Thursday, May 23, 2013

Homemade Coco-Shea Lotion

The Twin Tornados' skin could become very dry if not moisturized and protected on a regular basis. For the past year, we have used coconut oil with a few other oils added to keep their skin soft and moisturized.

We began using coconut oil to address recurring MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which basically means a really nasty bacteria that survives most antibiotics). By the time Scholar was a year old, he had had 5 infections resulting in strong antibiotics and 2 hospitalizations for procedures to remove the infection. We visited several specialists to try to find out why he was getting these infections and how to prevent them. We followed their advice even though their reason for him getting the infections were "some people just have bad luck". They did not offer us much useful advice and what they did suggest was not effective. I believe they were at as great a loss to the answers to our questions as we were.

Around that time, I read about coconut oil. From what I read, I believed that there was a good chance that coconut oil could help us beat the MRSA. At about the same time, our elders from our church prayed over Scholar. I do not know if it was the prayer or the coconut oil, but I do know that we have been almost a year infection-free. In either case, I attribute this amazing result to God. He answers prayer and He created the coconuts and led me to learn about the ability of coconut oil to fight bacteria.

We continue to use coconut oil on both boys' skin on a daily basis. We have no need of any other moisturizers and they have the softest, most beautiful skin.

The problem with coconut oil is that it melts when it gets slightly above room temperature. At 76 degrees Fahrenheit, coconut oil is, well, an oil. It becomes completely liquid. During the winter, the coconut oil is hard. In fact, it is so hard that I have had to add other oils to make it easier to use. I mix olive oil and vitamin E oil (sometimes jojoba and other oils) into the coconut oil to keep it softer and also for the added benefits of the other oils.

Now that summer is approaching, our oil mixture is softening and will soon be a liquid. It can still be used this way, but I know that it will not last long. With two toddlers, Tornados at that, the oil will be spilled quickly and frequently. I, for one, do not care to clean up an oily mess from the carpet or hardwood floors.

To keep the oil from becoming liquid, I have mixed it with cocoa butter and shea butter. The result is a wonderfully smooth, fragrant lotion. I have been using the lotion on myself for a few weeks, too. I love how it makes our skin feel and I love even more that it does not contain harmful chemicals as do many commercially made skin lotions.

The following is how to make our Coco-Shea Lotion.

Add equal amounts of cocoa butter, shea butter and coconut oil to the top pot of a double boiler. (I never actually measure them, but add what looks to be equal amounts of each.)
Bring the water in the bottom pot to a simmer. Do not boil the water.

If you do not have a double boiler, a metal or heat-safe glass bowl on top of a pot of water or a pot on the stove-top over low heat would work, too. If you make your own double boiler with a bowl, do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water or the bottom of the pot.

Place top pot, with oil and butters, on bottom pot when water is simmering.

This was after only 1 minute over the heat. It has already begun to melt.

After 4 minutes over the heat, the butters and oil have melted. Stirring with a wooden spoon once they have begun to melt helps it to go faster, but is not necessary.

After the oils melt, pour the mixture into a large measuring cup. For every cup of liquid oil mixture, add 1 tsp jojoba oil, 1 tsp vitamin E oil and 1 tsp olive oil. Other oils can be used in addition to, or in place of, these oils.
Stir the mixture gently with a wooden spoon so that the oils and butters and mixed together.

You can skip the measuring step and guess at how much oil mixture you have and add other oils based on your guess. It may change the final texture of the lotion if you add too much or too little, but unless you are wildly off, it should still work out just fine.

After chilling in the refrigerator for two hours, the oil mixture is ready to be whipped. The mixture on the sides of the bowl has hardened and the center is the consistency of gravy.

Use a wooden scraper or spoon to scrape the hardened mixture off of the sides of the bowl. Once the hardened mixture is scraped off the sides of the bowl, begin whipping the mixture on a high setting.
A hand mixer would probably work just as well as a stand mixer, but may take longer.
After a few minutes of mixing, the oil mixture should begin to look like whipped cream.

Every few minutes, stop the mixer and scrape the sides to make sure that all of the mixture is being whipped.

I whipped the oil mixture for about 25 minutes, stopping every 5 minutes or so to scrape the sides. The consistency was very fluffy and soft. I spooned portions of the mixture into smaller containers. Eight ounce canning jars work well.

After sitting for a little while, the lotion will become more dense. It is easier to put the lotion into smaller containers while it is still light and fluffy.

I have read that mixing for as long as 2-3 hours will help the lotion to maintain the light, fluffiness, but I do not want to burn out my mixer since it is not a commercial grade mixer. The more dense consistency works fine for us.

After sitting for some time, the lotion will have a consistency similar to butter at room temperature. It melts very quickly when it comes into contact with skin. A little bit goes a long way to making skin smooth and velvety soft.
I keep a container of the Coco-Shea Lotion in my room, the boys' room and downstairs. I refrigerate portions that I am not currently using to keep them fresh longer.

Update 7/24/2013: I made this lotion again (yes, the batch I made last time lasted almost 2 months!). This time, I changed the ratio of cocoa butter, shea butter and coconut oil. I used 1 part cocoa butter, 1 part shea butter and 2 parts coconut oil.
I wanted more coconut oil because Scholar's skin has been acting up. He has gotten a few pimples, which have led to MRSA infections in the past. I also added a teaspoon of tea tree oil (to 3 cups of melted shea, cocoa and coconut). Tea tree oil is known to be anti-viral and anti-bacterial.
I did not add olive oil because of the warmer summer temps. I had added more coconut oil and in the heat it will not harden. The new mixture came out very soft and smooth.

Do you have your own recipes for lotions? Feel free to share in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. Wow that is impressive. Are you taking orders? :)