Ana, at fourteen, has new and different needs and interests. I think an important part of this age is learning to care for yourself, and your new body, with grace and simplicity. So as she has experimented with haircuts, mascara and sparkly nail polish, she has also ended up with a pixie cut, refuses to shave her legs, and is meticulous about not using "chemically" products. She is also quite intrigued with the idea of making some of her own.
As the roses came into bloom, she wanted to make rose petal jam again. We made so much last year, we still have plenty. I suggested she make rose water that we could then use to make lotion. A simple method for making rose water is to pack a small bowl full of petals, then cover the petals with enough boiling water to just cover them. Cover the bowl immediately, allow it to cool to room temperature, and then place it in the fridge (still covered) overnight. Strain the petals out the next morning, and either use immediately or freeze for future use. This is a wonderful method for making rose water to use in toiletries, but can be a bit bitter for cooking.
So, rose water in hand, we finally had an opportunity to make lotion.
1 C rose water
3/4 C oil total (we used 1 part coconut to 1 part avocado, topped up with jojoba)
1/8 tsp Vitamin E oil
20 drops rose absolute (ours is in a jojoba carrier oil)
3 Tbs beeswax
Pour the rose water into the blender. Once the oil and beeswax have melted together, allow them to cool a bit (two minutes?). Start the blender and slowly pour in the oil and wax with the blender running. If you stil see some water, scrape the sides down with a rubber spatula and continue blending, stopping to check/scrape every thirty seconds or so until it is all smooth and incorporated.
Transfer the lotion into glass jars and allow it to cool completely before placing a lid on it. The vitamin e does have some preservative properties, but we store the lotion we aren't using in the fridge as it can spoil in the warmth.
A few notes about use:
This feels quite different to store bought lotions. A little bit goes a very long way. Often while applying it, beads of water seperate out from the lotion and sit on my skin. I simply cotinue rubbing until they are absorbed. The lotion doesn't immediately absorb into the skin, taking a minute or two to sink in. Initially, this seemed a bit greasy to me, but now I really love that it is fully absorbed after a few minutes, and leaves no lingering residue. I used a "standard" lotion the other day, and found that it really just sat on the surface of my skin, and when I got into the shower hours later I could feel it like a coating. So strange!
Also, if you use coconut oil, try not to use it directly out of the fridge as the oil is very hard and makes for some odd application.
This can be highly customized to your personal tastes so long as the oil-water-wax ratios are kept the same. Any herbal infusion or tea can be used for the water part of the recipe. I plan on making a caledula/ chamomile batch later in the summer for Asher.
The oils can also be changed. Olive, sesame, grapeseed, apricot, etc are all fine. You can also use an infused oil. Some hardier herbs (such as lavender and rosemary) do better with an oil, rather than a water based infusion.
FInally, you can add different essential oils for both their scents and properties (tea tree is antifungal, for example).
This is really a very simple process, and a lot of fun. I would suggest that you use very hot and soapy water for clean up, though. ;)