DIY Soothing Vanilla Hand and Body Lotion
Last weekend there were birthdays within my immediate and extended family coming up (four actually). I knew I wanted to create a hand lotion, something that all three out of the four would enjoy (three being young women and the fourth my young daughter, who at two is much too young to use lotion for her hands and not her mouth).
This hand and body lotion came togehter perfectly, which was a bit surprising since I had so little time to whip up a new product. Inevitably something usually goes wrong when I’m pressed for time!
I chose Fenugreek oil as the nourishing oil of choice in this recipe. Fenugreek is known for increasing milk production for breastfeeding mothers, is thought to lower blood sugar, and is great for digestion. The fixed oil cold-pressed from the seeds, however, is not as well known. Most internet searches will bring up Fenugreek essential oil, but this is not what I’m talking about here. It has a myriad of health benefits (esp very anti-inflammatory) and a high fatty acid profile. I recommend checking out https://susanmparker.com/fenugreek-oil/ for a reliable source on Fenugreek oil (or any plant oil!) if you want to know more. Her book “Power of the Seed” has been invaluable to me. As a bonus, this oil smells like maple syrup!
For my active ingredient I choose Marshmellow extract from Mountain Rose Herbs. Not only is it used for improving digestion, but it’s also very beneficial for the skin. Extracted from the root of the plant, it’s soothing, skin healing, and all around anti-inflammatory.
For the scent and added therapeutic benefits, I added vanilla, sweet orange, and Roman chamomile essential oils. Vanilla helps reduce nervous tension. Sweet orange is uplifting and stress relieving, and brightens skin. Roman chamomile is soothing and is popular for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also one of the few safe essential oils which can be used for babies and young children. From this essential oil blend, you come away with a warm, sweet, and slightly citusy aroma. Almost like a cream sicle. 😀
Without further adieu here is the recipe! I hope you like it, and will try making it at home!
SOOTHING VANILLA HAND AND BODY LOTION
Batch Size: 400 grams
Fenugreek Oil 15% 60 grams
Olivem1000 4% 16 grams
distilled water 59.5%. 238 grams
Aloe Vera 10 %. 40 grams
vegetable glycerin 5% 20 grams
xanthan gum .5% 2 grams
marshmallow extract 4 % 16 grams
vanilla essential oil .7%. 2.8 grams
sweet orange essential oil .2% .8 grams
Roman chamomile essential oil .1% .4 grams
Geogard ECO 1% 4 grams
Weigh the fenugreek oil and olivem1000 in a glass beaker. Place this in a pan of water over med-low heat.
Meanwhile, weigh out water and aloe in another beaker and place this in the same pan of water as phase A. Heat both waters and Phase A to 70 degrees Celcius.
In a separate beaker, measure xanthan gum and glycerin, and mix until gum is dissolved.
Weigh out the preservative in one beaker, and the remaining ingredients in another. Set aside.
Once your heated ingredients have come to 70 degree, very VERY slowly pour water into the oil, stirring with a glass rod or heat proof spatula constantly. You do not want pools of water developing on the surface. Basically adding drop by drop of water into the oil phase helps your cream to emulsify. This methid is called O/W (oil in water) meaning drop of oil are suspended in water.
I should note, that really the oil should be poured into the water—not the other way around as I say above. I simply find it works much better for me to pour the water into the oil, as the oil/olivem100 will start to harden because you are pouring so slowly. Then you have to re-heat and keep pouring. It’s MUCH simply to slowly add the water to the oil.
Anyhow, once your oil and water phases are incorporated, add your gum/glycerin. You will notice your cream thicken.
Next, get yourself a bowl of ice and water maybe a couple inches high, and set your beaker of hand cream in it. You need to cool your mixture, stirring all the while, until you see a trace form. If you can stir a figure eight with your spatula or glass rod, congratulations, your cream has come to a trace!
Now get out your digital thermometer again, and when the temperature is below 40 degrees Celsius you can now add your meausured out Phase C ingredients (not including your preservative).
Stir to mix.
Now, you will need to check the PH of your product to ensure your preservative can do its job. If you have PH strips like I do, you will have to take 10 grams of your hand cream and weigh it in a beaker. Now add 90 grams of water. Mix, take a PH strip and measure. You want your reading to be between 4-6 for your preservative to work, but ideally around 4.5-5.5 to best match the PH of skin.
When your hand cream is in the proper PH range you can add your preservative.
Bottle it in a cute jar and label 😊