Recently I’ve started making my own skincare. The reason? I can’t find anything else that works! My hubby says it’s starting to look like an apothecary around here. A couple months ago I made an eczema cream for my baby and a couple of toners for myself with some of the ingredients you see pictured above. I’ve waited a while to post anything because I wanted to include the results along with the recipes. And if my results were negative, I wouldn’t be posting.
Long story short – I have three kids, and each one of them has had pretty bad dry skin issues at some point. No thanks to me and my overly-sensitive skin genes that I’ve obviously passed on. With my first two kids, I used coconut oil to conquer it. It worked wonders. After trying Aveeno and Burt’s Bees (which actually caused allergic reactions), I turned to coconut oil, and what do you know – after a few weeks of daily applications, their skin healed. Once in a while, my middle child will have a dry skin flare-up, but after a couple applications of the oil, they disappear. Depending on where the dry skin patch is, I sometimes put a coat of Aquaphor over it just to seal in the greasy oil.
So, when my youngest, now 8 months, started getting dry skin several months ago, I went through the same routine. Aveeno didn’t work at all (I don’t have anything against Aveeno – I use it as a regular daily moisturizer for myself and my kids), Burt’s Bees made it much worse (I don’t have a thing against BB either, but apparently there’s something in it that agravates our skin). Eventually the dry skin turned into eczema. Her back was covered with rough, scaly-looking skin, and she would get really bad flare-ups – something my other kids never experienced. So I broke out the coconut oil. To my surprise, it didn’t work AT ALL! I coated her in the stuff day and night, and it didn’t get any better. Ugh!! I was at a loss. The doc finally gave me a prescription. I hesitated to pick it up, and then a few days later she had a really bad flare-up. I was so close to going out to pick up the prescription, but I decided to try one more thing before going that route…
After a lot of research on eczema, oils, and and butters, I narrowed my decision down to the following ingredients:
- Avocado Oil
- Shea Butter (unrefined, pure)
- Essential Oils: Tea tree and Lavender
I’m not going to go into the benefits and uses of each individual ingredient here. The research has been done by many people and is easily accessible online. There are a number of carrier oils, essential oils, and butters that could work here. But after my personal research, I felt this was the best (and safest) way to start experimenting. I want to emphasize safe because not all ingredients are safe for babies, so definitely do your research if you’re planning to make something similar.
I also researched butter/oil ratios and essential oil dilution ratios, and I tested each ingredient to be sure my daughter wouldn’t react to any particular one. So with the goal of making 8 ounces of cream, here are the ingredients and ratios I used:
- 4.5 ounces Shea butter (pure, unrefined)
- 3 ounces Avocado oil
- 0.5 ounces Coconut oil (organic, extra virgin)
- 20 drops of Lavender essential oil
- 20 drops of Tea tree essential oil
(I took the extra-safe route and used a <1% dilution rate, or 5 drops of essential oil per ounce of cream.)
Using a double boiler, I gently heated up the butter just to the point that it softened enough to combine with the other ingredients. I didn’t melt it all the way since heating can destroy good properties.
I mixed together the butter and oils, poured it into a sanitized glass jar, then let it cool a bit.
I then whipped it up. This step isn’t necessary, but it just makes the consistency a little more spreadable. I don’t know that I would take this step next time or not because my mixing bowl was a little difficult to clean afterwards.
The results are in! After about two or three weeks of daily application, my daughter’s skin has cleared up! The eczema on her arms and legs has completely disappeared and has not returned (and it’s been about 6 weeks). The eczema on her back has improved to normal dry skin as opposed to scaly, red eczema. I apply the cream to her back just a couple times a week now, and it really helps.
When my family went to the beach a few weeks ago we actually used this as an after-sun balm. No itching, and no peeling!
I’m very excited about this little “discovery” in my life and am so thankful for the good results. I look forward to continuing my research of butters, carrier oils, and essential oils, and look forward to sharing more results with you in the future!
Just a little FYI: I also learned that sometimes dry skin is caused by a deficiency of the good omega fats. Since I am nursing, I bought myself some avocados and ate and ate, ha! There’s no way to know for sure, but that may have helped a little too. Humidity could be another factor. We ran a humidifier in her room nightly. Plus, summer weather is getting into full-swing here in the south, so that definitely helps.
And just a little disclaimer: My daughter’s eczema was probably mild compared to others with similar conditions, so I am not claiming that these natural butters and oils will work for anyone and everyone. (Although I do have high hopes that they may). Maybe prescriptions are your only option, and that is A-okay as I am not qualified to make judgment calls for anyone. I will only shout – Do your research!!
Next up: Natural, Preservative-free toners!
Sometimes I link to: Craft-O-Maniac, The Better Mom, Keeping It Simple, Create with Joy, Growing Home, Cornerstone Confessions, Somewhat Simple, Food on Friday, No Ordinary Blog Hop, Nap Time Crafters