Homemade Body Lotion: Green and Cost Effective Alternative

By this point in the Sustainable Business Network game, I’m sure you’ve already swapped your old light bulbs for CFLs, stopped using Styrofoam and maybe started biking to work.

…So kudos to you, and all alike, but why stop with your business?

It should be pretty clear that sustainability starts at home, down to the very basics: like cleaning supplies and personal care products such as body moisturizer.

Despite a mild winter in Southwestern Pa., dry skin is still a problem for many people. Unfortunately, I suffer from the ailment year-round and have come to realize that the only thing worse than dry skin is getting rid of it. I’ve applied, reapplied and tested all different types of brands only to find that my flakey foe has yet to disappear.

You see, like any average consumer who falls victim to commercials displaying extraordinarily happy people splashing water onto their face in slow motion, I usually remedy every situation with a bright product bought at the nearest store. However, my shopping impulse was halted after I stumbled upon the Skin Deep website and explored the “hazard level” of the creams I was using.

Not only was my ever-persistent problem failing to go away, but this site exposed me to the extra harm I was creating by applying chemically charged creams to my body’s biggest organ.

Have you ever read the back of your moisturizer bottle? Upon turning mine over, I found that (like most conventional moisturizers) it was filled with loads of unpronounceable chemical preservatives… basically reinstating that I was a walking hazard.

I also uncovered that most of these synthetic chemically based lotions go as far to trick your skin into initially feeling moisturized, but actually don’t perform a healing process. And it doesn’t stop at moisturizers. Even the shampoo and conditioner people use can contain toxins that strip away the body’s natural oils, and therefore cause scalps to over-produce oil in compensation.

So if you’re like me, then I’m here to recommend we solve our dry skin woes by taking on a more safe and sustainable way to moisturize: we should make our own.

Besides reducing plastic bottle build up, mixing up our own homemade lotion with natural ingredients will be a lot safer. It’s a win-win.

DIY Natural Body Lotion

Here’s an easy homemade lotion recipe courtesy of Louisa Shafia:
Yields: 2 cups


    1 cup filtered water
    Cold brewed tea
    Orange blossom (or rose) water
    3/4 cup oil (olive, almond, unrefined coconut or avocado)
    3 tablespoons grated beeswax
    Optional: a few drops of essential oil of your choice, for fragrance

Before you begin, prepare clean and dry glass jars for packaging.

Mix and Melt

  • Combine the oil and beeswax into a Pyrex measuring cup
  • Place the cup in a pan (or small pot) and pour in water to reach about halfway up the cup
  • Bring the water to gentle boil
  • Heat oil and beeswax until beeswax melts (it’s melted when you can’t see it anymore)
  • After wax is melted, remove the cup from the water
  • Let the oil cool for 2 minutes

  • Blend

  • Pour the orange blossom water into a blender
  • Blend water on medium
  • Pour the oil into the water as it’s blending
  • Let the mixture emulsify
  • If you’re using essential oil, blend it in now

  • Jar

  • Use a rubber spatula to transfer cream to glass jar
  • Cover jars with cheesecloth for an hour
  • When the lotion is room temperature, screw on the lid

  • Remember:

      Placing the lid on the jar when the lotion is warm will cause condensation to form under the lid, which will water down the lotion and form bacteria.

      Store at room temperature for up to 3 months, or in the refrigerator for 6 months.


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    March 23, 2012 · 11:04 am

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