Making your own natural skincare is rewarding and gives you piece of mind-you know exactly what goes into it and you can tailor the ingredients to work in harmony with your skin type. What goes onto your skin goes into your system so if you care about your nutrition you should consider what is in your cosmetics too.
I made this cream to give as gifts at Christmas to the ladies in my life. I think giving something handmade is really special and is what the traditional Yuletide festival is all about, not the modern day consumerism hype.
You can adjust the ingredients below, using your own choice of oils and butters, and essential oils. The important bit is keeping the quantities to the right ratios so it emulsify’s properly. The general guidelines I use are:
1 part emulsifier
4 parts oils/butters
5 parts water
2% ceteryl alcohol
1% citric acid
1% essential oils
The emulsifier part is emulsifying wax, and I used a mix of cocoa butter and sweet almond oil. The ceteryl alcohol and citric acid are for preservative purposes as with anything that contains water you have the risk of mould and bacteria growing. You can also use Vitamin E oil, Tea Tree oil, Rosemary Oil or Grapefruit Seed Extract or a mix of all. However if you want to be extra safe it’s best to use a broad spectrum preservative that is antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal such as preservative eco.
All ingredients are available from online natural cosmetics retailers, I particularly like Aromantic
- 250g distilled water (using rose water is ideal as you get added scent)
- 200g oil/butter (eg. 100g each cocoa butter/shea butter & almond oil)
- 50g emulsifying wax
- 10g ceteryl alcohol
- 5g citric acid
Heat oil and butters with ceteryl alcohol in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until it reaches 75c (use a food thermometer).
In a seperate bowl heat the water with the emulsifying wax to the same temperature.
Remove both mixtures from the heat and in a slow steady stream, with both liquids the same temperature, whisk the water mixture into the oil mixture. As the mixture cools it will thicken so keep whisking gently.
When it s nearly at room temperature add the preservatives and your choice of essential oils (to a maximum of 1% so in this case no more than 5g. This seems a lot but you won’t need this much- I just add 10 drops at a time until the mixture has a light scent).
You can speed up the cooling by sitting the bowl in a basin of cold water if you’re impatient like me! The cream should be white and of a medium thick consistency.
Sterilise glass jars or bottles by washing in hot soapy water and putting in the oven at 110c for 10 minutes. I found 60ml jars are a good size for gifts.
When cool fill with the cream and label if you wish. If not using a broad spectrum preservative it’s a good idea to keep it in the fridge and use within a month (I have found mine keeps very well out of the fridge but it’s up to you-if after a lengthy storing time it in any way has an off smell, or mould do not use.)
Enjoy using your natural homemade product with the knowledge what you are putting on your skin is chemical free!