Monday, 13 August 2012

Tutorial: Home-made Vegan Lotion

I got a few questions about my home-made lotion when I posted my little Nail Restoration series. The lotion is so easy to make I almost feel silly for posting it, but sometimes we pass up on the simplest things because we haven’t thought of them, so I still hope this little tutorial will benefit some of you.

The idea for this lotion came to me a couple of years ago, when I had bought a bottle of avocado oil. I had heard so much about the wonderful benefits of the oil for the skin, but when I used it my skin felt just as dry, but with a greasy film on top. I felt that I needed some moisture in there, not just fat. On the other hand, I had used aloe vera gel on my hair, and liked it, but never found it good for the skin, since it hardened and made my skin feel very uncomfortable.

One light bulb moment later, and I tried mixing some in my hand. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the combination of aloe and oil emulsified beautifully, and turned into a lotion. This has been my go-to lotion since, and I doubt I will stop using it.



What you will need:

  • A bottle for mixing. I only use a pump bottle, for reasons of hygiene. I don’t add any preservatives to the lotion, so this is a way to keep my lotion contaminant free as much as possible. If your bottle is reused, make sure you wash it thoroughly in as hot water as you can (or boil it if it can handle it), and preferably rinse it out with some pure alcohol as well.
  • Aloe Vera gel. I got mine from Holland & Barrett in the UK, but I imagine any kind of health food store would carry it. It can also be found online, for instance at iHerb.
  • A nice quality oil. The type of oil you should choose depends on what kind of skin you have, and where you want to use it. My favourite oil is Jojoba, since it’s wonderfully nourishing without clogging pores. I can recommend looking at this list if you have problem skin, or sensitive skin, since the oils are listed with an index for how comedogenic and irritating they are. A lower number means less comedogenic and irritating. Grape-seed oil is a nice, light oil, and avocado is a bit heavier and richer.
  • Optional. One or several essential oils of your choice. If you are planning on using the lotion on your face (which I do), I do NOT recommend using an essential oil, and if you do, limit it to a drop or two. The essential oils have wonderful benefits, but they can also be very irritating for the eyes and the sensitive skin on your face. Use your best judgement. If you are only planning on using the lotion on your hands then an essential oil can be a great addition. I would recommend a slightly antibacterial oil, or one that you simply think smells nice.


Step 1:
Fill your bottle about half way with aloe gel. I actually ran out, so I have a little less in my bottle, go figure :)


Step 2:
Add oil until the bottle is roughly 3/4 full. If you wish, you can change the ratio and have more gel compared to the oil, but it’s limited how much you can go the other way around. More than half oil won’t fully emulsify, and tends to separate. The best thing is to just experiment until you find a mix that works for you. I very much recommend not filling the bottle all the way to the top, as this will make it harder to mix.This is the time to add essential oils if you want to use them.


Step 3:
Shake it! Shake it real good!



Let me know if you try this “recipe” out, and how it works for you!