Thursday, April 4, 2013

My favorite body cream- homemade! And a fail....

 This is a container of my favorite cream- it's rich, thick, and mostly natural. It's incredi-fast to whip up a batch. Plus, it smells like heaven!

Wanna make some for yourself?

You don't have to have a chemistry lab to create your own creams and lotions. This small box, and freezer container, hold everything I need to make my potions- and that includes my shampoo/conditioner, creams, lip balms, cuticle cream, makeup remover, and deodorant...everything but my makeup.

I developed this recipe, based on a few that I ran across on the web. I'm so sorry- if I could remember which ones, exactly, I'd give credit where it's due...but even with several searches, I couldn't figure it out. There's about a thousand versions out there.

At any rate, here's mine:

1/4 cup emulsifying wax pellets- dump this into a 2 c. Pyrex-type measuring cup (microwave safe)
A little over 1/4 c. oil of your choice- I use grapeseed oil, because it absorbs well

Pour the oil in over the wax, until it reaches the 1/2 cup mark on the measuring cup.

Heat these two, 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each interval. As soon as the oil/wax mixture is melted and clear, add:

1-2 t. vitamin E oil (optional)
30-60 drops of essential oils of your choice

My current combo is 30 sweet orange, 10 grapefruit (which, BTW, works two ways- it smells great, AND it acts as a preservative, keeping your cream from spoiling!), 10 of peppermint, and 5 drops of lavender. The mint was stronger than I prefer, at first, but it's turned out to be quite refreshing, now that it's toned down a bit. I've also used others, like lime peel oil, eucalyptus (great in the winter!), and tangerine...use any kind that you like the scent of, or that have medicinal qualities that might be helpful to you. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to cut back to a total of 30 drops or less, though.

Stir your heated oil/wax/essential oil mixture to thoroughly blend the ingredients, and add 1 1/2 c. very hot water (boiled), or an infusion of some sort. (I use my insta-hot tap, but you could heat the water in a teapot or the microwave.) Stir it all up, and let it cool a bit, stirring occasionally as it thickens. Put this into a clean jar or sealable container, and you're done!

 Now for the HINT ALERTs- I have four of 'em for you today:

Hint 1: You can use tea or other infusions, in place of the water. I've used fresh mint from the garden, steeped in boiling water, and tried hot (but stale!) coffee once, as well. These do add scent and possible medicinal qualities; however, they also seem to cause the cream to spoil a LOT faster. Spoiled cream is nasty to look at, and possibly not a good thing for your skin.

Hint 2  refers to the "fail" mentioned in the title, up there. Your cream should look like this when it's done, smooth and, well, creamy. You know, like a cream should.
NOT like spoiled buttermilk.

Which is what happened when I attempted to use beeswax, as a part of the wax portion of the recipe.

It was nasty-looking. Smelled great, but it was not pretty. I will not share the picture; it looks too much like...well, you've seen Alien Nation, with the drunken aliens? No? (OMG, I'm getting old!) It's OK, you don't want to. Really. They got their kicks on spoiled milk, and when they got sick...ack.

For this recipe, stick to the emulsifying wax. You won't regret it.

Hint 3- keep your essential oils in your refrigerator- they will last a much longer time, and keep their potency for a couple of years. Unless you use your oils up really quickly, it'll save you some serious dinero to keep 'em cool. This is why mine are in a freezer container- to keep 'em all tidy and in one place, in the 'fridge.

And finally, Hint 4- for a really great makeup remover, make the above recipe, but without any essential oils- what you'll have is the most basic of cold creams, exactly what our fore-mothers used. It's great for getting every last bit of waterproof mascara off, and there's no mystery as to what's in it. (Read the label on your liquid eye makeup remover, and then check out the ingredients over at EWG's Skin Deep Database- I guarantee that you'll rethink what you're using to get that Ultra-Super-Duper Lash off!)

I would highly recommend Mountain Rose Herbs' products for making your creams and other bodycare stuff, if you don't have a good local supplier for your ingredients. Their emulsifying wax & beeswax have been top-notch, and their essential oils are among the best I've ever purchased. I like From Nature With Love for scent and perfume oils, on occasion, and they also carry henna of good-enough quality for dyeing hair or textile fibers- I can't vouch for their waxes, but I'm sure that they're good, too. (Note: I am not being paid for any of the above references- I like both of these companies and their products, and have been more than satisfied with their services.)

Speaking of henna...I'm toying with dyeing my hair again...(Shhh! Don't tell my husband!) I kinda miss that rich, red color. And the glowy thing. Henna really makes hair glow, because the color and shine come from within each hair. It's truly amazing. There's not a box-dye that can touch the stuff.

Would anyone like to learn how to do it? Or how to make paste for mehendi? Those might be coming up. Keep your eyes peeled. It could happen, now that the weather's getting warmer. In the meantime....

Hope you enjoyed this little tute! Be watching for more bath and body recipes and tutorials in the future- as I run out of stuff, I'll be making fresh batches, and sharing them with you.

Now, go outside and get some fresh air- that's the best beauty-enhancer there is!
Have a great day, everybody!

Linking up to Craft-O-Maniac Monday- best thing about my Monday mornings!

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