Farewell to dry skin – and plastic!

‘Tis the season… for dry skin. Calgarians know that winter brings weather dry enough to make skin itch and crack and bleed. We need lotion tough enough to handle this prairie climate.

I knew there were problems with conventional skin lotion as early as nine years old. Mysterious childhood rashes sent me to doctors, allergists, and dermatologists, who prescribed steroid cream and advised me to use copious amounts of Aveeno lotion. Not only did this do nothing to help me discover the root cause of my skin problems, the doctors’ solution actually made my skin worse by thinning it and loading it with petroleum-based creams. 

Later in my teen years, I discovered that oils moisturized my skin more effectively than water-based lotions. I could also control the ingredients and fragrance I wanted. This recipe lasts about 6 months, and can be adapted. Add shea butter, almond oil or vitamin E oil if you have it on hand, and adjust the amounts depending on how thick you want it. (Do take care that in warmer temperatures the lotion can melt and go ‘off’ faster.)

½ cup coconut oil

¼ cup beeswax (shaved)

⅛ – ¼ cup oil (olive, grapeseed, or other)

Drop or two of essential oil of your choice

Melt all ingredients in a double broiler. Pour into a clean container and add a drop or two of essential oil. Let sit to cool.

This old honey jar is perfect to hold homemade skin lotion

I’m also a trumpet player, and many conventional lip balms contain camphor, a muscle relaxant that is detrimental to brass players. Instead, I simply mix equal parts beeswax and coconut oil in a double broiler, pour the mixture into an old container, and carry it with me everywhere.

It was my health that motivated me to make my own lotion, but I discovered that it’s also a perfectly plastic-free solution to skincare. No matter your motivations, anyone can make a lotion or lip balm that suits this dry Calgary climate.


Looking to learn more on DIY lotions and skincare? Reach out to our team to learn about our workshop offerings. info@plasticfreeyyc.com