• Sweet Skin Rituals

DIY Vanilla Peppermint hand + Body lotion

Oh my, I actually want to eat this lotion, it smells that good. Mmmm, like Andes Mints. This formulation doesn't even require expensive or exotic ingredients. Most of them, with the exception of your emulsifier and preservative can be found in local stores. These would make great Christmas or Hanukkah gifts too.

Now, I know I'm posting this way too close to Christmas for you to actually make this as gifts. But if you make a batch for yourself to use throughout the winter, I'll bet you'll be hooked into making several of these as next years' gifts.

For equipment here's what you'll need. (All of these can can be found on Amazon) :

-a saucepan or bain-marie

-a silicone cover from pyrex (opt if you have it)

-four glass beakers

-glass stirring rod or small silicone spatula for scraping stirring

-a jewelry scale

-digital thermometer

-PH strips

-bowl with ice water


(heated phase)

-olive oil 34 grams

-olivem 1000 8 grams

-distilled water 118 grams

-aloe vera 20 grams (I like Lily of the Desert brand)

-vegetable glycerin 10 grams

-xanthan gum 1 gram

(cool down phace)

-Vitamin E 4 grams

-Vanilla fragrance oil 2 grams

-peppermint essential oil 1 gram

-preservative Geogard ECO 2 grams

batch size: 200 grams (7 oz)

Pictured below is an ingredient crucial to our oil-in-water emulsion. Olivem 1000 causes the water and oil based ingredients to come together and emulsify into a creamy texture. The oil and water will not separate but stay stable because of the emulsifier, Olivem 1000.

Another important ingredient I'd like to touch on is the preservative. I know you may have heard allot of back and forth about preservatives. Are they good? Are they bad? While it is true that most preservatives in cosmetics contain harmful compounds, they are far more SAFE than the alternative of NO PRESERVATIVE. Now before you click the x button, just hear me out. When you mix oil and water and create a lovely cosmetic, you've also got a breeding ground for microbial growth of bacteria, yeast, and fungus. Now you've got this lovely product full of wonderful ingredients with potential to become contaminated and spoil (even if it smells and looks fine). There is a smarter way to use your lovely products. Geogard ECO is a broad spectrum microbial blend, and is one of the small collection of preservatives recognized by the COSMOS and ECOCERT. Also, consider this: even if you are using cosmetics with synthetic preservatives, the entire product has only 1% preservative. Like I said, its much better than the alternative of preservative-free. (note: this does not apply to strictly oil based products containing no water).


Now on to the "how-to." First, take your saucepan and fill it with approx an inch of water and place it over med-low heat. If you have a little silicone lid as a barrier between the pan and your glass beakers you can pop those inside the pan as well. If you don't have any, that's fine. We are not going to heat the ingredients very high. You can just turn down your heat a tad between low and med-low.

Take your jewelry scale and a glass beaker and measure the olive oil and olivem 1000. Set aside and in another beaker measure the distilled water and aloes vera. Place these two beakers in the pan of water on the stove. As they warm, you'll notice the olivem 1000 will disolve. Periodically check the temperature. You want both the oil and water to reach 70 degrees Celsius.

While you are waiting, take your third beaker and measure the xanthan gum first. Measure the glycerin and mix with a spatula or glass stirring rod to dissolve the gum. This mixture will thicken your lotion.

Now take the fourth beaker and measure the cool down phase: Vitamin E oil, vanilla fragrance oil, and peppermint essential oil. Don't add the preservative just yet. That will be our very last step.

Prep the ice water bath, by taking a bowl and filling it with a couple inches of ice and water. Set aside.

When the oil/olivem 1000 and water beakers have come to temperature (70 degrees C), remove from heat. This next part is VERY important. Slowly, drip by drip add the water to the oil, stirring constantly. A very thin stream of water is fine too. Or, if you have it, try using a pipette. The idea is to add a little bit of water at a time to hold the emulsion together. When all the water has been added, take the beaker with the glycerin and mix that in.

Transfer the beaker with your lotion to the ice bath. Continue to stir constantly. Check the temperature again, and when it has reached under 40 degrees Celsius, you can add the cool down phase ingredients (Vit E, peppermint etc). Stir to mix and continue until a trace has formed. If you can make a figure eight with your stirring rod or spatula that is how you know your mixture has come to trace. At this point remove the lotion from the ice bath.

Time to check the PH. In a little bowl, weigh out 1 gram of lotion. Add 9 grams of distilled water. Stir and stick part of a PH strip in the mix. You want a PH of somewhere between 4.5-6.5 for the preservative to keep your product stable. It is helpful to keep in mind that your preservative will lower the PH slightly. If your PH is within range, you can add the preservative to your lotion. Stir to combine thoroughly and re-check the PH. The best number for skin is between 4.5 and 5.5. Now transfer to a clean container, like a pump kind to eliminate dipping into your product. (You can also disinfect your clean container by spritzing on some rubbing alcohol, wiping off excess and allowing it to dry.) Now label and apply to your hands, knees, feet---whatever part of you needs some moisture. Breath in, smile, and be proud of yourself. You made this luxurious lotion!

Enjoy, Makala

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