Friday, August 28, 2009

Moisturizer Bars

A few months ago I bought an expensive natural moisturizer bar. It was unscented and mild and very moisturizing. I looked at the ingredients and saw that all it contained was beeswax, coco butter and olive oil. This gave me the feeling I sometimes get when looking at certain works of Modern Art: I could do this myself, I thought, and it wouldn't be so expensive. When the bar was used up, I bought a few supplies, melted them on my stove, and mixed up a fast, easy, and very cheap moisturizer. I was awed by the ease, the low cost, and the effectiveness of the product that resulted. I use cocoa butter, beeswax and oil (olive, almond or any other base oil you like will work). The bars harden fast in the fridge, but leaving them at room temperature will harden them as well. I love this recipe because of the infinite possible variations. Changing the oil to avocado, or apricot kernel, or jojoba; adding essential oils—there are limitless possibilities. The cocoa butter can also be swapped based on preference and availability, for coconut oil or shea butter. I usually leave my bars unscented, because I have sensitive skin. I also use a glass mold to avoid heating up plastic containers (ceramic bowls, mugs or ramekins also work). I discovered that it is very difficult to get the bar out of the glass mold once it is hard, so the parchment portion of the recipe is important.

Bees Wax and Coco Butter

Moisture Bar:

  • Coco Butter, shredded or chopped
  • Bees Wax, Shredded or chopped
  • Olive oil, or other base oil
Mix together approximately equal proportions (by volume, not weight, I use 1/3 cup of each) of each ingredient, over a double boiler (or a heat proof bowl set over a pan shallowly filled with boiling water) on medium low heat. Wisk until melted and combined. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, until liquid begins to thicken slightly. Add essential oils if you wish. Cut a thin strip of parchment to lie over the edges of a glass mold. Rub a tiny bit of oil on the backside of this parchment to “glue” it to your mold before pouring the liquid in. Allow bars to set at room temperature, or in the refrigerator. When the bars set, use the ends of the parchment to gently pull the bar out of the mold.

Finished Bar, still frosty from the fridge.

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