home made facial moisturiser

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Caraway, peony and chamomile.

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One of the rosewater donors

 

P1000705There is nothing like a nasturtium ūüôā

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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.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons wheatgerm oil
  • 2 tablespoons beeswax
  • 2 tablespoons cacao (or shea) butter
  • 25 ml water *
  • 0.5 teaspoon honey**

Optional extras

  • 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.

Method

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 ūüôā¬† 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.

rose water

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In my aim to get back down to basics and exclude plastics and unecessary chemicals from our lives I have begun to expand my repertoire of homemade toiletries and cleaning products.  I have used rosewater and witchazel as a toner since I was a little girl and I recently discovered the best make up remover EVER.  Olive oil and witchazel, I have never seen anything remove so much grime and make up.  I was about to order some more rosewater in order to replenish my moisturiser when I looked out at the garden, heavy with roses and wondered if I could make my own.

Reader I did ūüôā

I collected about 4-6 pints of rose petals and placed them in my huge soup pan.  I then placed a brick in the middle.

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I placed a metal bowl on the brick and covered the petals and just over the top of the brick with water.

 

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Then I placed my wok over the top and brought the water to a rolling boil.  Once it was boiling I reduced the heat to let it simmer and placed handfuls of ice in the wok.

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Ta da my home made still.  As the water evaporated it hit the icey cold wok, condensed and then dripped into the bowl on the brick.  I emptied the bowl regularly and let it keep simmering for about 30 minutes.  Much longer and I reckoned the product would become too weak.

Unfortunately this is not a scratch and sniff blog, but I can assure you this smells divine.  My first 3/4 pint of rosewater made with my own rose petals.  Now I can replenish my moisturiser.

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wonderful weeds

I’m sorry if you are a fast reader,¬† I am having to type very slowly due to the fact that the Devil himself has taken up residence in my right shoulder and is drilling away with a red hot¬†poker.¬† He has been there for almost two weeks and I was rather hoping he would be bored by now and have moved on to another victim but it would seem that he has settled in for the duration.¬† Codeine and hot wheat packs are making a small dent in the pain.¬† I shall pause briefly for you to say “Ahhh” and share some sympathy before moving on to the subject of the day………..

I promised recipes and those you shall have.  All in good time.  We have had a couple of days of sudden and heavy rain and we were rather hoping that there might be some mushrooms in the woods.  There were not.  Not to be defeated we picked our first rowan berries

 

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and some pineappleweed.

 

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It is still quite early for the rowan berries and I will pick more later in the year when they are a richer red.  In the meantime they are simmering away on the stove ready to be made into rowan jelly.

The pineappleweed¬†you will know, and quite possibly hate.¬† It grows rampantly on driveways and similar hard stoney ground.¬† If you crush the little yellow buds you will release a beautiful pineapple fragrance.¬† You can dry it and make tea, but as the only teas I like are builders and apple I won’t be bothering with that.¬† Instead I whizzed up a cup of buds with two cups of sugar.¬† The oil in the buds makes the sugar rather wet so you have to leave it out to dry.¬† It also makes it rather green.

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But it makes delicious cakes and biscuits.

 

Now the salve recipes

Comfrey

  1. Collect and dry the comfrey leaves (I use the dehydrator)
  2. Crush and weigh leaves.
  3. Mix 1oz of leaves to 1 cup of olive oil
  4. Either leave to infuse for 4-6 weeks or heat gently (do not let boil) and leave to infuse for 24 hours.  No prizes guessing which method I use.
  5. Strain through muslin.
  6. Add 1oz of beeswax (grated or use pellets or granules)  to every cup of oil.
  7. Heat gently until wax fully melted.
  8. Pour into prepared jars to set.

Lavender

Pretty much the same method but using dried lavender flowers.

Moisturiser

I used this recipe from Quirky Cooking¬† I don’t have the specialist cooker/mixer she uses but it worked just fine with a heavy bottomed pan and a whisk.¬† I used 6tbsp of rosewater rather than rosewater and water, and I added a couple of drops of pure rose essential oil.¬† Divine.