Calendula Lotion.

About a month or so ago, I started “brewing” my first batch of calendula oil (using dried flowers from my own garden!).  Calendula lotion is supposedly good for just about any skin condition you can think of, and it seemed good to have on hand (especially as winter and extra dry skin is on its way).  Today I finally got to use the oil to make lotion.  Thanks to frugallysustainable.com for the instructions.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces calendula infused oil
  • 2-4 ounces calendula infused distilled water
  • 0.5 ounces beeswax
  • 0.5 ounces glycerin
  • 0.5 ounces witch hazel
  • 1/4 teaspoon grapefruit seed extract (optional)
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil (optional)

Instructions:

  • Make calendula infused water by boiling about 3/4 cup of distilled water and pouring over fresh or dried calendula petals (as if making tea – strain petals out when ready to use water).  Note: plain water can be used also, this just gives a little extra calendula punch to the mixture.
  • Measure out oil and beeswax.
  • Either use a double boiler, or makeshift one by placing a washcloth in the bottom of a pan filled with water, then place a wide mouth pint jar on top of the washcloth.
  • Melt oil and beeswax over low heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove oil/beeswax mixture from heat and let cool on the counter.
  • As the oil/beeswax mixture cools, blend with a stick blender in order to produce a smooth texture.
  • At this point, ALL ingredients must be room temperature before proceeding – very important!!
  • Once all ingredients are room temperature, slowly begin adding glycerin, witch hazel, and water (and essential oils if using) in a slow steady stream while blending – adding the water until desired thickness is reached (as lotion cools it will thicken further).
  • Pour into storage containers.

Notes:

  • I was so careful because I literally had only 4 ounces of calendula oil exactly, and I knew if I screwed up I’d be waiting another month for a new batch of oil before I could try again!  Of course, I immediately screwed up and put the glycerin in with the oil and beeswax  to be heated.  Fortunately, it didn’t seem to cause too much trauma.
  • A friend taught me the trick of melting beeswax into ice cube trays, and then each cube is one ounce.  So, I cut one of my ice-cube sized chunks of beeswax in half for this recipe.
  • If you don’t have a scale, the 0.5 ounces of glycerin and witch hazel comes out to about 1 tablespoon each.
  • Just remember that any recipe using beeswax will make a royal mess.  Don’t use any pans/utensils/etc. that you love dearly, and rinse everything you use immediately in scalding hot water to try and rinse off the wax before it cools.  This recipe wasn’t so bad since the wax was being mixed with the oil (helped keep it from sticking horribly to everything).
  • I did not use the grapefruit extract or the lavender oil (I didn’t have any grapefruit extract and I wanted to share the lotion with Bob and and didn’t want him to be overly-lavenderish lol).
  • So – having said all that – this wasn’t terribly hard to make.  I did use a double-boiler and then proceeded to mix the lotion right in there.  I think next time I might stick with the wide-mouth pint jar – just because it is narrower and it would make the mixture come up higher.  It was very spread out across the bottom of my double-boiler and it made it a little difficult to use the stick blender.
  • I ended up with just about a half pint of lotion (8 ounces).  I put it into two little 4-ounce jam jars to make it a little easier to get out and use.  I think if i was going to do this again, I would at least double the recipe to make it worth the mess.
  • So far it seems good, will post an update if we use for any sort of actual skin issue to report if it is medicinal as well as just good for making soft skin!
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