Lotions and Potions

16 Jun

As a little girl, one of my absolute favorite games was to dress up like a witch with my friends and make lotions and potions out of various bath and body products. Occasionally our brews would actually turn out to be useful but most of the time they were pretty revolting… By now I’ve thankfully become a little more sophisticated about the whole thing — gone are the days when I’d stuff aloe vera gel, my father’s mouthwash, my mother’s cold cream, and a handful or two of glitter into a leftover shampoo bottle. Instead I’ve graduated to using real ingredients from my kitchen pantry to make concoctions that can actually be put on my body without fear of damaging my skin. I’m sure you’ll be happy to know I’ve also ditched the whole pretending-to-be-a-witch thing.

Anyway, I’ve in the mood lately for mixing up some lotions and potions so I thought I’d share a few recipes for yummy bath and body products that can be easily made at home. Most involve ingredients you can find in your own kitchen or garden with minimal trips to the store for special chemicals.

From Scoutie Girl comes this easy recipe for lemon sugar body scrub:

Scoutie Girl's Recipe for Sugar Scrub

You’ll Need: a jar or tupperwear container, a cheese grater, grapeseed oil, sugar, and a lemon. Head here or click the image above for specific instructions.

Alternatively, you can use Smart Bottom’s recipe for a simple sugar scrub that looks great.

Looks good enough to eat, doesn't it?

You’ll Need: raw/turbinado sugar, brown sugar, olive oil, aloe vera gel (optional), and essential oils of your choice. If you want to change up the scrub’s appearance, look for multi-colored decorating sugar (akin to what you see here).

One thing I’ve been dying to try my hands at is felting soap. Such a great idea to have the equivalent of a washcloth encircling your soap, especially since it allows you to use every last bit of your soap. No more little soap nubs floating around the bathtub! So imagine my delight when I came across this tutorial for felted soap from Wit & Whistle.

You’ll Need: bar of soap, wool roving, hot water, paper towels

If you don’t know where you can buy wool roving locally, you can always order via Etsy sellers. Wit & Whistle recommends Wistyria‘s awesome shop.

At this point, I feel it might be necessary to admit that I used to be a Lush addict… Then the recession hit. Needless to say, I’ve stopped shopping there but my addiction to the types of products they sell has continued on and on. Thankfully, a lot of their products that are similar to theirs (but usually even better!) can be purchased from various sellers on Etsy or made in my own kitchen. Example of the latter: Bath bombs — fun, fizzy doodads you can drop into your bathwater to soften your skin and make it smell incredible.

India Ink Elephant has a tutorial for making bath bombs that seems pretty straightforward.

You’ll Need: baking soda, water or witch hazel, citric acid, epsom salts, body-safe essential oils and food coloring

For Lush-esque bath salts, check out this simple recipe by Shrimp Salad Circus:

Bath Salts

You’ll Need: Most households will already have the requisite epsom salts, sea salt, and baking soda in the pantry, but you’ll probably have to make a quick run to the store for scented oil and coloring made specifically for soaps (to ensure skin safety).

I’ll add more to this post as I find new recipes around the blogosphere. Enjoy, everyone!


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