Caraway, peony and chamomile.
One of the rosewater donors
Part of tonight’s supper.
Happy Solstice. A few snapshots of my garden this morning and the next batch of herbs growing on my windowsills to celebrate the middle of summer. Tonight we will celebrate with a meal eaten outside, the table decorated with flowers from our garden and the hedgerows. However you plan to spend today, enjoy the outside, celebrate the seasons and give thanks for the bounty the earth gives up despite the fact we treat her so badly.
But as you can see this post is meant to be about moisturiser. So back on track.
I made rosewater the other day because I was running low on moisturiser and rosewater is one of the components. So I was marginally miffed when I assembled the ingredients for moisturiser and discovered I was out of shea butter. It didn’t matter too much as I have plenty of cacao butter, but whilst that does have a deliciously chocolate smell there is no point using rosewater as the water element as the delicate smell would be wiped out.
This recipe is a mixture of ones I have found in books and latterly on the internet. They are all variations on a theme so if you fancy giving this a go, make a few very small batches until you arrive at something you like and suits your skin.
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 2 tablespoons wheatgerm oil
- 2 tablespoons beeswax
- 2 tablespoons cacao (or shea) butter
- 25 ml water *
- 0.5 teaspoon honey**
- Essential oil
- Aloe vera gel
- Vitamin E
- Rosehip oil
* I usually use rosewater but you can use plain water or aloe vera. I have very sensitive skin and get urticaria at the drop of a hat and am a complete fan of oatmeal scrubs. So this time I used cooled oatmeal water (I chuck a handful of raw oats in a pan of water bring to the boil and then leave to cool and strain) and added a couple of tablespoons of aloe vera gel to bring it up to 25ml.
** Honey and glycerin are both humectants so help the skin retain moisture. Either will do. Don’t use too much or your moisturiser will become unpleasantly sticky.
It really couldn’t be easier. Put all the oils, beeswax and cacao butter in a bowl over a pan of boiling water and melt together gently, then you need to incorporate the water. Unlike the balms and salves I make for medical purposes I want this to be lighter so I want to make an emulsion. If you have ever made mayonnaise or Hollandaise sauce it is much the same. I have a hand held blender (the stick variety) and this works perfectly. Let the oil cool a little and then gradually add the water drop by drop and mixing furiously after each drop. Once it has started to emulsify you can add more water each time and I will confess to having once just chucked the whole lot in at once to no great ill effect.
Now you can add your optional extras. I didn’t add any essential oil as I had used cacao butter and that will mask the EO (or certainly make it smell a little weird). Which oil you use is up to you. I love geranium and rose so tend to use those.
I use Rosehip oil as a serum on my skin every day (and have just found a recipe to make my own so watch this space in the autumn). It is a fantastic anti-oxidant so I always add it to my moisturiser as well. I add about 20 drops. To be honest I don’t know if it makes much difference at this dilution but I still add it. Vitamin E is a another anti-oxidant.
Pour into clean (I sterilise my jars as I would if making preserves). Leave to cool and put in the fridge. I keep mine in the fridge. Nobody has eaten them yet 🙂 They will keep in the fridge for about as long as you can keep milk say 7-10 days maximum.
A WORD ABOUT PRESERVATIVES
If you are not going to keep your moisturiser in the fridge and you want to keep if for more than 10 days or so you MUST add a preservative. Unlike balms which are pure oil and fats this moisturiser contains water and are thus at risk of microbial growth. Thus far I have not made a lotion with preservative, however, much reading of learned (and not so learned) papers on the internet leads me towards pheonip or germall plus. The choice as to whether you use a preservative is yours. I prefer to err on the side of caution if I am going to keep a lotion out of the fridge.
As for the rosewater. I mixed it up 2/3 rosewater 1/3 witchazel. I have used this as my toner since I was in my early teens. You can vary the ratio, witchazel is an astringent and good for oily teenage skins. At my age I suffer less from acne and so up the rosewater to the witchazel.