Make lotion with natural skin-loving ingredients
Filled with skin-loving oils and extracts, this is a face lotion that I use daily. It’s perfect for those with normal to oily skin and is made with all natural ingredients. It’s very sensitive and also easy and inexpensive to make.
The ingredients include Aloe Vera which you can scrape from the leaf of your own plant. If you don’t have one, use 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 in the recipe are 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.
- A clear glass such as a mason jar
- Two pans you can use as a double boiler (see image below)
- Kitchen funnel
- Spoons & small bowls
- Milk frother
- 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. These are three distinct groups of ingredients that will be added at different parts of the process. The main oils are grouped into the ‘Oil Phase’, the water and items that need dissolving are in the ‘Water Phase’, and the ‘Cooling Phase’ is made up of heat sensitive ingredients.
- 3g (1.5tsp) Olivem 1000* — this is the emulsifier
- 10g (2.5tsp) Organic Sweet Almond oil — a light and easily absorbed oil
- 0.5g (1/8tsp) Organic Shea Butter — rich and creamy solid oil
- 2g (1/2tsp) Organic Rosehip Seed oil — used for anti-aging
- 70ml (1/4cup) Water – preferably distilled
- 7g (2tsp) Organic Aloe Vera – fresh from the leaf if possible
- 4g (1/2tsp) Organic Honey — attracts moisture to your skin
- 1g (20 drops) Organic Rose Geranium essential oil (optional)
- 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.
- 1.5g (1/2tsp) Geogard Ultra — a preservative approved for organic skincare. Also known as Microguard
* Olivem 1000 is certified for organic beauty but can become unstable. I’ve had a good experience of using it on its own for this recipe but if you deviate from the ingredients and measurements I can’t promise that your lotion won’t separate.
Step 1: Prepare the Aloe
Many people keep an aloe vera plant to use on sunburns. You can also use fresh aloe in skincare as a mild astringent that helps treat acne, eczema, and other skin issues. It also is a naturally oil-less moisturizer so ideal for hydrating oily skin.
To prepare the aloe, cut a piece of the leaf about three inches long and a half-inch wide. Gently squeeze the wound on the plant closed to help it to heal.
Peel the leaf with a potato peeler or small knife and then mash the firm gel into a more liquidy consistency. Make sure there’s no large lumps because they’ll make their way into the lotion. Measure the amount you need and if you’ve cut off too much, store the unpeeled leaf in the refrigerator for up to a week. The aloe gel can be kept in the fridge for three days.
Step 2: Oil phase
Place the oil phase ingredients in a small pan and then melt them together using the double boiler method. Float the pan in another pan of simmering water and stir until completely melted.
Step 3: Water phase
Boil the water and then measure the exact amount needed for the recipe into a heat-proof clear container. Please note that if you begin with the exact amount called for in the recipe that you’ll lose some to evaporation. That’s why it’s better to boil more than is needed and measure after.
Pour a small amount of heated water into a dish and add the Geogard Ultra. Stir with a spoon until everything has dissolved and then place it back with the other ‘Cooling Phase’ ingredients’
Step 4: Blend the oil and water phases
Take the temperatures of the oil phase and the water. The water should be about 160F (70C) and the oil should be within ten degrees of that temperature. If your water cools down too much, set the jar in the pan of hot water to warm it up.
When the temperatures are right, submerge your milk frother in the water phase and then slowly pour the melted oil into the water while stirring with the frother. Make sure you pour in every last drop.
Now turn the frother on and pulse the mixture until it’s opaque but still a little runny — there’s a photo below of how it should look. While pulsing, be careful to not bring the frother to the surface of your lotion. Doing so might create unwanted air bubbles in your lotion.
A note on temperature when making lotions: I’ve heard 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. 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.
Step 5: Cooling phase
Allow your lotion to rest until it’s about 113F (45C) or the jar is lukewarm to the touch. Stir the lotion periodically during the time that it’s cooling.
When the temperatures are right, add the ‘Cooling phase’ ingredients into the lotion and stir well. Pour the finished lotion into your airless dispenser and 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 it can have a shelf-life of about 18 months. When your airless dispenser is empty, unscrew the top and then use a bamboo skewer to push the part 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.