Friday, September 16, 2011

How to make handmade lotion: Updated

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See bottom for update.

Yesterday we made handmade lotion using the recipe from A Sonoma garden! It was so easy and quick. We choose to infuse the olive oil with herbs in the crock pot for a day and strain it instead of adding the extract. We used 4 cups of olive oil, 1/2 cup of dried lavender, and 4 dried white/culinary sage leaves. We put it in the crock pot for a day on the warm setting and then strained out the herbs.

In a Pyrex measuring glass combine the olive oil and emulsifying wax and microwave for 1-1.5 minutes or until it is all melted. The temperature on this reads about 155 degrees.  Then microwave the water for .5-1 minute or until about 120 degrees. Then pour the hot water into the wax/olive oil mixture, gently stirring and watch it turn milky white. Then pour the hot lotion into wide mouth pint size jar(s), and place in an ice bath, basically ice and water surrounding it, remove and let cool overnight.


Some people commented on the recipe saying it separated or was watery at the bottom, which happened with our first batch. So we changed the recipe a bit by reducing the water to 1 cup and we also put the hot lotion immediately into an ice bath, it also separated. So for the third batch we tried 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup infused olive oil and 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon emulsifying wax. It was almost perfect...but since we are perfectionists...we tried again. It only really had about 2mm of water at the bottom. For our fourth and final batch we used 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons emulsifying wax, ten drops peppermint extract and just under a 1/2 cup water, and then put it into the ice bath. It ended up pretty thick, so we will use it as foot cream for a gardener feet!

I would say that the third batch was the most perfect and all you need to do to fix the small bit of water at the bottom is stir it up once, it then becomes the perfect consistency. So the perfect recipe is:

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup infused or regular olive oil
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon emulsifying wax

Since they do not sell emulsifying wax where we live, we also got our emulsifying wax from mountain rose herbs, and since you have to order $10 worth of stuff we also got Garam Masala. I was bummed not to be able to get it from a more local source (especially since the shipping cost was almost as much as the order), but now we know that we like it so I can order a lot more at a time and/or next time I head up to Oregon to visit family I can get just pick some up.

I am loving the fact that I now have hand-made lotion infused with herbs from our garden! I think the thing I love the most about it is that fact that it is not greasy, I'm kind of a weirdo about lotions and it's nice to find one I can make and use! I cannot wait to try some of the other recipes from A Sonoma Garden!

After making and using the recipe for several months I have realized that it molds within about a month. My recommendation to combat this problem is to store it in the fridge and make only half of a batch. Here is the half batch recipe:

1/4 cup water
1/8 cup infused or regular olive oil
2 1/2  tablespoon emulsifying wax

I have also read that sometimes added Vitamin E oil will help slow the molding. I recommend about a 1/2 tablespoon of vitamin E oil and then add the olive oil to make up the rest of the 1/8 cup oil. See my eczema cream recipe for help with this.

2 comments:

Karen said...

I can't wait to see what lovely blends you come up with - how about a rosemary herb lotion? Mint would be wonderful for a foot cream too! I'll have to send you the gardener's hand scrub recipe my friend has too!

junglej said...

GOOD JOB, Jennie

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