Creams combine the hydrating effects of water with the emollient actions of oil. They are nutritive and moisturizing to both skin and hair, as they lubricate and hydrate the body, face and scalp. According to the book "Earthly Bodies and Heavenly Hair, Natural and Healthy Personal Care for Every Body" by herbalist Dina Falconi, making your own cream should be done with sterilized equipment and clean hands, as creams are prone to bacterial contamination.
Steep your herbs of choice in eight oz. of liquid oil for three to six weeks. You could use olive, peanut, jojoba or almond oil. All of these oils will condition and lubricate your skin and hair, and the depending on the herbs you infuse in them, you will receive additional benefits. Some examples of herbs you can use include lavender, which is antimicrobial and aromatic, and calendula, which can help soothe flaky skin and irritated scalps.
Strain out the herbs and measure six oz. of the oil for your cream.
Measure out three oz. of cocoa butter, shea butter or coconut oil, one oz. of beeswax and nine oz. of liquid, such as distilled water, distilled witch hazel or an herbal infusion.
In a double boiler, warm and stir the liquid and solid oils along with the beeswax until they melt and form a uniform liquid.
Remove the mixture from the heat, and let it stand at room temperature until it cools to the touch, stirring it to keep the consistency even.
Warm the nine oz. of liquid to body temperature, and put it in the blender along with 1/4 tsp. of powdered vitamin C and a couple of drops of grapefruit seed extract, both of which will act as preservatives for the cream.
Turn the blender on high speed, and slowly add the oil mixture until you achieve a thick and creamy paste. This process is called emulsification, which means the oils and the water are merging together, says Falconi.
Stir in the essential oils, and pour your cream into a sterilized jar, capping it with a tight-fitting lid.
Let the cream sit overnight so the ingredients can set thoroughly.
If you are using a fast-speed blender, set it to low when mixing the liquid and the oils.
Choose essential oils that have aromatic qualities, such as rosemary and sandalwood.
- "Earthly Bodies and Heavenly Hair, Natural and Healthy Personal Care for Every Body"; Dina Falconi; 1998
Ana Cassis began writing professionally in 1995. She has been published in the magazines "Cancunissimo," "Mesa Visions" and in online heath publications. Cassis is a nutrition counselor and herbalist with experience in fitness, nutrition and yoga. She holds an Associate of Arts in architecture from San Diego Mesa College.