Yesterday marked the beginning of the great lotion trials as I test recipes to develop a great all purpose lotion. I’m super picky about what lotion I will put on my skin. It isn’t about purity (though part of the reason I’m working to make my own is because I don’t want petroleum on my skin) it’s about texture. I have really dry sensitive skin. I like a thick rich lotion that isn’t greasy and absorbs quickly and doesn’t smell too strongly or weirdly. Right now I’m using Trader Joe’s Creamy lotion and it’s great. Except for the ingredient list. It’s cheap and that’s not something a handmade lotion will ever be.
Making new things, embarking on new adventures always puts me in a deeply procrastinative state. Making creams is an art. Not a complicated one, necessarily, but it requires emulsifying two ingredients that want nothing to do with each other: oil and water. So instead of making my first batch I took weird selfies as the Mad Apothecary.
This is how I have discovered that my front teeth are chipped. I don’t mind how it looks right now, but WHAT IF THEY KEEP CHIPPING UNTIL THEY’RE NOTHING BUT NUBS AND I HAVE TO GET DENTURES AND THEY NEVER LOOK REAL, DO THEY?
So this was my first batch. I’m calling it “Batch 1”. Very thick, somewhat tacky feel to it and a little bit greasy.
I took this selfie for my friend Debz who thought the other one was creepy. See? You can trust me to make you feel better. Come heeeeeere to fat mama with the drama! Haha. Can’t help myself, I’m still creepy.
Batch 2 was much thinner, less tacky or greasy, smelled good, but didn’t absorb fast enough for my comfort. Philip liked it. Max said it was “okay” but mostly he just means it was better than the first batch. He liked the smell. My mom liked batch 2 quite a bit. I liked it on my face (it’s technically a face cream anyway) – it made my face feel nicely hydrated.
Today I hope to make at least 2 more batches. There’s also a foster kitten coming too so probably won’t make more than that. I’ve got 5 more batches in the queue to make before I start refining. But even then I may need to make a lot more. This is product development stage and it’s a lot of fun.
Notes on the first day of the lotion trials:
I dislike the smell of plain natural oils. Companies work hard to manufacture scentless lotions. I think they probably have a chemical scent called “scentless”. Basically they use ingredients that are refined to the point where they lose their natural odor. So my lotions will have to have scent, all of them. The good news is that I don’t have to use much essential oil to cover the odor of the main oils and it doesn’t make my skin smell.
I hate – HATE – oils that are solid at room temperature and melt on contact with warm skin. That is a sensation that makes me so grossed out I can’t handle it. Like, literally, I may need to start wearing gloves when handling them. Cocoa butter and coconut oil both do this. It is disgusting. Just like cold butter that melts when you touch it. *SUPERDRAMATICRETCHINGNOISESFOREVERANDEVER*
Okay, I don’t hate the oils that are solid at room temp, I just hate touching them. I know more than one person (THERE’S MORE THAN ONE OF THEM) who loves putting these oils directly on their skin. *skeeeeeeeeeeeeevy*
My sister is super picky about lotion too and she apparently likes the same kind of feel in a lotion because she’s the one who suggested I try Trader Joe’s lotion when St. Ives suddenly started drenching all their formulas with perfume. So I was thinking about her pretty much the whole time I was making batch 1 and batch 2. I kept thinking “I’m going to come up with a great lotion for us, sister!” Though, to be honest, I’m concerned that the ingredients I’m willing to use (meaning: no overly processed, synthetic, or petroleum ones) will make this goal difficult to reach.
The shelf life on these lotions will necessarily be shorter than store bought. But I think that I may be able to offer some customization options and when people buy my lotions they will be getting super fresh batches. I’ll only be making them to order – at least at first. The only way anyone will be able to get a fresher lotion is if they make it themselves.
The label you see above is the round label, ready to print! It’s been decided that we will get labels printed with the logo (such as you see above) and then I’ll hand write product info on each because we can’t afford to have small runs of labels made for every individual product. I’m really pleased with the design now.
And no, there is no missing apostrophe in the label. Philip accidentally added one in the last round but it’s “Winters” because that’s the last name of my main character in Winter; cricket and Grey. I have named my real apothecary business after my fictional apothecary’s business.