Like all lotions, this rose cardamom body lotion is an emulsion of an oil part and a water part. Our oil part is made of [oils go here]—relatively light, low scent oils. Our emulsifier is also included in the oil part. This lotion, like most of the ones I make, is emulsified using emulsifying wax. There are a few kinds of emulsifying wax available, just be sure you’re getting a complete one, not an incomplete one. I like Emulsimulse/Ritamulse because it thickens up straight away, and brings a lovely, almost powdery feel to the final product.
The water part is a blend of rose water and plain water, with a bit of glycerin (or honey) and some hydrating, healing silk. Silk is one of my favourite things to include in lotions, especially in the winter. It’s a natural moisture manager, so in dry climates it helps attract and hold moisture to your skin. Our oil part is a blend of soft, hydrating mango butter, omega rich sunflower seed oil, and fragrant rose wax.
The rose scent comes from two places; the rose water and some rose wax. Both are fairly inexpensive and impart a fantastic rose scent without the need to spend $100 on a 5mL bottle of essential oil. I bought my rose water in the Lebanese grocery section of Superstore and it was about $3. Score!
I added a wee bit of carmine to get the pretty pink tint you see. You could use red iron oxide instead, though the colour will be a bit browner. While something like beetroot powder or rosehip powder will also work, the colour from any pink botanicals will oxidize and shift to a murky brown over time, so consider yourself warned 😉 You can also leave the colour out entirely; I just like it for a wee touch of added Valentine spirit!
Last but not least, the essential oil blend. I love it. Deep, sweet benzoin and classic rose are brightened up with some unexpected cardamom, while a subtle note of coffee tones down the sweetness with a hint of something familiar that you can’t quite place. It’s fantastic. You’ll mostly notice rose and bright spice, and it’ll mellow out to something deep and sweet. Mmmm.
Rose Cardamom Body Lotion
1 nip | 1/64 tsp carmine (work up to this amount; you may find you prefer less)
While the emulsifying wax mixture is melting, combine the rose water, water, honey (or glycerin), and silk in a small measuring cup and gently warm.
Once the emulsifying wax mixture has melted, add the water mixture. Heat through to ensure everything is melted before removing the pan from the heat.
Whisk the mixture as it cools—it will thicken into a nice white cream (the thickening may take a few days if you are using a different emulsifying wax than emulsimulse/ritamulse).
Whisk in the essential oils and carmine. Add your preservative (though do check the instructions for your specific preservative—some have special instructions for adding to concoctions) and decant the mixture to a pump-top bottle or wide-mouthed jar. Enjoy!
If you don’t have sunflower seed oil you can use safflower oil, grapeseed oil, or apricot kernel oil instead. If you don’t have mango butter, unrefined shea butter (USA / Canada) and capuacu butter are both great alternatives. For more information on substitutions, read this. If you don’t have rose wax, you can use another gram of mango butter and add three or four drops of rose absolute or essential oil.
New to lotion making? Watch my basic lotion how to video!