Last spring, I gathered a bunch of Balsam Poplar buds and infused them in olive oil. I made a wonderful salve, which I blogged about in May. Since I still have some of the oil left, I’m going to make a lotion with it.
I’ll also be doing a little experiment with humectants. I’ve used Glycerin and Hydrovance, but Sodium Lactate is still untried. So I will make two test batches, one with Glycerin and one with Sodium Lactate. I’m curious if there will be a big difference.
If you’d like to try this experiment, you can use any herb-infused oil to make the lotion.
I’m going to keep this recipe pretty simple. Since I infused my herbs in Olive Oil, that will be the base of the lotion. I will add some Mango Butter to give it a bit more body as well as tone down the greasy feel. I’ll add a bit of Isopropyl Myristate to further tone down the greasiness. (Can you tell I’m not a huge fan of greasy lotion?)
Let’s talk a minute about Olive Oil. Soapers use it a lot, but it’s not often featured in lotion. After doing a bit of research on the properties of Olive Oil, frankly, I’m surprised it does not get more attention. Olive Oil is a natural humectant, is high in oleic acid (which offers moisturizing and softening effects plus regenerative and anti-inflammatory properties), and it naturally contains tocopherols and squalene. That’s some good stuff with great skin benefits!
Here’s what you’ll need to make this lotion.
I made two 100-gram test batches to test the two separate humectants. If you’d like to do the same, just substitute “grams” for the percentages to get a 100-gram recipe.
11.2 ounces Distilled Water
70% Distilled Water
Weigh water, Olive Oil, Mango Butter, Emulsifying Wax, and Sodium Lactate or Glycerin into microwave-safe container. Heat in short increments of time, stirring after each heating, until everything is melted. Use a stick blender to mix until emulsified, then set the container aside to cool.
When the lotion has cooled below 120 degrees, add the Isopropyl Myristate, Liquid Germall Plus, and fragrance. Stick blend again to fully incorporate the last additions.
Pour into a squeezable bottle, label, and enjoy!
I’m surprised at how powdery the lotion feels. I think I might like less Isopropyl Myristate – maybe half as much.
This formula absorbs very quickly, and the viscosity is fluid. Even after cooling completely, the lotion is pourable, and it has a warm hue thanks to the olive oil.
Immediately after rubbing in the lotion, my skin feels dewy. Within a few minutes, that changes to a powdery, dry feel. The lotion has good spreadability and slip, but it does become a bit draggy as it gets rubbed in. The application time is brief. It’s a good choice for a hand lotion when you need to quickly apply and get back to doing things.
As for the two different humectants, I have not noticed any difference between the two.
I used Lavender Essential Oil to lightly fragrance the lotion.