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Winter is around the corner and for many people; winter not only brings the cold weather but dryness of the skin due to the low humid weather condition at that time of the year. For people with naturally dry skin, this time of the year can be very uncomfortable due to the side effects of dry skin exacerbated by cold. They need to continuously moisturize their skin especially hands and legs that are exposed to the elements to make sure they are constantly soft and not dry creating discomfort. For those without dry skin, the dryness of the winter condition still means they have to battle with dryness and need to moisturize frequently. Aside from the coming winter, dry skin is something everyone needs to tend to as they can lead to cracking of the skin if not managed properly and left for an extended duration.
Most people typically use lotions for moisturizing their skin to deal with dryness. These lotions usually come in liquid or cream form stored in portable bottles or packs that people can carry about and apply whenever they need to. You may have seen people carrying about bottles of lotion in their handbags so that they can apply the lotion to their hands and legs when required. Lotion bars are lotion in solid form at room temperature and below, they are portable, easy to carry and use than the liquid lotion. When needed, all you need to do is to rub it against your hand. The part of lotion bar in contact with your warm body melts and transfers the lotion to your body, which can then be rubbed, into the dry part of your skin to moisturize and soften it.
Lotion bars are also better than liquid lotion, because:
- They are portable, due to their solid form; they can be stored and handled easily. They also do not need to be stored in containers such as liquid lotion. Any packaging is ideal as long as the right conditions are met.
- They can serve multiple purposes such as soap to cleanse the body of dirt and oil as well as moisturizer to soften and supple the body. This is, however, dependent on the type of ingredients used in making the bar. It is said the best time to apply moisturizer on the body is when the body pores are open which coincidentally happens after taking a shower or bath. The open pores allow the lotion to get deep into the skin keeping it protected all day.
- They can be customized into a variety of lotion bars with different properties and uses depending on the ingredients used in the composition of the bars. This gives you many options to choose from with different uses, whether it is merely for moisturizing, exfoliating, bronzing or medicinal purposes. You can customize your lotion bar for any occasion or use it as you deem fit. This makes it ideal as a “Do-It-Yourself” (DIY) challenge.
- They are a healthy option. The materials for lotion bars are mainly from natural sources such as cocoa butter, coconut oil, sunflower oil, Beewax, Candelilla wax, mango butter, lavender oil and are therefore the healthier choice against most liquid lotion made from petroleum-based and non-natural occurring chemicals. Also since lotion bars do not use water, preservatives are not required in making them
For this write-up, I will be focusing on how you can make a lavender and mango butter lotion bar. Mango butter is believed to have excellent moisturizing properties that last longer on the skin without being greasy as other alternative bases used for making lotion bars. This makes it an interesting candidate for dealing with dryness of the skin and in my opinion one of the best lavender lotion option out there.
- 1 measure of coconut oil
- 1 measure of Mango butter
- 1 measure of beeswax
- 2% measure of essential oil of lavender
- 1 % measure of Vitamin E
- Container to heat the ingredients. This would be in the form of a double boiler or glass bowl over heated water. You do not want the container to be heated directly.
- Measure: this could be a cup or scale. The idea is to ensure some form of proportionality with the quantity of ingredients to be mixed. You can experiment with different measures to get different properties. For example, adding more wax to the mixture could lead to a harder lotion bar, while more oil would give a softer lotion bar that melts quickly on the skin.
- Spatula or spoon.
- Molds that will be used to hold the heated oil to allow it to cool. Best to use small-sized shapely molds to give any design you like.
- Protective clothing such as gloves, apron, hair net, and goggles.
The cup or measure you want to use will be dependent on the size and number of bars you want to make.
Breakdown of the ingredients
This is the base oil for the lotion bar. It helps hydrate the skin and improve its elasticity. It is also known for its anti-oxidant properties, which makes it useful in the treatment of various skin diseases such as eczema and dermatitis. It is best to go for the unrefined coconut oil for your skin because it contains nutrients that are helpful for your skin. Unrefined coconut oil is oftentimes referred to as “raw”, “cold-pressed” or virgin coconut oil. Other options for base oil exist such as sunflower oil, jojoba oil, and olive oil, just to mention a few.
This adds the protective barrier to the skin as well as the softening or soothing effect that comes from the lotion bars. Mango butter is pressed from the seed within the mango fruit and has an almost undetectable scent. It also contains high levels of essential fatty acids, vitamin A and C as well as antioxidants. Vitamin C is amazing for healing and regenerating the skin and helps to boost the skin, and brightening it. The Vitamin A helps to increase the skin’s youthful appearance and reducing fine lines on the body. Other alternatives to mango butter exist such as shea butter which is extracted from the shea tree nuts. others are Cocoa butter, Tucuma Butter, Kokum butter, Babassu butter, and Mowrah butter.
This will make the lotion bars hard enough to hold in the hand but melt on contact with the skin. It also adds to the protective barrier on the skin by attracting water molecules and preventing the loss of moisture. Loss of water can cause sagging and wrinkly skin. So it helps to make the skin look younger. Lastly, it also has antibacterial properties that protect the skin. Beeswax is by far the most popular wax used for lotion bars and come in either processed or natural form. The natural beeswax will give an added honey-like scent to the lotion bar. If you would rather not have this scent, you can choose processed beeswax instead. Processed beeswax will also give a whiter finished lotion bar. Other popular waxes that can be used include Candelilla Wax and Carnauba Wax.
Lavender essential oil is gotten from the lavender plant and can be applied to the skin directly. It can also be taken orally or breathed in through aromatherapy, but not advised. It provides the fragrance but also beneficial to the skin by helping lessen and healing acne, wrinkles. It also has antibacterial properties and can kill bacteria that penetrate your skin pores.
This is an antioxidant for products containing oil by protecting your skin from damage caused by free radicals. It is also effective in reducing UV damage in the skin. Lastly, it can help prevent oils used in making the lotion bar from turning rancid.
The process to make lavender mango butter lotion bar
Add all the measures of mango butter and beeswax into the container or double boiler, and heat to melt slowly. Maintain the heat at medium strength and stir occasionally
Once ingredients have melted, add the coconut oil and stir until all ingredients have been mixed.
Turn off the heat and allow ingredients to cool for about 5 minutes (it may be less if you already living in a cold environment. In which case you need to wait for a lot less time.
Add the measures of lavender essential oil and vitamin E and stir
Pour the mixture into the molds, let them remain for about 30 to 45 minutes to allow the lotion bar to set. If you want to speed up the process, you can put it in a refrigerator to cool down faster.
Once it has solidified, you can remove from the mold and package them as you please.
Make sure to keep them dry and out of warm places. Packaging should be such to maintain its integrity by being airtight and dry.
Now that you have your lavender mango lotion bar, you can apply to your skin and feel the smoothness of the bar. To use, just hold the lotion bar in your hand until your body heat begins to warm the bar and rub it on whatever part of your skin you need it to. Soon you will begin to feel your skin feel smooth and soft.
The lavender mango butter lotion bar is the ideal lotion bar for dry skin all-round the year, especially during the cold winter months. Its emollient properties help make the skin soft and smooth while moisturizing your skin. It is super rich in nutrients that the body needs to retain its youthfulness, ward of skin diseases such as eczema, dermatitis and heal the skin. You can’t go wrong with this choice.