Monthly Archives: November 2012

How to Make Hand Lotion with Preservative

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I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving! We had a very nice long weekend and I was so touched by all the ebooklet orders and the sweet emails that came with them. Thank you! Since I’ve been on a body care making kick I have a few things that I want to share with you this week. The first is about preservation.

About this time of year my Hand Lotion post becomes very popular for the DIY Christmas crowd. And for good reason, it’s a great lotion and so easy to make, don’t you think? However because of it’s relatively short shelf life, I started to research preservatives. And I found one that so far I like. Potassium Sorbate. But let’s back up for a moment. There are, as I have learned, three things that can go wrong when you mix water and oil. Yeast, mold, and bacteria can form. None of them are things you want in your lotion and especially on your skin.

To keep your lotion making as sanitary as possible you want to use clean measuring utensils. You want to use pure water, either well water, rain water or distilled water. You want the container you store your lotion in to be as clean as a whistle. Preferably just out of the hot dish washer.

As you go about using your lotion you want to scoop it out using clean dry hands. Even better, keep this lotion in a pump bottle. Store it in a cool place, preferably the fridge. Now personally, if I keep lotion in the fridge, I’d rarely use it as it would surely be hidden behind a jam jar and forgotten completely. So I keep it on the counter top during the winter, and during the summer, I still keep it out, but I make half the amount, so I use it faster.

I’ve found that this lotion stays stable for me for a good three weeks, however it doesn’t hurt to go an extra step and add a food safe preservative if you are giving this as a gift. Potassium Sorbate is an effective preservative against molds, yeasts and aerophile bacteria. It’s cheap (this bag cost me less than $4), it is easily soluble in water and you only need 1/4t. per lotion recipe. I would say that this extends the shelf life of this lotion to about 3 months.

So once again, my Hand Lotion Recipe with preservative!
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How to Make Homemade Hand Lotion with Preservative

1 1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup emulsifying wax (Don’t use beeswax, here’s an easy homemade beeswax lotion recipe)
1/4 cup olive oil (I’ve been using grapeseed oil lately for an even lighter lotion)
1/4 teaspoon Potassium Sorbate
24-36 drops essential oil
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Combine olive oil and emulsifying wax in a microwaveable container and heat until just melted. About a minute in my case. Once it is melted, you may add your essential oils.
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Then heat water to approximately the same temperature as the oil (again about a minute in the microwave). Then add 1/4 t. Potassium Sorbate. Stir well.
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Pour water mixture into oil mixture and give it a good stir with a spoon.
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Pour it into a decorative pump bottle, let it cool and you’ll have a beautiful, longer lasting lotion to enjoy!

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Simple Handcrafted Body Care e-Booklet

I’m so happy to share with you my new (and first!) e-booklet called Simple Handcrafted Body Care! This was such fun to make, from recipe creation to packaging to photography to book design. I enjoyed it all. And I hope you will enjoy it as well.

So what’s in it? Well, there are five easy to make and basic body care recipes in here. There are no fancy, unheard of ingredients nor is there a long laundry list of things you need to buy. In fact most you can find in your local health food store and I don’t think there is any recipe that call for more than five ingredients. Each recipe comes with tips on how you can customize the item to your lifestyle, needs and budget. This booklet is for the beginner and for the experienced. I also created this with gift giving in mind, so there are packaging ideas along with labels that you can print out.
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Included recipes are:

  • Honey Kissed Lip Balm – I know I’ve already posted a ‘chapstick‘ recipe, but this one trumps that, I feel. With only three basic ingredients, this feels so luxurious. I put it on every single day and not only does it keep my lips smooth and moist, but it smells and tastes just like honey!
  • Body Butter – This was a fun one to figure out too. I took the basic Beeswax Lotion recipe, which you are familiar with and with one extra ingredient turned it into a sumptuous body butter. Making it into a butter and using safflower oil instead of olive oil, it becomes lighter and less greasy. Now I use it as a daily face cream and when my hair get frizzy I can even use it to tame fly-aways. I also discovered on Halloween, when I went a little overboard with the eye makeup, that you can use it as cold cream! It took every last smudge of sparkly eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara off my eyes.
  • Spicy Aftershave – A few years ago I tried making an aftershave for Scott that called for rum as a base. Not only did he walk around smelling like a drunk pirate, but he said it was sticky. This does not call for rum nor will it make the man in your life have a sticky face. Instead it will make his face feel refreshed after shaving and he’ll smell darn nice too. I’ve included two different aroma combinations with inspiration for creating your own.
  • Bath Salts – Have you tried bath salts before? Boy do they make the bath a whole different experience. This recipe makes the water just a bit effervescent and you step out of your bath with softer skin and smelling oh so faintly of a flower garden. Lovely!
  • Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub – A handful of years ago I bought a microdermabrasion facial kit that cost $50! It made my face feel soft, but it smelled of chemicals and for a little tube, it seemed pretty expensive to me! This facial scrub is every bit as good, but it smells of honey and lavender and my face really seems to glow after I use it. This recipe makes enough to use about a dozen times. I bet you have the ingredients to make this in your kitchen right now!

You know we have three kids and we have to be out of the door, breakfast eaten, lunches packed, early in the morning. To have these things on hand in the bathroom makes those circus-like mornings a bit calmer for me. And I hope they will for you too!

Unlike my previous recipes I am asking for a nominal fee for this booklet. But I also worked to make this an easy to use and beautiful pdf booklet that you can download immediately. With labels included, you can get your holiday gift giving made easily and economically!

Click the button below to get your copy!

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A preview of what’s to come on Monday…

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A preview of what’s to come on Monday…

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New in the Kitchen

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While I sit here next to the fireplace, working on the Handmade Body Care booklet I’ve promised you and waiting for the furnace repair man to come, I thought I’d show you a few photos from this morning. We had an eventful week as a team of men came and laid down the most beautiful Marmoleum floor in our kitchen, the color of water. Another team of very generous and helpful men came to move an impossibly heavy butcher block from Scott’s childhood home into our kitchen. We scurried to finish painting while the appliances were scattered all around the house and this kitchen is another few steps closer to feeling just like home.

The last bit of stolen sweetness that has been sitting on my desk for a couple of weeks is finally draining on the counter top. Scott’s off for a day of clamming/crabbing/fishing with friends, the kids are in school and daycare. All’s quiet and cold. I hope to be back very soon to share news of a finished booklet for you!

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Filed under Body Care, in the kitchen