A few weeks ago I ran out of facial lotion and spent several days without until I could get to the store. I came home with a little bottle of some lovely lotion that I like very much, but 1) it was $15 for 1.7 ounces and, 2) I had to check the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep page to make sure it didn’t contain harmful ingredients, 3) once it’s gone, I’m left with a plastic pump bottle to discard, and 4) I have to make another trip to the store to get more next time I run out. There is nothing sustainable or resilient about this situation. Time to roll up my sleeves and make something!
Fortunately, I had just the recipe on hand in Rosemary Gladstar’s Family Herbal, a treasure trove of recipes: Rosemary’s Perfect Cream. It’s rich with coconut oil, beeswax, and almond oil, I can add Vitamin E oil for antioxidants, and I can scent it with an essential oil of my choice – lavender, of course! It has a lovely texture that soaks right in to my skin. I use it from head to toe, and here’s a ringing endorsement – it made my dry, cracked old crone’s feet baby-soft in three nights. Now THAT’s nothing short of a miracle. Perfect, indeed.
Here is the recipe, which Rosemary posted on the Mountain Rose Herbs webpage (a woman-owned herb company in Oregon that sells high quality organic herbs). With the exception of the beeswax, all of the ingredients are available at your local grocery, natural foods store, or pharmacy.
ROSEMARY’S PERFECT CREAM
Although this recipe appears easy, it is also a bit challenging. You are attempting to combine water and oil; they don’t normally mix. Follow the recipe closely. If it doesn’t turn out right the first time, don’t be discouraged. Try again; the luscious cream is well worth your time and effort.
2/3 cup distilled water (or rose water)
1/3 cup aloe vera gel
1 or 2 drops essential oil of your choice
Vitamins A and E as desired
3/4 cup apricot, almond, or grapeseed oil
1/3 cup coconut oil or cocoa butter
1/4 teaspoon lanolin
1/2 to 1 ounce grated beeswax
Combine the waters in a glass measuring cup. Set aside. In a double boiler over low heat, combine the oils. Heat them just enough to melt. Pour the oils into a blender and let them cool to room temperature. The mixture should become thick, creamy, semisolid, and cream-colored. This cooling process can be hastened in the refrigerator, but keep an eye on it so it doesn’t become too hard. When the mixture has cooled, turn on the blender at its highest speed. In a slow, thin drizzle, pour the water mixture into the center vortex of the whirling oil mixture. When most of the water mixture has been added to the oils, listen to the blender and watch the cream. When the blender coughs and chokes and the cream looks thick and white, like buttercream frosting, turn off the blender. You can slowly add more water, beating it in by hand with a spoon, but don’t overbeat. The cream will thicken as it sets. Pour into cream or lotion jars and store in a cool location.