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How to make hand cream

by Cybele
Hormones seem to be sending my skin into a tailspin. The other day I tried some fancy  hand cream at the shop and broke out in a rash. I had the same problem with a pimple gel I was using to fix another hormone issue and ditto, for the shampoo I’ve been using for ages. I haven’t been this sensitive for years. Ridiculous.
I have resolved to only use potions where I know the ingredients, thankfully this seems to be working and my skin has settled down again. Looks like I am going to have to go back to the good old days and make EVERYTHING that touches my skin for the next couple of months. I will fill you in on my discoveries as I go.

Sourcing hand cream ingredients

This hand cream recipe is easy, however some of the ingredients are not found in the average pantry. Online aromatherapy suppliers, like Mountain Rose Herbs -AFF (for those in the US and Canada), will stock all of them. While you’re at it, I would recommend grabbing some Grapefruit Seed Extract, a natural preservative and use according to the directions for prolonging shelf life. Otherwise, I have seen cocoa butter in speciality food suppliers (because it’s used to make chocolate), beeswax at the craft or hardware store and borage and carrot oils at the health food shop.
I have started making my products with a friend and this has (a) been a lot of fun and (b) cut costs, although most ingredients like cocoa butter and beeswax last for ages and make any cupboard smell amazing.
The orange and vanilla scent is gorgeous and it goes with this hand wash, however feel free to use your favourite essentials oils.

Ingredients for hand cream

a sterilised jar to fit 55 ml or 1.9 oz
12 g/0.4 oz cocoa butter
12g/0.4 oz beeswax or coconut oil
30ml/1 fl oz almond, grape seed or calendula oil
10 drops of carrot or borage seed oil
10 drops orange or tangerine and vanilla essential oils (optional)

How to make the hand cream

Melt cocoa butter and beeswax in a bain marie (a bowl sitting in a saucepan of water, like the above picture), stir well, turn off the heat and add the almond, carrot or borage and essential oils. Pour into a sterilised jar while still warm. Label and enjoy using up in six months if not before.
This recipe was inspired by one found in Valerie Ann Worwood’s (AFF) The Fragrant Pharmacy: A Complete Guide to Aromatherapy and Essential Oils
Does anyone else have sensitive skin or bouts of it? How do you deal with it?

* Always test products on a discrete spot, before getting too excited. We use simple ingredients wherever possible for countless reasons, but sadly it’s still possible to be allergic to these ingredients.

About BlahBlahMagazine

Cybele Masterman (Bele) trained as a beauty therapist, aromatherapist and journalist. After working as all of the above has found herself on a quest for a beautiful and meaningful life that doesn't cost the earth. Follow on google: +blahblahmagazine twitter: @blahblahzine or Instagram: BlahBlahMagazine

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  1. Thanks for sharing! How much does this make? I am giving my niece a baby shower and would like to make this as “thank you” gifts in small tins. Would a small tin that is sold at Mountains Rose work also. I’m pretty sure you can sterilize tin containers. Sorry for all the question! 🙂

    • The hand cream would make beautiful baby shower gifts and the tins sound great – very handy for carrying in handbags! Great idea.
      Good questions. You’ve just made me realise it’d be great to list the total volume for all the recipes.
      This recipe makes 55 ml, which equates to 1.9 fl oz, so 4 of the 0.5 oz tins from Mountain Rose Herbs should work nicely and you can multiply the recipe as needed. I have emailed Mountain Rose herbs about whether their tins can be sterilized in the oven. I have sterilized similar tins in the oven, as per my ‘sterilize jars‘ post, but I will let you know as soon as I have had a reply. I would love the hear how you go.

  2. Hey there! I just made your hand cream and I have a few questions. I’m not sure if I love the smell that the carrot oil has, is it important or do you think I could leave it out without much difference? My other question is do you think it would work well to whip the hand cream like you do the foot cream? Would I end up with a mess or something nice and fluffy? Thanks so much, great recipe and really easy to do!

  3. I’m so glad you’re happy with the result! I think the whipping would be an excellent idea. The other way to soften it is to increase the almond oil by about a teaspoon or so.
    The carrot oil is in there for the cuticles and definitely can be dropped or replaced with borage oil. I think it’s really important to like the smell. The other option is to increase the essential oils a little bit.
    Would love to hear how you go.

  4. Hey, I really really love all of your recipes and ideas. I have recently made a few of them, and when I find some other ingredients I am planning on making most of the rest:) I do have a practical question however; What is the best way to clean up all of the bowl, mixers and tools when you are done, especially without running the water for ages. my kitchen is a bit of a disaster right now! Thanks again for sharing.

    • Hello Krysta, so glad you like the recipes and thank you for asking the best question. It does feel like you’re cleaning up after a good party if you make a few of the goodies at once. Cocoa butter and beeswax can be like those people who just won’t leave when the part’s over!
      I confess I now use dishwasher safe stuff and sometimes have to run the dishwasher twice, because it heats the water higher than I can wash with and therefore uses less water in the process. When we’re making things at my friend’s place who doesn’t have a dishwasher. I put as much as I can in the sink and pour a boiling water from the kettle over them. I hope this helps.

      Does anyone else have any cleaning tips?

  5. Ok, I hadn’t thought of the dishwasher. I did do the boiling water, I have just been saving up for a day with a few hours of making stuff so that at least I didn’t have to clean up several times:) I have given a few of the products away to friends and everyone has loved them and given them great reviews. Thanks again.

  6. I’m looking forward to trying your “recipe”. I just made a small batch of lotion bars (I filled a small mini-muffin pan, 12 space). I used a large mouth jar and a candle warmer to melt my beeswax, shea butter and coconut oil. I’m just putting the lid back on the jar and saving it for next time…besides, there isn’t much left in there…you would have thought I was cleaning out a mixing bowl, lol.

  7. @krysta & @BlahBlahMagazine
    – for clean up I use metal or glass instruments for measuring and mixing, then I just throw them in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes. I then use tongs to remove, toss in sink of water of water and wash as normal. When boiled water is cool I skim off any ‘solids’ and toss.
    I know this seems like a long drawn out process, but once I got my multi-tasking figured out it works for me.

    • That sounds like a great system and I can see how it’d be easy to work around with everything else. I’m going to try this because I’ve had to run the dishwasher a couple of times after some recipes, which is inefficient. Thanks for the tip!

  8. Hi Bele,
    Is there an online aromatherapy supplier in Australia you could recommend, that might supply everything like Mountain Rose Herbs do? What brand of essential oils do you use? Is there a significant difference in medicinal therapeutic qualities between EO, and infused oils? Or is it just a case of concentration?
    Sorry to fire so many questions at you… but you have really inspired my inner hippiness… reality is, I have about 100 more questions for another day…

    • Hi Tanya,
      I always love your questions. I will answer all that I can! As for Australian suppliers: https://www.escentialsofaustralia.com/ aren’t bad (they’re based in Vic) or http://www.essenceofwellbeing.com.au/ are in QLD.
      Essential oils are more potent and pure, but infused oils can have their benefits,especially with things like calendula where an EO isn’t available and I often use infused oils to cut the cost of things. The only ones I avoid are ‘fragrant’ or ‘perfume’ oils, because they don’t have an potential active ingredients.
      I’m happy to hear the inner hippy has been unleashed x

  9. hi, could you tell me which lotion is the least greasy, please. I have made several but it feels and looks like a pool of oil. Would love to find just recipe that goes into my skin and doesn’t feel oily. Thank you for your time.

    • Hi, good question. Sadly, all commercial lotions are about 70 percent water which means they need a lot of preservatives and you need to use a lot more. So, it takes a bit of a mind shift using homemade because they’re all greasier and you need to use a quarter the amount each time you apply. Having said that, you can use Shea butter to replace all other butters in recipes, as it absorbed quicker, also apply the creams to wet hands and this will help them spread. Good luck, I’d love to hear how you go.

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