January is our cold, dry month. It’s that month where the holidays have passed, the solstice is behind us, and it well and truly feels like we’ve settled into winter proper. Of course a chinook can always show up to toss aside the chill for a few days or a week at a time, but it’s always ready to seep back at this time of year. In March you can start to tell yourself that the chinook might be an early spring, but in January you know it is only a temporary respite. With all this in mind, I wanted a lotion that smelled bright, crisp, and fresh, and would help with winter scratchies without being heavy. Silky, bright, hydrating skin goodness. This is what I came up with.
When we’re talking hydration, the water part is important. I decided to include some lavender hydrosol, some hydrolyzed silk peptides, vegetable glycerin, and panthenol. That gives us calming lavender scent, soothing panthenol, and a good whack of humectants and film-formers to help attract water to our skin and keep it there. All good things! I also went with a slightly larger water phase to help keep the lotion feeling light and deliver really fast, non-greasy relief to dry skin.
Our oil phase has some great things in it; cupuacu butter has a wonderful silicone-like finish to it and can hold over 400% its weight in water! This makes it great at not only moisturizing the skin, but helping add stability to our emulsions. Apricot kernel oil is lightweight and rich in vitamin A, and cetyl alcohol adds some silky body to the lotion without added greasiness.
Windy Point has started carrying some liquid extracts, so I’m now the proud owner of some calendula extract—which was obviously burning a hole in my pantry! I decided to include it in this lotion for its soothing and moisturizing properties; two things we can’t get enough of at this time of year! I’ve also dressed this lotion up with a bit of Penstia™ powder (which Windy Point is also carrying now, so Canadians can get it domestically!)—Penstia™ powder is potentially the easiest way to up your lotion game, giving products the most wonderful, professional feel that’s downright lovely.
For our essential oil blend I kept it simple—just two lovely notes that combine to be so much more than you’d guess. Classic lavender is calming and warm, but not too sweet. Bright, fresh spruce is olafactory optimism for me. I love the nostalgic top note it adds—bringing me back to summer days in the high alpine and childhood vacations to the cottage. If you don’t have spruce, another bright coniferous note like fir or pine will also work.
I tried a new gadget for this lotion—the MiniPro Mixer from Lotion Crafter. I was super excited about having a smaller, high-speed mixer to work with. I’ve tried a few different milk frothers in the past and most of them cannot stand up to any kind of viscosity and don’t have much kick. This one is different, and awesome! It’s made by Bonjour, so if you aren’t in the USA it is likely more economical to source it from somewhere local. I found it on Canadian Amazon, though it’s definitely more expensive. (When you’re looking, be sure get the one that takes four AA batteries, not the one than takes two! The extra batteries is a big part of the extra power.) This isn’t the only project I’ve tried it on—it’s proved brilliant helping bust up surfactant pastes in hand washes and shampoos—and I’m not sure I love it for lotions. When the lotion is still hot and very liquidy this mixer is so powerful that it creates a whirling vortex that quickly climbs up (and over) the top of your container if you’re not careful! As the lotion thickened it worked much better, though. In any event, I’m a fan of this new toy and recommend it if you like making smaller batches of things.
I hope you love this Lightweight Lavender Spruce Silk Lotion as much as I do! (Try saying that name ten times fast…)
Lightweight Lavender Spruce Silk Lotion
58.5g | 2.06oz distilled water
20g | 0.71oz lavender hydrosol
2g | 0.07oz vegetable glycerine (USA / Canada)
3g | 0.11oz Penstia™ powder (USA / Canada)
2g | 0.07oz powdered panthenol powder (vitamin B5) (USA / Canada)
1g | 0.04oz hydrolyzed silk (USA / Canada) (wondering about substitutions?)
3.5g | 0.12oz Polawax (USA / Canada)
8g | 0.28oz apricot kernel oil (USA / Canada)
4g | 0.14oz cupuacu butter (USA / Canada)
2g | 0.07oz cetyl alcohol (USA / Canada)
Cool Down Phase
0.5g | 0.02oz Liquid Germall Plus™ (USA / Canada) (or other broad spectrum preservative of choice at recommended usage rate [why?])
0.09g | 0.003oz Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada)
2g | 0.07oz calendula extract
0.63g | 21 drops spruce essential oil
0.26g | 9 drops lavender essential oil
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 phase ingredients into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup. Weigh the oil phase ingredients 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.
Transfer a few tablespoons of the lotion to a smaller container, and weigh the cool down ingredients into that container. Stir to combine, and then transfer the lot of it back into the rest of the lotion. Stir to combine.
Once the lotion is completely cool, pour it into a 120mL/4oz plastic pump-top bottle. 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.
As always, be aware that making substitutions will change the final product. While these swaps won’t break the recipe, you will get a different final product than I did.
- If you don’t have panthenol you can replace it with distilled water
- If you don’t have hydrolyzed silk you can use hydrolyzed oat protein or sea kelp bioferment instead, or just replace it with more distilled water
- I used Polawax as my complete emulsifying wax, but BTMS-50 and Emulsifying Wax NF should also work
- Feel free to use a different oil your skin loves in place of the apricot kernel oil. I’d recommend sweet almond, grapeseed, or sunflower seed as good alternatives.
- You can use shea butter or mango butter instead of cupuacu butter
- You can replace the cetyl alcohol with more cupuacu butter
- You can replace the Penstia™ powder with more water
This recipe came just in time, I finished mine today. Since I have 2 liters of lavender hydrosol, it’s going to be my afternoon job. I still have no Penstia powder in my pantry, I’ll substitute for more water and cupuacu butter, either, I’ll replace half mango butter and half macadamia butter. Thank you very much Marie. Since I discovered your blog I have never used commercial products on my skin.
Lucky you, what a stash of lavender hydrosol! Thanks so much for reading and DIYing with me 🙂
This lotion is wonderful! The skin is moisturized and so soft … Thank you Marie 🙂
Thanks so much for DIYing with me!
Hi Marie, I am so impressed with your recipes that it has convinced me to start trying to make my own lotions and cleansing balms etc. I noticed that although you make small batches some of them weigh over 100 grams. Would it be possible to state the exact total ingredients on your recipes so I can work out the exact preservative I need to add. I’m from the UK and the usage rate of the preservative I have bought from Gracefruit is 0.5-1.5. Do I use the higher usage rate? Thankyou so much hope you can help me with my question.
I’ve got over 1000 recipes up on Humblebee & Me; I’m not going to go back and weigh out every single ingredient previously measured in volume and do all that math. I have been doing this for newer recipes, but you are on your own for that sort of thing for older ones.
You will want to use the higher usage rate of the preservative 🙂
Ooh I like the sound of this lotion Marie. I really like lavender, it is such a calming fragrance. My skin is at the itchy stage, and driving me nuts, so I will make this at the weekend :-D. Is there any particular reason you used powdered panthenol, instead of that nice gooey treacley one? 😀 you can never get an accurate weight blob. Thank you for another great recipe Marie, and happy new year.
All my suppliers only carry the powdered stuff—no other reason! Happy making 😀
This sounds lovely and I will be trying it soon. My question is about mixing. I have a little mini mixer and my lotions get too frothy. I try to blend in short bursts. Maybe I’m just trying to blend too small a quantity. Do you have any suggestions for making sure that everything gets mixed but not frothy?
I’ve been finding the same thing, the longer I work with it. I didn’t notice it too much with this lotion as it was a 100g batch going into a 120mL bottle, but when I made a 100g batch for a 100mL bottle it frothed up so much that it didn’t fit into the container. I think I’ll be moving back to the immersion blender for lotions unless I can figure our some sort of trick to keep myself from making lotion lattes!
So, I use a 250mL beaker to make my 100g lotions and I’ve been using my frother thingie for maybe 20 batches of goodness. Once I’ve finished mixing everything together, I toss some cling film over top, and tap tap tap the beaker on the counter.
Usually I let the covered beaker sit on the counter overnight then tap away over coffee and that solves the problem!
Oooh, good tips! This does assume I am patient enough to leave a thing overnight… 😛 We shall see!
Problem solved! Get bigger containers!!!! Lol!
Ha! Buying something new fixes everything, right?!
Oh liquid extracts how wonderful you are!
I seriously must get my hands on this cupuacu butter! It sounds like it is going to be a fantastic ingredient to play with!
I actually asked my sister to pick me up that new fandangled blending machine! But I had asked for the 2 battery one.
I rather wish I could magically transform all my powdered extracts into liquid ones 😛 I have sooooo many (many from you!) and they take ages to use up haha.
Two words for you…
They are nifty!
Ooooooh! Sounds wonderfully messy to use as well LOL.
Hi Marie! I just can’t tell you how much I look forward to your emails!!! I’m definitely going to make this lotion. Sounds yummy!!!! Will need to make a Windy Point run very soon.
My question is, can calendula extract be substituted for calendula infused oil?
Thanks so much!!
Hey! So… kind of, but in more of a thematic way. An oil infusion extracts the oil soluble parts of calendula, while the extract grabs the water soluble bits as it is water soluble. So, both are calendula infused, but have different parts of the calendula. You will also need to re-jig the phases of the recipe as the extract is water soluble and the oil is oil soluble, and you’ll need far more oil than you would extract.
Marie can you make the calendula extract at home? Is it water or alcohol base?
I’m afraid extracts really aren’t a thing I’m familiar with DIYing; you might want to refer to LisaLise as I know she spends much more time in that area 🙂
Maybe this is me displaying why it is that I really ought to get me some of those nifty narrow spatulas, but I have always mad a *mess* trying to fill a pump-top bottle. My DH suggested I scoop the lotion into a sandwich baggie, snip off a small bit of corner and use it like an icing bag! WOW! It really works! No mess, no waste! (bonus: no funnel to wash)
I’ve heard this from lots of readers—seems it works a treat! I just hate throwing out a plastic bag after such a short use when I can do just as well with a re-useable funnel 🙂
Hi Marie…thanks for this one …sounds yummy! I notice you date your potion with a future date…is that when you believe the lotion should be tossed if not completely used? …thanks
I think it’s just a question of date format. I suspect she is using the dd-MM-yyyy format, which would make the date on the bottle the 5th of January 2018.
100% correct 🙂
Charlotta is right, that’s the dd-MM-yyyy format—it’s the one most of the metric-using world uses. Canada is pretty non-comital on that front (we tend to use all three, ha), so I decided to go with what the UK/Aus/NZ do. That and it makes more sense to me to go from the shortest/smallest unit to the largest one 🙂
Ha I did not even think of format! Thanks for the reply to both you and Charlotta
Hi Marie, this sounds so lovely. I keep looking at the recipe and thinking I’m just missing it. You mention using Lavender hydrosol. I’m not seeing it listed in the ingredients?
Ack! What a major derp on my part, ha! Thank you so much for catching that, it’s been fixed 🙂
Hello Marie, thanks for this recipe and all you do ! What is the difference between an extract (calendula extract), a hydrosol, “water” (as in rose water) and adding a few drops of essential oil to distilled water to make a version of rose water (for example). I find it all very confusing. Thanks in advance.
Hey! Sorry for the delay in getting back to you 🙂 Hydrosols and essential oils are fairly straightforward things; the essential oil is the volatile fragrant compound we can extract from plant matter with a still, and the hydrosol is the fragrant watery by product. Extracts can be a whole different can of beans, though, with many different types and formats. Skin Chakra has a two part series on them here and here. The one I used here is a “Hydrophilic extract”. I find the liquid ones much easier to work with than the powdered ones—they incorporate really easily!
you posted and excel sheet with formulas for measurements. I can’t seem to find it, can you please direct me where i can download it again.
The post is called “How to scale any recipe”—a search will turn it up quickly 🙂
OMG! I just made this and it’s amazing. Perfect for this time of year in Scotland – I love, love, love the ‘dry’ non-greasy finish.
I made it almost exactly to the recipe except I didn’t have Penstia (I simply don’t seem to be to find it anywhere in the UK) What gives it the dry finish? Is the Cupuacu butter? It’s the first time I’ve used that.
YAY! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it 🙂 The lightness/dry finish comes from two main things: the size of the oil phase (rather small), and the weight of the oils we’re using (the cupuacu would definitely be a factor there) 🙂
Hi Marie, I have been longing to try Pentia powder so was sooo excited to find out Windy Point now carries it. My order arrived and I whipped up this formula today. The final texture is absolutely gorgeous and the scent blend is a keeper – in fact all of your blends are amazing. I changed up the oils to suit my very dry skin and I love it on my face.
I had trouble getting the Pentia powder to melt in the water phase – did you? I whisked it hard to break it up but it never fully incorporated into the water even after half an hour in its bath. Is it any better in the oil phase? I went ahead anyway and after stick blending with my immersion blender it all worked out. Thank you!! 🙂
YAY! The Penstia will never melt in either the oils or the water phase, so don’t worry about it 🙂
Marie, my favorite of your lightweight lotions! I adore this one 🙂 I’ve been playing around with different humectants and I swapped in Propanediol 1,3 instead of glycerin and I used chamomile extract instead of the calendula since I had none left. However my first batch was made with Polawax (Windy Point) and it was ultra thin, like a melted milk shake. Still moisturized just fine 🙂 The second batch I made with BTMS-50 and it was much thicker but still pump appropriate. Thoughts? I’ve been using BMTS-50 for ages and am now diving into different emulsifiers. With all of my lotions, I do replace the evaporated portion of the water phase with heated distilled water though I still always end up being a few grams short anyways 😉
I’m so glad! Are you using an immersion blender to combine your phases? I do find Polawax and Emulsifying Wax NF will take a couple days to thicken up if you whisk them by hand, while BTMS-50 and Ritamulse/Emulsimulse will thicken up straight away. If you found it to be very thin throughout the life of the lotion, though… that’s odd. I haven’t played with Propanediol 1,3 yet, but I doubt that would be the cause given the usage amount.
Woah! So here is my super late response 🙂 Well as an update that lotion thickened up. I am not sure how long it took, I set it aside and sadly lost it until a week or two ago haha. I don’t use an immersion blender as much anymore but instead the Minipro Mixer from Lotion Crafter 🙂 I am wondering if an actual immersion blender will thicken it up immediately? Do you think elevation has anything to do with it? Where I live in northern Minnesota, about 700 feet and where you’re at, 3400 feet?
Oops, we are 1400 feet but still a big difference ha : )
I don’t think elevation has anything to do with it; I’d suspect the shear rate of the mixer to be a much larger factor. Whenever I hand whisk an emulsion with Polawax or E-Wax NF it takes a few days to thicken up, but with an immersion blender it’s within an hour 🙂
Hi Marie (super delayed response). You’re right, it took a few days to thicken. However when I used a stick blender like you often do, it was ready immediately! I always avoided using one for lotion cause I haven’t found one that fit nicely in any of my heating cups. Now that I do, lotion thickens so much more quickly. Thank you!
Fantastic, I’m glad that was it 🙂 An easy fix!
Would cetearyl alcohol be a suitable substitute for cetyl alcohol in this recipe?
It should work well; I’m still trying to get my hands on some cetearyl alcohol to play with it 🙂
Hi Marie! I just made this recipe (my first lotion recipe! I usually make body butter or balm) and I’m in love! 🙂 I followed the recipe with your suggested substitutions. The only thing I did differently was add Olivem 1000. Have you worked with it? it’s all natural and AMAZING in creamy concoctions! Also used a Chamomile Extract, instead of Calendula. For fragrance I used a combo of Lavender & Rose Essential oils. Oh, and I used a Jasmine Hydrosol instead of Lavender. Thank you so much! Love your blog and all your recipes!
Woo! Welcome to the wonderful world of lotions 🙂 I have used Olivem1000, you’ll find it in a few recipes here 🙂
This sound amazing! One question about the scent, though- so I’ve been planning to order silk peptides recently, and I have a question about..well…ah, the odor. I try to order mostly from Amazon when possible, so when I saw silk peptides for sale on Amazon, I was super excited. I read the customer reviews, though, and I heard a lot of complaint about the smell and how it smells rancid. I wouldn’t mind (that much) about the smell from the raw ingredient, but does the smell carry on into the lotions? Do you have that problem?
I don’t notice any carry-through, but I think mine are less stinky than many. You might consider ordering the hydrolyzed silk peptides from a DIY supplier rather than Amazon so you can email the company and ask specifically about the scent of their product—Amazon is very easy but can be a bit of a black box!
Hey All in the USA: I had a heck of a time finding the mini mixer… so after calling Bonjour customer service they walked me through a maze that only they could figure out (so much for 2 years post graduate work LOL). Here is the link: http://shop.potsandpans.com/Tools/BonJour-Coffee-Barista-Milk-Frother-Silver-53776.html#product-overview
Thank you so much, Leslie!
Just made this and can’t get over how soft and silky (and non-greasy) it feels! Not sure if it’s the Penstia powder or the silk or the smaller oil phase (I wasn’t patient enough for my cupuacu butter to arrive, so it’s not that, but mango butter worked great). I love the smell of the Winter Solstice Face Cream, so subbed the lavender hydrosol with rose and added in some cardamom. Perfect – thanks for these amazing recipes and explanations!
I am so thrilled! The smaller oil phase will be the big non-greasy factor here, but the Penstia powder definitely helps as well! And I love your scent blend swaps—stunning 😀 Thanks so much for DIYing with me!
I’ve just made this lotion a few minutes ago. It turned out lovely! I love the texture. It’s my fist time using Penstia powder and panthenol and at first I was worried when the powders wouldn’t dissolve, even when stick blending it. But after it rested and cooled a few minutes, it finally dissolved. I’m looking forward to trying it on my skin. Thanks for all the recipes!
Woohoo, I’m so glad! The Penstia powder can definitely be a bit worrisome with its stubborn not-dissolving-ness, but then—voila—magic! Enjoy, and thanks for DIYing with me
Hi Marie, could you confirm the total weight of this lotion? I am coming up with 107.48 so not sure if the amounts in the cool down phase is correct?
Loving your recipes by the way, especially the face ones! My skin has definitely improved. Thank you!
This formula is from a time where I’d add 10% to the water phase to compensate for loss through evaporation while heating, so that’s where the weird over-100 number is coming from 🙂 Happy making!
I’ve read through this post several times, and I can’t figure out….is this lotion meant for the body or the face? I mean, I guess I don’t see why it couldn’t be used for both…?
Your conclusion is correct 🙂 Learn more here and here.