Monday, December 31, 2012

First Time Making Lotion

Like you, I've tried different types of lotions. Over the last few years I've been testing lotions by companies who use mostly natural ingredients. A satisfactory rating has yet to be reached. They go on and my skin feels better but alas, the effect is short lived. On goes another coating and another and another. Somehow I think this is the plan of the scientist behind the formulas. How come the lists on these natural lotions is so long? Is it really necessary?

I realize that commercial companies have a major problem in the fact that natural lotions will eventually mold. They have to have lotions with a very long shelf life so completely natural isn't happening. Preservatives are necessary and natural ones don't keep the product for a long enough period.  I don't need preservatives for my lotion need not sint on the shelf for many months and even years. But still, why so many ingredients. I've now made lotion and am baffled.
Making lotion is something I've wanted to try for the last few years. So returning to making a home-made Christmas, I decided to buy a few ingredients and make some for our family as part of their presents. Let them be the guinea pigs or test group. Aren't I kind. LOL But who else can I count on to be brutally honest in their opinions which is exactly what I want. 

The first batch of lotion I made consisted of oil and butter only. Not your traditional oil and butter but some luxury items - almond oil, cocoa oil, and Shea butter.  No water involved in this particular batch. It was simply melt the different oils and butters, and melt in some bee's wax and mix, voila, lotion. Seriously, it was that easy. Not exactly a microwave project since that would kill the good guys in the oils and butters but simple, simple.

I measured out - 1/2 cup almond oil
                                         1/4 cup coconut oil
                           1/4 cup beeswax
                           1/4 cup cocoa butter
                           2 teaspoons Shea butter
into a wide mouth, pint canning jar.

Then put the jar into a pot with a couple inches of water and turned the stove on low. I didn't want to burn my oils and butter nor kill the good guys in the mixture.

When melted I stirred the mixture good with a spoon and took the jar out of the pot to cool a little. My small containers are plastic and I don't want hot liquid going inside to release the bad guys in the plastic.

The mixture started to cool enough to turn back yellowy white and at this time I stirred again and poured into the containers.

Yes, I did tweak the recipe a slight bit by adding shea butter instead of cocoa butter fur as long as I had the oil, butter, and wax ratios correct, switching isn't a big deal.

The lotion turned out INCREDIBLE! I love this. A tiny dab will do you and yes, you have to rub it in a bit longer than traditional lotions but hey, it works. You don't have to apply and apply and apply to get minimal results. A little dab does do you and you can feel a decided difference. I swear commercial lotions are designed to keep you coming back. Money does the talking, even for the more natural companies.

This lotion is a heavy hitter. It is meant for dry skin and areas with lots of friction like your heels. That is because the wax helps coat the skin and helps keeps friction from chapping. 

Our daughter tried this concoction on her face. Said she would like a slightly less greasy formula but wow, did it work. She loved it on her hands. I tried it on my dry heels of my feet and whoa..., much better. My husband had a thick coating rubbed in thoroughly on his back where it always itches in the winter and it was much better. I figure another dose tonight and he will be pretty good for a while.

There isn't a long list of ingredients to this lotion and ones in particular that you have no idea what they are. Yes, this lotion recipe makes only a small amount. You don't need much to do a lot. The shelf-life is shorter and the recipe states only 6 months depending on how you store it. Refrigeration being the way to help it last the longest.  But as easy as it is to make, short shelf-life isn't a problem.

If you are looking at stocking up on a sale, which is my preference so I don't have to spend so much time ordering things, then here are the facts. 

Shea Butter -  18 to 24 months shelf-life (do not refrigerate but keep in a cool environment)

Cocoa Butter - 2 - 5 years shelf life. Keep in a cool place or refrigerate.

Cocoa Oil -  1 year shelf- life, refrigerate.

Bee's wax - well forever and ever.

I'm beginning to be quite impressed with cocoa butter and oil. I've only begun to research them. My Naturopath doctor recommends the use of cocoa oil in eating. I'm going to take a deeper look at it. I found this to be quite interesting about cocoa butter.
Recent research indicates that massaging the skin with cocoa butter may help relieve stress, boost the immune system, and even prevent cancer. This is because cocoa butter, like chocolate, contains a lot of CMP. Researchers in Japan reported that CMP inhibits the growth of cancerous cells and tumors by reducing active oxygen levels in the body, and concluded that CMP inhibits the oxidation of LDL (good) cholesterol and the production of inflammatory cells; there is some evidence that the CMP in cocoa butter may also help prevent heart disease and ease arthritic symptoms.

Preliminary research indicates that CMP actually helps suppress excessive T-cell activity in the immune system, which could help treat conditions associated with overactive immune systems, such as psoriasis, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

I've made a new type of lotion supposedly a bit less greasy and more easily absorbed. It has a water base making it more prone to mold so need to be used more quickly and refrigerated for longer shelf life. I'm keeping some out by my bedside and the rest in the fridge. That is what I don't give away help test. I've yet to test it as I just whipped it up, literally, last night.  I also made a chap stick lip formula that I want to tweak a slight bit but MY did it do the job. LOVE IT! I have another recipe of it that I will try also.

Conclusion-  The science guys may have all there complicated formulas but they also have a hidden agenda. One being getting a customer to come back to buy and buy and buy. If the skin no longer needs nourishing frequently then there would be little demand for the product. So make the product work but not too well and not too long. I may need other applications of this lotions but I'm seeing significant results with far less product. I'm never ever going back to store lotions and lip chap sticks again.

Stay tuned, I'll let you know the recipes I used and some science behind it. There is a formula between oils, butters, water, etc, that needs to be adhered to. Also there is a oops involved that is a lesson for the future. Yes, I do learn best that which is learned the hard way. And as the brain whirls it has come up with some things to try and more research of course.

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