Posted by Marcy Moorhead on 4/20/2013
Here's me, hair back, apron on, and ready to make lotion. You can see part of my fragrance oil collection behind me. Today I will be making the following lotion scents: Cherry Almond, Black Raspberry Vanilla, Lilac, Lily of the Valley, and Vanilla Lavender. I will be making 20 lbs of lotion total. When making lotion, or any of my products actually, everything is measured by weight, rather than volume.
The first step in making lotion is to sterilize all my lotion making equipment, I have already done that. Next I measure out the water portion of my lotion.
Next I heat the water up on my stovetop. Although I am using distilled water, I still heat the water to approximately 70 degrees C or 158 degrees F. Heating it to this temperature would kill any micro organisms. I leave the water heating while I prepare the oil portion of the lotion.
First I measure out the Emulsifying Wax and Stearic Acid. Although these names might sound like something you don't want in your lotion, E-wax is necessary in lotion making since it is what allows the lotion and water to combine to make lotion. Otherwise, it would keep separating with the oil just floating in globs in the water. Our E-wax and Stearic Acid both come from vegetable sources. Stearic Acid is a fatty acid that thickens and emulsifies the lotion.
They are small white flakes that melt down to a clear liquid. When that is thoroughly melted I add the rest of the oils.
I measure each oil, by weight, and add it to the pot.
Then I wait for it all to melt and heat it to approximately the same temperature as the water portion.
Once both the water and oils are heated I am ready to mix them together.
When the oils are added to the water it turns white pretty immediately due to the E-wax. It still needs to be blended together though. I use my stick blender to blend the two together.
Once it is blended together it is still quite hot. The lotion stays very runny until it cools. I need to wait for it to cool down to about 120 degrees before I add the preservative and fragrance.
After that I let it cool down a bit more and then it is ready to bottle. Lots of waiting in lotion making. That's why it takes a good block of time to make it, most of that time is spent waiting for things to heat up and then cool back down. While I wait I get the fragrance oil and bottles ready.
After I have added the preservative I separate the lotion into different measuring containers and add the fragrance oil to each one.
After adding the fragrance or essential oil I stir it for a few seconds with the stick blender so it's well blended. Then it's time to bottle them all.
Here they are all bottled up and ready to label, which I must say is my least favorite thing to do. The whole process took about 4 hours to complete, but some of that was waiting for the lotion to cool so I could bottle it.
And that's how I make lotion. Thank you for supporting small, independent businesses!
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