Category Archives: eczema

Friday, April 6, 2012

Cocoa and Shea Body Butter for Dry Skin and Eczema

I’m so excited to share this lotion with all of you!  It’s incredible in terms of healing.  I’ve been using it on Ethan’s skin for about 5 days and his dry eczema patches have nearly disappeared, and the rest of his skin feels like velvet.  My poor son has awful seasonal allergies and this exacerbates his eczema.  So during this time of the year I keep his immune system strong and keep him lubed up with healing lotion.  I am also using this lotion on my legs and back (where I tend to get dry this time of year).  I’m just really impressed with cocoa butter…and it’s fun to smell like chocolate. Oh, and I’m also using it as lip balm.  So fun!  If you’re searching for a healing lotion for your dry, itchy skin, this one might be for you!  I’ve included links below if you’re interested in making it.  I can’t stress how easy it is to make your own lotion.  I’m saving so much money; comes out to about $2.50 per jar (I was paying $10 – $15) for similar store bought lotions.
 Cocoa and Shea Body Butter 

-2.5 ounces Raw organic cocoa butter 
-3.5 ounces Raw organic unrefined shea butter 
-3 tablespoons organic apricot oil
-1 teaspoon teaspoon vanilla extract (optional, adds scent) 
-1/2 teaspoon vegetable glycerine 

How To:
1.  Weigh out the butters.
2.  Shave the cocoa butter and add it to a glass Pyrex submerged in water and bring the water to a boil. This will melt the cocoa butter while keeping it raw.  This step is optional, you could also just shave it and add it to the food processor.  The heat from blending will melt it pretty well.  
3.  Add the shea butter to food processor, pulse few times to loosen up and warm the butter – it will become very smooth.
4.  Slowly drizzle in the coco butter, apricot oil vanilla, and vegetable glycerin.
5.  Blend until velvety and creamy.
6.  Transfer lotion mixture to glass jars.  The lotion will be soft and will harden as it cools.  It will last for MONTHS at room temp.  Yields about 12 ounces.

Raw cocoa butter
Mmmmm, looks good and smells outrageous!
I make two jars at a time. 
One for our room and one for Ethan’s.  
The small jar holds 4 ounces  
The large jar holds 8 ounces 
Click HERE for additional homemade lotions from The Tasty Alternative
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Labels: beauty, eczema, Holistic healing, homemade remedies.


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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Homemade Coconut Shea Butter Lotion: for dry sky and eczema

After I made my first batch of lotion, I’ve been experimenting with different ingredients for different aliments.  For example, using colloidal oatmeal as an anti-itch relief.  It’s super fun and easy to make your own lotion.  It takes just a few minutes to mix the ingredients together and there you have it.  Today I’m sharing another variation for the dry/eczema prone skin.  I keep everything raw when making lotion.  I never heat the ingredients, which I feel is very important.  This batch includes shea butter as the base, with coconut oil, calendula oil, jojoba oil and a dash of eucalyptus (for its healing properties and fragrance).  Raw shea butter has a very interesting smell, almost smokey, and in the many batches I’ve purchased (on amazon) they have all varied in color and smell.  This is to be expected.  So have fun and experiment with essential oils!
-3 tablespoons jojoba oil
-1 tablespoon calendula oil
-3/4 teaspoon eucalyptus oil*
How To
1.  Mix ingredients in bowl, initially by hand, then with electric mixer.
2.  Fill small glass jars and use within 2 months.
3.  Final product can be stored at room temperature during use, as it has great self life!  Store remaining unused shea butter in the refrigerator, or you could also store leftover lotion in the fridge if you won’t be using it right away (it will keep for months in the fridge).  This stuff is resilient and you’re good either way, no matter where you keep it.
Eucalyptus is a powerful anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory essential oil that can help control eczema flare-ups.  Eucalyptus oil works by stimulating blood circulation and has a calming and cooling effect on irritated skin.  And like echinacea, eucalyptus also stimulates your immune function.  Before applying eucalyptus oil (or any essential oil) to the skin, the oil should be diluted in a carrier oil (i.e. sweet almond oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, etc.) to avoid further irritation and burning.  Eucalyptus can be applied throughout the day as needed for itch relief.  Eucalyptus is also great for treating a baby eczema rash.
Use hand mixer OR food processor.  Both work well.  I tend to use a hand mixer with soft ingredients.  When I make lotion with cocoa butter, I always use a food processor.  It’s difficult to incorporate cocoa butter with a hand mixer.  Something else that’s important to consider is that the heat from the friction (from running the food processor a while) will help melt the small chunks of cocoa butter and incorporate all the ingredients nicely.
Additional Homemade Lotions from The Tasty Alternative
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Labels: beauty, eczema, Holistic healing, homemade remedies, how to.


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Monday, December 5, 2011

What is Colloidal Oatmeal? And How Does it Help Eczema?

Please read my disclaimer before you continue reading.  
Thank you!

Simply speaking, colloidal oatmeal is very finely ground oatmeal.  Pretty easy explanation right!  

So what in the world is this stuff used for? 

First let me tell you that I ran across colloidal oatmeal from reading the ingredients off a bottle of Eucerin.  I’ve never purchased Eucerin, but I was curious why it is so popular and why so many people recommend it for my son’s eczema and dry skin.  First, check out the ingredients in Eucerin.  I’ve linked research and information to some of the concerning ingredients from The Skin Deep Database

Glycerin, Cetyl Palmitate, Mineral Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Octyldodecanol, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Colloidal Oatmeal, Dimethicone, PEG – 40 Stearate, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Phexoxyethanol, DMDM HydantionIodopropynyl, Butylcarbarmate.

I was very curious about this oatmeal so I did some research.

I ran across this great site dedicated to colloidal oatmeal.  I recommend checking it out, but I will also share information from this site here.  All quotes are from site link.

So back to the original question: 
What in the world is this stuff used for?

The popular use for colloidal oatmeal is in the bath.  
I have used this with my son.  I grind 2 cups of oatmeal in a coffee grinder and add it to his bath water.  Works great.  Please use oatmeal with caution if you have issues with gluten (or even if you aren’t sure).  It’s best to purchase certified gluten-free oats to avoid any averse reactions.  Please discuss the use of oatmeal as a means for holistic healing with a medical professional or holistic practitioner before using.     

Colloidal oatmeal has properties that comfort itching, so it is a good choice for relieving the pains of eczema. Simply run your bath with lukewarm water, and while the tub is filling, add a packet (two to three cups) of colloidal oatmeal under the faucet to help disperse the oatmeal. Soak in the bath for ten to fifteen minutes. When you are ready to get out of the bath, Be Careful. The bathtub will be slick from the oatmeal. When drying, don’t rub your skin since this can irritate the sore areas. Instead, pat yourself dry with a clean towel. This treatment can be taken up to three times daily to help ease the dry, itchy skin of eczema”

What a great holistic remedy for children and babies suffering from eczema (or adults for that matter).  My son’s skin looks awful in the bath (like burns all over his legs) and so this is a great addition to bath time.  Wish I had this information when he was 6 months old with weepy eczema patches all over his body.  

How does it work?
“Colloidal oatmeal is simply oats ground into an extremely fine powder. When added to bathwater, it creates a milky dispersion that prevents the oatmeal from settling rapidly. So the oatmeal stays in the water and doesn’t just sink to the bottom of the bath. When you get into the tub, the colloidal oatmeal feels silky, as it coats, moisturizes, softens, and protects your skin.”

How do I use it?
“Run your bath with lukewarm water, and while the tub is filling, add a packet (two to three cups) of colloidal oatmeal under the faucet to help disperse the oatmeal. You may have the urge to take a hot bath, but this will only irritate the skin and remove moisture from your body, so a warm bath is preferable. Soak in the bath for ten to fifteen minutes. When you are ready to get out of the bath, BE CAREFUL. The bathtub will be slick from the oatmeal. When drying, don’t rub your skin since this can irritate the sore areas. Instead, pat yourself dry with a clean towel.”

I added colloidal oatmeal to my latest homemade eczema lotion (recipe coming soon) as a dry-skin remedy this winter.  

Check this out if you are interested in making large amounts of colloidal oatmeal.  But a coffee grinder or other blender will suffice.  
Posted by Amber at

Labels: eczema, Holistic healing, homemade remedies.


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Friday, October 21, 2011

Homemade Jojoba Shea Butter Lotion: for dry skin and eczema

When my son Ethan was 5 months old he developed eczema all over his body.  It wasn’t entirely a surprise.  My husband develops terrible eczema on his hands during the summer/winter months.  So when it started showing up on Ethan it was all about holistic healing and comfort…and time.   
I started with food. I was nursing Ethan so I would systematically cut out foods from my diet that I suspected might be aggravating his skin.  Food didn’t seem to change his skin much.  Already 100% dairy free, sugar free, soy free, etc, I cut out eggs for a while.  I also experimented with wheat and nuts.  We noticed that during the cold months his skin was dry and susceptible and during the hot months his skin was dry and susceptible.  I would say that staying on a allergy free diet helped his skin from becoming worse than it already was, and allowed time and other natural remedies to work and heal the inflammation. 
Our pediatrician, like most pediatricians, suggested the steroid cream.  Scott never had much success with this sort of cream and he also didn’t particularly like the ingredients – very intense stuff.  So we both knew this just wasn’t an option…or for us a very last resort option.  For the most part Ethan was smiley, happy and easy going.  He appeared comfortable.  He wasn’t distressed or preoccupied with itching his skin.  So that being said, we continued with holistic/homeopathic remedies including:
1.  Keeping his nails trimmed 
2.  Always covering the weepy patches of skin, but also allowing the skin time to breathe now and then
3.  Dressing in only 100% cotton or organic cotton clothes
4.  Gentle soap (like Dr. Bronner’s) to wash his clothes
5.  We did not bathe him every night
6.  During baths I would often put chamomile tea in with his bath water (steap about 8 cups of water with 8 tablespoons loose chamomile flowers )
7.  Moisturize, moisturize and moisturize!  We kept his skin very lubricated, especially during the winter months.
Side note: I’m not kidding when I tell you we used just about every organic, natural cream on the market.  We found these at our local Coop and I also found products on-line from small organic companies (this is a great blog for such a purpose).  I was very picky about what I put on his skin, obviously.  We did not use lotions filled with preservatives, parabens, SLS, phthalates, glycols, petroleum, artificial fragrances, PEGS, PGG, MEA, TEA, DEA, etc…the list goes on and on…and so the list of what you can use gets smaller and smaller.
I didn’t think about making my own lotion at the time.  I wish I had because we all know those organic creams are EXPENSIVE!  
In time his eczema decreased, starting with his face.  By his first birthday his face looked great.  Next his arms improved to zero areas of inflammation much like his face, his back and stomach followed.  His legs improved greatly but this is still the area of concern.
Last summer I purchased my last store-bought cream/oil.  I was determined to make my own dry skin/eczema remedy and found three ingredients that target inflammation 
(and ingredients I frequently saw in the store-bought brands):
So here is what I did…
1: Purchased 16 oz. of raw, organic shea butter ($10).
2: Purchased 8 oz. of organic jojoba oil 
(from bulk at our Coop – $5)
3: Purchased 1/2 cup dried chamomile flowers 
(from bulk at our Coop – $1.50)
4: Infused jojoba with chamomile for 2 weeks
5: Strained through cheese cloth and TADA…chamomile infused jojoba oil! 
6: Raw shea butter is super hard so I placed it in a glass bowl and let it sit in the sun for a few hours to soften.  Worked great.  Above picture is a few hand stirs with a spoon after the sun bath
7: I added the strained oil to the shea butter and whipped with a hand mixer until well incorporated
1.  This lotion is oily.  Take caution when applying it around fabric you love, as oil may transfer
2.  It soaks into skin after a bit and should be noted it’s much less oily than just applying straight oil
2.  This would be a terrific hand treatment at night with cotton gloves
3.  Apply immediately after shower/bath to affected areas
4.  This mixture of ingredients has a fantastic shelf life
5.  Experiment with other healing herbs/oil 
Here are some pictures of Ethan’s skin.  I never took any of his body because it was usually covered.  I look back at these and smile ear to ear.  He was such a chubby little thing! To give you an idea, he weighed 17 lbs. at 4 months old! And I’m not kidding when I tell you he was a happy little thing too – always a smile on that red little face.  Mommy kept him very comfortable!
Overall, his legs were the worst.  He had many patches of skin that were weepy, he also had these patches on his arms.  Keeping these patches covered prevented itching and aided in healing.
And, here he is in 2010:
This face looks so much better.  His cheeks healed with time, as did his arms, back and stomach.  We are happy about declining the steroid cream.  This this was a personal choice and every parent should decide what will be best for their child and what they are comfortable administering.  I would say he outgrew the worst of it. Keeping him on an allergy-free diet is very important despite the little change we noticed in his symptoms early on.  He is currently dairy free, gluten free, sugar free, soy free, chocolate free and nightshade free.  And we keep that skin super-duper moisturized with our awesome new lotion.  

Still a very smiley little guy!!  

See HERE for a list of all my homemade lotions 
Posted by Amber at

Labels: beauty, eczema, Holistic healing, homemade remedies, how to.


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