Rich and light skin cream

 

Herbalist Scotland rich and light skin cream

Rich and light Rosemary and Orange skin cream from Herbalist Scotland

Everyone can do with some delicious skin nurturing from time to time.  This rich and light skin cream  from Herbalist Scotland is made from Rosemary infused safflower oil with rose hip oil, shea butter, and vitamin E.  Essential oil of bitter orange lends a heavenly scent.  Made in very small batches, it is moussy and yet rich at the same time, and disappears into the skin without leaving a greasy residue. Wonderful as moisturising body cream, or as face cream for mature skins.  £9 for a 60g jar.  Why not get in touch to order your jar from the next batch we make.

Fragrant body cream

Fragrant body cream

Fragrant body cream

I’ve made variations on this many times before, always searching for the ideal cream, and this is my favourite to date.  It is light enough for a rich face cream, but nourishing and luxurious.  This version seems to be absorbed very quickly and leaves no residue on the skin.  When I rubbed it in (straight from the mixing jar!), it was all gone within a few seconds.  A tiny amount goes a very long way.  I shall use this daily.

This time I made it using a hand held stick blender rather than a coffee frother, which seems to be producing rather frothy creams… not entirely surprising.  The blender, on the other hand, works well, as long as I keep it on low, or low-to-medium as the cream thickens.  I could have added more rose absolute, but I don’t like my creams too fragrant. Adapt for any other fragrance, maybe lavender, frankincense or rosemary, instead of rose.  Here is the recipe:

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Making creams

I’ve been making creams again – a very light Rose face cream with Jojoba oil and Safflower oil;  and a Rose body cream, slightly heavier with Rose Hip oil and Shea Butter, to go with it.  I use an established recipe, the same one every time, just changing the aqueous content occasionally although I do usually use a Rose infusion.  Lavender is also delightful.

What foxes me is that every single time I make a cream, it turns out differently.  They are all lovely, and all have roughly the same weight and absorbency as the previous time, but they are decidedly different.  This time the ‘heavier’ cream turned out more mousse-like and the face cream more like a lotion.  How the former could be more aerated than usual, and the latter less, I don’t know.  The kitchen is the same temperature, give or take a degree or two, and I have done exactly the same things as before, used exactly the same ingredients, same batches, same method, same timing.  Bizarre.  Good thing I am not selling them.  Maybe I’m not drinking enough wine to help the process along 😉

Hand cream recipe

Despite all the previous talk about aqua-free hand moisturisers, my daughter asked for some more traditional hand cream – here it is in the making.

Oil phase:  10g cocoa butter, 5g shea butter, 10g almond oil, 6g emulsifier (I use olivem 2000).

Water phase:  60g rose water or lavender water (just make an infusion from dried rose or lavender petals using bottled spring water);  I used orange blossom water, 5g glycerin.

Cooling phase:  20 drops vitamin E, 20 drops preservative, 20 drops essential oils for frangrancing.  I used tangerine and sandalwood.

Heat both the oil and water phases in separate bain maries to 75 – 80 degrees celsius.  Keep the oil phase on the low heat and add the water phase stirring with a metal spoon for two minutes.  Turn off the heat but leave the glass bowl in the pan of water.  Change to a coffee frother and froth for a further five minutes, then take the bowl out of the pan and allow to cool in its own time, not in a pan of cold water, as is often recommended for other emulsifiers.  Keep frothing until the frother froths no more – too thick, and allow to cool completely.  Then add the cooling phase ingredients.  Spoon into sterilised jars.  Makes nearly but no more than 100g.

This is what it looks like after the frother has gone on strike with exhaustion:

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Recipes for solid moisturisers – update

The third version of moisturiser in a bar, for which the recipe is below, seems to have worked best in terms of no stickiness and led me to the following adaptation:  as it was still a little hard (will I ever be satisfied? Not whilst I’m having such fun) I decided to melt the whole thing down and add another 5g or safflower oil.  This has worked beautifully.  So far it goes on easily, holds together as a bar and is absorbed into the skin without leaving either greasy or waxy film!

I shall be developing other recipes in the search for the holy bar moisturiser grail, and maybe, since I so nearly made lip balm inadvertently, I’ll have a go and some of those too.

The bars I made with the first two recipes are doing very good service as balm for cracked heels 🙂

Moisturising bars – recipes

Moisturising bars – like massage bars – are easy to make in myriad variations.  Here are some of the recipes I have tried in the last couple of days, given the restraints and aims mentioned in the previous post below:

The first trial went like this: 15g Jojoba wax, 10g cocoa butter – fairly solid at room temperature but melts on contact with skin –  25g safflower oil melted together in a Bain Marie (actually one heatproof glass jar containing the oils sitting in a pan of boiling water) took a few minutes to melt, and then I added 10 drops of rose essential oil.  The whole lot went into two paper fairy cake cups.  This turned out to be far too soft – might have been nice for a lip salve, but wouldn’t hold it’s own as a hand ‘cream’ bar.  So I tipped the two ‘fairy cakes’ back into the glass jar, added 15g beeswax, and melted the whole thing down again.  This time the consistency was good – but waxy and a little shiny on the hands.  Exactly what I did not want.  Shall use it as heel balm.  The scent is absolutely delicious though!

The second trial went as follows:  20g beeswax, 5g cocoa butter, 5g shea butter, 11g safflower oil (should have been 10!) and after it came out of the bain marie 5 drops of tangerine essential oil.  Now this one feels better on the hands, but still waxy.  Is absorbed by the skin more quickly and doesn’t feel as sticky.  The scent is not as pronounced as the rose, and in fact it smells of rather tangeriny beeswax.  Better, but still not good enough.

The third trial contained 15g beeswax, 5g cocoa butter and 10g safflower oil. No Shea butter this time.  After it came off the heat I added 5 drops of lavender essential oil.  Now this one is absorbed even more quickly and leaves less of a waxy feeling, but it is very hard.  I may have taken the ‘hard bar’ requirement a little too far.  I have considered putting the Shea butter back in.  Hmm.  Shall try that next time.  I’ll let you know.