Deeply Nourishing Hand and Body Lotion
Part of the I’ve Got a Secret series
This hand and body lotion is what I throw together about four times a year and use every day.
Ready-made lotions, even the healthy ones, don’t seem to have enough Ooomph! to work all day like this one does.
One of the first signs of my above-45 status was that richer hand and body lotions became necessary to keep my skin hydrated. For years, I swore by certain, well-known lotions that I slathered on and rubbed in every morning to combat the decades of living that had started to show.
Then, it became impossible to ignore two things. 1. Our skin is the largest organ on our bodies and absorbs whatever we put on it 2. Commercial lotions are LO-O-OADED with artificial and unhealthy chemicals that our skin is drinking in.
As with my face care products (see I’ve Got a Secret series), I eventually loathed to have any of those ingredients on and, by absorption, in my body.
I was going to say here that
finding a good hand and body lotion that truly nourishes and moisturizes Experienced Skin is a universal challenge for Chronologically Experienced Women.
But then my daughter-in-law, who is much younger than I, asked for this recipe.
I guess a great lotion;
with a short content list;
that contains no suspiciously lengthy ingredients;
and really works …
is something we’re all looking for!
My skin really loves this hand and body lotion! It keeps my skin moisturized and looking smoother (read “younger”), it is made out of all healthy ingredients, nourishes my skin through the benefits of coconut oil and a few fantastic essential oils
and is super easy to make!
This process could use a video tutorial, which I’m going to make someday and attach here. The first time I made it, it felt like such an ordeal. By the third time, it was effortlessly quick and easy. By then, I’d learned more about what I was doing! Until that video happens, I’ll try to communicate exactly what steps keep it so easy to make and clean up.
Deeply Nourishing Hand and Body Lotion
I measure oil and wax by weight so the results are the same every time.
If you measure by volume, you’ll still get a lovely lotion.
Don’t be anxious about it.
Just go ahead and do it!
What you’ll need:
2 cups filtered or purified water (you can find it at your pharmacy.)
4 ounces coconut oil, outrageously good for you! (this is fine for lotion)
1 ounce emulsifying wax, so water and oil will mix (this is exactly what I use)
Approximately 19 drops essential oils (optional)
– I use Clove, Frankincense and Lavender essential oils
6 ounces vegetable glycerin (you can buy it here, it’s less expensive than at the store)
You’ll also need:
• 2 clean and dry Lotion Dispensers or 12-ounce (ish) containers (like repurposed liquid soap bottles, or condiment squirt bottles)
• PLUS one 3 to 4 ounce container (I use a 3 ounce silicone travel container).
• Clean and dry tops for every container.
• Large table spoon or serving spoon, whisk and funnel.
• Double-boiler or a large pan in which to boil then simmer water and a slightly smaller pan that will sit inside it
• Suggested: Using stainless pans and utensils is preferable. They won’t leech chemicals into the lotion like non-stick pans might and is easier to clean up.
• Suggested: A digital scale to measure by weight will help you get a more predictable lotion (this is the scale I use)
Why coconut oil?
Coconut oil is one of my favorite oils. It’s a natural moisturizer, relieves dryness, and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. It’s naturally antibacterial and anti fungal in a way that will not create super bugs. It also offers some protection from the sun. (Hovever, do not skip your sunscreen if you’re spending extended time outside!)
Why these essential oils? Among many other impressive benefits …
Clove is an antioxidant, relieves muscle aches and pains and is used to ease the symptoms of osteoporosis and arthritis.
Frankincense helps with arthritis, asthma, brain activity and wrinkles!
Lavender is calming and great for concentration, dry skin, skin sensitivity and wrinkles!
AND they all smell great, singly and together 🙂
How to pull it together:
Set out the clean, dry containers and lids you’ll be using to dispense and store your lotion.
In a 4 cup measuring cup, microwave filtered water until it comes to a simmer. Remove (with an oven mitt) and set aside to cool.
While the filtered water is cooling on the counter, break out a double boiler OR a large saucepan, filled about 1/4 full of tap water. Bring the water to a boil in the bottom pan, then reduce it to a simmer over medium-low heat. Fit top pan of double boiler, or a slightly smaller saucepan, on top of the bottom pan of simmering water. If there’s too much water simmering, pour some out until it is not spitting into the top pan.
In the top pan, add coconut oil and wax. Let SLOWLY melt, stirring occasional with a metal spoon or swirling things around in the pan. Keep it slow. The 10 minutes or so it takes to fully melt will keep the coconut oil from losing those healthy benefits we’ve noted above.
While you wait for the wax to melt all the way, add drops of essential oil (if using) into the bottom of each container. I use 3 drops of each oil for the two larger containers and 1 drop each for the small container. Set aside.
Once the wax is completely melted, turn the heat all the way to the lowest setting (see Clean Up… as you read further.)
After removing the smaller pan from the hot water, whisk the oil and wax together to blend. Add the cooled-down, filtered water you’ve set aside. Whisk again to mix thoroughly. To that, add the glycerin and whisk again until everything is well blended. (Or see below* for my mistake that might have made it even easier.)
If necessary, set the lotion aside to cool so you’re not adding anything hot to the essential oils. (This can cause the essential oils to lose many of their healthy benefits.)
Once the mixture is warm, not cold and not hot, pour into the prepared containers, leaving about 1-inch or so clear at the top. It’s easier with a funnel.
Cover each container and Shake Shake Shake to evenly mix the essential oils into the lotion.
Let sit on the counter until cool, shaking occasionally to be sure the oils stay evenly blended.
Because of the added water, this lotion does not last indefinitely. I have found it stays healthy for about 3 months at room temp. Longer if stored in the refrigerator. Which is why I split it into different containers. I keep one 12-ounce container in the refrigerator until needed, a dispenser in the bathroom for our daily body lotion and a 3-ounce container in the kitchen for my hands or to carry with me in my purse.
How to use:
This is a very rich lotion. It takes less than you would use of manufactured lotions.
I sometimes add 1 drop myrrh and 3 drops of additional frankincense essential oils to my daily application when my hands or body are achy or tired.
Clean up used to intimidate me until I learned a few tricks. To make it easier, this is what I do:
• Keep the base pan of water over very low heat while you mix and distribute the lotion.
• Once you’ve poured all of the lotion into your dispensers, place that pan on top as it was when you were melting the oil and wax.
• Toss in any other tools you used like the whisk, spoon, funnel as you finish using them.
• The heat will keep the lotion liquified and easier to wipe from your cooking tools.
• Use paper towels to wipe off lotion residue.
• Then wash everything in warm soapy water.
Now isn’t that easy?! I wish someone had given me a few tips before I made my first batch! Guess what ….
* This might be even easier:
Last week, when I was making our latest supply of lotion, I forgot to add the glycerin before pouring the mixture into my bottles. No worries! I added 2 generous tablespoons (roughly 2 1/2 Tbsp) of glycerin directly into each of the two larger containers and 1 conservative tablespoon glycerin into the small one. I had to shake them up about 4 times over the course of cooling to integrate and stabilize the lotion, but I always give a few shakes during cool down, anyway. As it turns out, I think it made pouring the lotion easier. I’ll do it again on purpose.
I love using essential oils! They smell beautiful and work wonders for my skin! Do you have any questions? Which oils do you think you’d like to use if you decide to give this a try? Please share your comments and questions below.
As always, we’re all very interested to hear what you think and how you would personalize your project! And I am always happy to answer questions 🙂
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