Do you have very dry or very sensitive skin? Do you prefer something more natural, perhaps even food grade, to slather on your skin?
I felt the same way. You name a lotion you could get in the store and I had probably tried it. Nothing seemed to work terribly well, and worse than that even the ones without mineral oil left my hands just slick enough even an hour later that I couldn't do my printing at work without serious risk of smearing the ink on the finished product, meaning effectively I could ONLY moisturize at night. What's a girl to do?
Well, after many online searches, articles and reviews later I came up with this: Cocoa Butter and Coconut Oil Moisturizer! The prep doesn't take very long, you may already have one or more of the ingredients on hand, and the cost is comparable or less than specialty hypoallergenic lotions in the store.
As always, if you are unsure if you will react to the product, test on a small area and wait 24 hours to see if you have a reaction.
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Step 1: You Will Need:
I did not get a before shot of my ingredients, I apologize. A brief internet search should bring them all up easily though!
For a pint size Mason jar, you will need:
7 ounces of food grade cocoa butter
8-9 ounces of coconut oil (extra virgin, cold pressed if you can)
double boiler OR small mixing bowl that will accommodate your melted oils and a pot with a steamer basket
water for double boiler or pot
Step 2: Melt Your Oils
Set up your double boiler or your pot with steamer basket. I opted to go the pot route so I could use a small bowl that pretty much perfectly hold the melted oil.
I put the basket in the pot, then filled them with warm water to roughly half way up the steamer basket. That way, when I put the bowl in the water would come part way up the sides and help distribute the heat more evenly.
Put your cocoa butter and coconut oil in your pot (for double boiler) or mixing bowl. Unless it is the middle of summer or over ~80F in your house, the oils should be solid.
Turn the stove heat on medium low. You want to get enough heat in the water to melt the oils, but not so much that they get terribly hot. Depending on the starting temperature of your oils, this part may take a little while, 30 minutes or more. Let it go slowly! If your water is showing signs of boiling, turn the heat down to low.
You don't need to stir constantly, but a good frequent stir will help mix the butter and the oil as they melt.
If you are using essential oil(s), add them when nearly all the butter and oil are melted. I used about 7 drops of peppermint oil (can help ease itchy skin) and about 4 drops lemon oil (I just like the smell).
Step 3: Jar and Cool
When you have a nicely melted and combined mixture, remove it from heat and pour it carefully in to your Mason jar. If you have melted it slowly, it should not be too warm to handle in the jar.
Now, you could portion a little out now and use it if you like to use a more liquidy oil. I let mine harden up a bit before I used it. You can let it harden for the next day or two (depending on the temperature in your house) by letting it sit in a cool, dark place. Or you can speed it up but putting it in the fridge or the freezer for awhile.
I set mine in the freezer for about 20 minutes and then the fridge for about 20 minutes. By this point the sides and the top/bottom of the jar were mostly solid but the center was still liquidy. By the following evening it had solidified nicely thought.
To use, simply remove a small piece, rub it between your hands to warm it up a little, and smooth on! I find it takes less than I expect to cover most areas, so start small on your pieces until you get a feel for it. It can feel slick at first, but within 5 minutes it seems to feel about the same as having just applied a mineral oil free lotion, and in about 10 minutes or so it feels just soft but not oily.
I had the essential oils and coconut oil on hand to make this. Figuring the cost of the cocoa butter and guesstimating the cost of the coconut oil I used out of my container & the few drops of essential oil, I figure I spent $14-$16, and that with daily use (2x day) this will likely last me 6 weeks or so. Best of all? I can apply it in the morning before work and an hour later handle freshly printed things safely!
I hope you find this helpful, and enjoy!