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Recipe: Homemade Face Lotion

July 14, 2011

One of the few things I actually remember from my childhood is watching my grandmother do her nightly beauty routine when she would come to visit. She would spend an immense amount of time each night cleansing, clarifying, toning, and moisturizing her skin. She would use special creams for each section of her face- one for lips, another for under-eye, another for smile lines and crow’s feet, and a general all-over moisturizer. She had spent a large portion of her adult life modeling and running a modeling agency, so she took her appearance very seriously. While there is a lot I learned from my grandmother, including a lot about painting, art, nature and being thrifty, there are a few that will stay in my mind forever- the legacy she will leave in the short quips I will remember her by:

1) Life’s not fair. Get over it and get on with your life.

2) Always wear sunglasses. Because then you won’t squint, and therefore, will not cause unsightly wrinkles.

3) You can always stand to lose 5 pounds. “Alicia- have you lost some weight?”  “No, grandma.”  “Well, losing a few pounds never hurt anybody…”

4) MOISTURIZE! She was always sure to stress the importance of moisturizing not just your face, but your decolletage as well.

More often than not I would roll my eyes at her and begin to daydream about all of the wonderful things I loved eating that helped me maintain those 5 extra pounds, but for some reason, the moisturizing thing stuck, and I’ve done it twice a day, every day, without fail, since I was fourteen. I was recently with my grandmother, who is now 84, and sure enough, her skin is beautiful. What’s funny though, is that I love older women who have tons of wrinkles…they’re like a badge of honor, representing all of the life’s lessons which have finally resulted in some wisdom, patience and perspective. All that being said, I’d like to share with you my favorite recipe for moisturizer.

I use this on my face (and yes, grandma, my decolletage too…) every day. I first started making it when I was pregnant with my son, as there were so many products that were recommended I not use during pregnancy- if they were not good for by developing baby, why would they be good for me? It was hard to give up my trusty old standby (I’d been using the same moisturizer since college), but within a few months of using this homemade version, the age spots I had begun to develop had lightened significantly and a few even disappeared. What’s even better is I feel entirely comfortable with everything in it, as all the ingredients are natural and (and even edible, although I don’t know why you’d want to…). And it’s very inexpensive to make- I estimate that I spend around $1.50 to make a four-ounce bottle, which will usually last a month or more. Now on to the recipe!

Combine aloe vera gel and vegetable glyerin at a 4:1 ratio, and then add 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil. Shake it all together. Simple.

Aloe vera gel is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and astringent (causes pores to contract), is hydrating and moisturizing. Vegetable glycerin (vegetable oils combined with an alkali) is a humectant, absorbing up to 50% of it’s weight in moisture from the air. It’s like the perfect combination of attributes for your skin.

You can play around with the ratio to make it exactly as you like it. The glycerin can make it feel slightly sticky when you first put it on, but this feeling goes away as soon as it dries (within moments). I like to use the full amount of glycerin when I make it, as Colorado is very dry. I generally use:

  • 4 TB aloe vera gel
  • 1 TB vegetable glycerin
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil

This lotion can be used anywhere you’ve got skin, not just for your face. I make it for my baby boy, using tea tree essential oil instead of lavender, just because it smells more manly. I purchased a 4-ounce bottle from Mountain Rose Herbs, with a glass dropper lid. One dropper full is usually enough for my face and neck.

So, while I’m munching away on the peanut-butter chocolate-chip ice cream I picked up at the store yesterday, perhaps my grandmother can comfort herself with the fact that at least one of her lessons got through to me!

Let me know how yours turns out!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Jennifer Chim permalink
    July 18, 2011 12:18 pm

    🙂 love this. ur grandmother sounds a lot like mine! im definately doing this. the amount of money you can spend on lotions and creams is insane!! one quick question do you know if it causes or worsens acne…. embarassingly enuf i still get it and have a heck of a time finding face wash/lotions that dont worsen it.

    • July 22, 2011 1:28 pm

      I don’t know from personal experience, but I could point you in the direction of some essential oils and other concoctions that would help. I do know that when I’ve switched products in the past it’s always made me break out as my skin adjusted to the new stuff, but I didn’t have anything like that happen when I switched to this recipe. Let me know if you want info on the other stuff!

  2. July 23, 2011 2:15 pm

    oh man, I love your thoughts! I need to try this! maybe it’s the whole turning 30 things and all the wrinkles :-). I’ll have to tell you about my new all natural, free moisturizer I’ve been using (some might consider it gross, so I’m not going public about it). Perhaps you can guess…

  3. Jennifer Chim permalink
    July 30, 2011 2:34 pm

    would love to know bout the essential oils! thanks!

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