If you’re not already on the in-shower lotion train, consider me your conductor: all aboard!

Your skin is at it’s most hydrated when it’s drenched in water, as soon as the water starts to dry - you’re already fighting a losing battle to keep it moisturised. But an in-shower body lotion is no ordinary lotion! It’s able to lock in precious moisture when our skin’s at its most hydrated and provides a protective seal that keeps your skin moisturised all day! There are a few ingredients that make it extra effective so this is definitely one to read!

Recipe

Water phase
  • 144g Water
  • 60g Aloe Vera Juice
  • 15g Glycerine
Oil Phase
  • 45g Almond Oil
  • 9g Shea Butter
  • 15g Emulsifying Wax
  • 6g Almond Wax
Cool Down
  • 3g Vitamin E
  • 3g Preservative Eco
  • 3g (max) Essential Oils

Method

  1. Measure out your water phase ingredients: Distilled water, glycerine & Aloe Vera juice, and your oil phase ingredients: Shea Butter, Almond Oil, Emulsifying Wax & Almond Wax into two separate heat resistant containers
  2. Over low heat (e.g. using a bain-marie, water bath or double boiler), melt both phases in separate heatproof glasses
  3. Once the oil and water phases have completely melted, mix together and transfer to a flat surface
  4. To create a light and airy emulsion, use an immersion blender. As the mixture cools and more air is incorporated, it will start to thicken and change to a pale cream colour
  5. When you’re happy with the consistency, allow the mixture to cool
  6. Use a scale to add your Cool Down ingredients: natural preservative, antioxidant & any essential oils you prefer for fragrance
  7. Briefly mix again either by hand or using a blender to ensure that all the ingredients are evenly distributed
  8. Store your in-shower body lotion in an airless pump bottle to prolong its shelf life

This recipe makes 300g of in-shower body lotion. See the interactive in-shower body lotion formula to customise this recipe.

How do in-shower body lotions work?

These lotions work by containing the following three ingredients: an occlusive agent, humectant and emollient. The water in the shower activates the lotion. The humectant softens and attracts water to the skin allowing more moisture to be absorbed. The emollients are also absorbed leaving the occlusive agent to seal the moisture in. This is why the in-shower body lotion should be left on the skin for at least a minute before rinsing off. The occlusive agent prevents all the lotion being washed away by repelling the water.

Glycerine (Humectant)

Humectants such as honey and glycerine allow the skin to more absorb water by attracting moisture and softening the skin. For this reason, humectants are a popular ingredient to include in hair and skincare, but there’s often a limit to the amount you can add due to their naturally sticky texture. The nature of in-shower lotions allows them to harness glycerine’s ability to draw in water from the moisture-rich shower or bath environment. This leaves you with extra plump and hydrated skin, without any stickiness due to the rinse-off application of in-shower body lotions.

Butters & Oils (Emollient)

Emollients restore the youthful appearance of skin by replacing the natural lipid barrier that is stripped by the harsh elements encountered in daily living. Shea butter is one of our favourites to include in lotions, but it’s really the oil that is the star of the show here. Oils provide slip and keep our lotion lightweight so that it can be used with a pump bottle. They’re also rapidly absorbed into the skin which is perfect for a fast-acting in-shower lotion!

Wax (Occlusive agent)

Wax is an important component to in-shower lotion that distinguishes it from regular creams and moisturisers. In order for the in-shower lotion to function, a small amount needs to remain on your skin after rinsing it off. While the basic elements of a lotion: water, oils & butters remain the same, the wax creates a physical barrier to ensure that the moisturising agents are locked into your skin. This thin barrier on your skin’s surface reduces water loss to prevent your skin from drying out, but it also repels external water to ensure that you don’t rinse off all of the lotion.

It is particularly useful for anyone suffering from dry skin or eczema as it counteracts the “drying out” process the skin immediately undertakes as soon as it’s removed from a hydration source.

I’m using almond wax which is a softer setting pseudo-wax derived from almond oil. However, you can substitute this with beeswax or candelilla wax. These are firmer than almond wax but they’re wonderful emollients and you’ll likely not be able to tell the difference in the final lotion. But if you’re looking for an alternative that will provide the same consistency as almond wax without having to alter the amount, berry wax is a great all-natural alternative.

Customisation

An additional ingredient can be adding to this lotion to improve its viscosity and texture. Fatty alcohols like cetyl, cetearyl or stearyl are naturally derived emollients that improve slip and the stability of an emulsion. This is what gives store-bought products that silky, luxurious feeling that is irresistible on the skin! I will be introducing this ingredient in upcoming haircare and skincare tutorials but for those who are already familiar - feel free to add it to this recipe.

As always, the oils and butters in my cosmetic recipes can be substituted for your favourite varieties. Aloe Vera Juice is full of vitamins and antioxidants which improve the skin’s texture and are deeply moisturising. However, you can easily replace this with plain water or botanical hydrosols.

No-hassle moisture

Although it’s a constant battle to keep our skin moisturised, it doesn’t have to be time-consuming. This particular in-shower body lotion is great in the summer when you just want something light on the skin. It dries to leave your skin feeling smooth and well moisturised, but not oily or sticky. In the winter it is a great first step to lock as much moisture as possible in the skin, before applying a traditional moisturiser, if necessary.

So what are you waiting for? Time to get you some soft, smooth, moisturised skin!

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