Some people have told me that they avoid making their own balms and creams, because most DIY recipes are oil-based and they do not like the oily residue. This recipe is for those people. I’ve personally made this for a friend of mine who shares the same sentiments. With his feedback , I have arrived at this nourishing, yet non-greasy recipe which you can whip up in less than five minutes.
This cream uses aloe vera gel as its base, which unfortunately is quite pricey when compared to oil-based lotions. The trick to creating a non-greasy moisturiser – a true lotion – is to mix oil and water. Oil nourishes, and water is easily absorbed and non-greasy. Mix the two together, and you have a perfectly nourishing lotion that doesn’t leave you looking like a glazed donut. However, in order to mix oil and water you need something called an emulsifier. This recipe, however, is the simplest non-greasy lotion because it doesn’t require an emulsifier. If you want to go down that slightly-more-complicated road, then here is my basic emulsion recipe, which will have the same texture as store-bought lotions.
The most basic recipe only requires aloe vera gel and vitamin e oil – all other ingredients are optional. You can use any aloe gel (like aloe ferox, for example) it doesn’t have to be aloe vera. You could also use freshly harvested aloe gel from your garden, however, the shelf life will be significantly shorter and you will have to use the product within one week. To extend the shelf life of fresh aloe, you will have to add a preservative. Although I think jojoba oil works best, you can substitute this with any other carrier oil. You can also use whichever essential oils you prefer – I chose carrot seed for its anti-ageing properties.
COST & SHELF LIFE
Cost Price: R107.90 per 100ml.
Lasted me about: 2 months using a pea-sized amount on my face every morning and evening.
Estimated shelf life: 6 months if stored away from direct sunlight and moisture.
*Costs accurate at the time of writing, and based on the best retail prices I’ve found.
Aloe vera gel is expensive: Even without the optional ingredients, aloe vera gel is more expensive to use as a base, when you compare it to the cost of oil-based recipes.
CHERRY ON TOP
No oily or greasy residue: This moisturiser absorbs perfectly while still providing your skin with the nourishment it needs.
- Aloe vera / Aloe ferox gel: moisturizes dry skin without giving it a greasy feel. It contains antioxidants including, beta carotene, vitamin C and E that can help improve the skin’s natural firmness and keep the skin hydrated. It also provides relief for very dry, itchy, flaky or sunburned skin. (Buy here or see my shopping guide for other trusted brands)
- Vitamin E oil: An antioxidant that protects the skin from further sun damage and helps to decrease the signs of lines and wrinkles. (Buy from Faithful to Nature or Dischem)
- Jojoba oil: Has a similar structure to that of sebum, which allows it to absorb easily and readily into your skin. It is not technically an oil, but a wax that mimics collagen, which makes it a gentle and less greasy moisturizer for all skin types. (Buy from Faithful to Nature or Dischem)
- Carrot seed EO: rich in Carotene and Vitamin-A, both of which are very beneficial for the skin and are effective antioxidants. Repairs a lot of the damages done to your tissues by free radicals and prevents them from doing further harm. (Buy here)
Need help finding these, or other ingredients? My shopping guide may help you.
RECOMMENDED RETAIL OPTIONS
If you don’t want to make it yourself, then these are some natural aloe gel based lotions which I have personally used and approved:
1.) Natraloe Regenerating Aloe Gel: This is the most cost-effective aloe gel I’ve found, and it also contains the best ingredients. You get the most bang for your buck here at about R185 for 250ml. When I cannot find 100% aloe vera gel, I use this in my recipe instead.
2.) Totally Wild Organic Aloe Gel: This is the more costly option at about R100 for 100ml, but it is a certified organic product after all. That said, it’s a great price for a certified organic product. It contains magnificent ingredients and has a lovely texture, although the fragrance may not be for everyone.
Do you think that this is a good non-greasy moisturiser recipe? If you’ve tried it, please share your feedback in the comments below.