Ingredients for Hand Cream / Lotion Making

There are many ingredients commonly used in hand cream and lotion making. Here is an ingredients list to help you understand what to order and what the various items do.

Aloe Vera
This is a plant that has thick, long pointy green leaves. If you go into most plant stores you can buy aloe vera or at least look at the plant to see what it's like. The sap of the plant is a natural healer. If you get sunburned you often put aloe vera on the burn to help it feel better.

Vitamin E
Probably the most common vitamin found in skin lotions. Vitamin E definitely DOES affect the skin and its ability to heal and grow. However, most studies I've read say that vitamin E comes in via the blood stream - i.e. you eat Vitamin E through food or vitamins, it gets digested, goes into your blood and reaches the cells. Your skin layer on top is *dead* skin - it can't grow. So putting Vitamin E on your top, dead skin doesn't really help much. From what I've seen, vitamin E can't absorb past through those layers of dead skin to get into the cells of the live skin below. Still, if you like adding vitamin E to your skin care process, it's cheap and won't hurt. I would still make sure you eat appropriate amounts daily through your MOUTH :) That is the best way to keep your skin healthy

Olive Oil
Olive oil has been used for thousands of years. The Romans adored olive oil and would bathe and massage with it. It is light, nicely fragrant, and really good at moisturizing your skin. I highly recommend it. Heck, you can cook with it too :)

Glycerine
Glycerine is also spelled glycerin and also called glycerol. Glycerine is actually used in cooking as well as in cosmetics. It's a slippery, sugar-based item that is a humectant. This means it brings in moisture, which is perfect for soaps and lotions. I personally adore creams that are made with glycerin - they are very smooth and soft without being greasy. In wine, glycerin can add a smoother mouthfeel.

Soy Lecithin
I always mistype this as lechithin for some reason!! It is lecithin with only one H. This is an emulsifying agent. It's something that lets an oil and water mix together. If you don't have this sort of stuff in your blend, then after a few minutes you'll start to see your mixture separate out into an oil layer and a water layer. NOTE: If you use the caplets, they are a ROYAL pain to cut open one by one. I highly recommend boiling some water and dropping the caplets into the water. The caplets will burst, but the soy lecithin will stay in little balls and can be fished out. Or, if your recipe calls for water, just start out by using that water for this process and fish out the caplets.

Emulsifying Wax
Sort of a two-in-one mixture. You get the wax for the smooth coating, plus you get an emulsifying agent built in. Emulsifying agents are the things that get oil and water to mix together, rather than separate out.

Beeswax
Wax adds a nice protective layer or coating to your skin or lips. Many lip glosses involve beeswax for that reason. They keep your lips from chapping and stay on for hours. Beeswax on foot lotions helps to keep the lotion in place and to protect you from callusses. I would use more in those locations, and less in areas like the face. You probably don't need your face to feel waxy :) NOTE: You can't just nuke beeswax - solids don't melt well in microwaves. If you are using the beeswax with other oils, melt the beeswax in whatever oil you're going to use anyway.

Unibase / Hydrophilic Ointment
There are a number of names for this stuff. In essence it is a lotiony base that helps the other ingredients all blend together well. You usually have to special order it.

UltraMaize / Structure XL
This is a smoothing agent - it helps give your cream or lotion some texture so that it feels a little thicker and more smooth.

Hand Cream and Lotion Recipes

Skin Care Lotions, Masks, Soap Reviews



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