Making homemade lotion is an easy project that can produce custom results. There are a number of butters and waxes that can be combined to create a lotion for individualized needs. The only tools that are needed to create homemade lotion are most likely already found in the home kitchen. Precautions to protect against spoiling and contamination, however, are vital.
The main ingredient in homemade lotion is typically some sort of wax. Often, this is emulsifying wax, and many who make homemade lotions claim that this wax is the easiest to work with and creates the smoothest, most easily absorbed lotions. Some lotion makers, however, prefer to use beeswax or soy wax instead of emulsifying wax.
Various types of oils and butters are generally added to homemade lotion. These ingredients give the lotion its ability to moisturize and soften skin. They may include shea butter or cocoa butter. Oils that may be added include olive oil, almond oil, and coconut oil, just to name a few.
Several drops of essential oil are often used to add scent to homemade lotions. These oils are the concentrated extracts of plants that have a strong fragrance. Although generally safe, care should be taken when using essential oils for homemade lotion. These oils are highly concentrated, and direct contact with the skin before dilution can result in an allergic reaction. The strong smell of essential oil can also cause a headache or nausea.
A number of tools are needed to create homemade lotion. Cookware that can be heated is essential. Depending on the recipe, the lotion may need to be cooked on the stovetop, or it may also be made in the microwave. Glassware or other cookware that can withstand microwaving is required for these recipes.
One hazard of creating homemade lotion is that the lotion may spoil as the butters and extracts in lotion go bad without preservatives. A number of techniques can extend the shelf life of these products. Making sure that homemade lotion is created with clean and sterile supplies is always important, including any water, which should be boiled before use to kill any microorganisms. To discourage bacterial growth, lotions should be stored in a cool, dark place — ideally, the refrigerator. Removing lotion from its container with clean hands is another helpful tip to ensure that bacteria from the hands is not transferred to the lotion.
Certain natural ingredients can also be added to handmade lotion to extend its shelf life. They contain natural antifungal and antibacterial properties. Some examples of all natural preservatives include cinnamon, green tea extract, and vitamin E.