Have you ever wondered about body lotions and creams? It seems like a silly thought but we use these potions every day and perhaps we should think about what we are slathering onto our bodies. What’s in the stuff? What does it do for our skin? Why is some lotion so luxurious and absorbent while others leave us feeling greasy and even uncomfortable? To find out, I took an essential oils class recently at my yoga studio, The Mat’s Edge where the topic of the day was body cream. I like to use coconut oil after my shower and thought it would be fun to learn to create a body cream to pamper myself. Of course I wanted the finest and most pure ingredients, free of toxins and chemicals. I learned a great recipe.
Kathi Springman, from The Body Talk Center of Oklahoma, led the class on making body lotion. Kathi is one of Oklahoma City’s leading experts on the therapeutic qualities of essential oils. According to Kathi, the important trick to making lotion is to find the right combination and balance of water and oil to create a luscious body cream.
Rosemary Gladstar, author of Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health, writes, “What makes skin dry out is a lack of water, so a good nourishing cream contains a large percentage of water. The oil you put in the formula coats, soothes, protects, and most importantly, holds the water. A perfect cream is an approximately equal balance of water and oil. “
Learning the chemistry and dynamics of a healthy body cream was very eye opening. I know I probably won’t have time to make body cream for myself on a regular basis, but I am already planning to make some to give as Christmas gifts this year. I think this lovely cream would also make excellent party favors for a baby or wedding shower. I’m pleased to share this wonderful recipe with you.
1/2 Cup Raw Shea Butter or Coconut Oil
Raw shea butter is a wonderful moisturizer that promotes healing properties. It contains Vitamin A which improves skin conditions such as wrinkles and burns.
Coconut Oil (a substitute for Shea Butter)
Coconut oil is an excellent substitute for shea butter. It naturally hydrates and softens skin while clearing away dirt. Coconut oil is intense moisturizer that helps restore the skin’s own elasticity. It not only protects against sun damage, it’s a delicious and flavorful cooking oil with a very high smoking point.
1/2 cup Calendula Infused Olive Oil
Calendula is a species of marigold that helps fight infection and protects the skin as a natural antiseptic and astringent. Mix dried calendula flowers with equal parts extra virgin olive oil in a mason jar.
1/2 tsp Lanolin
Lanolin is the natural oil found in sheep’s wool. It is very similar to the natural oils produced by human skin and acts as a strong, heavy moisturizer. It is specifically good for dry, chapped skin.
4 tablespoons Beeswax Beads
Beeswax is known to lock in moisture, foster cells, and protect skin from damaging environmental factors. It softens skin and creates a long-lasting protective coating against the elements.
1 cup Herbal Waters
We created two types of herbal infused waters.
The first one is an equal portion of steel cut oats and water. Oats are soothing and nourishing and have anti-inflammatory properties that remedy irritated skin.
The second herbal infusion consists of water, green tea and dried jasmine flowers. Green tea contains many antioxidants and soothing powers. Jasmine flowers help relieve aches, tension, and inflammation. Jasmine also has a lovely fragrance.
Young Living provides a large selection of aroma therapeutic essential oils for health, cosmetic, and emotionally uplifting properties. An oil is “essential” in the sense that it carries a distinctive scent, or essence, of the plant. Extracted through careful steam distillation and cold pressing, the purest essential oils have the power to uplift your spirits, promote physical wellness, and purify your home.
You may experiment and use any variation of essentials oils that are pleasing to you. For this recipe, we used frankincense, lavender and rosemary. Oils are optional if you prefer your cream unscented.
Place the shea butter (or coconut oil), oil infusions, lanolin, and beeswax in a pan. Melt very slowly over low heat.
Once the mixture has just melted, remove it from the heat. Place it into a blender and let it cool completely.
Slowly add the herbal waters (about 1 tablespoon at a time) and blend at a low speed. Scrape the sides of the blender as needed.
Gradually more of the add both herbal waters. Pulse gently until you reach a thick desired consistency.
Adding more of the herbal waters will create a thinner consistency. If you prefer to have a cream instead of a lotion, add the water gradually until the mixture is your desired consistency.
We made our cream very thick, almost like a body butter.
Add a few drops of the essential oils to the mixture. You may use any oils that are pleasing to you.
Rosemary Oil (natural antiseptic)
Frankincense (stimulates the Limbic – emotional brain)
Lavender (relaxing and balancing properties)
These little tins were purchased at Michael’s. They make great gifts.