(Update: Find this recipe and many more in my “Things To Make With Mint” Kindle ebook!)
I’ve been experimenting with lotion recipes for ages and finally found one that I absolutely love!
I based it off of Rosemary Gladstar’s “Famous Face Cream” recipe found in her book, Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide, and then tweaked it around a bit. (PS: that book is fabulous and not just for beginners. I love my copy!)
While this version is made with mint, don’t be afraid to swap ingredients around and use another flower or herb that you like. If you don’t want to use shea butter, try mango or cocoa butter instead. The type of carrier oil can be varied as well.
Aloe Mint Lotion:
- handful of fresh mint leaves (dried will work too)
- rosemary antioxidant (extract)
- 1/2 ounce (1 Tablespoon) aloe vera
- 1 ounce (2 Tablespoons) shea butter
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup) of sunflower oil
- 1/2 tablespoon beeswax
- peppermint essential oil
I infuse my sunflower oil with mint leaves (see HERE for more detailed directions) – but you can use plain oil, if you wish.
Make sure that you are using pure aloe vera gel. (I use the kind from Mountain Rose Herbs, but your local health store should have a high quality option as well.)
First, we need to make a mint tea to serve as the water base of our lotion. Stuff a jar with fresh mint leaves (or about 1/8 to 1/4 filled with dried mint leaves) and pour simmering hot water over them, until the jar is filled. Cover with a saucer and let this steep until cool.
Strain and measure out 2 ounces (1/4 cup) of tea for the recipe, mix the aloe in with it, then set aside. Refrigerate the remaining tea. (I’ll have more projects for that in another post.)
Take a small, heat-proof measuring cup or jar and add the oil, beeswax, and shea butter in it. Set this down into a saucepan containing a few inches of water. Set the pan over a medium-low burner until the wax and butter have melted. Remove from heat.
Stir about 5 or 6 drops of rosemary antioxidants into the oil mixture. This will help extend the shelf life of your lotion a little bit – nowhere near as much as if you used commercial preservatives, but I don’t mind a shorter shelf life in order to keep my homemade goodies chemical free.
Now, comes the waiting part. Set everything aside for a few hours to completely cool.
Using either a blender or a mixing bowl and hand mixer, start blending/beating the oil on high speed. Slowly drizzle in the water mixture while you continue to blend. After several minutes, the mixture will emulsify into a soft, creamy lotion, that will firm further as it sets.
Add a few drops of peppermint essential oil then beat a bit longer. Spoon into a glass jar for storage.
I’m going to disagree with the book somewhat (it says their recipe will keep at room temperature for a year) and recommend that you keep the finished lotion in the refrigerator.
Even then, because it has no chemical preservatives, shelf life will be limited to a matter of weeks, which is why I sized this recipe on the small side so you can use it up fast! Total yield is almost 4 ounces.
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