While it may seem like an activity only geared toward adults, teens also enjoy creating their own lotion. When I told them the activity was making lotion, the boys didn’t seem overly interested, but they saw the process and became involved. I used this recipe: however, I only purchased jojoba oil and not sweet almond oil to decrease the overall cost of the activity. In addition, I only purchased lavender essential oil to decrease the overall cost and because it is one of the safer oils available. My activity was paired with a quiz about essential oils that included some safe handling guidelines and information about how they are extracted.
I had never worked with shea butter before, and it is an unusual substance. At first I was concerned that it would create an unpleasant smell when we melted it, but oddly enough, the smell improved as the temperature increased. We didn’t bother with a double boiler, instead I just kept the burner on low. The melted liquid lotion took longer to solidify than indicated in the recipe. It took ours about 20 minutes using a large metal bowl. If you spread your melted lotion out, it might not take as long to cool in the fridge. While we waited for the lotion to solidify, I told the teens a minute mystery, which can take a lot longer than one minute. In case you are unfamiliar with these, here is a link.
When the mixture had started to solidify, we used a handheld mixer. The mixer was very popular, everyone wanted a turn helping to mix the lotion. I had also purchased some small plastic containers that came with labels, and everyone used butter knives to fill their containers when the lotion was mixed. If you are on a budget you could use baby food jars or any other small container. There was a lot more lotion than I thought there would be because air adds volume when you mix the lotion. In general, it was a great activity for teens!