Monday, June 13, 2011


For a while now I have been making my own lotion, lip gloss, all-purpose healing salve and bug spray. I have come across some recipes that really work well for me and thought I would share a few. If I haven't grown them myself, I get all of my herbs from Global Infusion, Mountain Rose Herbs or the Bulk Herb Store. Each of these places guarantee organic herbs that have been sustainably harvested.

Cocoa Butter Creamy Lotion

7 tbsp. almond or apricot kernel base oil
2 tbsp. beeswax
2 tbsp. coconut base oil [extra virgin, unrefined]
1 tbsp. cocoa butter
1 tsp. anhydrous lanolin
9 tbsp. distilled water
2 tsp. vegetable glycerin
1/2 tsp. borax
20 drops of vanilla oil
30 drops of tangerine or sweet orange essential oil
[I have also substituted peppermint essential oil for the citrus oils or tried a peppermint and lemon combo which is amazing.]

In a double boiler warm base oils, beeswax, cocoa butter and lanolin until beeswax and cocoa butter are just melted. In another pan warm water and vegetable glycerin, add borax and stir until the borax is incoporated.

Remove both pans from heat, pour oil mixture into blender and allow to cool to body temperature [or until oil mixture just begins to thicken and becomes slightly opaque, 5 - 10 minutes]. Turn blender on medium speed and slowly drizzle water mixture into center of vortex [5 - 10 seconds]. Once all of the water mixture has been incoporated, turn off the blender and add essential oils. Blend another 5 - 10 seconds on medium speed to mix in oils. At this point you can add 1 small vitamin E capsule [poke with pin to squeeze out oil] if desired.

Pour into glass container and allow to cool, uncapped, for 30 minutes. Cap and store unrefrigerated for 1 - 2 months or refrigerated [in the summer it makes for a nice cool body treat] for 3 - 6 months.

Healing and Cooling Lip Balm

4 - 5 tbsp. almond or jojoba base oil [or you can use castor base oil for super shiny gloss]
1 tbsp. beeswax
2 tsp. honey [optional for flavor - I have found this is a little hard to incorporate and generally choose to omit it]
20 drops peppermint, spearmint or tea tree essential oil [or combination]
1/2 tube favorite lipstick [optional, for color]

In double boiler warm oil, beeswax and honey [if using] until wax is just melted. Remove from heat. Gently stir in essential oil[s] and lipstick [if using] until lipstick is melted or all has been incorporated. If using honey, make a shallow ice bath using pie or other low dish. Fill with water and ice. Place dish with honey in ice bath and stir rapidly until honey is incorporated and a frosting like paste is created. Spoon into containers, cap and cool for 2 hours. If not using honey, pour directly into lipgloss tubes or containers, cap and let cool for 2 hours [I have found it takes much less time].

Store for 1 year.

Lemony Bugs Away Spray

2 c. witch hazel
1 tsp. vegetable glycerin
20 drops of citronella essential oil
20 drops of lemongrass essential oil

Combine all ingredients in glass or metal spray jar. Shake vigorously before each use. Store for 1 year.

Note: this may stain white or light clothing.

These recipes are from Organic Body Care Recipes by Stephanie Tourles

All-Purpose Healing Salve

This is a recipe I created after last year's garden season. If any of you garden, you know that cuts abound! I didn't like the idea of using chemical-based creams [especially since I was pregnant and then nursing] so I came up with this as a nice alternative. It has worked great and I feel good about using it on my daughter this year.

I use the simpler's method of measurement which allows for versatility and simplicity. A "part" can mean cup, ounce, tablespoon, teaspoon. It is all dependent on the quantity that you want to make. The only rule is that you use the same unit of measurement consistently [this means that if you begin with 1 part representing 1 tablespoon, then 2 parts would equate to 2 tablespoons, and so on]. This is especially helpful when using dry and fresh herbs [either can be used in this recipe]. I generally equate 1 tablespoon to 1 part in this recipe, but if you want to make more just increase the oil, beeswax and grapefruit seed extract as you increase the parts.

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 parts echinacea root
2 parts comfrey leaf
2 plantain leaf
2 parts echinacea purpurea
1 part yarrow flower
1 part rosemary leaf
1 tbsp. beeswax
5 - 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract

Combine oil and herbs in small crock pot or in double boiler. Let "cook" on low heat for 6 - 8 hours [this is not the place to increase heat to decrease time as cooking at any higher heat will destroy the delicate herbs and decrease the potency of the formula].

While herbs are cooking, secure a folded piece of cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer over a glass jar. After cooking is complete, pour oil mixture through cheesecloth or fine strainer into jar. Let the herbs cool to touch and then gently squeeze or press out any remaining oil.

Add beewax and stir until melted [if oil has cooled too much, place back in crock pot or boiler and heat on low until wax has melted]. Once wax has melted, stir in grapefruit seed extract. Pour back into jar if it isn't already and let cool, uncapped, for 1 - 2 hours or until firm. Cap and store unrefrigerated for 6 months.

This salve can be used on a variety of cuts, scrapes and skin abrasions.


Stephanie said...

these recipes are so interesting... where do you buy your ingredients to make these products?


Hey Stephanie,

I get most of the ingredients from Global Infusion, online from Mountain Rose Herbs, or from Harvest Health. However, Global Infusion has been terrific in getting me what I need so I would definitely start there!


Jen said...

so fun! I've been wanting to experiment with making some of my own personal care products. I've been making my own cleaning products and this is something I'd love to try as well! Any good resources/books you'd recommend??


It is really fun and so easy! I'm sure your girls will love to help as well :) My favorite book is Organic Body Care by Stephanie Tourles. Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health by Rosemary Gladstar is a very close second. Those are my to "go-tos" for making body products and a host of other things. I really don't need to search much outside of that!