I was inspired to write this post because I just visited my six-year-old granddaughter, and she kept stroking my arm saying, “Your skin is so soft.” I matched her words with the memory of Johnny Carson asking the beautiful Angie Dickinson how she managed to look so young. “Moisturizer, Johnny. Moisturizer.” That’s the secret, and it takes less time to make your own moisturizer than to go out and shop for it, which also costs 20 times as much. Maybe 30 times. You can slather it on at will without counting every penny.
You need three ingredients:
- Coconut oil. This can be found at your local health food store or supermarket. It is the base and one bottle lasts a long time because you don’t use very much of it with each application. Coconut oil is hard at room temperature (depending on the temperature of the room, of course), so you need to add other ingredients to keep it reliably creamy or semi-liquid.
- Almond Oil: This age-old skin balm remains liquid at much lower temperatures, so I add about 20% of almond oil to the coconut oil. Mediterranean women have always used olive oil as a shampoo and moisturizer, and you could use that too, though almond oil is lighter.
- Shea Butter. I like what shea butter does to my hands, so I throw some of that in. It is hard at the temperature of most rooms, so you balance it out with almond oil.
Just for fun, I often throw in rose oil or other scent.
I either heat the mixture on the stove over low heat until it melts together, or I do the same in the microwave. Then I put it on my bathroom shelf in a small jam jar. (I am keeping my eyes open for a more beautiful jar.) If the jar gets oily from handling, I run it under soapy water, dry it on my bathroom towel, and put it back on the shelf.
I might also fashion some of the facial scrubs, masques, and hand creams that I made when, in the 70s, I made skin care products in my kitchen and sold them as part of the Ann Evans Nutritional Awareness Center. But these days a multi-purpose moisturizer does everything I need.