Monday, July 21, 2014

Lotion experiments

I'm a regular soap-maker, and have really enjoyed learning the whole process that's involved with making a great bar of soap, but my next challenge is to teach myself how to make a nice hand lotion.  And by lotion, I don't mean body butter or salve, both of which are fairly easy to make with the right oils, some water, and an immersion blender on a double boiler.  But I want lotion that can be used in a lotion dispenser -- so convenient, and more hygienic since you're not dipping your fingers into the mix every time you want to use some.

Step 1: When using cocoa butter, be sure and eat some chocolate to stop yourself from biting into the delicious-smelling (but NOT delicious-tasting) cocoa butter wafers.

So yesterday I made a salve with cocoa butter and shea butter, plus lavender and tea tree essential oils, which ended up completely solid once cooler.  To get it into a more liquid state, I then took a couple of tablespoons of it and put it into a cup or so of olive oil and some additional water and blended.  Once cooled, it was still completely liquid and fairly thin, so I added some more of the salve and repeated the same process. I'll continue doing this until I get a texture similar to most hand lotions, and then I will put it into my lotion dispenser and enjoy.

Step Two: A Melting Pot -- like America, only better-smelling.

This is the kind of thing I love doing in summer, when the day is slow and there is time to experiment.  If my lotion comes out decently, I will put the recipe on here, but this is still a project in development, as far as I'm concerned. 

Step Three: Finished salve. Time for some wine, this was hard work.

 That's the beauty of homesteading; you are free to play and experiment to see what works and what doesn't.  It's possible your experiment won't work and you'll continue buying what you were trying to make, but it's also possible you might just invent the best soap, lotion, or whatever in your history, and will be the happy benefactor of some homemade luxury.

Step Four:  Do this the next day if ended up having too much wine after making the salve. Salve is now mixed with olive oil and water. Will it turn out?  Who the hell knows! Stay tuned!


  1. I'll be excited to try your recipe! I make a thick, waxy body butter that is very easy. But I would love a true lotion. In the winter when my hands are cracking, I'll do anything to help them! I dislike most commercial lotions as they end up drying my hands out more.

    1. Well, I thought I'd concocted the perfect lotion and even put it into the lotion dispenser after waiting 48 hours, but it's thickened up now and I can't get it out now! Very frustrating, even though it is still lotion-y. It's just a little too thick for the dispenser but I'm going to put it into something else and use it.