Daily Archives: November 29, 2010

How to Make an Easy Winter Hand Salve (aka Eczema Fighting Lotion)

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My new e-booklet is just out:
Simple Handcrafted Body Care.
If you like this recipe, you’re going to love the booklet!

About three weeks ago our daughter (still so strange to say ‘daughter’ after 6 years of having only boys!) started developing eczema, just like our boys did as babies. Our oldest didn’t have it all that bad, just around his ankles and elbows, our second son had it much worse. He had it all over his face, arms and legs. I tried everything for him and what worked best was my homemade lotion. Strangely enough what cured his eczema for good was going to Kauai and taking him off cows milk during the trip. I had read that cows milk sometimes either causes eczema or worsens it and I’m sure the humidity of the Hawaiian islands helped a lot. Even though our Sonoma air is quite arid, his skin has remained clear. Now, though, the thought of taking a five hour flight with three kids just to cure my daughters poor skin condition seems a little excessive, so I turned back to lotions.
My homemade lotion hasn’t been helping her quite as much as it helped my son. The doctor suggested either Vaseline and hydrocortisone lotion for the worst parts. I don’t know, I wasn’t happy with either of those suggestions, so I searched for something more natural to slather her with. I have a jar of shea butter in the cupboard for my homemade deodorant, so I scraped some out, warmed it in my hands and put that on her poor little face. That seemed to really help, however it was a pain to warm up and spread on her. I searched for an easy to make and easy to spread Shea Butter lotion recipe and did some research on some eczema fighting ingredients and came up with the recipe below. While I can’t claim that it has cured her eczema, it certainly has helped her poor face, chest and arms. It also makes a great hand salve for me too during these cold, dry days.
Shea Butter Lotion Recipe

How to Make Homemade Hand Salve (aka Eczema Fighting Lotion)

2 oz Shea Butter
.45 oz Avocado Oil
4 Vitamin E tablets (or .025 oz)
All three ingredients help with eczema, however if I could have waited a few days for a Mountain Rose Herbs order to come through, I might have tried Sea Buckthorn Oil in place of the Avocado Oil. I may still try it in my next batch, it sounds like a wonder ingredient (update: I tried the sea buckthorn oil, it stained her poor little skin and clothes orange!). I did know I could pick up Avocado Oil at Whole Foods that day (though it is cheaper at MRH), so I went with that. Like I mentioned before I had the shea butter and Vitamin E Tablets on hand for my deodorant.
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First, I measured out the shea butter and avocado oil on my digital scale then put them in my trusty Pyrex measuring cup. I put that into a pot of simmering water and let them melt together. When they were completely melted and mixed, I took them off the heat and added the Vitamin E, then I let it all cool to room temperature.
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The next step is to whip it up into a meringue like consistency. I did this by putting the soon-to-be-lotion into a bigger bowl and setting that bowl into a bowl filled with ice water and blending it with a stick blender. It must be cool to be able to whip up correctly. I then finished it off with a hand whip until it looked like meringue.
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I put that into an old lotion container and I store it in the fridge. When I need it, I pull it out and scrape off a bit with the back of my fingernail. It almost immediately melts with the heat of my hand and it’s so easy to spread on. I’ve been putting this on her about 2-3 times a day, sometimes alternating with my other lotion or with straight coconut oil. This recipe is indeed fussier than my homemade lotion recipe, however I think it’s worth it. The total cost for making it is about $2 and it does such a nice job on her skin (and my hands) that for me it is worth the extra effort.
Shea Butter Lotion
Do you or your kids have eczema? What have you done to help fight it off?

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