, Mineral Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycol Stearate, Dimethicone, Peg-100 Stearate, Petrolatum, Cetyl Alcohol, Tapioca Starch, Phenoxyethanol, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Methylparaben, Fragrance (parfum), Acrylates/c10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Propylparaben, Disodium Edta, Xanthan Gum, Stearamide Amp, Dihydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Propylene Glycol, Avena Sativa (oat) Straw Extract, Titanium Dioxide (ci 77891)
So… those things bolded are the only things I could imagine eating, yet all these things are being absorbed into the bloodstream.
Time to rethink family recreation and pleasure.
Rethinking Recreation and Pleasure
Now for many of us, homemade is a time issue. If we have a full time job in addition to raising a family and/or gardening, doing everything from scratch takes time. Whether it’s making healthy homemade meals and snacks—from homemade yogurt to homemade mayonnaise and hot sauce, or homemade cosmetic and beauty products—it definitely takes more time.
So one way to “find” more time to do these things is to cut back on those recreational things that take time but don’t add much value, such as TV. A good thing about TV is how it’s an experience the entire family can share. However, gardening and cooking and making homemade things can be shared activities that contribute value and wonderful interactive opportunities.
Home crafting is an experience we can share with family and friends, and in doing so, we build memories far beyond sharing about a TV show we watched.
Americans spend a lot of time and money shuttling kids to all kinds of after school sports and class events. From little league to soccer, dance to music lessons, these are all beneficial things. However of all the kids in special extracurricular programs, it’s an exceptionally small percentage who actually go on to do anything in life with that skill. In fact often times all of these “privileged” recreational pursuits just add unnecessary time and money stress to family life with rushing to expensive lessons, fast food dinners grabbed in the car on the way to and from, and no time during the week for family time. So…
Slow down… you move too fast. You’ve got to make this feeling last.
Create new family traditions out of cooking and making things together. This could change the trajectory of your family and your children’s future in a very positive way.
Family Time, Family Activities and Making Memories
My daughter and I helped serve as staff at an incredible, life-transforming retreat for parents and kids aimed at helping them slow down and extract from their usual hectic schedules into playful and meaningful activities together.
Our friends Jim Sheils and Brian Scrone run this program—Board Meetings International—along with with their lovely wives, Jamie Lee Sheils and Coco Scrone.1)http://mytrainerfitness.com/active-and-inspiring-family-vacation-retreats/
Most of the parent attendees are high powered, highly successful entrepreneurs and their kids have access to all the best programs and extracurricular opportunities. Do you know what the majority of the children attendees wanted? The kids just wanted more time with their families hanging out and doing things together.
Do you know the biggest negative in the kid’s lives? Hectic, busy schedules… rushing around to all these great privileged activities the parent’s are investing in for their children.
All the sacrifices the parents were making for the children… so much of the shuttling and chauffeuring around, the best education, the best lessons and instructors, were not necessary.
Simpler times and pleasures often generate the fondest memories.
Thinking back to your own childhood, is that so for you? That’s what we hear from others and it’s certainly true in our own lives.
Okay, let’s get to the lotion bar recipes!
The Good News
It’s actually quite easy to make your own lotion bars with simple all natural ingredients. That way you’ll know exactly what’s in it and what you’re putting on your skin.
I’m using lotion bars gifted from Bryan Wagner’s wife, Vickie. We did a story on the organic farm he manages, as seen from Google Earth.2)https://gardensall.com/organic-farm-from-google-earth/ Pretty amazing visual. Hope you will visit that article after this one.
I’m really enjoying the simplicity of using these simple bars for moisturizing, so when these run out, it will be fun to make some.
Vickie over the recipe that was her grandmother’s and it’s super simple and easy to remember.
Grandma’s Lotion Bar Recipe
By Vickie Wagner
- 8 oz Beeswax
- 8 oz Organic Coconut Oil
- 8 oz Almond Oil
Instructions: Melt over double boiler and pour into molds. Vickies uses candy molds, which you can get in virtually any shape you like.
Make Your Own Lotion Bars
Lotion bars are quick and easy to make at home. If you’ve detoxed your beauty routine and banished conventional lotion from the house, then you’ll know that moisturizing with natural oils such as sweet almond or coconut feels awesome but can get a bit greasy. Lotion bars, however, work well to moisturize dry skin without feeling greasy, thanks to the presence of beeswax.
Homemade Lotion Bars
by Katherine Martinko on TreeHugger.com
1/2 c Fair trade virgin cold-pressed coconut oil (I use Dr. Bronner’s brand)
1/2 c Cocoa butter or shea butter
1/3 c Beeswax
1 teaspoon Vitamin E (optional, but adds skin nutrients and preservative benefit)
25-40 drops Essential oil
Editor’s Note: You can use Vitamin E Oil, or if you have Vitamin E supplements on hand, we’ve heard of folks using those. We haven’t tried it so just experiment and see. We’re thinking that you can cut open a capsule or two and let the oil seep out. Please let us know if you do it, so we can tweak this info.
Set out some molds – a silicone muffin tin works well, or these days they have silicone soap molds that actually double as tins for muffins, cheesecake, cornbread, etc. Or you can just use a regular metal muffin tin or baking pan lined with plastic wrap. For the baking pan you’d just need to cut the bars into pieces after they set.
Place a quart-sized glass jar in a small pot of water and bring to a simmer.
Measure out coconut oil and cocoa butter in a 1:1 ratio.
For the small batch of 4 bars, I weighed out 2 oz. of each. You could also measure out ½ cup of each.
The amount of beeswax depends on how much oil you want to apply to your skin with the bar. Add the same quantity of beeswax as each of the oils to get lots of moisturizing power; or add slightly more beeswax to make it a bit less greasy. I used 1/3rd c beeswax.
Place all ingredients in the jar and stir constantly until melted. Remove from heat. Add the Vitamin E, if using, and 25-40 drops of your choice of essential oil. I like lavender, but citrus would be really nice, too. Stir thoroughly.
Pour into the mold of your choosing. Let sit undisturbed for several hours or overnight. Recipe byKatherine Martinko on TreeHugger.com 3)http://www.treehugger.com/organic-beauty/homemade-lotion-bars-are-fun-and-easy-make.html
Lotion Bar Molds
Now if you want to fancy your lotion bars up with herbs and flowers, you can choose options such as beneficially medicinal and antibacterial, antifungal dried buds—especially those you may already have on hand—such as lavender and calendula. These will add color and visual interest as well, but for the best user experience as a lotion bar, you’ll probably want to strain out the herbs flowers before pouring into the molds.
If you enjoyed this article you will also enjoy this one on making loofah soap bars.
Oh! And… for those who may be familiar with this popular folks song by Simon and Garfunkel in the 60’s… Slow down, you move too fast… ENJOY!
I’m LeAura Alderson, entrepreneur, ideator, media publisher, writer and editor of GardensAll.com. Pursuits in recent years have been more planting seeds of ideas for business growth more than gardening. However, I’ve always been interested in medicinal herbs and getting nutrition and healing from food over pharmacy. As a family we’re eager to dig more deeply into gardening and edible landscape for the love of fresh organic foods and self sustainability. We thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the creative ingenuity of the GardensAll community.
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