To realize the full value of a lavender crop, growers should plan to turn at least a portion of their harvest into personal care products, such as soaps, lotions, shampoos and spritzers. These value-added products can provide substantial profits due to their high markups of up to 10 times the cost of ingredients.
If you’re worried the process is too complicated – don’t be. There is a learning curve, of course, but by starting with the simple products, like spritzers, and moving on to the personal care products with more ingredients, you’ll soon gain the confidence to tackle anything!
Debbie Glickman’s young son had a fear of the dark and bad dreams when he was moved from a crib to a bigger bed. Debbie found there were no products available to help with this common problem, so she created “Sweet Dreams Spray,” using lavender. Just a few spritzes on the pillow is enough to send most kids to dreamland.
Lavender spritzers are easy to make. Most use hydrosol, a byproduct of the lavender distillation process used to make essential oil from the lavender flowers. The hydrosol has a light lavender scent, and is primarily distilled water. Because a true lavender spritzer contains no alcohol, it is ideal for those sensitive to alcohol based products. It can be sprayed on linens or pillows or used as a non-toxic room freshener. Most lavender growers package their spritzer in a 2 to 4 ounce glass bottle. Lavender essential oil can also be substituted for the hydrosol, using around 16 drops of oil to 2 ounces of distilled water.
Lavender lotion is another popular value-added product with substantial profit margins and repeat customers. Profits are high because most lotions are 70-89% water, and you know how much that costs! The best approach to lotion making is to use all-natural ingredients without unnecessary chemicals for customers who want a pure and simple product that is safe to use.
A basic lotion is as easy to make as salad dressing, with only five basic ingredients: water, oil, emulsifier, thickener and a preservative. Using a simple recipe/formula, the ingredients are mixed in specific proportions to create the right texture and consistency. But like any recipe, you have to follow it to succeed. For example, adding less water will turn a lotion into a cream. A simple lotion formula would be: 75% distilled water, 15% oil or shea butter, 5% emulsifier, 4% stearic acid, 1% preservative and 1% scent.
Lotions are blended in 3 phases. In the first phase, the fats and oil-soluble ingredients are blended together. In the second, the water and water-soluble ingredients are blended. In the final phase, both are combined and the scent and preservative are added.
Busy lavender growers can even create their own lotion without all the mixing by purchasing bulk lotion base, which is available as an all-natural product, and adding their own lavender oil. This approach takes a fraction of the time.
As you can see, lavender personal care products are an excellent way to add value to your lavender harvest and extend your income beyond just the harvest season. To learn more about lavender personal care products, and the wholesale sources for their ingredients, read LAVENDER FARMING. Click here for details.