HGSDEHC – sounds like a bizarre, scientific ingredient, doesn’t it? Sorta like all those nebulous and strangely-named ingredients in the hand cream or face cream you just pulled off your medicine cabinet shelf, right? Well, let me tell you sister (or brother)…Handmade Goodness, So-Darn-Easy Hand Cream is just a few steps (and ingredients) away. The best part is, you likely have most of the components on “hand”. (insert chuckle) Throw this in your Santa bag this holiday season, and give one out to all your pals – their hands will thank you through the winter months!
I have always believed that what you put on your skin goes into your body. Yes, we have been taught that the skin breathes, is porous, and it is the largest organ we have. So, if we are becoming conscious about what we put INTO our bodies, then its good to apply the same principles as to what we slather on our skin. After a stint with a national direct marketing skincare company, I learned even more about skincare ingredients, and what is good and what is ugly. And, since I use natural soap, why not follow up my cleansing routine with a great moisturizer?
A friend found a great recipe on A Sonoma Garden, and I have made just a few modifications for my own purposes. It is super easy, and I have used it on my face, and my body, and have given jars of it away to friends for their normal skin, and also for use on skin with issues such as excema.
1/8 cup Olive Oil
1/8 cup Grapeseed Oil
1/4 cup Emulsifying Wax (a vegitable based wax that can be found at Mountain Rose Herbs, here.)
1 1/4 cups Hot Water (use distilled or bottled, please)
25 drops Lavender Oil
15 drops Tea Tree Oil
oil from 2 vitamin E capsules, or a few drops of Vitamin E Oil
When melting waxes and heating oil and water, its best to use glass pyrex measuring cups, or something similar if you have. You can melt over a double boiler, but quite frankly, I prefer the microwave as it does not burn things if you time it properly, and its easy and fast. That being said, combine your Olive and Grapeseed Oils in one glass container. Add in your pre-measured Emulsifying Wax, and melt them together in the microwave. This will take from 1 minute, up to 1 minute and 30 seconds depending on the power of your microwave. (The melted mixture should be about 155 degrees, if you wish to use a thermometer for complete accuracy). Start at one minute, and watch it. Once the wax is completely dissolved into the oils, you can add in your essential oils and your Vitamin E oil.
Heat your water in a separate container in the microwave for about a minute or so…until it reaches a temperature of 120 degrees or so. You want it hot to the touch, but NOT boiling.
Since this is a water-in-oil emulsion, you will next pour your hot water into your oil/wax mixture, and that is when something magical happens. You will see it turn milky-white and a bit frothy. You don’t have to stir it, but I give it a whirl or two with a spoon anyway.
Then, you will pour it into containers. It will be enough to fill about 4, 4 ounce glass jars, or 2, 8 ounce glass jars, or…as you can see by my pictures, one 16 ounce glass mason jar. I created this batch for a friend who goes through it rather quickly.
Let the cream cool overnight, and by the next day, you will have a very emollient potion, that is great for all skin types. Keep in mind that olive oil is a very balancing oil, so it is fine for oily, combination or dry skins. And the fact that it has Tea Tree Oil gives it anti-bacterial properties. And, while we are talking anti-bacterial, it is very important that you label your cream with the date you made it. Since there are no parabens, or chemical preservatives in your cream, it does not have a hugely-long shelf life. The Vitamin E oil and the Tea Tree Oil will act as antimicrobials, but you should think about discarding any unused portions after about 4 months or so. You might be able to extend that by keeping it in the fridge, but its not really necessary. And…this should go with out saying, but make sure that ALL the measuring cups, spoons and of course, jars are clean and sterilized before using them.
On a last note, your hand cream is your own creation. Sometimes I change the essential oils I use. Often, I combine Grapefruit oil and Bergamot Oil for a more fresh, clean scent. Or, you can get a bit groovy, and use a combination of Sandlewood, Vetiver and Patchouli. Mmm, earthen goodness. But, whatever your chosen scent, give this recipe a whirl. I promise that after using up 5 minutes of your time to make the best cream ever, you won’t even give those drug store brands a passing glance…and your skin (and your wallet!) will thank you for it!