Organic Aloe Face Cream Recipe + Instructions
The topic of handmade lotion came up over coffee today and I offered to show a friend how to make her own. It’s really a simple process and aside from being FUN, making lotion has some other attractive benefits. First of all it saves money – lotion is about 70-80% water which is free! The other plus is that you have the option to control the ingredients you use, and if you prefer vegan, natural, and/or organic, making your own lotion is one of the best ways to trust that you’re getting exactly what you want.
This recipe is for a lotion that I use myself – in fact, the pictures show the exact batch that I’ve just recently finished up. It’s filled with skin-loving oils and extracts and perfect for those wishing to nourish their skin with all natural ingredients. As for skin type, I have oily skin and though the recipe is rich, it does not clog my pores. I’d recommend it for most skin types.
The ingredients include Aloe Vera which hopefully you can scrape from the leaf of the plant – if not you can use a store-bought gel. Aloe is a gentle astringent that helps soothe inflammation and reduce redness. You’ll probably know of its use on sunburns. The oils used include Sweet Almond, a light oil that’s commonly used in massage, Rose-hip, rich in anti-oxidants and used in anti-aging formulas, and shea butter, a rich and creamy solid oil that we only use a small amount of for extra creaminess.
A clear glass such as a mason jar
Two pans you can use as a double boiler (see image below)
Spoons & small bowls
1 Airless Pump Bottle 120ml, 4.1 oz. – these can be cleaned, sterilized, and reused indefinitely
Pocket digital scale (optional) – you need this if you’re measuring from grams and not teaspoons. I’ve given both measurements.
Organic Aloe Face Cream Recipe
Makes approx. 120ml / 4.1oz
The ingredients below are listed in three phases. Think of these as three different bowls of ingredients that will be combined together at different parts of the process. The main oils are all grouped into the ‘Oil Phase’, the water and items that need dissolving are in the ‘Water Phase’, and the ‘Cooling Phase’ is composed of extracts that are not as important to initial emulsion (the bonding of oils and water) and do not need to be dissolved.
Also, if you do purchase the ingredients through the affiliate links below, you will have likely a lot more than you’ll need for this recipe. However the amounts in each were the smallest I could find for you and the plus side is that you’ll then have enough to make many more batches of lotion!
3g / 1.5tsp Olivem 1000 – this is the ingredient that will get your oils to bond with water
10g / 2.5tsp Organic Sweet Almond oil – a light and easily absorbed oil
2g / 1/2tsp Organic Rosehip Seed oil – great for moisturising and used for anti-aging
0.5g / 1/8tsp Organic Shea Butter – rich and creamy solid oil
70ml / 1/4cup Water – preferably distilled
4g / 1/2tsp Organic Honey – this natural sweetness attracts moisture to your skin
1.5g / 1.5tsp Geogard Ultra – a preservative approved for organic skincare. If you choose not to use this in your recipe then you must keep the lotion refrigerated and it should be used within a week.
7g / 2tsp Organic Aloe Vera – fresh from the leaf if possible
1g / 20 drops Organic Rose Geranium essential oil (optional) a beautifully scented essential oil that’s great for your skin!
0.5g / 1/8tsp / 1 capsule Vitamin E Oil (optional) this is an anti-oxidant. It does not work as a preservative but helps keep free floating oils from going off.
A note on the emulsifier, Olivem 1000. This product is certified for organic beauty use but can become unstable, i.e. cause the lotion to separate into oil and water, if used as the sole emulsifier in some recipes. I’ve had a great experience of just using it on its own for this one but if you deviate from the ingredients and measurements used then I cannot promise that your lotion will stay lotion. Stick with the recipe and you’ll do fine.
Measure all of your oil phase ingredients into a small pan and then heat them using a double boiler method. Basically float the pan in another pan of boiling water. When they’ve melted completely, continue to the next step.
Boil the water and then pour the exact amount needed for the recipe into a heat-proof clear container such as a Mason jar. Please note that if you begin with the exact amount called for in the recipe that you’ll have some evaporation – so boil more than is needed and then measure after. Into the measured water add the honey and preservative (Geogard Ultra or Microguard, its other name). Stir with a spoon until everything has dissolved.
Submerge your milk frother into the water phase and then slowly pour the melted oil phase into the water while stirring with the frother. When all the oil is in the jar (get every drop), turn the frother on and pulse the mixture until it’s completely opaque but still a bit runny. There’s a photo below of how it should look and also be careful to not bring the frother bit to the surface of your lotion. You don’t want a load of air bubbles in it so try to not introduce it by whipping air into it.
A note on temperature when making lotions: I’ve heard so many different recommendations on temperatures, ‘Heating and Holding’, and other ideas. For lotion making the temperatures you need are just enough to melt the oils completely for the oil phase and the water phase needs to be hotter than the melting point of the oils. This is so that the oils don’t solidify when they hit the water. If you want to be more exact, bring both the water and oil phase to 70C / 160F to reduce any risk of your oils solidifying on contact. Temperature, it turns out, has little effect on permanently killing bacteria in lotions – that’s the job of your preservative. Here’s a great article on why heating and holding probably isn’t necessary and why I no longer do it.
Allow your lotion to rest until it’s about 45C / 113F or the jar is warm but not hot to the touch. Stir the lotion periodically during this time. When you feel the jar is just warm, you can add your Cooling Phase ingredients into the lotion and gentle stir until they’re completely mixed in. Now leave it to rest until the lotion is almost room temperature but still warmish – you’ll notice it will become thicker as it cools down. Before it gets too thick to pour properly, fill your airless lotion dispenser with the lotion and then allow it to reach room temperature before you put the lid on. This is to ensure that no condensation forms.
Your Organic Aloe Face Cream is now ready to use. With the preservative and airless dispenser helping to keep bacteria at bay, it will have a shelf-life of two to three years. When your airless dispenser is empty, unscrew the top and then use a bamboo skewer to push the bit down that rises as you use the lotion. Wash it well and then run it through the dishwasher to sterilise it. Good as new and ready for more lotion.
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