Hurrah! I have now adapted the natural soap and skincare recipe book (I would hand out in my workshops) into a digital PDF. I spent time editing the recipes and adding additional photographs, helpful tips and information. And while I am definitely no graphic designer I am pretty pleased with my DIY result!
The Art of Natural Soap and Skincare can be purchased here in my shop for AUD$8.99. It includes recipes for basic bar soap, herbal body butter lotion, hand and heel salve, lip balm, bubble bath bar, body scrub and a face mask. As well as a table describing the different fats and oils and basic instructions for adding natural colour, preparing your own lard, dried herbs and infused oils at home.
I have been making our own soap and lotion for six years now and really can't imagine ever buying it. Homemade is so good! Not to mention much less expensive than buying equivalent high-end organic brands. I also think they make the best practical gifts for friends and family...
Herbal Body Butter Lotion
I may be biased but I really think this is the BEST all-purpose body lotion - it can be used all over your body, or as shaving cream or for nappy rash cream. It is thicker than most lotions thanks to beeswax and solid oils in it, and really moisturisers and protects dry hands and skin. You will never want to buy body lotion again! Best of all you can use YOUR preferred oils, with no nasty chemicals or preservatives. To make it you will need some basic equipment that you probably already have in your kitchen: a bar mixer, small saucepan, measuring jug and electric scales.
It can be a little tricky to get the emulsion process to work properly - that is to introduce water molecules into the fats + oils so that they permanently change their structure (much like the process of making mayonnaise) so that the water and oil are evenly combined and can no longer separate. I find the emulsion works best when the water mixture and the oil-fat mixture are the same temperature before combing.
You will need:
210g boiling water
2 tablespoons fresh herbs/flowers (lavender, chamomile, rosemary, mint, calendula) OR 2 herbal teabags
85g solid oil such as lard, coconut oil, cocoa butter
170g liquid oil such as olive, sweet almond, argan,
40 drops essential oils of your choosing
**fills two 250ml jars approximately**
Make a herbal infusion by bruising the leaves of your flowers/herbs in your hands or with the back of a knife. Place leaves in a mug or small pot. Pour over boiling water and allow it to steep until faintly warm. Strain the herbs/flowers out. Gently heat oils/fats/wax together until melted. Cool to room temperature. Slowly pour the infused water into the oil mixture, while beating with your bar mixer. Continue to agitate and beat up and down until the mixture is combined and thick. Spoon mixture into jars and containers. Store up to six months - you might like to store your lotion in the fridge over the summer months to prevent spoiling.
Remember your lotion only contains natural preservatives (beeswax) so will not last like store-bought preservative rich lotions. Cocoa-butter and coconut oil are known for their anti-fungal properties and are a good addition to the solid fat component of the lotion.
I find it is better to make a small amount and use it up quickly, than make too much that you can’t use quickly enough. I often halve the recipe above to make a smaller jar quantity or just give half away to a friend.
Herbal lotion made in different seasons: I love that every batch is a little bit different...
ABOUT the author
Emily Clare Sims is a farmer and mama to three young boys. Each day she looks for ways to notice beauty, contemplate her faith and savour the seasons...