As I was typing out this post, I was drenched in a luxurious concoction of premium East-African shea butter, rosehip oil and glycerin, scented with drops of ylang ylang and lavender essential oils. My skin was gleaming, reflecting the light from the window, and the scent reminded me of an Indian bride on her wedding night.
Ylang ylang, on its own, puts me off but with lavender, it’s a mild and mysterious marriage. Known for its calming and anti-inflammatory properties (among others), ylang ylang also balances male-female energies while lavender is often used for relaxation and healing distressed skin. The potion is soft and stable at room temperature but melts like butter on a hot bun when it hits the skin.
It has been deeply satisfying making my own lotions, creams and balms. Making your own skincare gives you a definite power over what you choose to put on your body so you know what works and doesn’t. With some knowledge on essential oils and understanding your skin, you can experiment with a variety of essential and carrier oils for best results. Secondly, it saves you money. While the basic investment may be a little intimidating, it’s good for the pocket in the long run as much can be made using the basic ingredients. These little pots of creams and balms, can also be gifts for friends and family with the tag 'handmade with love'.
Here’s a basic recipe for lip balm, taught by a therapist friend from Abu Dhabi.
- 1 tablespoon beeswax
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon shea butter
- 1 tablespoon rosehip oil
- A tiny nick of your favourite lipstick (optional, for some quick colour)
- 5 drops of peppermint essential oil
- Gently dissolve the beeswax, shea butter, rosehip oil, coconut oil and the bit of lipstick in a double boiler.
- Remove from heat, add peppermint oil when cooling.
- Pour into tiny pots and leave to set.
Note: Essential oils are powerful botanical essences and therefore should be treated with respect and knowledge. Use with caution and the proper dilution ratio. Pregnant women and those who are trying to get pregnant should avoid using it.