Friday, June 3, 2016

DIY Vegan Body Butter Bars



I love the popularity of lotion bars these days.  Of course, I would rather make them myself to reduce wasted packaging and to ensure the ingredients are safe for my ridiculously sensitive skin.  With a little one, I wanted something safe to use around her.  I also wanted something without beeswax which is a common ingredient in many of the bars on the market as well as many of the DIY recipes I found on the internet.  So, after some testing, this was the recipe I used.

I choose coconut oil not only for its moisturizing properties as an oil, but also due to its high content of vitamin E which is known for its antioxidant properties in repairing skin.  Unlike palm oil, more is being done to ensure sustainable practices are put in place with the increase in popularity of coconut oil.  As always, it is best to do your own research before purchasing to ensure the company you are purchasing from is instituting these practices.

Shea butter is also high in Vitamin E.  It has some of the same moisturizers produced by our own skin making perfect sense as to why it has been popular with the cosmetics industry for some time.  The popularity of shea butter and rise in its fair trade have not only lead to increases in environmentally but also economically sustainable practices with its production.

I choose to use Lavender for my essential oil.  I chose lavender as summer is approaching, and lavender is known as a natural mosquito repellent.  Lavender is also known to be relaxing which I know as a mom to a toddler, I know I can use.

You can use whatever essential oil you prefer, however, you should take safety into consideration.  I would avoid any citrus based essential oils due to photosensitivity they may cause.  Also consider whether you will have little ones around.  Since I have a little one, I avoided peppermint and eucalyptus despite these being scents I enjoy.  Both are known to cause respiratory with small children.  If you have pets, you will want to take their sensitivities into consideration as well.  When in doubt, consult a certified aromatherapist before using any essential oil.  I also highly recommend checking out this site for further questions about essential oils including where to find a certified aromatherapist in your area.  I appreciate their emphasis on safety and testing.

So, here is my recipe:

Materials:

Mason Jar
Pot
Bamboo Skewer
Measuring Cup
Water
Canning Rack or Canning Tongs
1/2 cup Fair Trade Unrefined Shea Butter
1/2 cup Organic, virgin unrefined Coconut Oil
4-6 drops of Essential Oil
Silicone molds
optional: silicone mat

1. Boil water.

2. Measure out the Coconut Oil and Shea Butter into the Mason Jar.

3. Place the jar into the boiling water.

4, Keep the jar in the boiling water until the Coconut Oil and Shea Butter have liquefied and well mixed by stirring occasionally with your bamboo skewer.

5. Carefully remove your Mason Jar either using the canning rack or canning tongs.

6. Allow your mix to cool slightly before adding 4-6 drops of your Essential Oil.

7. Carefully pour your mix into molds.  The size of your mold will determine how many bars you make.  I made 4 with mine. If you are concerned about your ability to pour into the molds, you may wish to place a silicone mat underneath the molds to catch any spillage.

8. Allow to cool until fully set usually at least 4 hours.

9. Remove from molds and store in an airtight container in a cool area. Room temperature is generally cool enough to prevent them from melting with air conditioning though I still would not recommend keeping them in the kitchen as anyone who uses coconut oil can attest to in the summer months.

10, Rub between your hands or directly on the skin you wish to moisturize.  The warmth of your skin will melt the bar enough to moisturize your skin.  The bars will keep for up to a year kept in an airtight container when not in use.


This post is part of series of eco-sustainable Diys from a group of bloggers I know.  Please check their posts out as well.

DIY Upcycled Corkboard
http://thepinkpaperdoll.com/make-your-own-corkboard/

Slow Fashion - Sashiko

How to make your own bug spray and bug bite sticks:
http://littlesproutslearning.co/make-bug-spray-bug-bite-sticks/ ‎

How To Build Your Own Vermicompost Factory
http://www.everchangeproductions.co/build-vermicompost-factory/ ‎
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