As with (it seems) many things, I have a difficult relationship with lotion. Given the right lotion, I really like how soft and smooth my skin feels. Given the wrong lotion, I really hate how sticky or styrofoam-esque I feel. Smell is complicated for me, can't be the wrong flavor, can't be too strong. Toxicity makes me crazy. I've spent hours at the SkinDeep cosmetic safety site checking out various skin and hair products for my family.
Once all the stars align and I find something that feels good, smells good, and isn't going make my grow a second head, I usually end up freezing over the price. I just can't bring myself to pay $40 for 12 ounces of lotion, especially considering how often my daughter may smear most if it on the carpet in an attempt to cover herself, with the dog licking up any extra bits that survive.
Finally, someone suggested I make my own lotion. Revelation. I went out and bought oils I felt confident in putting on my skin/my carpet/in my dog. For about $15, I got enough to make about 40 ounces of lotion. I chose from the essential oils I have on hand, grabbed a beeswax candle stub for emulsifier and went to work.
The kids were fascinated, and I enjoyed the creative process. Our final product feels great on the skin, though is a little too thick to squeeze through the lotion pump I had in mind. We may re-heat it tomorrow and add a little more oil to loosen it a bit. I can see there is one of those art/science projects that requires imagination, careful measuring and good notes.
The recipe I followed came from an ND we're working with, but closely resembled this post. Here are my notes from yesterday.
1/2 c grapeseed oil (because it is good for sensitive skin)
1/4 c jojoba oil (because it is supposed to most closely resemble our own oils)
1/4 c coconut oil (because I love how it feels)
1/4ish c beeswax (to emulsify)
2 drops rosemary oil (to act as a preservative, though I have no idea if this is enough)
4ish drops ylang ylang oil (because I love its flowery smell)
1 cup water
I whipped the slightly cooled oils in the kitchen aid for a while because I like my lotion really fluffy.
Because I want to be able to use it in a pump, next time I'll measure the beeswax more carefully and probably use less of it. I may use less coconut oil as well because I know it hardens in the colder weather and may affect the squirt-ability of the lotion as well.