Australia can have some pretty harsh weather conditions. Hot, dry summers in some parts of the country are juxtaposed against cold, windy winters. I live on the Granite Belt, which is cold and windy in winter and hot and dry in summer. I also do lots of travelling in Southeast Queensland, and as soon as I get out of the car in Brisbane, the humidity hits me. The moisturising face cream I applied at home to protect myself from the hot winds feels like it will melt right off my face and slide down my neck. Yuck.
For those living and working in areas where this humidity and the heat are a reality, you know that you need something to protect your skin, but it needs to be light and not greasy. You don’t need a rich face cream but a lightweight moisturising lotion. So what is the real difference, and how can you make your own?
Creams and body butter are oil-based solutions that work great in some places and at some times of the year. However, you need a lotion, not a cream, at other times and places. The difference is the added water. Aqueous or water-based lotions are light on the skin and fair much better in Queensland’s hot, humid conditions and other similar climates. They are also easy to make.
Here we go.
- 80 grams of sweet almond oil
- 20 grams of refined mango butter (or shea butter)
- One tablespoon of cocoa butter (7 grams)
- ½ tablespoon of beeswax pellets 8 grams or finely chopped beeswax
- ½ teaspoon of vitamin E oil
- Twenty drops of lavender essential oil or orange essential oil.
- ½ cup of room-temperature distilled water
I used a stick blender with this recipe, but a countertop blender works just as well.
- Before you start, ensure all your equipment has been sanitised so that your lotion does not pick up any cross-contamination. Clean everything with hot, soapy water or run it through the hot cycle in your dishwasher.
- Combine the sweet almond oil, mango butter, cocoa butter, and beeswax in the top section of a double boiler or a heat-safe glass bowl.
- Using a double boiler or a glass bowl, place the glass bowl on top of a saucepan partially filled with water and place it on the stove.
- Using medium heat, melt the oils, stirring now and then until everything is melted and combined.
- Allow the oil mixture to cool to room temperature.
- If using a bench-top blender, pour the oil mixture into it and allow it to come to room temperature. It will become opaque as it cools. You want it to cool so it becomes creamy but not solid.
- Once cooled, add in your vitamin E oil and essential oil and blend them in.
- Using a low-speed setting, slowly add your distilled water. This should be added at a slow drizzle while you continue to blend. Once the water has been added, increase the speed to medium and bled for another 30 seconds.
- Pour the lotion into a jar and store it away from light and heat.
This is a water-based lotion that will go off without any added preservatives. This is why I always make a small batch. If you are concerned that you will not use it fast enough, store it in the fridge.
I used lavender in my formula, but you could change this court for another essential oil. Orange works well, as does rose geranium.
I will use this all summer, returning to my richer face cream once the weather cools and I need extra protection from the cold Granite Belt winter winds.
Making your own cosmetics will be better for you and the environment. It also saves you a lot of money as you avoid paying the pink tax, which negatively impacts women. It is easy to make and lots of fun. Give it a go.