The Best Lotion Recipe Only Has Three Ingredients, So Start Slathering It On now
If there was one product my family never ran out of growing up, it was body lotion. My dad had his own body lotion preference, my mother had her stand-by lotions for her body and separate lotions for her hands and feet, and my sister had a plethora of heavily scented lotions from the Body Shop that she kept with "Hands Off" labels in her room. The Body Shop was THE place for lotion in Southern New Hampshire in the late '90s. I never had a go-to lotion. I used anything I could find at my parents' house, and in college? I got the cheapest thing I could possibly find, which was usually Vaseline's line at the grocery store.
Living in New Hampshire, I endured winters that were so cold that school was cancelled. On many occasions, our town would lose electricity for over a week because of the cold. I certainly knew the importance of applying lotion liberally throughout the day to stay moisturized. I can safely say never was I too cheap, too hung-over, or too busy to lube up before heading out into a brisk winter day. I always had something in my bag to alleviate dry, cracked hands. I could hear my mother's voice when she gave me my first bathing-alone lesson as a child: "You have to put lotion on, you don't want your elbows to get ashy." Not wanting my imaginary friends to think of me as ashy, I gingerly applied lotion everywhere, in my hair, in my mouth, and all over my body. That's really all I remember about the importance of lotion instead of the actual benefits to my skin, which meant my lotion game needed a lot of work.
Our skin is the largest organ of our bodies and because it's the only layer between our inner beauty and the outside world, it takes a serious ass-kicking on day-to-day basis. Not only is it important to wash and exfoliate regularly, but it is essential to apply a moisturizer to protect our skin from factors like pollutants, cold temperature, stress, and those fried olives that I just cannot resist. Of course, we can do this while we lather up in the shower, but the lotion is going to be our armor when we step out into the world to strut our stuff.
Now that I am all about giving my skin the best nature has to offer, I have become fully addicted to Shea Moisture's Hibiscus and Coconut Body Lotion: Holy shit, that stuff is gold. It also can cost as little as $10 and as much as $20 for a mere 13 ounces (depending on the location). You think these long legs can last a month lubing up in the AM/PM for that? Think again. Natural beauty can be pricey and Bed Bath and Beyond only has so many coupons I can indulge in. Of course, I had to take matters into my own hands and make the best lotion in my kitchen.
Here is my personal arsenal of DIY Body Lotion Recipes that will keep your skin game tight this fall.
1. Shea Butter
The base should have plenty of fatty acids to make a thick consistency which is ideal for lotion. Here's what I know: My bod loves shea butter. It has removed scars from insect bites, blemishes, and random sword fighting incidents. To make an effective lotion that repairs damaged skin and protects new skin, you'll need a base with plenty of vitamins. Shea is packed with vitamins A, C, and E which will give you antioxidants, increase the elasticity of your skin, and heal damaged skin.
I purchase 100% Natural African Shea butter from my local beauty supply store for $5 for a huge tub (shea butter does not expire).
2. Coconut Oil
Obvi, I am not making a DIY lotion without my natural beauty bestie: coconut oil. Coconut is rich in protein, potassium, and vitamin E. Not only is it a superior moisturizer to most OTC products, but it also stimulates and repairs dull skin and has been claimed to reverse signs of aging. Personally, there are few recipes that I make that exclude coconut oil. Once I introduced coconut oil into my diet, my once child-like immune system was able to fight off colds with the speed of lightening... and by lightning I mean, like, three days. There is no doubt in my mind that this essential oil is the key to young, healthy skin and a major player in warding off daily pollutants.
I purchase Extra Virgin Coconut Oil from the Vitamin Shoppe for about $20 (sales and location vary) for 32 ounces.
The next step is adding some extra skin benefits and sexy scents, of course. Lemongrass provides a sultry, sweet, lemony scent and goes nicely with my existing ingredients. It doesn't hurt that these tall perennial grass minimizes the sight of pores and is a natural antiseptic, which means the chances of distressed skin is low. Lemongrass is antimicrobial and antibacterial, which is super beneficial in warding off toxins.
I purchase lemongrass from the Vitamin Shoppe for about $5 for .5 fluid ounces.
Now that you've made the best lotion ever for your skin, you can use those same skills to make a slammin' hair butter!
Image: Kristin Collins Jackson; Giphy