Starting this month, and going forward into 2018, my goal is to get back to the “mad scientist mode” I enjoyed when my blog was younger.
I’ve spent so much time on projects outside of the blog, that I kind of forgot the whole reason I do what I do. I love making products that can help someone with a specific need or problem they might have.
I mentioned all of this to my newsletter subscribers last week and asked for their input on what kinds of recipes they were looking for and how’d they benefit someone they loved and the response was tremendous!
I’ll be tackling one or two a week and sharing the results here on my blog and/or in the newsletter, depending on the topic/project length. (Not a subscriber yet? You can join the fun by signing up HERE!)
This week’s recipe was created for Rosemary LN who loved the nourishing rose hand cream I created for my nurse friend (see that recipe HERE) and needed something similar for a male nurse whose hands were in awful shape from washing so much, but who didn’t want a ‘pretty’ scent or anything overly scented either.
To help accommodate those preferences, I very lightly scented this hand cream recipe with grapefruit and orange essential oils. I specifically chose those two oils because of their pleasant scent that’s cheerful and uplifting. (Interesting side note: They’ve also been studied for possible effectiveness against some tough pathogens – see HERE, HERE and more with PubMed searches like THIS ONE.)
As with the rose hand cream I made for my nurse friend, I bypassed my usual favorite nature-derived preservative (Leucidal SF Complete – used at 4%, or 4 grams in this recipe) and used 0.5 grams of Liquid Germall Plus instead. Because nurses work with critically ill and immune compromised individuals, it’s imperative that their hand cream stays well preserved and microbe-free. Feel free to use your preservative of choice when making your own. (Want to learn more about preservative options? You might enjoy THIS POST where I wrote up my results while testing various nature-derived preservatives.)
Below is a list of the featured ingredients and why I chose them for this recipe.
Aloe vera liquid – used to soothe and moisturize skin; you could use more distilled water in its place if you don’t have any or are allergic.
Cocoa butter – forms a protective layer over the skin, helping to keep moisture in. Kokum or another butter could work here too, if allergic to cocoa butter.
Vegetable emulsifying wax NF – helps the water and oil stay blended together. I always use THIS WAX from Mountain Rose Herbs; other brands/types of e-wax may need to be adjusted slightly.
Beeswax – adds an extra barrier of protection over your skin to keep skin moisturized.
You’ll need a little pocket or jeweler’s scale to make this recipe. Ingredients are listed by weight.
Grapefruit & Sweet Orange Hand Cream Recipe
- 50 grams distilled water
- 10 grams aloe vera liquid (or more water)
- 15 grams jojoba oil (or your favorite oil)
- 15 grams cocoa or kokum butter
- 7.5 grams emulsifying wax
- 2 grams beeswax
- preservative of choice
- 4 to 6 drops grapefruit essential oil
- 2 to 4 drops sweet orange essential oil
Directions to Make
Weigh out the water and aloe vera liquid in a heatproof container. I like to use small jelly/canning jars.
Weigh out the jojoba oil, cocoa butter, emulsifying wax and beeswax in a separate heatproof container.
Place the two containers down into a saucepan containing an inch or so of water, forming a double boiler of sorts. Turn the burner to medium low and heat until the butter and wax is fully melted. (This takes about 15 to 20 minutes for me, your time may vary.)
Pour the hot liquid and oils into a clean jar and stir, stir, stir. (I use a fork.) Stir frequently until the lotion starts to thicken as it cools. To speed things up, you can set the jar down into a bowl of ice water while stirring.
Once cool enough for your preservative, stir it in, then add the essential oils and mix well. Pour into containers or jars.
If using Leucidal SF Complete, add 4 grams (since it’s used at 4% of a recipe) or for Liquid Germall Plus, you only need 0.5 grams. Leucidal SF Complete is mild and usually gives me a shelf life of 1 to 3 months. Liquid Germall Plus will last for much much longer.
If there’s another preservative you’d like to use instead, check the usage rates listed on your vendor’s website. LotionCrafter keeps those listed on their products for easy reference.
If you want to leave out the preservative, then keep your cream refrigerated and use it up within a week or so before any microbes have a chance to take over.
Are you a mad scientist at heart too, when it comes to DIY? If so, you might enjoy my Mad Scientist T-shirt!
It was designed by my husband, with artwork by my daughter – that’s a portrait of me she drew about four years ago. :)
You can find it at RedBubble in all kinds of styles, colors and sizes. (Be forewarned, the women’s t-shirt I’m wearing in this photo runs small – I’m wearing a medium.)