The Perfect Skin Cream
This beautiful emollient cream is an adaptation from Rosemary Gladstar's Perfect version by Crystal Hamby of Green Blessings. The combination of water and oil combine with nourishing, anti-inflammatory, ingredients such as gotu kola, calendula, dandelion, and comfrey's soothing, strengthening, and firming properties from the compound allantoin.
If you've never made your own lotion before this is the perfect time to learn! Crystal's recipe is solid and fool-proof. It allows for addition of essential fatty acid oils and even hydrosols. I prefer to use Veriditas Botanicals Melissa, Orange Blossom, and Wild Sage Hydrosols as they make nice floral notes to my facial creams.
Remember, the key to emulsifying any oil and water based cream is to make sure your temperatures are both at room temperature before combining. Here are some of the unique medicinal properties of the herbs in this recipe:
Calendula: Is a genus of about 15 - 20 species in the daisy family, Asteraceae. Also known as "marigold", they grow wild (Calendula arvensis) and can also be easily propagated and cultivated in the home garden. Calendula is a modern Latin derivative of calendae, meaning "little calendar", "little clock" or possibly "little weather-glass". The common name "marigold"  refers to the Virgin Mary. The most commonly cultivated and used member of the genus is the pot marigold (Calendula officinalis). This calendula for this cream is derived from C. officinalis.
Properties: anti-inflammatory wound healer, stops bleeding, and prevents infection. Herbalists use the entire flower head, not just the petals, in preparations for healing cuts, scrapes, burns, diaper rash, sores, ulcers, varicose veins, chapped skin and lips, and insect bites.
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale): is also called “knitbone,” “slippery root,” “bruisewort,” and “blackwort.” The plant contains the small organic molecule allantoin which stimulates cell growth, repairs, while also depressing inflammation.
Plantain: Often considered a common weed, plantain is practically a miracle healer. It has anti-microbial properties. It is an anti-fungal and analgesic. Herbalists use plantain internally and externally for treating blood poisoning, infections, and as a laxative.
How to make it:
Creams are made of a fifty-fifty portion (50%-50%) ratio of water to oil. Choosing ingredients with the best properties for your exact needs is what makes this recipe so versatile. You will use infusions of herbs, oils, and tincture. With a little research, you can determine what actions the herbs have in terms of understanding how to pick the best herbs for your exact skin.
Supplies Needed: Borax or citric acid, Herbal Infused Oils (Dandelion, Calendula, Comfrey), Water: herbally infused, Aloe, Witch Hazel or Vinegar, Beeswax, Lanolin, Double Boiler, Measuring Cup, Blender, Spoon or Rubber Spatula, and Jars.
Combine the water and oil portions separately follow the directions below. Rosemary suggests a ratio of 1 part water to 1 part oil when making her perfect cream. The oils should equal 3/4 cup liquid oil to 1/3 cup solid oil (i.e. cocoa butter, coconut oil, Shea butter, beeswax, and lanolin).
2/3 cup distilled water (or tap water): infuse or decoct your herbs of choice.
1/3 cup Aloe Vera Gel witch hazel can be substituted to produce a more tissue toning cream, or vinegar can be used if making an anti-itch eczema or psoriasis cream.
1 or 2 drops essential oils of choice (you can use 5 - 10 drops per ounce) this helps make a stronger preservative action and a pleasant smelling cream.
3/4 cup apricot, almond or grapeseed oil (infused with herbs)
1/2 cup coconut oil, cocoa butter, or shea butter*
1/4 teaspoon lanolin, use a tad less than 1/2 tsp then using only 1/2 oz beeswax
1/2 to 1 ounce grated beeswax: if using 1/2 oz. of beeswax nearly double the amount of lanolin
When melting down Shea butter, melt down fixed oil first, over the least amount of heat. Then, refrigerate the oil to bring it to room temperature.
Crystal Hamby of Green Blessings also recommends substituting hydrosols, the water left over from the steam distillation of essential oils,k for the water portion. And oils that are high in fatty acids like rose hip seed, borage seed, black currant seed, pumpkin seed oils to the "oils portion" of your cream.
When adding hydrosols and oils high in essential acids, add them off heat. You will lose the aromatic quality of the hydrosol to heat. Also, oils high in essential fatty acids degrade easily at high temperatures.
If you choose to use hydrosols or other oils you'll need to subtract that portion from the total amount of water or oil being used for the recipe. For example, if you use 1/4 cup of rose hip seed oil in your cream, you will subtract 1/4 cup from the total 3/4 cups of oil called for in Rosemary's cream recipe; there fore you would need 2/4 cup fixed oil and 1/4 cups of rosehip seed oil. You would add the 2/4 cup fixed oil to the pot and melt in your other ingredients, then once melted take the pot off the heat and stir in the 1/4 cup rosehip seed oil before pouring the oil portion of cream into the blender.
1. Begin by making the oil portion. In a double boiler over low heat, combine the oil portion of ingredients. Hea them just enough to melt.
2. While the oil portions are melting make the water portion. Begin by making a water infusion or decoction from your herbs of choice. Learn how to make a water infusion or decoction here:
3.. Once melted, pour the oil portion into the blender.
4. Strain out the herb from the water infusion/decoction into a glass measuring cup. Add the aloe and set aside.
5. Let both mixtures cool to room temperature. The oil mixture should become thick, creamy, semisolid, and opaque.
6. Once both phases have cooled to room temperature, add the essential oils and vitamin E oil to the water portion in the glass measuring cup (if adding).
7. Now it's time to blend. Stir the oil portion, making sure to scrape the sides of the container so that there is no solid chunks hanging on the walls of the blender.
8. Next, turn on the blender at the highest speed. In a slow, thin drizzle, pour the water mixture into the center of the vortex of the whirling oil mixture.
9. When most of the water mixture has been added to the oils, listen to the blender and watch the cream. If the water portion begins to sit on top of the cream turn the blender off and scrape down any remaining solid oil portions from the sides of the blender and from the blades. Turn the blender back on high and pour the water portion in a thin drizzle into the center of the vortex again. Keep doing this process until the water portion has been incorporated.
10. Pour the cream into jars, label, and store in a cool area.
This is very important. Wipe all surfaces down that have come into contact with beeswax. Before washing them with soap and water. If you don't take this first step, you'll have beeswax in the pipes of the sink and that's not good.