First, if you haven’t read my post about going through the lotions you already have, click Here to read it first. If waste-free lotion is just another lotion to sit on your shelf, it won’t end up reducing your waste because you will still end up buying/receiving other lotions. But if you get rid of the over-supply you already have, you will stop the influx of unneeded lotions contained in plastic. Wouldn’t it be great if your bathroom only had one lotion container in it, and it was a lotion that you absolutely loved and knew it was having a minimal negative impact on our earth?
If you don’t want to make your own, check out Good Fortune Soap. They hand make lotion bars that come in a metal tin, and aren’t very expensive. When your tin is empty, you can bring it back to be refilled at a 10% discount. All of their products are refillable, but not all come in plastic-free containers. I asked for one product to be put in my own container and they happily agreed! They are located on Broad Street about 2 minutes outside of downtown.
I make my own because it brings me joy :). It is also costs a little less.
Here are the ingredients I used for my homemade lotion, and where you can get them in Chattanooga in plastic-free containers:
- Beeswax beads (Fill your own container in the soap/medications section at EarthFare, it is below the bulk castile soap containers. This is especially cheap because you only need a little and you don’t have to buy a whole bottle)
- Shea butter (I got mine from Good Fortune Soap. They let me fill my own container. I think EarthFare has it too)
- Oil of some kind–I used grapeseed oil, which you can buy in a glass jar at Whole Foods or Earth Fare. The lid does have a small amount of plastic :(. Next time I will use olive oil since Whole Foods has a big vat where you can fill your own container. Avoid coconut oil as this can have a drying affect on skin (it is often used in homemade deodorants), plus the oil is what helps make it spreadable and coconut oil is solid at room temp.
Heat all the ingredients in a glass jar by putting that jar in a pot of hot water, stirring frequently:
Let it cool and you are done! It will cool into a more solid form. I don’t have exact measurements, just play around with it until you get it the thickness you want. Don’t put in too much beeswax or it won’t spread well (I used about 1 tsp for my 2 oz container). You could probably even leave out the beeswax if you do not have severely dry skin. With the beeswax, it can double as diaper cream.
To apply, get your skin wet with warm water first, then apply the lotion. What your skin needs more than anything is water. Yes, that’s right, water! The real purpose of lotion is to keep the water from evaporating long enough for your skin to soak it up.
You can also search Google for about a million recipes for homemade lotion, but many call for all kinds of exotic ingredients and essential oils. If you can find them waste-free and it will bring you joy, go for it. Or buy the lotion from Good Fortune Soap if you want to include essential oils. There may be other companies who do a similar refillable metal tin and I just don’t know about them! If you know of any, comment below!