bodycare from the kitchen and herb garden
Nana’s Skin Loving Moisturizer
First – locate the ingredients you’re going to need:
a small bottle of Aloe Vera Gel (I prefer Banana Boat brand)
a jar of pure Coconut Oil (try a Health Food Store. Refrigerate after opening. It will last a long time)
a bottle of the best quality extra virgin olive oil you can find (I love cooking with it, so there’s always a bottle in my kitchen)
a small box of canning wax (paraffin) or beeswax if you prefer
a small quantity of any good essential oil for added fragrance (optional)
Next – Gather up some simple equipment:
Remember: it’s a good idea to keep all of your cosmetic equipment separate from your regular kitchen equipment. Oils and waxes can transfer to food. That’s not so good.
a beaker or cup that will measure in milliliters
a small sauce pan
a couple of glass or metal containers that will fit inside the sauce pan, forming a double boiler or water bath type contraption
a wire whisk
a rubber spatula
a decorative jar to hold your finished product (you’ll need something with a capacity of about a cup)
Now – set aside about 20 minutes to make moisturizer and prepare yourself for a treat.
Fill a small saucepan about 1/3 full of water and bring it to a simmer. Place some wax in a glass or metal container and set it in the hot water bath to melt.
Liquefy some coconut oil, either in the microwave or using the hot water bath. Either way- watch it carefully. Think warm. Not boiling.
Measure 1/2 cup of the Aloe Vera gel and put it in the blender.
Measure 30 ML of olive oil,
60 ML of coconut oil and
3 tablespoons of wax
into a clean glass container.
Use the water bath to heat the oils and wax just until the mixture is completely liquefied. No wax particles should be visible but remove it from the heat the moment you achieve your goal.
Turn on the blender to liquefy and slowly add the warm oil mixture; a few drops at a time at first, slowly increasing the flow to a study thin stream. Continue processing until all the aloe is incorporated and the mixture is a thick creamy emulsion. You may have to turn the blender off a few times, scrape down the sides, and turn it on again.
If you plan on adding an essential oil… pour the cream into a mixing bowl and whisk it until it is completely cool before doing so. Fragrance oils are extremely volatile and warm cream means all the nice smell will evaporate the moment it hits the heat. Oh… and don’t be tempted to use one of those cheap candle scent products available in craft stores here. Just remember, whatever you put in your moisturizer will be absorbed through your skin, so it should be pure and 100% safe.
That’s it. You’re done, except for washing up the equipment and enjoying the results of your labors. The cream can be stored at room temperature safely for about a month. Unlike commercial products there are not large quantities of preservative so if you plan on keeping it longer, refrigerate it to prevent bacteria from forming. If you’re anything at all like I am, there’s no way it will last a month.
Everyone at our house uses this lavishly on a daily basis all winter. One more thought, we all have dry skin, so I make it year round. In summer we keep some refrigerated, and use it as a soothing, healing balm for itchy, sunburned skin. I’d love to hear from you if you make it, and if you enjoy it as much as we always do.
There was a point in time when making soaps, bath salts, bath powders and moisturizers was a real passion of mine. I collected books on the subject. Took classes and went to seminars, designed packaging and promotional materials. All the while thinking I could turn my passion into a ‘cottage industry.’ Well…that didn’t work out.
But, the moisturizer is truly wonderful, and so is the bath powder. I still love reading about how others have been successful, although admittedly it was more of an 80’s thing than a 2020 thing.
Are people even interested in doing anything in their own kitchens today. Oh well! I still love it, but then I’m a member of the “invisible elderly generation” now.