Friday, July 10, 2009

After Sun Care Recipes

It is summer time. One the best parts about summer is sun and spending time outside. We all know that it’s best to wear sunscreen and a hat when you are outside but sometimes, the best intentions go out the window when the sun appears. If you over indulged a little, I’m going to spend the next 4 days going over practical and effective sunburn aftercare recipes. Please note that these are good for mild sunburns, not the blistering charred kind. If you have that severe of a sunburn, please go see your Doctor to get something stronger.

Day One: Making a Healing, Soothing Sunburn Lotion
Day Two: Making an easy Spritzer
Day Three: Infusing Oils
Day Four: Soothing Skin Oil

Soothing Sunburn Lotion

Ingredients (by weight):

You can also buy the Lotion Kit here and substitute the water portion with Aloe Vera (gel) Water.


Digital scale
Stick Blender
one 16 oz. wide-mouth container
one 32 oz. wide-mouth container
Five 4 ounce bottles

Why German Chamomile? German Chamomile has a high azulene content. Azulene helps calm skin inflamation and decrease redness. Lavender is useful for helping to reduce the sting in the burn and the aromatherapy properties may help to provide emotional stability during the painful sunburn recovery period. Aloe Vera Gel (water) is a well known healing and soothing plant for all kinds of common skin issues, from cuts to bruises to sunburns.

step 1 Sterilize all of your tools and containers by dunking them in 5% bleachwater solution and drying them with fresh, off the roll, paper towels.

step 2 In the large 32 oz. container, add the Sweet Almond oil, Avocado Oil, Stearic Acid and Emulsifying wax. Make sure this is all weighed out using a handy dandy digital scale (no volume measurements). Put in the microwave on 30 second bursts to melt the E-Wax and Stearic Acid. Despite the scary name, Stearic Acid is derived from Palm Oil and isn't acidic or scary. It actually adds to the fluffiness factor of the lotion.

step 3 Add the Shea Butter to the hot mixture and stir to melt.

step 4 Warm up the Aloe Vera Liquid and add it to your oil mixture. Why do you need to warm it? Because if it is too cold, it will harden the waxes directly upon mixing. Vigorously stir with a spoon by hand to start. Then switch to the hand blender.

step 5 Once the mixture is fully mixed and emulsified (usually about 2 to 3 minutes), take the temperature and add the preservative and fragrance. For Germaben II, Optiphen and Phenonip preservatives, you want the temperature to be below 140 degrees. Usage rates of all three of these preservatives start at .5% by weight. Fragrance and essential oil usage for lotions is very low (remember, you don't want to inadvertently make a perfume!) so start small. This recipe literally calls for .2 ounces of essential oil and that is more than enough to make a lovely smelling lotion and get the therapeutic benefits of all the oils. Notice the blue color of the azulene in the powerful German Chamomile? That's some pure healing goodness.

step 6 Pour into prepared bottles while the mixture is still warm. If the mixture is too thick to pour, heat it up for 30 seconds in the microwave and stir. Repeat as needed until it's thin enough to pour. If the temperature during re-heating goes above 140, you'll need to add an additional .5% preservative.

step 7 Allow to cool with the lids off. Then put on lids and label and impress your friends and loved ones with your handmade goodness. Remind them to wear sunscreen next time.

Check back tomorrow for after sun care spritzers.