It’s time for the next instalment of our cream making recipes, this one using emulsifying wax.
Emulsifying wax can be made from either vegetable wax or petroleum wax mixed with a detergent, so do ensure that you know which you are getting. I always use the vegetable derived one which is what most herbal suppliers will be selling. It comes as a flaky white solid which melts at fairly low temperatures and helps to thicken and emulsify fats and waters to make a cream. You will see from the recipe that this cream includes a much higher proportion of water compared to the last one I posted about, enabling you to make a cream that is not quite so rich and sinks in easily.
Here in the UK many herbal suppliers sell emulsifying wax including Baldwins here, Neal’s Yard here, Woodland herbs here and Aromantic here. All these will ship internationally but I’m sure most countries will have their own suppliers.
Pros to this cream include that it is simple and potentially quite cheap to make, it doesn’t involve any special equipment, just a few bowls and a whisk, and it is more stable than the cream without emulsifiers which can tend to sweat when exposed to temperature fluctuations.
Cons are that it is not completely natural and can sometimes tend to leave a slight residue behind when massaged into the skin. With this recipe it’s important to use a preservative because it has a high water content and will potentially go off quite quickly.
This recipe will make about about half the quantity of the last one incase you didn’t want to experiment with quite such a large amount.
200ml of spring water, floral water or herbal tea.
Oils and Waxes:
20g emulsifying wax
50ml herbal infused oil or plain base oil
2.5ml vitamin E
1 ml essential oils
Preservative of choice according to instructions
First melt the beeswax and emulsifying wax in a bain marie or double boiler adding the oil and waiting until it is all completely melted. Whilst that is happening place the waters in another pan and heat until fairly hot but not boiling. When both are ready turn the oils off the heat and place the waters in a heat proof jug and begin to pour very slowly into the oil mixture whisking vigorously as you go.
Keep pouring and whisking until all the waters are incorporated into the oils. As they are still hot they will have a thin texture, a bit like milk.
Keep whisking until it starts to thicken, then add in your vitamin E, essential oils and preservatives (I use Preservative Eco sold by Aromantic).
Keep stirring, it should end up fairly firm and deliciously creamy, by which time your arms will be ready to fall off!
Spoon into jars, swirl the top and that’s all there is to it!