Chamomile-Infused Fresh Hand and Body Lotion Recipe

I recently introduced you to fresh lotion, an age-old product that dates back thousands of years, long before chemical preservatives were introduced.  The only difference between commercial lotions and fresh lotions is that fresh lotions contain absolutely no chemical preservatives, and thus the shelf life is limited to a few months rather than a few years.  Fresh lotion is superior to commercial lotion just as fresh food is superior to preserved food.  I have chosen to share my recipes with you to encourage everyone to make small batches of fresh lotions and use them up, rather than adding preservatives which may be harmful to our bodies. To read more about the benefits of fresh lotions, click here.

This fresh hand lotion recipe is built from my basic lotion recipe, but also contains aloe vera gel, witch hazel and chamomile-infused oil.  It is the perfect consistency for a pump bottle, which will also help keep bacteria from entering the product.

Aloe Vera is a cactus plant that belongs to the Liliaceae family.  The gel is extracted from the thick leaves simply by cutting open and scooping out, or can be used to treat burns topically simply by placing a cutting of the plant directly on the burn.  Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and is beneficial to skin regeneration.  It’s non-greasy, moisturizing qualities make it a great ingredient in fresh lotions.  Learn how to extract it from your own plants for use here.

Witch Hazel is an extract from the leaves and bark of the North American shrub  Hamamelis virginiana.  It has impressive anti-inflammatory qualities and is known to be beneficial in the treatment of, among other skin conditions, diaper rash, razor burn and bug bites.  Witch hazel is also anti-microbial and is used to heal bruises and cuts. It demonstrates some anti-bacterial and anti-viral qualities.

Chamomile flowers come from the Anthemis Eecutita plant.  They are easily harvested from your own flower garden by removing the flowering tops and dehydrating them.  They can be used fresh as well.  Chamomile has powerful anti-inflammatory properties from its natural chemical component, azulene.  It is used for healing and soothing rough or damaged skin.  Chamomile flowers can be used to make a calming herbal tea, or an be infused with oil to be used in cosmetics, providing a beneficial, soothing oil.  To learn how to infuse oils yourself click here.

Materials

  • Immersion blender
  • Kitchen scale
  • Wide mouth mason jar
  • Spoon
  • Small, thick-bottomed pot
  • Small pyrex liquid measuring cup

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a thick-bottomed pot melt beeswax with oil just until it is melted.  Once melted, add rosemary oil or vitamin E, and essential oil.  Pour into a wide mouth mason jar, set aside and allow to cool until room temperature.
  2. The following ingredients must be at room temperature before beginning.  In a measuring cup weigh and add hydrosol or water, witch hazel and aloe vera. Set aside.
  3. When wax/oil mixture has cooled down to room temperature (touch the outside of the jar.  If it is hot, it isn’t ready yet) but is still soft, begin blending with a stick blender.  SLOWLY pour your water mixture into the jar in a slow, continuous stream, while blending constantly, circling around the mixture to make sure it is all blended in. You can move the emersion blender up and down and around to help the process.  Don’t pause until all the water has been added.  Continue to blend for a few minutes to ensure your mixture has emulsified.
  4. Store in a lidded container for up to 2 months.  Refrigeration will help prolong shelf life.

Notes:

  • It is very important to combine your ingredients when they have reached room temperature or your emulsion will fail and your water will separate.  If this happens, drain off the water and use the lotion as a body butter.  It will be greasier but will still make a nice product.
  • Always ensure your hands are clean when you use the lotion to prevent bacteria from entering your lotion.
  • It is helpful to sterilize your utensils first with boiling water to help prevent bacteria from entering the lotion.
  • You can interchange or combine other liquid oils.  Grapeseed oil is known to be one of the least greasy of the oils.
  • If you want to add a solid oil (for example coconut oil or cocoa butter) to your recipe make sure most of the recipe is still a liquid oil so the product doesn’t get too solid at room temperature before you have combined the water and the oil.
  • You can use any hydrosol or floral water to replace the distilled water. Check the ingredients first to make sure they are pure. Some people have luck using flower “teas” such as chamomile, green tea or calendula but note that this might increase the spoiling rate.
  • When choosing essential oils keep in mind that citrus-based oils can be photo-toxic. Used in moisturizers on skin that is exposed to the sun can cause severe sunburns.
  • I have linked ingredients to Mountain Rose Herbs, a company that provides high quality, organic ingredients from sustainable sources. Mountain Rose Herbs is my first choice in companies that provide quality ingredients.  Alternatively, most ingredients can be purchased in natural food stores.
  • Here is a link to make your own infused oils.

This post has been linked to Waste Not Want Not Wednesday #25, Wildcrafting Wednesday #83Simple Living Wednesday, Small Footprint Friday #24, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways # 68 , Small Footprint Friday and Homestead Abundance.

 

You might also be interested in reading:
Back To The Basics: An Introduction To Fresh Lotion and a Recipe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lip Balm Recipes: Honey Vanilla, Chocolate Chip Mint and Sweet Almond.

Most commercial lip balms contain petroleum products, artificial colors and flavours, and are loaded with preservatives.  Applying these to your lips is as good as eating these ingredients.  Thankfully, lip balm is simple and cheap to make.  You can make it with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, or at the very least, that you can find fairly easily in natural foods stores.  With pure, all natural ingredients these lip balms are effective and safe, and they make fantastic little gifts!

Choosing your oils

You can use any cooking oil you like.  Some have better qualities than others.  Choose one with little or no fragrance unless you love the fragrance.  Good ones include olive oil, grape seed oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, sweet almond oil etc.  You can use any of these oils instead of the ones in the recipe.  They will all work well.  You can also use herb-infused oils such as chamomile or calendula to create a very soothing, calming product.

Choosing your butters

Butters are oils that are solid at room temperature.  (Except coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature but classified as an oil, not a butter).  Butters are loaded with enriching qualities.  Cocoa butter, shea butter and mango butter are great choices for lip balms and other body products.  Cocoa butter is probably the easiest to find.  You can substitute any of the butters with each other.

Beeswax

Beeswax is necessary to solidify the product.  If you are vegan you can try substituting carnauba wax for beeswax, but you will need some kind of wax in the balm.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is moisturizing and has antioxidant qualities.  It is also added as a natural preservative.  It helps prevent rancidity, and extends the shelf life of the product.  No natural preservatives are as effective as synthetic ones, so use up your products in a matter of months, not years.  Store any products you aren’t currently using in a freezer in a sealed container.  If you don’t want to use vitamin E you can substitute it for rosemary essential oil, which also has natural preservation properties.

Essential Oils

Essential oils can be substituted for others, or left out entirely.  They do have a bit of a natural preservative effect, but if you don’t want fragrance they can be left out.  Do not use citrus essential oils.  Most citrus (and a few others… worth checking out the link) are photo-toxic and should not be worn when you are exposed to the sun.  Peppermint essential oil contains menthol, a natural analgestic which soothes sore, chapped skin.

Extras, such as honey or chocolate chips.

Again, these can be left out entirely.  Honey is great in body products because it attracts moisture.  It is also naturally antibacterial and… it tastes good…  The chocolate chips are added for color and flavour.  I choose organic, all natural ones to maintain the purity of the product.  Do not add ingredients that are water based such as aloe, or rosewater etc.  Introducing water to your product will allow a bacteria-growing medium into your product which you don’t want, and is completely unnecessary for lip balms.

Choose your recipe below, and follow these directions. 

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients except essential oil in a small sauce pan or double boiler and melt, on low heat.   Stir just until melted.  Do not allow the ingredients to boil!
  2. Stir in essential oil.
  3. Pour immediately into lip balm container.
  4. Allow to cool before moving.  Cap and use!  Or gift!

Here are three “tasty” recipes to choose from.

Chocolate Chip Mint

Honey Vanilla

Sweet Almond

Mountain Rose Herbs has exceptional quality, certified organic herbs, spices, essential oils and more.  They maintain a strict emphasis on sustainable agriculture.  I highly recommend them for outstanding quality and service.

Notes:

  • Each recipe fills 2-3 tubes or tubs.
  • You can purchase the lip balm containers at Mountain Rose Herbs.  Search “lip balm containers”.
  • Use up in a few months to avoid the oil from going rancid.

This post has been linked to Homestead Abundance #1Waste Not Want Not #9 and Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #57.