I was just going to call this something like “citrus body lotion”, but then I made it, and I tried it. And oh my. That dull name was nowhere near good enough. This beautiful, silky lotion is unbelievably smooth and lightweight, leaving skin touchably soft and lightly lemon scented. As soon as I used it, chiffon sprung to mind. Silk chiffon. And then pie, because… well, lemons. So, it had to be Lemon Chiffon Body and Hand Lotion. It’s divine and indulgent, and I think you’ll love it.
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Over the last few months I’ve had quite a lot of queries on YouTube about the pump-bottle friendliness of the lotion recipes I’ve shared there, and I realized most of them are so thick that you’d end up with a slurpee vs. straw sort of problem—the lotion wouldn’t re-settle to the bottom of the bottle as the pump tube sucked it up, leaving a large non-pumpable portion of the lotion lurking in the bottle, unused. So, when Ivan over at YellowBee sent me a 200mL pump-top bottle I decided it was high time to develop a pump-able lotion.
You might notice the water part of this lotion is a bit larger than I usually work with—this one is closer to 80/20 than 75/25. That’s part one of making a more pump-friendly lotion. I’ve also used mostly liquid oils in the oil part, with 2% cetyl alcohol to add a bit of silky thickening. If you don’t have cetyl alcohol I’d use 20g (0.71oz) safflower oil and 6g (0.21oz) of a solid butter like shea or mango instead.
To amp up the hydrating power of this Lemon Chiffon Body and Hand Lotion I’ve added both vegetable glycerin and a new ingredient (to me, at least)—sea kelp bioferment. Keith and Michele from Windy Point dropped of a wee jar of it for me to play with, and I barely lasted half a day before adding it to this lotion formula. Sea kelp bioferment is a clear, soft gel that doesn’t smell like much of anything (unlike seaweed powder!). It is a film-forming ingredient, so it helps trap in the moisture this lotion adds to our skin. It’s a great alternative to hydrolyzed silk in pretty much anything (take note, vegans!), and it gives this lotion an utterly lovely feel. Apparently it’s the star ingredient in the $168 USD/1 oz. Crème de la Mer (😱), so you can feel all kinds of posh knowing this DIY’ed Lemon Chiffon Body and Hand Lotion may well be worth a car payment or two.
The citrussy-sans-sunburn scent comes from a blend of litsea cubeba, lemongrass, and lemon myrtle essential oils. It’s wonderfully lemony smelling and I love how I can slather myself in citrussy goodness without worrying about getting a sunburn. If you only have one or two of those three essential oils you can definitely use more of what you have to make up for what you’re missing, but I find the blend of the three helps obscure the specific “not-quite-lemon” scent of each (lemongrass, in particular, is relatively identifiable as not-quite-lemon).
H’okay. Enough of my rhapsodizing. You should really make this Lemon Chiffon Body and Hand Lotion. It’s divine.
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Lemon Chiffon Body and Hand Lotion
22g | 0.78oz safflower oil (You can substitute another lightweight oil like sweet almond, grapeseed, or sunflower seed)
9g | 0.32oz complete emulsifying wax (not beeswax!)
4g | 0.14oz cetyl alcohol (USA / Canada)
1g | 0.03oz Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada)
2g | 0.07oz allantoin (USA / Canada)
1g | 0.03oz Liquid Germall Plus™ (USA / Canada) (or other broad spectrum preservative of choice at recommended usage rate [why?])
Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3cm/1″ of water to a bare simmer over low to medium-low heat in a wide, flat-bottomed sauté pan.
Weigh the water, vegetable glycerin, and sea kelp bioferment into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup. Weigh the safflower oil, emulsifying wax, and cetyl alcohol into a second heat-resistant glass measuring cup. Place both measuring cups in your prepared water bath to melt everything through.
After about 20–30 minutes the oil part should be completely melted and the water part should be thoroughly dissolved. Remove the water bath from the heat, and pour the water part into the oil part. Stir with a flexible silicone spatula to incorporate.
Grab your immersion blender and begin blending the lotion, starting with short bursts so the still-very-liquid lotion doesn’t whirl up and spray everywhere. Blend for about a minute, leave to cool for ten, blend for another minute or two, and repeat this blend-cool-blend cycle until the outside of the glass measuring cup is barely warm to the touch and the lotion is thick and creamy.
Stir in the essential oils, allantoin, the vitamin E, and your preservative. Using a funnel, decant the lotion into a 8oz/240mL pump bottle (I used this one). Et voila! Your lotion is complete. Enjoy!
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this cream contains water, you must include a broad-spectrum preservative to ward off microbial growth. This is non-optional. Even with a preservative this project is likely to eventually spoil as our kitchens are not sterile laboratories, so in the event you notice any change in colour, scent, or texture, chuck it out and make a fresh batch.