I’m a self-proclaimed DIY addict. DIY beauty products are something I’ve made for years, including homemade lotion. It’s so much fun and completely customizable.
It was a few years ago that I had my first horrific experience with a DIY beauty product. I’d made some lotion two months prior. I was getting ready to apply it to my son after his bath.
I opened the jar and gasped! Was that mold growing in my lotion!?!?! I threw the entire thing in the trash. While I can’t be certain, it was pretty sketchy. Tiny black flecks.
But I started to wonder. How long was mold growing that I couldn’t see it. I’m sure you know, mold often grows before you can see it.
It was also summertime. Mold thrives in our humid summer conditions.
What was I putting on my child’s skin? I felt so frustrated. I had such good intentions. Yet it all went south.
How I Used to Make Homemade Lotion
I used to make homemade lotion every month or two, adding a natural preservative to keep it fresh. Grapefruit seed extract and vitamin c were my go to preservatives. But those natural preservatives were not enough.
I tried keeping my homemade lotion in the fridge. It wasn’t convenient. The lotion was always cold. Who wants to put on cold lotion?? Not a little kid, that’s for sure.
Plus I’d always forget to take it up at bath time. Which meant another trip downstairs in the already chaotic bathtime routine.
So the homemade lotion wound up upstairs in a bedroom or the bathroom. Gasp! I know the bathroom is probably the worst place with all the humidity.
Natural preservatives work, just not as well as the chemical ones.
The Problem with Homemade Lotion
The problem with homemade lotion is the water. I used water in almost every lotion recipe. It gives it the flowing consistency. Making it pourable. Just the way we all like it.
Water introduces bacteria into your homemade lotion. I used distilled water, which is a better option. A homemade DIY beauty product that has water in it always needs a preservative.
A homemade DIY beauty product that has water in it always needs a preservative.
I researched preservatives for homemade lotion. Here is a great post about natural preservative effectiveness from the Nerdy Farmwife. If you’re interested in a natural preservative that really works check it out here. She recommends Leucidal Liquid SF.
Cross contamination is another common problem with homemade lotion. When you put your fingers in the lotion, your introducing mold, and bacteria.
I am terrible about this one. I wish I could tell you I always have a spoon or spatula to take some out. But I don’t. I’m sure that also contributed to the mold growth on the lotion.
Now we know the problems with homemade lotion, let’s talk about some solutions!
3 Simple Dry Skin Solutions
The solution is to make a moisturizer without water. And thankfully that’s even easier than homemade lotion.
I love that I have full control over what I put on my skin. And most importantly, what I put on my children’s skin.
I avoid all those pesky preservatives and chemicals. I learned most ingredients in lotion and beauty products are never tested for safety. There is no ingredient approval process with the EPA or any other government agency. Only agency with an approval process is for medications.
Pick up a bottle of lotion – I bet you don’t know what half of the ingredients are. I know I don’t!
Now you can have simple DIY homemade lotion without preservatives. And without worrying about mold or bacteria growth.
Here are three great solutions for dry skin. They work great. Don’t require preservatives. And are even easier to make than lotion.
Dry Skin Serum
A skin serum one is super easy to make. It’s just a combination of one or several liquid carrier oils. I like to put mine in a glass bottle with a dropper. Then apply a few drops at a time to your skin.
Another great way to apply it is with a roller ball like this one.
I love skin serum’s for my face.
Grapeseed oil is one of my favorites! It makes a great one ingredient moisturizer. It doesn’t clog pores. Plus grapeseed oil is light and absorbs quickly.
Essential oils can make your skin serum even better! I add lemon essential oil to my nighttime serum to help even my skin tone and improve my complexion. Lemon is best for nighttime. If you apply it in the daytime, you are more susceptible to sunburn.
I love the simplicity of skin serum, just measure and pour. Done!
Body Balm for Dry Skin
A balm is a combination of plant based or animal based butter with or without a liquid oil.
When I first discovered body balm, I was impressed. If you have dry skin. This is the stuff for you.
I recommend this for your body, not for your face. It’s too thick and heavy. But if you have dry legs or elbows, this stuff is the balm (aka bomb)!! Ha ha.
My favorite is tallow balm. I love it for dry skin and eczema. Tallow is the fat that comes from cows. I make tallow balm from organic and grass fed cows.
Now before you get all grossed out about it coming from an animal, there are way more options that are plant based.
Depending on the hardness of your butter, you’ll need to add some liquid oil to the mix. My ratio is 4 parts butter to one part liquid oil. You can even use olive oil or any other cooking oil you have in your cabinet.
Just melt the butter in a double boiler. Make sure to melt slowly – if it gets too hot you could lose some of the beneficial properties. Then add the liquid oil and stir until combined. Pour into a container to harden.
Bonus: Whipped Body Butter
This is just one step further than body butter. Once you’ve made the body butter whip it with a mixer for 10 minutes. It will likely double in size and be fluffy like whipped cream. It makes application easier and gives it a luxurious feel.
Not up for melting oils or using a double boiler? There a simple solution while still having the super moisturizing effects. Just use some straight coconut oil or seed butter out of the jar.
Coconut oil is the simplest oil to use straight out of the jar. It melts at 76 degrees, so once it hits your skin it melts and rubs right into your skin. It is light and absorbs well.
Here you can see it already melting on my skin without me having to do too much.
Some people complain coconut oil clogs their pores. I don’t use coconut oil on my face and recommend coconut oil as a body moisturizer. If you’re looking for a facial moisturizer, I highly recommend the serum above.
Shea butter, mango seed butter, and cocoa butter work to moisturize as well. They have a very luxurious feel but will take a little more work to melt on your skin.
Here you can see it’s a bit more crumbly and stays fairly solid on my skin. With just a little bit of rubbing, it rubs right into your skin.
You can use them on dry skin patches instead of moisturizing your entire body.
You have 3 simple solutions to moisturize your skin without worrying about preservatives. It’s time to start moisturizing! There are so many options, pick the ones that are right for you.
Remember it’s customizable for your skin type! Pick up a bottle of oil and start today!