Homemade Lotion – A Gift for All

Every year at Christmas my mom likes to give the ladies of the family a small container of lotion and cheap gloves or socks. Her idea is that winter is so dry, usually, and the lotion can be slathered on before bed and they can keep the moisture in with the gloves/socks. Well, this year Christmas with the whole family isn’t going to happen (we have started doing more of a family reunion kind of thing in June) she will be giving the lotion and gloves for Thanksgiving. And I get to be the one to make the lotion! So exciting.

I was honored to be asked to make the lotions for everyone because I’m getting ready to sell my own homemade lotion in my aftcra store in January. I’ve been using this homemade lotion for a couple weeks and I cannot sing its praises enough. I’ve started having skin issues and it is giving me so much relief I can’t wait to share it with my family – and soon with you, too!

Because we are hosting our very first Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday the beginning of the week will be filled with purchasing and preparing as much of the dinner as we can ahead of time. It also means that if I didn’t take care of making the lotions for Thanksgiving before that they wouldn’t get done. So on Saturday I did just that. And, thanks to BJ for taking some pictures so I could share the process with you.

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Homemade Lotion Five Ways

Making lotion at home is incredibly easy. Once you have just two (yes, I really mean two) ingredients you can make lotion for a long time, depending on how much you use. The only things you need for homemade lotion are coconut oil (I like this one) and shea butter (like this one). Melt the two together, pour into the container you want to use and let it set. Voilá, you have lotion. And bonus: any of these homemade lotion recipes also provide healing benefits.

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Transferring the melted coconut oil and shea butter to a glass measuring cup for easy pouring.

The next step in lotion making is adding fun scents. This is where the experimentation and individualism comes into play. This is probably my favorite part of making lotion at home. I generally make it in either 4 oz. or 8 oz. batches so I make lotion about every 2-3 weeks. This means that every time I make some new lotion I can use a new scent. This keeps things interesting and I get to be creative every time I want to do a new scent. Here are the scent combinations I make currently, all using the same base of coconut oil and shea butter.

Homemade Lavender Lotion

I love the scent of lavender. It is so soothing and relaxing. However, more than just a pleasing scent, are the added health benefits of using lavender. This flower is antibacterial and antiseptic, providing gentle cleansing; balances oils on the skin helping with acne; and is soothing  on cuts, bruises, and burns. To make, combine melted coconut oil/shea butter base with lavender essential oil. The beauty of doing it on your own is that you get to decide how strong you want the scent to be. I ended up using a 1% blend and it was the perfect amount of scent for me.

Homemade Peppermint Lotion

Peppermint is great. Not only does it smell great but the benefits for using peppermint on the skin are fantastic. It has a cooling action, which is great when you’re overheated or feverish. Peppermint is also soothing to aches and pains, itchy skin; eases headaches; relieves digestive issues; and provides stimulation to the senses. To make, combine melted coconut oil/shea butter base with peppermint essential oil. When choosing this oil keep in mind that it is more pungent than others so you will need fewer drops to reach the desired scent. Also, peppermint oil can create a stinging sensation on the skin if too much is used, so add a few drops at a time as you try to find the right balance for yourself. My blend was only about .5% peppermint essential oil.

Homemade Lemon Rosemary Lotion

I love this combination. A good friend commented that this scent reminds her of baked chicken because she likes to use lemon and rosemary on hers. She said it smells yummy. I don’t know about that but it is absolutely refreshing. Lemon is such an uplifting scent, with added benefits of being cleansing, astringent, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory. Rosemary is probably my new favorite scent, so I love using it in lotion. It has a strong scent so you don’t need much, but what is added has so many health benefits. These include (but are certainly not limited to) providing pain relief for rheumatic and arthritis; eases headaches; energizing the mind; and eases skin congestion and puffiness. To make, combine melted coconut oil/shea butter base with lemon essential oil and rosemary essential oil. When combining, know you will use slightly more lemon than rosemary. As before, start with a few drops at a time until you reach the desired scent. My suggestion with a combination is to alternate between the two oils to make it easier to determine the best mixture. My lotion ended up being just over a 1% blend.

Homemade Vanilla Lotion

This is the one I am currently using. The vanilla scent is so relaxing at the end of the day. Know before making this lotion that you will not be using vanilla essential oil. The reason being that the oil would be too thick and resinous it would be incredibly difficult to use. So for this recipe I used some vanilla bean infused olive oil I had made a couple weeks ago as well as some organic vanilla extract. A little side information about vanilla extract, it is basically a tincture because the constituents of the vanilla bean are extracted into alcohol. So when you are using the extract in your lotion you may get a hint of alcohol scent. To avoid this, make sure you add the vanilla extract in the coconut oil and shea butter as they are melting and allow some of the alcohol to cook out. To make, combine melted coconut oil/shea butter base with vanilla extract, adding 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired scent. Tip: allow the vanilla extract to fully combine with the oils before adding more, so you don’t accidently put too much in.

Homemade Vanilla Citrus Lotion

This scent combination makes me think of a creamsicle, BJ’s favorite. As above, you’ll use vanilla extract in this lotion. I like to use sweet orange essential oil with the vanilla, but I guess you could use any citrus oil you like. Orange oil has it’s own added benefits, similar to those of lemon essential oil, including being an antiseptic, a digestive aid, and helps speed out toxins in congested skin. When making this lotion I encourage you to add the vanilla extract as you’re melting the coconut oil and shea butter to help cook out some of the alcohol and avoid the scent getting into your lotion. You’ll want to use a little less vanilla extract in this lotion than in the previous one because you’ll be mixing in your citrus oil as well. Add the vanilla and citrus in increments to avoid putting too much in.

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Because these lotions were gifts, my mom requested I use some food coloring. Food coloring doesn’t add any health benefits, nor does it change the effectiveness of the oils used.

I love making lotion at home. Before I did, I was worried it would be super time consuming and labor intensive. But as the photos in this post show (I hope) there isn’t much to it. I was making 12-4oz lotions, 1-8oz lotion, and 1-16oz lotion and it took me less than an hour. I just melted all the coconut oil and shea butter I needed together and mixed each individual oil in the glass jar. So easy and so much fun.

I know that doing something like this on your own can be intimidating, either because of the ingredients or the time involved or any other reason you may have. All of these lotions will be available on my aftcra store starting January 2. I’m happy to make them for you so you can enjoy an all-natural, handmade lotion, mailed directly to you.

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