This is my absolute favourite cream recipe. It’s rich, it’s luscious, it leaves my skin silky smooth and it can be adapted in numerous ways. Though it has a higher oil content than creams which use emulsifiers and can therefore feel quite oily when applied, my experience is that it sinks in really well when applied to damp skin and doesn’t leave any residue.
In some ways it is the most simple of the recipes and certainly the most natural as it uses no emulsifiers (though the beeswax can help to bind it) and potentially no synthetic preservatives. In other ways it is the most complicated as it requires waters and oils to mix and can take a few tries to get just right, though if you follow these instructions and use good quality ingredients it should turn out well first time.
Other pros include the fact that it is almost edible so fits with that old saying, ‘you shouldn’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t put in your mouth.’ The high oil content makes it great for dry skins or skin conditions – it’s the recipe I used to make my calendula and chamomile cream which you can see here and also this wonderfully protective and strengthening hand cream here. You only need to use a tiny amount so it lasts for ages and it has a lovely look and feel to it.
Cons are that it can be more expensive to make than many other creams (which have a high amount of water and only a little infused oil or butters) and it will not last that long if you don’t add a preservative. Also it can be too rich for some people who like very light creams or have oily skins. Finally this recipe requires a fairly decent blender, it doesn’t have to be top of the range but if it’s a very cheap one you may find it hard to keep the motor running for long and have to add small amounts of water at a time, turning the blender off in between which can increase the chances of it separating.
N.B. Being in Europe I do my measurements in grams rather than ounces. I hope that is not a problem for those in the US, there are online conversion charts or if that is confusing let me know and I will attempt to convert it myself for you.
Ingredients: (variations in brackets)
250ml Herbal infusion or floral water (or 200 ml waters with 50ml aloe vera juice)
1 tsp vegetable glycerine
175ml herbal infused oil (or plain base oil)
75g Coconut oil (or a mixture of coconut and cacao)
5ml vitamin E
2.5ml Essential oil
Melt your beeswax and butters in a bain marie or double boiler, then add the liquid oils and allow to become completely liquified, like so.
Pour these oils into your blender and allow to cool.
Whilst that is happening mix together the waters. You can use just floral water but the glycerine does add an extra silkiness. Aloe vera is great to add for sensitive skins or use herbal tea cooled to room temperature (make it double strength) for additional therapeutic value.
After a short while, depending how warm your room is, the oils should turn from this…
Like in the picture below, it will appear to be setting but when you move the jug you see that it is still liquid though much thicker than when you first poured it in. Don’t let it over solidify, though there may be a small amount on the sides that is set. If so just get a small spatula or wooden chopstick and scrape it down – don’t worry if it looks a bit lumpy at this stage.
Now turn the blender on to a lowish speed and start to pour the waters in in a slow trickle. If the blender gets stuck turn it off, scrap the sides down with a spatula and turn it back on again adding a bit more of the water part at a time till the full amount is incorporated. After which the cream should look like this.
Mix in the vitamin E and essential oils of choice by hand and pour into suitable jars.
Spoon the last bits in then use a chopstick to swirl the top so it looks like the icing on a cupcake.
This recipe contains no preservatives but if you would like it to last longer than a month you will need to add one. As it has a higher oil to water ratio compared to most creams it will last much longer however the inclusion of any water in a recipe makes it susceptible to bacteria. If you live in a warmer climate it would be advisable to store it in the fridge. I have never had mine go off and I’ve kept jars for a few months but I live in a cool climate. Also it is good to be aware that creams can be going off before they show visible signs of doing so.
You would need to add add a synthetic preservative if you wanted to ensure your creams lasted longer or were planning on selling them. (See part I of this series for more information on preservatives.) I would say if you are just making them for gifts, then keep them lovely and all natural but be sure to use them up quickly.