[Sunday Recipes] Easy As Eff Paw Balm Wax, plus lotion, lotion bar, & wood conditioner

Things I made

I don’t like weird things in anyone’s food, and the skin absorbs just like the belly, so the same goes for stuff we put on our skin! Although there a couple truly “clean” brands like Aubrey’s and Dr. Hauschka, it can get expensive and the choices are pretty limited if you’re picky. So, a frugal noodle thing to do is just make it yourself and use good ingredients from reputable sources! Even though it’s a pain to get all the supplies at first, now I can make whatever the hell I want. See? Totally same as food!

Beeswax and butters

Today, I’m making a light face lotion and lotion bars for humans, some butcher block conditioner, and reformulating MP’s paw wax that ended up too hard.

Other stuff

Other stuff

The paw wax is basically a harder balm. While balms get absorbed and wear off pretty quickly, waxes are supposed to create a barrier that repels monsters and Michele Bachmann (redundant). That, and prevent snow/iceballs from forming when you’re out doing stuff like skijoring slowjoring.

The first batch was on the harder side and didn’t seem to help keep Michele Bachmann snow between the toes, so I added more oil and a little dash of cornstarch for some slip. I haven’t tested it for snow yet, but it feels good.

For MP

For MP

Here’s the recipe:

MP’s Paw Wax

  • 4 Tbs beeswax
  • 2 Tbs shea butter
  • 1 Tbs cocoa butter
  • 1½ Tbs coconut oil
  • 1 Tbs sweet almond oil
  • ½ Tbs rice bran oil
  • 2 tsp lanolin
  • 1 tsp vitamin E
  • ½ tsp cornstarch

Instructions:

Melt, mix well and pour!

I used a double-boiler that I stole from Piz, but with no-water recipes like this one, you can totally just put it on super low heat on a normal pan. I use my 8″ All-Clad fry pan all the time. For blending, I used my cheap little battery-operated cappuccino foam maker thing ($2.99!!) I got from IKEA forever ago (precisely for this purpose) because the batch was too small for an emersion blender. It works really, really well! I poured it all into a slide-top tin and a couple chapstick tubes. It seems weird but the chapstick ones are actually really handy because I can use one hand and it’s less mess.

Equipment

Equipment

Next, I made a lotion bar for humans. Lotion bars are usually molded and kept in little tins. You use it by rubbing it on hot yourself (!). It’s convenient because you don’t get all gloppitydoo all over like regular lotion. I like it for hands and feet. It’s basically a paw wax for humans.

For humans

For humans

Here’s the recipe for a light lotion bar:

Lotion Bar for Humans

  • 2 Tbs beeswax
  • 1½ Tbs mango butter
  • ½ Tbs shea butter
  • 1 Tbs sweet almond oil
  • 1 Tbs rice bran oil
  • 1 tsp vitamin E
  • ½ tsp cornstarch
  • About 16 drops total of essential oils (optional)

Instructions:

Melt, mix and pour!

See? Very easy. If it weren’t I would so not do this. Add the essential oils at the end, after it’s cooled just a little bit. I used green mandarin, grapefruit, carrot seed, lavender, peppermint, ginger, and niauli. All organic. Go lighter on the citrus if you plan to be outside in the sun a lot, because most of them have photosensitizing properties. Grapefruit, however, is an exception! Its essential oil does oxidize more quickly than others, so keep an eye on the shelf-life and make sure you keep the little bottle in the fridge.

Now, on to the lotion. These are a little more tricky because of they contain water—which means you should make small batches and use up quickly to keep from spoiling if you want to keep it all natural. You’ll need a chemical preservative if you want it to last forever in the glove box even after repeatedly sticking your finger in the jar after you touch the ATM machine. I’ve actually had really good luck with some natural preservatives for keeping molds and germs at bay for a while. My go-to mix is a combo of essential oils and vitamin E, and sometimes potassium sorbate and/or NataPres during warmer months. I mention the GSE in the recipe, but I don’t use it so much anymore—some people swear by it but I’m not quite sure if it’s so good. Hence my going to NataPres or potassium sorbate. You can use whatever you feel comfortable.

Not whatcha think

Not whatcha think

Light Lotion for Humans

  • 2 Tbs emulsifying wax
  • 1 Tbs glycerin
  • 1 Tbs sweet almond oil
  • ½ Tbs mango butter
  • ½ Tbs shea butter
  • 1½ tsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbs aloe vera gel
  • 200 ml distilled water or hydrosols, teas, etc.
  • About 25 drops of essential oils
  • Preservatives of your choice: 10 drops of GSE /or 10 drops of NataPres / or .5 tsp of potassium sorbate/ or a combo of NataPres and potassium sorbate for good measure

Instructions:

Melt and blend the waxes and oils together. Slowly add the cornstarch, aloe and water (or hydrosol or tea). Now, mix the shit out of it with an emersion blender or you can keep using the foam-maker thingee like I did, which will take infinitely longer. Let cool, and blend the essential oils and preservatives. Your lotion will seem rather loose, but it’ll set as it cools. If it’s really, truly too loose, you can warm it back up and dissolve a little more emulsifying wax or add a pinch of lecithin, and mix the shit out of it again.

Pour or spoon into a container.

I re/use pumps for my receptacle because I don’t want to stick my boogery fingers in tubbies of fresh lotion. I advise you do the same unless you use a badass preservative. I usually don’t always use the natural preservative mix I mentioned because I use up my stuff superquick, but since I made this for my BFF Colleen, I put in a little.

Essential oils

Essential oils

Since I want to get *something* out of my efforts other than just pretty smells, I always choose my essential oils for their skin healing properties and preserving power: geranium, lavender, niauli, carrot seed, blue chamomile, helichrysum, clary sage. It’s a little more variety than I usually mix, but it smelled nice and everything. You could also just choose by smell, too.

You do have to be careful with essential oils—both for finding high quality and reputable sources, and for choosing the right ones for the purpose. After lots of research and trying different places, my very favorite company is Anatolian Treasures. Their site isn’t pretty, but their oils and hydrosols are one of the best and reasonably priced. Bigger dealers (like the ones you’d find at co-ops and Whole Foods) have better distribution and packaging, but the quality is not even close to what AT offers. Their customer service totally rocks, too!

Lastly, I made some wood conditioner. I make it food safe and use it for my butcher block countertop.

Wood Conditioner

  • 4 Tbs beeswax
  • 2 Tbs lanolin
  • 1 Tbs castor oil
  • 14 drops total of sweet orange and lemon essential oils

Instructions:

Heat, mix, pour into container and scrape & rub later, or pour a little at a time on the countertop while warm. I rubbed it in with an old cloth. Hello repetitive motion injury!

The natural lanolin I use is a little barn-yardy (you can get deodorized ones if you like), but I don’t care. It probably distracts from other stinkus! Lanolin is a superduper moisturizer and water repellent. I use it on my hands sometimes and it’s like that RainX commercial. I actually think just lanolin may have worked just as well for MP’s paw wax, but it’s a little too sticky and soft by itself. She’d probably end up picking up too much gritty grimes.

OK! I hope you try making your own, too! I also make stuff like lip balm and deodorant—both also super Easy as Eff. (Again, otherwise I wouldn’t do it.) As I found out, it is far more difficult to talk about it than just doing it.

UPDATED 2/26/2012: Added a bit more info about the new options for natural preservatives that I like!




10 comments to [Sunday Recipes] Crazy Easy Paw Balm Wax, plus lotion, lotion bar, & wood conditioner

  • Colleen Falconer

    Yay! I’m so excited about this! :) You’re the best, Nana, and I’m so lucky to be your friend.
    xoxo!

  • Robin Sockness

    Hey nana, are you sellin’ your lotion bars? I would so buy one from you!

  • Alissa Mooney Manfre

    where do you get your lanolin? DH is going to make me a butcher-block cutting board, and that conditioner would be perfect! We already have the beeswax!

  • Judy Ford Lathrop

    that’s an awesome post, Nana. I have to consider making some of the lotion bars.

  • Nana Nishigaki

    Robin, sure! I’ll make you one. Do you have favorite essential oils or scent you want me to use?

    Alissa, I got my lanolin at the co-op and it’s the NOW brand one in the tubby. They have a “liquid” one, too—that kind might smell less. Mine totally has that smell, but the orange oil helps a lot and it goes away. Still, if you’re sensitive to that particular lanolin smell, I think you’ll definitely notice it.

    You don’t *need* lanolin if you don’t want/have it, too. My first few batches were just beeswax, castor oil and coconut oil, which worked great. :) Definitely less sticky (so less buffing it in) this way, but it doesn’t last as long, either.

    Judy—yay! :D Let me know how it turns out!

  • Robin Sockness

    Does the bar have lanolin in it? I am allergic to lanolin. I love any smell that is au naturale…I am easy.

  • Judy Ford Lathrop

    It prob won’t be too soon. I’m starting to get busy with work, but I’ve wanted to try this for a while and didn’t know where to start. Looks easy.

  • Nana Nishigaki

    Robin, no lanolin in the lotion bar :)

    Judy, it’s just melt -> mix -> pour! Easy As Eff. :D

  • Hi,

    This dog food seems good.I will definitely try to make this for my pet.

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