Wednesday, May 25, 2016

DIY Rich Soothing Hand Cream

Photo: Coconutoil.com
Homemade hand cream is easy to make, so easy that I'm making two different formulas -- the first one to keep my hands moist and beautiful,and another for my mother's arthritic hands. What's that you say? Yes, I can hear you! My hands are too beautiful!! As are yours, and they deserve to be pampered. 

Rich Soothing Hand Cream (to treat dry hands)

Ingredients

4 tablespoons shea butter 
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sweet almond oil
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 tablespoons pure water
1/2 teaspoon vitamin E
14 drops of peppermint essential oil
Directions:

1) Scoop the shea butter, coconut oil and water into a microwave safe bowl and nuke it for 20 seconds at a time until the shea butter and coconut oil melts. Whisk together.
2) Next whisk in the olive oil, sweet almond oil and grapeseed oil. (Note: You can substitute another organic oil, such as argon, jojoba oil or marula oil. They are interchangeable oils in making hand cream. Almond oil is more expensive, so I combine it with the cheaper, yet equally beneficial olive and grapeseed oils.)
3) Add the vitamin E and peppermint oil to the mixture. (Vitamin E gives your emollient a longer shelve life.) Continue to whisk briskly until the mixture turns into a cream. Alternately, you can use an electric mixer if you wish. I just mix by hand.
5) Scoop your hand cream into clean empty containers. 

Extra tips: 

1. If you have beeswax or cocoa butter, you may substitute either for the shea butter. All will thicken the hand cream. In hot weather, you can add 4 tablespoons of shea butter, beeswax or cococoa butter for extra thickness, since a hot tempature will keep it soft. Alternately, if you want lotion, stop at 2 tablespoons.

2. All essential oils will work, so substitute your favorite essential oil(s). I like how peppermint essential oil soothes and tingles. Also feel free to mix 2 favorite essential oils, such as 12 drops of peppermint and 2 drops of lavender.

3. If you can find the right all-in-one jar with a tight lid, you can eliminate the bowl and transfer. Microwave and mix or shake in the same jar, then screw on the lid! I love these jars for bottling the hand cream. After shaking vigorously, I pop the hand cream into the freezer for 10 minutes to solidify faster. Be careful not to forget the time. Your hand cream will freeze!

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Rich Soothing Hand Cream (to treat arthritis)

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons shea butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon tincture of arnica alcohol
tablespoons cayenne powder

I keep tincture of arnica alcohol in my medicine cabinet to treat bruises. (If you only have arnica gel, substitute it.)

Directions:

1) Nuke the shea butter and coconut oil in a microwave save dish for 20 seconds at a time until it melts.
2) Mix in the arnica and cayenne powder.
3) Whisk briskly until it turns into a cream.
4) Scoop the cream into clean empty containers.

Fortunately, I had all of the ingredients (except for the shea butter) on hand. You can buy them cheap from these retailers: I ordered my shea butter and organic coconut oil from Puritan's Pride; bought the almond and grapeseed oils at TJ Maxx; and got the arnica and vitamin E at the local drugstore. When I run out of peppermint oil, I'll check Puritan's Pride and TJ Maxx. So feel free to shop around to find the best price, but read labels to make sure all the ingredients are 100% what-they-say-they-are and nothing else. Peppermint oil should be 100% peppermint oil, coconut oil 100% coconut oil, and sweet almond oil 100% sweet almond oil, etc. Luckily, TJ Maxx carries a wide selection of quality essential oils! The retailer has quite a beauty section for less moola.

A bit of chemistry and voilà ... your own personal nourishing hand cream! You may never return to store bought again. Here are a few more tips on making your own whipped body butters here. It explains the difference between all the oils you can use.

You may also enjoy:
Homemade Antiseptic Cream
Best Oils For Skin, Hair And Nails    
DIY Lip Balm: Is It Worth The Cost?  
Going Organic: Face, Body And Hair Essentials

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