I’ve had a quite a few requests asking how to make Blue Chamomile Face Cream without the sodium borate. I finally got around to experimenting and must say that I LOVE this new version made with stearic acid (a natural thickener) even more so than the original!
Before starting, make sure to sterilize all utensils, bowls, beaters, and jars – I use the sanitize cycle on my dishwasher.
Because this cream contains herbally infused water and no chemical preservatives, the shelf life will be much shorter compared to store-bought creams. If you store this cream in the refrigerator between uses, it should stay fresh 1 to 2 weeks. For a much longer shelf life, add a preservative (more on that below.)
First you’ll want to gather some of the following herbs to create an infusion, remembering you can substitute ingredients or change the amounts or use dry/fresh depending on what you have on hand. I like growing as many of these as I can, but for ones I don’t/can’t, I like to buy from Mountain Rose Herbs or Bulk Herb Store. You’ll want a teaspoon or so of each (dried) or a generous pinch of each (fresh). Some herbs that work well in this cream:
- lavender buds
- calendula flowers
- comfrey leaves
- lemon balm leaves
- rose petals
- violet leaves
Place these items in a mason jar and pour simmering hot distilled water over them. Immediately cover with a saucer to retain the vapors. Let this steep while you gather and prepare the rest of the ingredients. I find that about 45 minutes to an hour is a sufficient time to get the benefits, without too strong of a scent, but you can steep this overnight if you wish.
Place the following in a heat-proof measuring cup with ounce markings:
Add 1 1/2 ounces of shea butter. (You can add chunks of it into the liquid oil until it is pushed up to the 4 1/2 ounce mark if you don’t have a scale.)
Next add 1/2 ounce beeswax pastilles (again, add until liquid oil is pushed up to 5 ounce mark on measuring cup if you don’t have a scale) and 2 Tablespoons of stearic acid.
Set the heat-proof measuring cup with all of these in it into a pan of almost simmering water until melted.
Remove from the pan and let cool to body temperature. (Test with clean finger.) While the oil is cooling, strain the herbal infusion into a heat proof glass and set it down in the pot of water that has been removed from heat. This helps it warm up to body temperature.
Pour 4 ounces of the slightly warmed herbal infused water slowly into the oil while beating with an electric mixer. Mix on highest speed for about 15 minutes, adding the following essential oils during the last 30 seconds or so:
- 2 to 6 drops of Bergamot (optional – for scent only; also avoid this oil if you will be using as a day cream since bergamot can make your skin more sensitive to the sun)
- 15 drops Balsam Peru
- 15 drops Lavender (add a bit more for stronger scent if desired)
- 4 to 8 drops Ylang Ylang (optional – for scent only, add more or less as desired)
- 5 drops Carrot Seed
- 20 drops Blue Chamomile
The cream will start to emulsify after about five minutes, but will still be runny – keep beating! By ten minutes, it will look nice and thick, but still drop off of a spoon. You will need to beat another five minutes and by then you should have a nice, thick cream that stays on the spoon even when you turn it upside down. NOW, it’s ready!
Spoon into jars leaving as little air space as possible and cap tightly.
* If you don’t add a preservative, store this cream in the refrigerator and use within 1 to 2 weeks. To make it last longer though, try adding a nature-derived preservative.
* I’m currently a fan of using NataPres (made from a radish root ferment filtrate with honeysuckle and aspen bark extracts) at a rate of 2%. To figure the amount needed, add up the weight of the ingredients – which are 267 grams in this recipe – then multiply by 2% (.02) to get 5.24 grams needed, which I would just round to 5 grams of NataPres for this recipe. Lotioncrafter has a variety of other preservatives and their usage rates listed on their site HERE, so don’t feel limited to using NataPres just because I do.
This cream is best suited for dry or mature skin. (If you have oily skin or want something lighter, try Basil Anti-Aging Face Cream.) When you first put this cream on, it seems a little thick – just rub it in and give it a few minutes. It will soak it and leave your skin so smooth and soft. This is definitely one of my most loved items!
Want more body care projects? Be sure to sign up HERE for my newsletter, so you can get my latest soap ideas, herbal projects and other DIY recipes sent straight to your inbox each month!
This post contains affiliate links to Mountain Rose Herbs, Bramble Berry and Bulk Herb Store. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission for sending a customer their way. This is at no extra cost to you, but does help support my blog and lets me keep doing what I do. (Thank you!) :)