The Bathroom Chemist: Making Your Own Natural Body Care Products with Author Deborah Dolen
Making your own natural and effective skin care products is very easy to do and produces a far better quality product than any commercial brand typically ever will. Raising three girls-well, equated to four ladies wanting lots of lotion, balm and body wash to name a few. We would go intoBathand Body WorksTM, spend a few hundred dollars and still not have everything we wanted. Had I known back then the same money could have gone to making gallons of lotion, balm and even candles, I would have learned it very fast. Making your own product is a very empowering child-parent activity, is extremely self rewarding and educational.
In The Bathroom Chemist I start out teaching about fats. Fats, such as coconut oil, for example, are materials that are not water soluble and the easiest place to begin to learn how to make your own body care products. Lip balm, or balm “sticks” [note Chapstick aggressively defends using the word Chapstick-so the market now calls them “balm sticks,”] are not made how I initially envisioned they were made. I thought a big machine stuffs fat into jars and twist tube sticks. I did not know it was a simple process of warming fats and adding fat soluble ingredients, as well as in some cases, adding an oil based flavor. Color can even be swirled in with a toothpick using inexpensive lipstick for the tint.
Oil based items do not need a preservative. When you are dealing with just oil or fat bases, you do not have the myriad of concerns you would have when dealing with water based formulas. Only age of oil (rancidity) can be a concern so always try to ensure your oils and fats are as fresh as possible. Most oils have a year or two shelf life, but important to know how long they sat in a warehouse before you secured them. Oils can be extended by adding a form of vitamin E known as Tocopherol. Fats can be extended by very gentle warming and the same system. Rosemary Oleoresin Extract is great, but I find a good oil based E Tocopherol just as good and easier to secure.
In my video I move a lot of warm oils into other oils using the same pipette. A few viewers saw that as “transference” or “cross contamination” but I am saying that is not transference or of concern because I am not dealing with water or any water based items.
After mastering balms, body butters and oil based salves, and bath bombs, I get into teaching lotion and crème making. So much can be done with learning lotion-it equates to making body washes (by adding a natural liquid soap) and/or cleansing milks, body scrubs, in some cases sunscreen type preparations. The possibilities are just about limitless.
Making lotion or crème is learning how to make an “emulsion.” It is just oil and water as a basis. Learning how to make them not separate can be a challenge, but once you learn it, very rewarding. I dragged my feet for years on making emulsions, my first attempts separated. But when I really focused on it-I learned it one hour.
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