I have never made homemade lotion, nor have I ever even had the desire to, until this week.
I did not relish the mess, the finding of ingredients, and the probability of failure (if you’ve read KS very long, you’ve seen some of my epic fails, yes?).
About the only homemade personal product I’d ever made and enjoyed was my homemade deodorant, and I even let that go when my deo container played out and wouldn’t twist anymore.
I do a lot in the kitchen, but even my kids will joke that “Mom’s not crafty!”
I was looking through Heather Dessigner’s DIY Organic Beauty Recipes, expecting to find nothing that I would actually bother with, when a few recipes suddenly caught my eye.
Two ingredients. Three ingredients. Things that I already had in my home. I thought, “I could actually maybe do this!”
I’ve since made the Tallow Balm and the Lemon Salve for Even Skin Tone (designed to help fade brown spots), and it didn’t take very long at all (sigh of relief).
The lemon salve is going to take weeks or months to work, but it’s so easy that I’m okay with that.
Do you have weird brown spots on your face? I am NOT old here, people, don’t even think about telling me those are “age spots.” They’re just weird brown spots. And they’re going to go away now that I have my secret witch doctor formula, ha ha! Just kidding about the witch doctor thing. Sometimes my husband thinks anything DIY is a little kooky, but I’m wearing him down bit by bit…
I love Heather’s books for a few reasons: First, they’re very well-researched (in the case of Nourished Baby) and extremely thorough. Second, the recipes are well tested, and not super complicated!
As Heather states on her DIY Organic Beauty Recipes page:
There are some great recipes out there that work really well . . . and some that don’t! Unfortunately it’s impossible to know which it will be ahead of time and it’s always a bummer to have to throw out failed attempts made with fantastic ingredients. Each recipe in this book has been tested over and over to ensure consistent results.
Also, I’ve worked hard to formulate products that will allow you to keep your refrigerator free from the clutter of ultra-perishable beauty products. Though these recipes are not infused with toxic preservatives that will make them last for years on end like those three year-old fast food burgers we’ve seen, most will stay fresh for months at a time. Not only does this cut down on time spent preparing each item since you don’t have to make small batches every week, it also saves you money and cuts down on waste.
I know your fridges look like mine – bursting at the seams, especially now that my “garage fridge” is a thing of the past with the change of seasons. I do not have space for five little jars of such-and-such, thankyouverymuch.
What Recipes are in DIY Organic Beauty Recipes?
Photo by Heather Dessinger
There were a few more that I had hoped to try and didn’t get around to, including a natural microdermabrasion process, a toothpaste powder (above), and a pretty-looking cinnamon and vanilla salt scrub (that I probably wouldn’t have time to use, let’s be honest here, but it tempted me like a recipe on Pinterest with a drool-worthy photo…the ingredients sounded like it would smell good enough to eat!).
Here’s a sample of the Table of Contents for you:
- Peppermint face and body wash
- Eye makeup remover
- a few different soaps
- Refreshing Neroli and Vanilla Toner
- 3 different shampoos
- Fenugreek deep conditioner + 4 more
- 4 color rinses for different hair colors
- a hair spray and a pomade
- Mint chocolate body butter
- For new mamas: Belly balm, belly butter, and stretch mark diminisher
- For new babies: Gentle baby wash, butt balm and baby powder
- Variations on body sprays and solid perfume
- 4 toothpastes/tooth soaps
- 3 deodorants, including Man Stink Killer Deodorant
- Makeup: cheek and lip tint, bronzer, and 3 lip balms
- 2 sunscreens and a sun relief spray
- 2 bug repellents
If you have any questions about ingredients, I can try to help in the comments by referring to my review copy. Many of the recipes include exclusive video demonstrations as well, which is a pretty nice bonus (especially for some recipes that might not be quite as simplistic as the ones I chose!).
Recipe: Homemade Tallow Lotion
I’m so proud of myself for making this!
- ½ c. beef tallow
- 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- a few drops essential oils
- Simply heat the tallow over very low heat until it liquifies. Optimally at about 120F (you may need to melt, then cool it a little), stir in EVOO and essential oils. Start with a small amount of aromatics and add more if necessary. You don't want the lotion so strong you can't use it.
- Mix together and put in a container in the fridge to harden, then store at room temperature.
* I was dehydrating something anyway and simply put one of those little muffin cup shapes of tallow (about ¼ cup) in a glass bowl on a shelf of the dehydrator. Without any babysitting, it was melted when I was ready for it. Love that! The bowl just went into the dishwasher, so no messy clean up, either.
* Hugs to my mom for rendering tallow for us! That's love right there, sharing your local, grassfed beef tallow with your crazy daughter and her family. I'll have to make her a batch of unscented tallow balm, just the way she'd like it.
* Renee of MadeOn swears by the addition of beeswax to any lotion, which would make it a bit harder, but it really seals in the moisturizing oils. I have little doubt that beeswax would be an improvement upon this recipe as well, but it would also increase the mess. For those wanting something a little stronger, the MadeOn DIY kit recipes could be made with tallow instead of coconut oil, for example.
The resulting lotion is fairly soft, easy to dip out a bit and rub it into your hands. My baby food jar is holding a half batch, simply because that’s the size my tallow wedges from my mom ended up being once it melted. I can imagine quite a number of different containers that would work great, as long as the opening is big enough for your fingers to reach all the way to the bottom to scrape the last little bit out.
The tallow is supposed to be just about the “perfect food” for the skin, according to Heather’s book. It has a very similar saturated fat profile as our skin cells themselves, and it actually tones the skin due to the fat-soluble vitamins contained within. Color me impressed! I need to try this as a facial moisturizer and see if I notice any difference.
Also, how awesome is it that you could make both a delicious snack or a soothing moisturizer from the same ingredient?
Tallow makes the best homemade French fries.
And on a side note, now that it’s garage sale season again, I got a “new” table runner to use in my photos. Isn’t that floral print just the dose of springtime you need after about 47 days of rain?
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post to the ebook, Mountain Rose Herbs, and to MadeOn from which I will earn some commission if you make a purchase. See my full disclosure statement here.