The other thing I have been wanting to make is some face cream. My skin is getting more sensitive as I get older and like to stay away from chemicals but I have been finding it hard to find a recipe that doesn't use something harsh as a preservative or a chemical emulsifier.
In the end I found a recipe for cold-cream. Made in the 16th century it originally used cole-seed oil, and was called cole-cream but the name eventually became cold cream. The recipe uses a small amount of beeswax, almond oil, a herbal infusion and a few drops of essential oil. It also uses a 1/4 teaspoon of borax as the emulsifier. Borax is a mineral that has lots of uses about the home and was used as an emulsifier in creams long before the chemical industry invented chemicals like steareth 20. I feel happier using borax over man made chemicals.
The recipe said to melt a tablespoon of beeswax in a double boiler. That seamed like a bit of a faff for such an small amount so I used the microwave which was much less fuss. Just make sure to check it every 20 seconds or less and once it has mostly melted keep stirring until it has all dissolved. I chose to add a marigold infusion (petals soaked in hot water) and geranium oil. Marigolds have soothing and healing properties and geranium is very balancing so all in all I thought this would be a good mixture for my skin which is currently suffering from the effects of the cold and is a mixture of red, dry, flaky and oily patches! Also the marigolds were ones I had grown over the summer and dried.
The tricky part of creams is mixing the oil and water phases together. Beeswax has a high melting point so if the herbal infusion is too cold the beeswax tuns to sold lumps before you can mix it in. I found it easier if the infusion was quite warm, then it is just a case of drizzling the infusion in with one hand and beating it all together with the other - easy!
It has made a nice creamy texture, it's a little oily when you first put it on but soaks in well. I think it will be a lovely night cream.
I scalded everything I used with boiling water first and boiled the jam jar that I poured it into. By keeping it out of direct sunlight it should last a few months.