Unnecessary chemicals seem to be everywhere all of the sudden. Or maybe they’ve been here for a while, but I’ve only first really noticed when the idea of having a baby first crept into the back of my mind. It seems that you can’t avoid them. Not in your food or even in baby products. Just turn over your baby lotion, wipes or shampoo and see how many of the ingredients you know vs the ones you don’t. And that even goes for products that have been approved for by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation and are probably safe enough. It gets you thinking. I mean, what’s in the products that they haven’t approved?
Random bottle of babylotion which has been approved by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation.
We’ve have already made some basic changes to what we eat (we mainly buy organic) and what we put on our skins (we try to avoid chemicals and perfumes) since realizing this. We could be doing a whole lot more, but the lack of a money tree combined with ingrown habits means that we don’t. We might one day chose the organic mattress or start using modern cloth diapers, but we are not there yet and we might never get there. And that’s okay. The changes we’ve made so far make sense to us and so far (fingers crossed and knock on wood) we’ve been very fortunate and Eva has no allergies and very little problems with her skin. Whether or not it’s due to the changes we’ve made I cannot say, but I don’t think they’ve hurt.
One of the biggest changes is the fact that none of use store bought lotions. We use oils, especially coconut oil is a favourite of ours. We use it for a whole range of things, but especially when it comes to Eva we like using it. Like me, she eats it in the morning in her porridge and we use it on her cheeks if they get irritated from the cold weather or put it on her bum if she occasionally gets a diaper rash. Usually when we use the oil on her skin we use a homemade lotion which is pretty much 3 parts coconut oil and 2 parts shea butter. It’s super easy to make and as promised last week in my post about what I want to do in March, I’ll post the DIY below.
Don’t feel like making a batch of lotion yourself, but still want something without all the additives?
Just use coconut straight out the glass! I’ve done some research online and in the proces found a ton of different recipes for making your own lotions for your baby and yourself. One more complicated than the other, and to be frank, most of the time I want something simple.
Coconut oil! As soon as summer arrives it will melt, so it might be a good idea to store it in the fridge if you’re using it as a lotion. Unless you want it to be liquid of course.
That’s why we often end up using coconut oil straigth up. It has some great anti-fungal properties, which does wonders between those wonderfull baby fat rolls. If that’s not an easy lotion to “make”, I don’t know what is!
We don’t use just any coconut oil, but usually look for the organic virgin coconut oil which comes from organically grown coconuts. This means that no chemicals were involved in the extraction or processing of the oil. It’s what we have been recommended and it seems to have most of the benificial components preserved. For us it is rather easy to find and is not that expensive (depending on what you compare it to of course). We can sometimes find it as a special offer in our local discount supermarket!
DIY: Super easy and fluffy lotion for you and your baby (just two ingredients)
If you find yourself with just a little extra time and feel like making your own lotion, without it being too complicated, then you should try and make this one. It just requires two ingredients. You could add some essential oils, but it’s definitely not an nescessity. I only add it when the lotion is not to be used on Eva’s face. I’ve found a great post from the Hippie Homemaker about safe essential oil use with babies and children. You should definetely give it a read if you’re considering using an essential oil for your baby or child.
I still use coconut oil as the base, but I also like mixing it with raw shea butter as it both sooths the skin and help reduce inflammation. Very useful if there’s a diaper rash. It might however be a bit trickier to find compared to the coconut oil. I had to find it a local health store, but you could also order it online.
If you want to make a batch with shea butter, this is what I like to make for Eva to keep by the changing table. Keep in mind that we keep two different jars with lotion for hygenic reasons: one for the bum and body, and one for the face and hands.
The lotion doesn’t contain any preservatives. It should however be able to keep for quite a while (as long as the shelf life on the oils themselves) since it’s purely oil based and no liquid has been added. If you want to be on the safe side, don’t make a huge portion, though you might make it a bigger portion than mine. We don’t use it everyday, and it will last us 3-4 months for Eva’s face and hands and maybe 3 for her bum and body, but if you’re making it for yourself it might be kind of a small portion.
You only need two ingredients! On the left is the shea butter and on the right, the coconut oil.
Ingredients (small portion)
- 30 grams (1,05 ounces) of organic virgin coconut oil. It’s important the oil is not liquid if you want to make a lotion that actually feels like a lotion. It melts at around 25 degrees Celsius (77 degress Fahrenheit).
- 20 grams (0,7o ounces) of raw, unrefined organic shea butter. It should be at about room temperature.
- Optional: 1-2 drops of chamomile, tea tree or lavender essential oil. Please be careful with the amount when making this for your child. And remember not to add any essential oils at all if your baby is younger than 3 months!
Tip: Use a mixing bowl that will allow the lotion to double in size, without spreading it all over your kitchen.
1. Mash the shea butter and the coconut oil in a bowl using a fork and mix the two oils as they go soft. Really, you could just do this one step and be done, but if you’re going for the lotion feeling, then continue.
Mash and mix the two oils.
2. Whip the oil mixture using an electric mixer until it gets fluffy and has doubled in size. It will look somewhat like whipped cream when it’s done. The bigger the portion, the longer it will take. When making such a small portion as I did, it will however only take a few minutes. Unless of course you mix it by hand. Then it might take a while longer.
Almost done, but it’s already nice and fluffy!
3. If you’re using essential oil add it now and mix for another 30 seconds.
4. That’s it. You’re done. Just transfer the lotion to a small jar and it’s ready for use.
Just scoop the finished lotion into your jar for storage.
To be honest I’ve only made this recipe in the winter, so I don’t know if it will stay whipped when it gets warmer outside. If it starts melting I will store it in the fridge (with the risk of it becoming a bit grainy) or maybe just use another recipe with beeswax. I’m making another recipe one of these days for me and Ben with beeswax and it might be a good fit for Eva in the summer as well.