Basic Recipe for Homemade Hand Cream
The cream has two components: water and oil. When combining the two, they should be warm but not hot, and both the oil and water should be approximately the same temperature.
Combine the water components:
- 1/4 teaspoon of borax can be dissolved in the water component to aid in forming an emulsion with the oil.
Warm slightly on the stove.
Combine the oil components:
- 1 cup oil (this can be all one type, such as olive oil, or a combination of 3/4 cup lighter oil such as almond or grapeseed, and 1/4 cup heavier oil, such as avocado, coconut or jojoba)
- 1 ounce beeswax, grated or pellets
Combine the oils and beeswax in a double boiler or crock pot and heat until the beeswax is melted. Stir it well to mix the beeswax thoroughly with the oil, then allow it to cool to about 90 degrees.
- Add the contents of a vitamin E capsule and a few drops of essential oil if desired.
The trick to making successful homemade hand cream is to get the oil and water, which are by nature incompatible, to blend into an emulsion that does not separate. This is best accomplished by using a blender, and by making sure that the oil and water components are the same temperature when they are mixed.
Pour the oil component into the blender and turn it on. While it is spinning, carefully pour the water component into the center of the whirlpool and blend until it turns white and becomes thick. Pour into clean glass containers. The cream will continue to thicken as it sets. Blend in short bursts of about 10-15 seconds, and stir with a spatula if there are areas of water that aren't mixing with the oil.
It may take some experimentation with proportions of ingredients and temperature to get the cream to blend into an emulsion.
Adapted from Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health, Storey Publishing, 2008.