Sunday, December 18, 2011

Aromatherapy/Botanicals Tip of the Week

Sunday morning in the Catskills (view from my living room window)

As you may recall, a few weeks ago I posted about some homemade bath goodies I had made. Last week I shared with you a recipe for almond oil cleanser and today I'll be showing you how to make a great moisturizer to go with it.

Basic Moisturizer
This is another great recipe from the Winter 2011 issue of Herb Quarterly. I absolutely love this moisturizer because it's so rich and creamy without clogging my pores or making my skin feel greasy. I gave some to my sister to try as well, and now her and her boyfriend are obsessed with it (and I've heard my Mom has been stealing it too haha).

I've been using the almond oil cleanser and this moisturizer every day for about two weeks now and I've been really happy with the combo. My skin has been super soft and smooth--none of that nasty flaking that happens so often during the cold winter months. I highly recommend both of these! Plus, they're really easy to make!

1/4 cup sweet almond oil (or light sesame or sunflower oil)
1/4 cup stearic acid powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup distilled water

Combine the oil and stearic acid powder and heat gently in the microwave (or on the stove) until melted. Combine the baking soda and water and heat up until it's roughly the same temperature as the oil mixture (but be careful not to let it come to a boil). In a blender or food processor, add the oil mixture, then slowly add the warm water mixture until you have a light cream. (After trying it this way, I think it might have been easier to just mix by hand because it made a big mess in my blender, but try it and see what works best for you.) Let cool completely (you may need to stir it a few times while it cools to keep the oil and water from separating). Store in a clean container in a cool, dry spot. (The recipes says it makes 12 ounces but my batch filled two 4-ounce containers.)

To use, massage a small amount into clean skin after cleansing.

Next time I make a batch of this moisturizer, I would love to try adding some essential oils to give it a fragrance. Instead of using as a facial moisturizer, I'd instead use it as a body cream. If you end up trying this, please let me know how it goes!  :)

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