by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday of the year because it’s all-inclusive and not restricted to any one group of people and it doesn’t have commercial hype surrounding it. I don’t know why Thanksgiving isn’t more popular outside of America and we’ve been basking in this gravy boat since the mid-1800’s. It’s about celebrating the harvest, being thankful and spending time with your loved ones. And I love the Thanksgiving day dinner menu — turkey and mashed potatoes and stuffing and Brussels sprouts and pumpkin pie, etc., etc., etc. This year, as my neighbours south of the border are celebrating Thanksgiving, I’m thinking about cranberries.
The fourth Thursday of November also marks the beginning of the Christmas holiday season, so I thought I would put together a series of home spa gift ideas and recipes for people to make themselves and give as gifts this year, all on a modest budget. I’m all for hand made and home made Christmas gifts. This recipe is my first post of this series:
Cranberry Body Lotion
- 1 tsp cocoa butter — Used in skincare for its moisturizing and cleansing properties.
- 1 tsp coconut oil — Moisturizes skin, conditions hair and the scent can whisk your imagination off to a tropical beach.
- 1/2 cup apricot kernel oil — A popular carrier oil since it is emollient and nourishing and leaves the skin feeling soft.
- 1 tsp beeswax — Can be used in many applications around the spa but is most often used for its comforting scent and to thicken cosmetics.
- 1/2 cup cranberry juice — Cranberries are loaded with Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant. The juice can be taken internally as a drink or applied externally for healthy skin. Cranberries have anti-bacterial properties which act as a natural preservative in the recipe.
- 1 tsp aloe vera gel — Soothing, cooling and is an anti-irritant. The gel-like substance is an excellent natural remedy for any skin problem.
- 1/2 tsp glycerin — A vegetable product which comes out as a clear syrup and is a natural moisturizer which adds body to beauty recipes.
- 1 tsp honey — A natural humectant, honey has moisturizing and antiseptic qualities. It’s ideal for treating chapped lips and wrinkles.
- 1 Vitamin E oil capsule — Vitamin E can be found in over-the-counter capsules in pharmacies or in liquid form or in foods like vegetable oils, whole grains, wheatgerm and nuts. It helps prevent scar tissue and may reduce anxiety. It is also widely used as a natural preservative.
- 5 drops orange essential oil — uplifting orange eases depression, calms anxiety and lulls nervous tension. It also softens and hydrates skin, making it a pleasant addition to bath products.
Method: Melt the cocoa butter and coconut oil in the microwave or in the top pan of a double boiler. Blend in the apricot oil over low heat.
In a separate deep bowl, using an electric hand mixer or wire whisk, mix together the cranberry juice, aloe vera, glycerin, honey and Vitamin E.
To combine the two liquids, drizzle in a small amount of warm oil mixture into the bowl with the cranberry juice and beat or whisk vigorously (as if making an emulsified salad dressing). Continue to drizzle and blend until all of the oil is infused with the juice. Stir in 5 drops of orange essential oil.
Manner: After a lengthy soak in the tub or hot shower, apply the lotion to your body to help the skin retain moisture.
Storage/Shelf Life: Pour into a sterilized container and label. Shake the contents of the bottle as the mixture may have separated since you’ve made it. Will last up to 1 year.
I hope you enjoy making this recipe and get good results. The cranberry juice will add a pink tinge to the lotion and will be festive for this time of year. Make a note to come back to this blog over the next few weeks for more home spa gift ideas and quick and easy recipes.
And please let me know what kinds of recipes you would like me to showcase here. I’m open to suggestions.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!