This decadent, whippy lotion is in perfect keeping with our snowflake theme; it’s light and fluffy, but with the most wonderful rich, creamy consistency that feels incredibly luxurious. The scent is softly herbal, and even though it’s really thick it’s delightfully light and fast-absorbing—perfect for using on your hands without leaving smudges on your phone and every piece of paper you touch. I’ve taken this lotion with me on my recent travels and I’ve always been happy to have it in the middle of airports and busy cities as a little touch of calm and hydration. You should definitely add some Snowflake Body Lotion to your holiday making list 🙂
Want to watch this project instead of read it?
A big part of the decadent consistency is the use of a new (to me) emulsifying wax—Olivem 1000. I bought a bag from Windy Point over a year ago and finally got around to using it. I owe Connie a big thanks for encouraging me to finally dig it out and play with it; she’s been making some of my lotion recipes with it and has reported great things. Olivem 1000 is a PEG-free, Ecocert emulsifying wax made from olive oil. It comes in large, flat white flakes, similar to Emulsimulse/Ritamulse, and its INCI is Cetearyl Olivate (and) Sorbitan Olivate. This is the first thing I’ve made with it (though I did make it twice to be sure it worked!), so I can’t offer a ton of formulating advice on using it, but I’ll definitely be playing with it more in the future!
In keeping with our snowflake theme, not only is this lotion thick and creamy and all kinds of creamy white luxurious goodness, but it also has a soft, herbal scent. I picked up a bottle of Chamomile Floral Water from Voyageur over the summer and I’ve been itching (not literally, though the hydrosol would likely help if that was the case!) to incorporate it into something. Made from Anthemis nobilis (Roman chamomile), this hydrosol is divine. Warm hay and apples, with a beautiful soft, herbal sweetness. It is perfection in the midst of darker, colder days. If you don’t have the hydrosol, feel free to replace it with more distilled water and add two or three drops of Roman chamomile essential oil with the cool down ingredients.
To make for an extra-awesome-for-winter lotion I’ve included a few favourite ingredients for battling dryness. Cupuacu butter can “support 440% of its weight in water” (source), which is downright insane, and also brilliant for winter skin care. I’ve also included hydrating and itch-relieving panthenol and sea kelp bioferment, which you can find starring in some astonishingly expensive creams (the $168 USD/1 oz. Crème de la Mer 😱) even though its not all that expensive itself. Sea kelp bioferment s a clear, soft gel-like substance that 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 wet (take note, vegans!), and it helps give this lotion an utterly lovely feel.
If you really want to get an idea for how this lotion feels, I really recommend watching the video. Towards the end you can really see it become all kinds of beautiful and thick and whippy (😍)—it’s a thing of beauty, truly. Anywho! Let’s stop talking and start making some Snowflake Body Lotion!
Want to watch this project instead of read it?
Snowflake Body Lotion
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, hydrosol, glycerin, bioferment, and panthenol into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup. Weigh the Olivem 1000, abyssinian oil, cupuacu butter, 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 hot lotion, starting with short bursts so the still-very-liquid lotion doesn’t whirl up and spray everywhere. Blend for about four minutes, 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.
Once the lotion is thick and creamy, stir in the vitamin E and preservative and transfer it to a 100mL/4oz jar—it is much too thick for a pump-top bottle, but it does work well in a GoToob. I used this jar from YellowBee. 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.
- You can use a different hydrosol in place of the chamomile hydrosol, or replace it with more water and add a couple drops of Roman chamomile essential oil when you add the preservative
- Silk peptides can stand in for the sea kelp bioferment
- You can use Polawax, Emulsifying Wax NF, or BTMS-50 in place of the Olivem 1000, though all of these will make for a less luscious final product
- You can use any liquid oil you love in place of the abyssinian oil
- Shea butter or mango butter will work well instead of cupuacu butter
- You can use more of the butter instead of the cetyl alcohol, though this will result in a thinner end product