I have forever been a lover of Do-It-Yourself crafts. While in school, every summer my mother would enroll my brother and I in some activity. I remember having my mother enroll me into – glass painting, folk music (double face palm), how to make soft-toys classes, classical dance (double face palm, again!), drawing & sketching, basketball, skating, creating henna designs and a bit of origami.
Tell you what, I was okay to really bad at many of the above but thanks to these summer adventures my mother exposed us to, it somewhere did sow the DIY seed in me and I can now whip up lotions like a bad ass, how do you like them apples?
This lotion is a result of many many pins I saved over the years, numerous blogs I visited that inspired me to create my own skincare at home and my constant attempt to switch to all things natural, chemical and cruelty free for a more wholesome and healthier lifestyle.
Hope this inspires you to whip up your own lotion; it is pure, easy and therapeutic.
You will need:
1/2 cup unrefined unprocessed Cocoa Butter
1/2 cup cold pressed organic Coconut Oil
1/4 cup unrefined yellow or ivory Shea Butter
1/4 cup organic natural Beeswax
Essential oil of your choosing (optional) – I used Orange Essential Oil
Aloe Vera Gel (optional)
a teeny tiny pinch of food colour (optional) – I used dry food colour (red + yellow to make orange)
a mason jar
one medium sized bowl and one large bowl to make a double boiler or bain marie
In a medium sized bowl add Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Beeswax and Coconut Oil. Depending upon where you are geographically located, your coconut oil will either be in liquid or semi-solid form. I live in India and even though it’s the winters, my coconut oil was in liquid form.
Take water in the large bowl. This will act as a boiler for the double boiler. Place the bowl with butters inside the large bowl.
Heat the butters on a medium to slow flame. Keep heating them till they are liquid. Beeswax takes a little more time to melt than other butters, so you will have to be patient. You can stir once in a while. Enjoy the aroma of Cocoa Butter + Coconut Oil while you are waiting for your butters to melt completely.
The melted butters will look like this –
Take it off the stove and after about 2-3 mins, once the bowl with butters has cooled down a bit, transfer the bowl into the fridge. I suggest a wait time of 2-3 mins because it is not a good practice to go from super hot to super cool or vice versa, immediately.
Let the butters solidify. This will take around 10-15 minutes or more depending upon the temperature of the place you reside at. You want the butters to be semi-solid so that when you put your finger in it, it causes a dent. Do not let the butters sit in the fridge for a long time else they will harden and you will not be able to whip them.
The semi-solid butter will look like this with dents –
With the help of a manual whisk (an egg beater will do just fine) or a hand mixer, whip the lotion once. Add about 10 drops of Orange Essential Oil. Depending upon how scented you want the lotion to be, increase or decrease the essential oil quantity. You will know this once you start to whip up the lotion. Add food colour to the butter.
While whipping up the lotion, add Aloe Vera gel. Start by putting 1/4 cup and depending upon how light and fluffy you want, increase the quantity. You can also put 1 tbsp at a time and check the consistency of the lotion. Keep whipping up the lotion till it isn’t fluffy.
Once the lotion is fluffy, transfer it into a mason jar. I would recommend using a glass jar in place of anything plastic since the lotion contains essential oils. Storing in a glass jar will maintain it’s longevity and it also looks pretty 🙂 .
My final product looked something like this (it looks pink due to bad lighting but is actually very faint orange) –
Some learnings go a long way:
Depending on what you set out to make, change the quantity of butters and oils you use. I have made a lotion and so I used less Beeswax. Beeswax is a natural emulsifier,means, it helps in thickening the lotion, at the same time, it make it dense. So if you are making this for a super dry skin or for a very cold climate, dense will work just fine. But if you live in a climate which is humid, you can make a lighter butter adding less beeswax.
In my trials of making body butters, I have visited many blogs and every time when I made the body butter, it never came out fluffy even after following the recipe verbatim. I never understood the reason until I made this one – while whipping your butter if you realize that it is runny and not as thick as you would like it to be, the solution is putting Aloe Vera gel. Hence, this lotion has Aloe Vera gel. Putting the gel not only thickens the butter to a lotion consistency but also keeps it super light. This works best if you stay in a humid climate like I do.
If the final product is too runny and you want to thicken it and make it dense, add more emulsifying agent – Beeswax and repeat the same process, from double boiling to whipping.
If the final product is too runny and you want to thicken it but keep it light and fluffy, add Aloe Vera gel at the whip stage and whip again.
Always place the butters to solidify in the fridge, never in the freezer.
Precise measuring of ingredients is not required, try and play with various versions by adding and eliminating different ingredients in different quantities. Just have fun!
Variations & Alternatives:
Cocoa Butter / Shea Butter: I used more Cocoa Butter and less Shea Butter. You can use either of them or both. You can also try making lotions with various other butters like Mango Butter, Kokum Butter etc. which are available in the market. Shea butter I used is yellow. You can also choose to buy an ivory one.
Coconut oil: Organic cold pressed coconut oil has hardly to absolutely no smell to it and it has many healing properties so I love using coconut oil. You can also try and use Olive Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Avocado Oil or a mix of many. All these oils should be cold pressed carrier oils. You can also make these lotions by using Argan Oils.*
Beeswax: I used beeswax but this is optional if you are using a dense butter like Shea. You can also use e-wax readily available in the market if you want to go for a vegan option. Another widely used emulsifying agent is Lanolin. I couldn’t find this in India very easily so I used beeswax.
Vitamin E: I haven’t used Vitamin-E Oil or capsules but it can be added once the butters have been melted are a ready to go in the fridge. Throw in 1 tsp of vitamin-e oil or cut vitamin-e capsules and put the oil equivalent to 1 tsp from them.
Essential Oil: I used orange essential oil as I love the smell of oranges. Like I mentioned earlier, you can use any essential oil. Since I used Cocoa Butter in more quantity than Shea and Cocoa Butter has it’s own smell, I would suggest using an oil that will go with the butter. Orange + Cocoa combination is very appealing. You can also try Lemon + Cocoa or Lavender + Cocoa. If you are not sure about how these essential oils will react with your skin, put a couple of drops on your hand to see it’s effect before using it in more quantity. Peppermint is a great oil to use but try and use it wisely if you are making a lotion for your face. Peppermint can have a tingling effect after it is applied and can cause rashes if applied on a sensitive skin. Check for any allergies by putting a couple of drops on your hand.*
*While it is great to experiment with different oils and butters, it is best to be aware of how oils and butters will react when mixed with each other. A super helpful blog as this will be able to get you started. This blog talks about the melting and heating points of different oils and butters.
Where to buy from India:
Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter , Beeswax: I bought mine from Nature’s Tattva on Amazon. You can also try Green Junction on eBay. I have a strong feeling that the Beeswax that I bought off Amazon isn’t beeswax but normal wax. Would suggest to try Green Junction for beeswax. Rest the butters are good.
Essential Oil: I have many essential oils as I love fragrance and use them quite often. My Orange Essential Oil was from Bonsoul that I purchased off Amazon. I have also used oils from Soulflower (highly recommend their carrier oils and essential oils), Nature’s Tattva and Fabindia (Fabindia stocks essential oils only in their physical stores).
Aloe Vera Gel: I used a store bought natural Aloe Vera Gel. You can use gel from the Aloe Vera leaf if you grow your own Aloe plant, you will have to check how to exactly extract gel from the leaf after getting rid of the skin. I wasn’t quite sure of how to do that so I used a store bought version.
Coconut Oil: I bought Conscious Food Coconut Oil from a specialty store. I haven’t tried any other brand but you can experiment with a different brand of oil, tell me how it was!
I have searched many blogs and have come up with my own version of do’s and don’t’s. You can check various other recipes out from here. I found this link to be super inspiring.
I hope you make your orange creaminess or lemony lusciousness soon and share your experiences with me 🙂 .