Disclosure: I sometimes earn money or products from any of the companies mentioned on this site. Learn more.
Well, the weather has been woefully uncooperative for excavation the last couple of days, so I don’t have much to report on that front. We’re using this time to work on the various permit applications, building quotes, and other items we’ll need to get done.
In the meantime, I figured I’d let you in on one of the best things I ever improvised based on random things I pulled off of Pinterest…
Easy DIY “Anything” Cream
I started off looking for cloth-safe diaper cream recipes because I was dissatisfied with anything commercial on the market. Zinc-based creams left Wee Man’s skin dry, chapped, and prone to rashes. Straight coconut oil was nice but didn’t quite have the staying power I was looking for. I wanted something that was easy to make, would stay on his behind well between changes, prevented diaper rash, and was cost effective.
To make it, here’s what you need:
- 3/4 cup coconut oil – naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal
- 3/4 cup shea butter (I ordered mine here) – rich in vitamins A, E, F, and K
- 1/4 cup olive oil – helps keep the finished product creamy and not too hard
- 3-4 tablespoons grated or pellet beeswax – makes a good protective barrier on the skin (I had a block left over from craft projects and just grate it, but if you don’t already have some, buy pellets to make things easier!)
Makes about 2 cups
NOTE: You can go as organic as you want to here. If you’re into having organic everything, you should totally do that! If you happen to have non-organic ingredients on hand like I do here, that’s fine too. I’ve done it both ways and haven’t noticed a difference in efficacy.
- Melt your coconut oil and shea butter together in a pot on medium-low heat.
- Add the olive oil and beeswax. Stir until everything is melted together and well incorporated.
- Let simmer for 5-10 minutes. This will make sure your end product isn’t so grainy. If it comes out grainy though, that’s okay! The little grains will melt on your fingers as you rub it into the skin.
- Pour into your container of choice. It will be transparent when it’s hot.
- Let cool. You can put it in the fridge to make this part go faster, but it usually turns out better and less grainy if you let it sit out overnight.
1. Cloth Safe Diaper Cream
This was my primary use for it, and it works great! A while back, Anthony had gotten a bleeding, blistering rash from using other kinds of creams instead. I kept getting told, “You should put Aquaphor on it!” “His butt should be covered in white cream!” “Polysporin is the only way to go!!” And in my head I thought, “No, he should be using the stuff I made!” But I doubted myself, so I heeded their advice. And you know what happened? His rash got worse! The more commercial (and often petroleum based) products I tried, the worse it got. So I started going back to the cream I made and used nothing else. And you know what? IT DISAPPEARED! AND HE HASN’T HAD A RASH SINCE! See, sometimes Mama actually knows something!
2. Dry Skin Ointment
Cracked skin in the winter? Sunburn? Dry, cracked feet? Slap some of this on there and watch the magic happen. Bonus points for putting it on overnight. It melts right into your skin and helps it to heal.
3. Lip Balm
You can leave out some of the olive oil if you want it to be a bit firmer, but it works great for dry lips either way. You only need a little dab to feel the effects for hours. Try putting a little bit in a small lip gloss container to take with you.
4. Frizz Tamer
I have naturally curly/wavy hair. Part of my routine includes not using any products with silicones (because I don’t use shampoos with sulfates). Usually my hair behaves itself as long as I’ve followed my usual routine, but occasionally the weather makes everything poof up. For those times, I rub a little bit of this in my hands and scrunch it in like I would a mousse or gel. You can also take a little bit in your fingers to smooth out fly-aways or those weird baby hairs that stick up right where you don’t want them.
5. Bathtime for Baby (or Adult!)
Rub this into your palms and onto baby’s skin or hair during bath time as a gentle conditioner. It feels pretty luxurious as an aftershave lotion or melted into bathwater for a good moisturizing soak.
What’s the cost breakdown?
You, like me, probably enjoy not only being as natural as possible but also as frugal as possible. So how does this break down?
Shea Butter – $8 for 16 oz (about 2.5 batches worth), $3.20/batch
Coconut Oil – $6 for 16 oz (about 2.5 batches worth), $2.40/batch
Olive Oil – $6 for 16 oz (about 4 batches worth), $1.50/batch
Beeswax – $10 for a block (I’ll be using this forever!), negligible
= $7.10/2 cup batch or $.22/ounce
For reference, a tube of Babyganics or California Baby rash cream (which had been my go-to for a while) averages about $9 for a 4 ounce tube (or $2.25 an ounce). And regular ol’ Desitin (which is NOT good for cloth) is about $5 for a 4 ounce tube or $1.25 an ounce. Even the generic is still about $.70 an ounce!
Not only that, but a little bit of the DIY ointment goes a LONG way. I made the batch in the pictures about 5 weeks ago and I’ve only used maybe 1/3 of what I made, meaning I’ll get about 15 weeks out of one batch. How long do you get out of a typical tube of diaper cream??
So there you have it! It’s easy, only takes a few minutes to make, lasts a super long time, and works great!
As always, feel free to leave any questions or comments below, and be sure to follow me on Twitter @accihippies!