Instructions for making a silky and moisturizing lotion with marshmallow root and lavandin oil. Use as a nourishing hand and body lotion for dry and weatherbeaten skin. Makes one 100ml pot but can be scaled up for larger batches.
Keyword lavender, lotion, marshmallow, skin care recipe
Baking soda (also called Bicarbonate of soda)Optional
Make the Marshmallow Infusion
Combine the dried marshmallow root and distilled water in a sterilized jar. Running the jar through a dishwasher beforehand will suffice. Cover and leave to infuse overnight.
Strain the thickened water through a mini-sieve and into another sterilized jar.
Measure how much one of the heat-proof jars weights and jot that measurement down. Next, measure 90g of the marshmallow infusion into that jar, and 1tsp of the infusion into a small ramekin. Keep the remaining marshmallow infusion on hand for the last step.
Prepare the Oil & Water Phases
The 90g of marshmallow infusion in a heat-proof jar is your water phase. Set this jar in a pan filled with simmering water and heat to 75°C/165°F. Once it's at this temperature, hold it there for twenty minutes. This helps kill off most of the microbes that might be in the infusion.
Measure all of the oil phase ingredients except the xanthan gum into your second heat-proof jar. Measure the xanthan gum into its own small ramekin. Next, place the main heat-proof oil phase jar in the pan with the water phase. You're aiming to melt it and heat it to the same temperature as the water phase.
You're ready for the next step after you've heated and held the water phase for at least twenty minutes, and the contents of both jars are 75°C/165°F.
If you can fit the head of the immersion blender inside your heat-proof jars that's great. If not, pour the oil phase ingredients into a larger sterilized container, but remember to take its weight measurement first.
Place the immersion blender in and lightly sprinkle the xanthan gum over the oil phase. Quickly blend it together before it has a chance to gum up. I'd recommend that you sprinkle just a little at a time until it's blended together.
Pour the water phase into the same container as the oil phase. Use the immersion blender to emulsify the two. You'll see the mixture quickly change into an opaque white cream. With smaller batches, like this one, the immersion blender is likely to leave air bubbles in the lotion. It's not a huge deal if the lotion is for personal use. Larger batches won't have this issue since the head of the immersion blender will keep below the surface of the ingredients.
When the lotion looks fully emulsified, tap the remaining lotion off the immersion blender's head. At this stage, the lotion might be runnier than you're expecting. It won't reach its full thickness until it's cool. This brings us to the next step, allow the lotion to cool to 45°C/110°F.
When the lotion is almost cooled, heat the ramekin of marshmallow infusion in the pan to 45°C/110°F. Take it out, add the Geogard Ultra* and mix well.
When the lotion has cooled, add the Geogard Ultra mixture and the essential oil. Mix really well with your spatula, then weight the container and lotion on your kitchen scale.
The final weight of the lotion should be 100g (3.53oz). Deduct the weight of the container from your measurement and you'll have a weight for the lotion. I can guarantee you that it will be less, and that's because some of the water will have evaporated during both the heating and cooling phase. Work out how many grams you need for your lotion to be 100g and add that much of the reserved marshmallow infusion. Stir really well.
Now we need to test for pH. Dip one of your pH papers into the lotion, scrape it off and compare the color to the ones on the pack. Lotion and skin creams need to match the pH of your skin or they can be irritating. If the pH is between 4.5-5.5 you're spot on. If it's too acidic, dissolve the tiniest amount of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) with a tiny amount of warmed marshmallow infusion. Pass it through the sieve and into the lotion. Take the pH again and adjust again if needed.
If anything goes wrong with your lotion's emulsion, you'll tend to know within the first few hours. If this is your first time making lotion, scoop it into a sterilized clear glass container and wait. If after those few hours the lotion is holding its emulsion you're good to go. Decant the lotion into a sterilized cosmetic jar and use within six months of dipping your finger into it. Depending on which preservative you use, the lotion will have a shelf-life of up to eighteen months.
*You may use another broad-spectrum preservative but the amounts needed and the temperature it should be added may be different. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions. As for whether or not you need to use a preservative, the answer is yes. Without it, your lotion will only last five days, refrigerated, before mold, bacteria, and other microbes begin colonizing your skin lotion. Just because you can't see them, don't mean they're not there.