Friday, February 3, 2012

Home-made moisturisers!

Okay so not technically relevant to going GF and DF foodwise but when you get into the habit of reading every label for food, it gets you wondering what everything is made out of....and I have to say that there are a lot of undesirable ingredients in most moisturisers like mineral/paraffin oil and parabens. I already avoid deodorants that contain aluminium.


So it got me thinking that if it's best to moisturise your baby with edible oils why not grown-ups too? Well, it turns out that you can make your own moisturisers pretty simply and I've been making my own lip balms for years as I find them more effective than the vaseline-based ones anyway.

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Moisturiser
3/4 cups hot water
1/4 cup emulsifying wax
1/4 - 1/3 cup vegetable oil 
1 tsp citric acid
essential oil (for aroma)

Melt the oils and waxes in  a pyrex jug in the microwave. Mix in the water, aroma and citric acid thoroughly, using a balloon whisk (or hand blender).  Pour into jars. Leave to cool and thicken.


Basic lip balm
25g Beeswax pellets
50ml Vegetable Oil
1ml Essential Oil (for aroma)

Melt the oil and wax in a bain marie, stiring well. Take off the heat and stir in the essential oil. Pour into clean jars or lip balm tubes. Leave to set.



Aloe Face cream
100ml Aloe gel
50ml Jojoba oil (or Apricot or Almond oil)
tbsp emulsifying wax, melted (in microwave)

Put the 3 ingredients in a bowl and whisk by hand or mix with an electric food processor until it turns white and thickens to an emulsion. Put your cream in bottles and store in the fridge until you need them.


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Many people think it's a good idea to avoid using products from the petrochemical industry on your skin (e.g.vaseline/baby oil). Paraffin wax/oil isn't absorbed by your skin and can block pores, unlike it's natural alternative beeswax. In addition, petro-derived preservatives called parabens are also widely used in skin care products but some scientists believe there's a link between these and breast cancer.

But, if you are trying to avoid mineral/parafin oil you'll struggle to find any lip balms or moisturisers that don't contain them. You can make your own easily and cheaply because you don't need many ingredients and you can make in bulk. Baldwins, Soap Kitchen and Aromantics all have a great selection of ingredients, essential oils and pots. Have fun choosing your own fragrances/aromas by choosing which essential oils to add!

Good kitchen hygiene will make your creams last longer so clean all equipment thoroughly and avoid dipping your finger in the creams whilst making - place all utensils and pots on your sink's draining board and pour over kettle-hot water to sterilise before using.  Because of the high oil/wax ratio, l
ip balms will keep for years, but if you're making moisturisers with a body butter or water base, it's a good idea to make them in small pots and store in the fridge/freezer until you need them as they won't keep as long. I've added citric acid as a preserver but you could also use vitamin e or grape seed extract to improve the shelf life of your creams.  My basic moisturiser will keep for a couple of months out of the fridge.