I have already written about home-made toothpaste, and baking soda and vinegar hair-washing. These are small but significant parts of our everyday life here on the Farmlet. Here is another personal-care solution that I’d like to share:
Aloe Vera Moisturizer
4 parts aloe vera gel
1 part vegetable glycerine
1. Pick several leaves from your aloe vera plant. Extract the gel by scraping the juicy flesh off the skin with a blunt knife, bit by bit. Strain the gel through a piece of fine gauze or light fabric to remove any lumps.
2. Once you have the desired quantity of strained aloe vera gel, mix in the vegetable glycerine.
3. Store in the fridge in a screw-topped glass jar.
We love using this moisturizer. It feels light and refreshing on the skin, is cheap and easy to make, and contains no toxic chemicals. I adapted this recipe from Better Basics for the Home, by Annie Berthold-Bond (This book is full of neat recipes and ideas!), and we have now been using it for almost a year. Aloe vera has fantastic healing and moisturizing properties, and glycerine is a good emollient, so this is a powerful combination. Still, some people with very dry skin may find that they do better with an oil-based moisturizing preparation as well, or instead.
Questions and Answers:
How important is the ratio of aloe vera to vegetable glycerine? The recipe is very forgiving. Too much glycerine might make the gel feel very sticky on your skin. Test the preparation, and adjust it to suit your preference.
Can you make this moisturizer using commercial aloe vera gel? Yes, that’s what the recipe in the book calls for. We just prefer to use home-grown aloe vera. Caution: I’ve found that many of the commercial aloe vera gels contain parabens, which we and many others prefer to avoid.
How long does this preparation keep? We’ve kept it in the fridge for up to a couple of months with no problems. That’s the limit of my experience, since we’ve only made quite small batches.
Where do you buy vegetable glycerine? Our local health food/ natural products store stocks it, so I’d start by looking/asking in those kinds of places. You might also find it at a good pharmacy, though they tend only to stock the “regular” petro-chemical glycerine.