Here’s the recipe to a cream I’ve been working on for part of my mom’s Christmas present. She absolutely adores all things roses and the color pink, so I think she’ll love this! (Update: So, I never can wait to give gifts to people & already gave my mom some of this. She LOVES it. Success!)
There are a few things to remember when making homemade creams:
- First, since they lack the preservatives and chemicals common in store bought creams, they are quite perishable and have a short shelf life of around a month or so, when stored in the refrigerator.
- Use the utmost care in sterilizing everything that touches the cream. I use the sanitize cycle in my dishwasher to pre-wash all utensils, bowls, jars, everything!
- Use clean fingers, or better yet a sterile spoon, to scoop out your finished cream, avoiding any “double dipping.”
- It may take a few times to get the hang of making creams. Don’t get discouraged if the first batch doesn’t turn out quite right. Make sure to follow the directions and beat for the full 15 minutes. The cream will thicken up more once it settles into the jar. If you still have problems, leave me a note in the comments and I’ll try to help you troubleshoot!
- handful of organic dried rose petals (or even better, fresh ones!)
- at least 5 ounces of distilled water
- 2 1/2 ounces sweet almond oil
- 1/2 ounce rosehip seed oil (a bit over a tablespoon)
- 1 1/2 ounces mango butter
- 1/2 ounce beeswax pastilles
- 2 tablespoons stearic acid (natural emulsifying agent)
- rosemary antioxidants (a natural preservative)
- rose essential oil (or this less expensive version from Amazon.com)
- alkanet root powder (for pink coloring)
You can buy all of these ingredients at Mountain Rose Herbs (affiliate link), or you may be able to source them locally.
To begin, place a handful of dried rose petals (or fresh, if available) into a small heat proof jar. Pour simmering hot water over them, cover with a saucer and let this steep while you gather your ingredients together.
Measure out 2 1/2 ounces of sweet almond oil into a heat proof measuring cup. I infused mine with dried rose petals several weeks ago in anticipation of this recipe, but you can skip that part if you’re crunched on time.
Add the mango butter, beeswax pastilles and stearic acid. Set the cup into a saucepan filled with a few inches of water and heat on medium-low heat until everything is melted.
Remove from the pan and let cool to body temperature then add the 1/2 ounce of rosehip seed oil and a few drops of rosemary antioxidants.
Strain the rose petals from the water and measure out four ounces of liquid. (Any leftover rosewater makes a nice hair or face rinse or addition to your bathwater.) Make sure it’s about body temperature then pour into a mixing bowl.
Using a hand mixer, turn the beaters on low and slowly drizzle in the sweet almond oil mixture. As the oils start to thicken, increase the speed to high.
Beat on high for a full fifteen minutes. Don’t skimp on this part or you may end up with a runny cream.
I used alkanet-infused olive oil that I keep on hand for making lip balm to add a pale pink tint to the cream. If you don’t have the time to make this up, just thoroughly mix a pinch of alkanet root powder with a bit of olive or sweet almond oil and use the resulting paste to color the cream, a few drops at a time.
You can add color at any point during the mixing, so it’s better to start out with less then add more if needed.
During the last minute of mixing, add your essential oil. Rose essential oil is expensive and is sometimes found diluted with carrier oil in order to make it more affordable (like this under $15 version available at Amazon.com.)
For this reason, I suggest that instead of putting in a certain amount, just add a few drops at a time until you reach the level of rose scent that you desire. You can also add a few drops of a complimentary scent such as lavender, bergamot, jasmine, patchouli or ylang ylang, if you wish.
Also, thanks to a comment by Elizabeth below, I learned that you can use Geranium (Rose) essential oil to lend a rosy scent at a fraction of the cost. I tried this and it was a wonderful addition to the rose absolute that I will continue to use. Thank you Elizabeth!
Rose Absolute Oil is solvent extracted and strictly used for fragrance rather than therapeutic uses (and should also be avoided by pregnant women) while Bulgarian and Chinese (rosa rugosa) rose essential oils are steam distilled and have quite a few purported health benefits (along with being safe for pregnant women to use.)
Once your fifteen minutes of mixing is done, scoop the cream into clean jars (don’t use metal tins for recipes that contain water), leaving as little air space as possible and cap right away.
Homemade creams are perishable and should be made in small batches, refrigerated, and used within a few weeks.
If you love roses, check out my Things To Do With Roses ebook!
Some links in this post are affiliate links. That means if you click on one and make a purchase, I earn a small commission for sending a customer their way. This, in turn, helps support the costs of running a blog and lets me keeping doing what I do. Thank you!