Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Homemade Face/Hand Cream with Calendula and Lavender Essential Oils

I was inspired to make my own face cream during a recent class on herbal medicine. Our lecturer brought in a batch of amazingly fragrant and soothing cream and I got to thinking about how amazing it would be to make my own batch. Wonderfully moisturising cream but without all the preservatives and chemicals which are added to other expensive products. I do like coconut oil and I think it has incredible benefits but being a saturated fat, it is always solid - I find it difficult to get it to spread enough on my face and even then it can be quite greasy.

It also find the use of essential oils fascinating too - they really do have such powerful medicinal effects on the body and I think we have forgotten how useful they can be.

Today I decided to use calendula as it is a wonderful healing oil making it ideal for any breakouts or inflammed skin. This means it is great for skin which is prone to breakouts or eczema. Calendula is also a wonderful healing cream and is commonly used on infants for nappy rash. It also has antiseptic properties.

I also decided to include lavender oil as I plan on using this particular cream at night going to bed. I hope the lavender oil will allow we to unwind and go to sleep peacefully! Lavender oil also has many other lesser known benefits such as a first aid treatment for minor burns and cuts, dandruff, the treatment of nausea, and cold sores. It also has a nice scent.

To make the cream:

1/2 cup almond oil (you can use olive oil)
2 tbsp calendula oil
8 drops of lavender oil
2 tbsp beeswax (broken into small pieces)
140ml of warm water (it must be warm to allow the emulsification to take place properly, if it is too cold or too hot it will not work)

Place a bowl over some boiling water in a saucepan (in much the same way as you would melt chocolate)
Add your oil and your beeswax and mix over a simmer until the beeswax has completely melted into the oil

Remove your bowl from the heat. Add your calendula and lavender oils now.
Moving quickly (so as not to allow your oil to cool to quickly), place a handheld blender into your bowl and blend. While doing so slowly add your warm water, blending all the time. It is important that you do this slowly. You are forming an emulsion so you must incorporate little by little.

The mixture will emulsify quickly. Continue to whisk until all the water is added and the mixture begins to thicken. You may have to scrape the bowl down once or twice.

Do not over mix or you will make a butter like mixture. Keep an eye on the consistency and stop when it is to your preference.

Pour into jars and leave uncovered until cooled.

Store in the fridge until required. Keep a small amount out for using now but use within 30 days. Keep an eye on the cream for signs of going off.

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