Sooo…I perfected my moisturizing lotion bars (texture wise) a while ago (2 parts coconut oil to 1 part cacao butter and 1 part beeswax), but I’ve been reading QUITE a bit about the amazing antioxidant powers of both turmeric and hibiscus, so I thought I’d try to incorporate these into a lotion bar that (in addition to moisturizing skin) may help heal sun damaged skin. To this end, I’m experimenting with the incorporation of hibiscus, turmeric, and castor oil into the bars.
Here’s my rationale: a number of empirical studies have shown that both hibiscus and turmeric can actually help suppress the growth of cancer cells, particularly melanoma:
“Researchers found that gossypin (an active compound of hibiscus) suppresses inflammation and growth of cancer cells, although it is not clear how. They published their findings in the recent issue of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.The researchers found that gossypin inhibits the activity of two gene mutations, which are common in people who have melanoma. They believe that gossypin has great potential as an inhibitor of mutations named BRAFV600E kinase and CDK4. These mutations are observed in the huge majority of patients with melanoma. In the experiments with melanoma cell culture, researchers found that gossypin actually stopped growth of melanoma cancer cell that had the two gene mutations. Gossypin also stopped the growth of different human melanoma cells. Scientists concluded that gossypin in fact stopped the mutations by binding directly with them. Treatment with gossypin also reduced the volume of the tumor and significantly increased survival.”
As for turmeric, it’s apparently called nature’s botox, and while I’m not really buying that bullshit, I AM intrigued by a study that had cancer patients apply turmeric topically to cancer lesions. The results were apparently rather dramatic. Here’s Dr. Michael Gregor’s video on the empirical research study:
Finally, I’m thinking that adding castor oil to the lotion bars would help deliver the good effects of the hibiscus and turmeric because of its molecular structure–i.e., castor oil has a low molecular weight, so it’s absorbed more readily than other oils into the skin.
So my current lotion bars contain six ingredients: coconut oil, cacao butter, beeswax (in now perfect proportions) and hibiscus flowers, turmeric root, and castor oil (in not so perfect proportions).
Part of the issue is that, while the turmeric seems to blend well into the bar, the hibiscus tends to congregate at the bottom (like those bad kids in high school). I’ve tried stirring it halfway through the freezing, but haven’t had much luck moving it (again, like those bad kids in high school). Perhaps the answer is to accept the inherent design flaw and simply do two passes over the skin: one with the red layer and one with the yellow layer.
Oh, a nice thing about the red side is that it has a very slight exfoliating effect!
In other words, I’m still working on it….but I AM getting there! And, in spite of the fact that I avoid the sun like the freakin’ plague, my hands and forearms are a riot of sun damage, so I have lots of real estate upon which to test my (hopefully) healing lotion bars!
And I just bought a fresh pound of beeswax for the bars, and it came like this. I LOVE bees, so I think this is adorable:
PS And I spoke too soon about turmeric’s natural “botox” qualities being bullshit! I found a report on TWO studies that show that turmeric cream does indeed reverse the signs of aging.