With winter already here for some, or just around the corner for others (like here in Southern California), the skin gets so much drier so much quicker. Not only are exposed to the harsh elements (freezing temps, ice and snow), we also stay indoors with the heater on which, unless you have humidifiers running throughout the house, tend to use dry out the skin even more.
One of the rituals I like most during colder months of the year is a nice hot bath, so soothing for the body and soul. But, all this hot water, while nice and cozy, is also drying to the skin. So it is doubly important to moisturize during winter months.
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So why not use a lotion? Because it is a waste of money on a product that is potentially hazardous to your health. Some lotions might contain skin care ingredients that are better to avoid. First: A lotion is an emulsion: oil and water held together by an emulsifier. Since oil and water do not mix, they need to be bound together, and the binding agent, an emulsifier, is usually a synthetic, manufactured chemical. There are some non-toxic emulsifiers out there but they are rarely sued in the mainstream drugstore lotions. The emulsifiers that are prevalent in the beauty industry may expose you or your household to hazardous ingredients, sometimes even carcinogens and mutagens.
If this does not convince you to ditch commercial lotions, think about this. Most lotions, in order to have a fluid consistency, are over 6o% water. Where there is water there is life, right? And that life includes bacteria, viruses, molds, and other microorganisms that can thrive in water.
In order to avoid contamination, manufacturers have to preserve the water-based product, and such preservatives -even though slowly improving (green brands tend to avoid parabens for example), no preservative is without flaws, and some are highly allergenic, even if not generally toxic.
Third, lotions contain something called “fragrance” that is usually unspecified on the label. Such "dark" item can contain hundreds nasty chemicals, such as carcinogens, endocryn disrupters and other pathogens. Not something you would want to put all over your body, on about 90% of your total skin.
Lastly if a lotion has over 60% water, why pay for it? Much more cost efficient and definitely healthier is a body oil put onto your skin immediately after a batjh or shower. Basically, with water remnants still on your skin, you massage oil into it and voila! Youve got water to moisturise and oil to relenish the lipid barried and lock in the water into the skin. All at a fraction of the cost.
A handmade body oil is also fully customizable. I discovered that what I like most is a body oil which mixes two or three oils that work best for my particular skin type and the season, and fortified with essential oils for aroma and therapeutic benefits. I get my essential oils from Eden’s Garden and from Plant Therapy, I trust both sources and I like them both equally. Both companies offer amazing oil blends with perfectly harmonized top, middle, and base notes to leave a lasting aroma on the skin, even while the body oil has been fully absorbed.
Here is a simple recipe
There is really nothing to it. Just get good ingredients, a bottle (or reuse an old one) and mix.
If you read my post
on oil cleansing, you’ll see what oils
are recommended for what skin type.
I tend to use more of the oils for dry skin during winter months, and the oils for normal/oily skin during summer months.
Add 90-100 drops of essential oils (that will make for a 3% dilution which is the safest; if you want to go for 5%, add another 20 drops); I like citrus in the summer (just make sure to use steam distilled rather than extracted citrus oils, as the later can make skin photosensitive. In the winter, I opt for warmer scents like vanilla, heavier florals, or cardamom, or just get a blend like this lovely Love Vanilla blend or Cocoa Rose.
For: All skin types
To use: Apply to clean, WET skin. Take a quarter-size amount of oil in the palm of your hand or spritz it directly onto the body. Don't dry off before or after for best results! Massage in and let sink in. Put on a terry robe, drink some tea, and let the magic work.