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beauty

How to Make Chamomile Body Lotion

*Note: This recipe was first published in the April 2017 issue of AromaCulture Magazine.

Whether you like to use natural, homemade products whenever possible or you just want to have skin as soft as a baby's, I think you're going to love this recipe. When I originally set out to create a lotion that I could use everyday in place of my go-to storebought one, I wanted to create something that was gentle enough for a baby, calming, and suitable for long-term everyday use. I adore this result of that formulating day and I'm thrilled to share this recipe with you now.

I have purposely not used any essential oils in this formula. I found that they were unnecessary, especially if I wanted my formula to be suitable for wee ones, and I tend to leave them out of most everyday products anyway. The hydrosol and the Chamomile flower infusion provide just the right amount of dreamy Chamomile scent without the overpowering aroma that Chamomile essential oils can sometimes present. The result is truly lovely.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ounce of organic Aloe vera juice (the kind fit for internal use, without additives)
  • 1 ounce of German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) hydrosol
  • .75 ounce of organic Sweet Almond oil infused with German Chamomile flowers
  • .75 ounce of organic Sunflower oil
  • .5 ounce of organic Cocoa butter
  • 1/3 ounce of organic, unrefined Shea butter
  • 1/6 ounce of organic beeswax

Note: If you prefer to formulate creams with preservatives, you are welcome to adjust the recipe to include whichever one you wish to use. You will need to follow the manufacturer instructions for the product to do so.

If you prefer not to work with preservatives, you'll want to store this cream in the fridge, access it only with clean hands, and use it up within a week or two (some sources say up to a month).


INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Melt the beeswax in a double boiler over low heat. Once it is melted, add the Cocoa butter.
  2. When both the beeswax and Cocoa butter are melted, remove them from the heat and place the bowl of liquids (Aloe + hydrosol) in the double boiler, with the heat turned off, to warm.
  3. Add the other carrier oils to the beeswax and Cocoa butter and stir until everything is thoroughly incorporated.
  4. Stir in the Shea butter. It will melt as you mix it with the other oils.
  5. Once the oil mix and the 'water' mix have both reached a temperature of 110 degrees F, you are ready to start blending the two together to form your lotion. It's important that both the liquids and the oils be right at 110 degrees, otherwise they may not emulsify correctly.
  6. Using an immersion blender, start blending your carrier oils, which should have started to show a change in their texture by now (this is good). Very slowly, start adding little bits of the liquids into the oils, all the while keeping the immersion blender going. Slowly add more liquids into the oils in small increments until all of the liquids have been added. Continue to blend using the immersion blender for a couple of minutes, until your lotion reaches a consistency that you like.
  7. Pour the mixture into your jars, add labels, and enjoy!

NOTES

  1. Lotions can be tricky and it may take some practice before you perfect your fluffy concoction. If the lotion doesn't come together on your first try, remelt the whole mixture in a double boiler over very low heat until it again reaches 110 degrees F, then try again.
  2. Homemade lotions are best stored in the fridge and made in very small batches.

I hope you enjoy this beautiful, calming lotion! I know we are and I've heard some glowing reports from readers who made this recipe after seeing it in the April issue of our AromaCulture Magazine. =)
Much love,
Erin

OTHER BLOG POSTS

Rose Face and Décolletage Cream

I love wrinkles. I think they're beautiful. They tell stories. They're evidence that we've felt through the seasons of life. But I also love a good anti-aging cream. Especially for the lines that have been showing up on my neck. (I'm okay with them being there, but... Where did those come from?)

After testing a lot of other herbalists' formulas for handmade moisturizers and trying plenty of over-the-counter products, I finally developed an anti-aging recipe that I am absolutely in love with. It's velvety and creamy and leaves my skin so soft and supple and glowy without leaving behind any oily residue. I'm also a major fan of this pretty-in-pink hue. I thought I'd share the recipe with you today so you can have a go at making a batch for yourself or your friends. I think you're going to love it as much as I do!

The oils in this recipe were chosen because they're lovely and lightweight. The small addition of Tamanu adds potent skin-rejuvenating properties (and I adore the smell of it). Hibiscus gives it its rosy glow and contributes a heavy dose of AHA's (which moisturize, exfoliate, firm & tone the skin while also helping to clear and cleanse pores) to the overall blend. The essential oils are anti-aging and perfectly suited to skin care blends.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ounce of organic Aloe vera juice (the kind meant for internal use, without additives)
  • .5 ounce of organic Rose Geranium hydrosol
  • .5 ounce of Ylang Ylang hydrosol
     
  • .75 ounce of organic Sunflower oil infused with organic Hibiscus flowers
  • .5 ounce of organic Rosehip seed oil
  • .25 ounce of organic Tamanu oil
  • .75 ounce of organic Cocoa butter
  • .25 ounce of organic beeswax
     
  • 5 drops of organic Lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • 4 drops of organic Rose essential oil (Rosa damascena)
  • 2 drops of organic Frankincense essential oil (Boswellia carterii)
  • 1 drop each of organic Carrot Seed (Daucus carota), Green Myrtle (Myrtus communis), and Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) essential oils
    (The essential oils are kept to about a 0.5% dilution for this cream. You can purchase high quality essential oils, hydrosols, and carriers from a reputable source here.)

Note: If you prefer to formulate creams with preservatives, you are welcome to adjust the recipe to include whichever one you wish to use. You will need to follow the manufacturer instructions for the specific product you choose to use.

If you prefer not to formulate products with preservatives, you will need to make creams in very small batches in a sterile environment, store and access them properly, and use them up within a week or two (some sources say a month).


INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Melt your beeswax in a double boiler over low heat. Once it is melted, stir in your Cocoa butter.
  2. When both the beeswax and Cocoa butter are liquid, remove them from the heat and stir in the remainder of your carrier oils. Set aside and let cool for a few minutes and place the bowl with the Aloe and hydrosols over the double boiler (with the heat turned off) for a few minutes to warm up.
  3. When both the liquids and the oils are at 110 degrees F, you are ready to start blending the two together to create your cream. It's important that both the liquids and the oils be right at 110 degrees, otherwise they may not emulsify correctly.
  4. Using an immersion blender, start blending your carrier oils, which should have started to show a change in their texture by now (this is good). Very slowly, start adding little bits of the liquids into the oils, all the while keeping the immersion blender going. Slowly add more liquids into the oils in small increments until all of the liquids have been added. Continue to blend using the immersion blender for a couple of minutes, until your cream reaches a consistency that you like.
  5. Blend in your essential oils.
  6. Pour the mixture into your jar, add a label, and enjoy!

NOTES

  • Creams can be tricky and it may take some practice before you perfect your fluffy concoctions. If the cream doesn't come together on your first try, remelt the whole mixture in a double boiler over very low heat until it again reaches 110 degrees F, then try blending it again.
  • Creams are best stored in the fridge and made in very small batches.
april recipes aromaculture.com photo by erin stewart wm-11.jpg

Enjoy this lovely cream! Don't worry - that rosy hue doesn't leave any tint on your skin. It sure does make it look pretty, though! If you decide to make a batch of face cream using this recipe, share a photo of your creation over in our Facebook group! I'd love to see how your moisturizer turned out. =)

Much love,
Erin


APRIL'S MAGAZINE ISSUE:

OTHER BLOG POSTS

Queen of Hungary's Facial Mist Recipe

Once the herb bug bites you, it usually isn't long before you start formulating your own skin care recipes. I think I've created at least 3 full skin care ranges for myself within the past couple of years (and, through doing so, have developed a few signature recipes that I make over and over again). Skin care products may be my absolute favorites to formulate.

Working on delicate flower petals in the mortar and pestle and enjoying their aroma as I transform them into ingredients for my gentle exfoliating powders...

Carefully blending hydrating lotions and watching them come together into something light and fluffy and oh-so-lovely...

Moments like these are such beautiful parts of process. The ability to be involved in the creation of your own daily-use products and to use your intuition to choose the herbs and ingredients that resonate with you in any given season add deeper layers of healing and nourishment to your finished products. There's something quite special about it, I think. Using products that I've formulated with intention and made with love feels so much more luxurious than any posh cream filled with synthetics and toxins.

Though I normally build my recipes from scratch, once in awhile I like to experiment with historic recipes and play with the ingredients and ratios a bit until the recipe becomes my own. One of my favorites is an adaptation of the Queen of Hungary's Facial Water. There are many variations of the original recipe circulating in herb books and on the internet, but this is my own adjusted version. =)

Queen-of-Hungary's-Facial-Mist-Recipe-aromaculture.com.png

I've also made a printable copy of this recipe for you. If you'd like to print it out so you can reference it later, scroll to the bottom of this post.

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 parts organic Rose petals
  • 8 parts organic Calendula petals
  • 5 parts organic Lemon Balm
  • 4 parts organic Chamomile flowers
  • 3 parts organic Lavender buds
  • 2 parts organic Comfrey leaf
  • 2 parts organic Lemon Peel
  • 2 parts organic Rosemary
  • 1 part organic Rosehips
  • 1 part organic Sage
  • organic raw Apple cider vinegar (with the mother)
  • organic hydrosol
  • organic Witch Hazel extract
queen of hungary's water aromaculture.com -12.jpg

INSTRUCTIONS

Blend your dried herbs together in a large bowl. I normally use a kitchen spoon as my "part" for this recipe (when I'm just making it for myself or to give to friends), which would translate to "10 spoonfuls of Rose petals, 8 spoonfuls of Calendula flowers" and so on. Whatever you choose as your measurement is what your "part" will be, whether it be a cup, an ounce, or a teaspoon. It doesn't have to be exact.

Fill a glass jar about 3/4 of the way with your herb mix. If you have extra herb that doesn't fit in the jar, set it aside in a labeled glass storage container so you can use it again the next time you make this recipe. 

Pour raw Apple cider vinegar over the herbs until your jar is full and screw the lid on tightly. Give the jar a good shake and store it in a place where you’ll see it every day for the next 3-4 weeks. Whenever you walk by the jar, take a moment to shake it up or flip it over. I like to take a moment to say a prayer over it and infuse the blend with good energy while I'm giving it a shake. This extra dose of intention will be evident in your finished product. It may sound strange to some, but it makes a difference!

After 3-4 weeks have passed, strain the herbs out of your jar using a fine mesh strainer or a piece of muslin and toss the spent herbs in your compost pile.

At this point, you can add hydrosol to the infused vinegar. Fill your spray (or serum dropper) bottle about halfway with your herbal vinegar and then fill it another quarter of the way with hydrosol. I like to use Rose, Calendula, Lavender or Yarrow hydrosol for this step, but you could use whichever hydrosol you have on hand. Top off the bottle with Witch Hazel extract.

Add a label to your bottle that lists the date you made your toner and the ingredients you used. Shake well before using and store in a cool, dry place. Use as a facial toner, aftershave, or experiment to find other uses for it!

If you'd like to print out a copy of the recipe, I've styled a lovely PDF version of it for you. It's completely free when you sign up for our email newsletter. Enter your email address in the form below to gain access to it.

Much love,
Erin