The following is a wonderful facial cream recipe, excerpted from the book Herbal Healing for Women, by Rosemary Gladstar. It provides nourishment, moisture, and food to the skin, and is relatively simple and inexpensive to make!
Rather than just coat the skin (as most commercial preparations do), this cream will penetrate into the epidermal and dermal layers of skin. Extremely concentrated, a little cream will go a long way: No more than 1/6 of a tsp is sufficient for your whole face, though you may wish to be more extravagant on other parts of your body…
One thing you need to realize when making a cream, is that you are mixing oil-based substances with water-based substances.. a process called emulsifying. As with Italian Dressing, these substances so not like to mix: Follow the recipe closely and don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t turn out the first time! Try again… once you get it right, you will love it!
A word of caution: If you experiment with this recipe, do so in small batches.
Oil based ingredients:
- 3/4 cup grape seed oil (the lightest oil, this will make the least-oily cream; if you want a heavier oil for dryer skin, you might prefer apricot or almond oil)
- 1/3 cup coconut oil (try our organic, virgin, raw unprocessed virgin coconut oil),
- 1 tsp lanolin
- 1/2 oz. grated bee’s wax (use emulsifying wax for a creamier result)
Water based ingredients:
- 2/3 cup pure water (you may substitute rose- or lavender-water here)
- 1/3 cup aloe vera gel (use gel or juice, not the fresh plant)
- one or two drops of essential oil.
These things need to be added to the oil based ingredients before they are blended.
- Vitamin A and E may be added (add at least10,000 IU Vitamin E and 150.000 IU Vitamin A, to realize any effect)
- If making the cream for someone with acne, add Evening Primrose Oil or Black Current Seed Oil (1000-2000 ml/cup) to the recipe.
- You should have equal portions of oil-based ingredients and water-based ingredients, and the proportions of types of oils must be similar. Everything must be at room temperature: The proportions and temperature are critical.
- Heat the oil-based ingredients slightly (just enough to melt) in a double boiler.
Pour into a glass measuring cup and let cool to room temperature. It is safe to let it sit overnight. The oil will be thick and creamy. It needs to be completely cooled but not hard.
- Place the water-based ingredients in the blender and turn it on to the highest setting.
- In a thin drizzle (just like making mayonnaise) pour the oil based ingredients into the center vortex.
- Listen to the blender and watch the cream.
- When the blender makes sputtering sounds and the cream looks thick and white like frosting turn it off: You do not want to over beat. It there is still a little liquid left you may beat this in by hand. You should have a beautiful thick rich cream, which will continue to thicken up it sets up.
- Pour the cream into lotion or cream jars, and store in a cool place. This cream will not go bad at room temperature. If you will not use it all within a few months, it will last longer stored in the refrigerator.
If this recipe does not work for you, the most likely reason will be temperature: The oils must be completely cooled and all ingredients must be at room temperature. The blender speed must be on high, the faster the better.
Herbal Facial Scrub
This recipe is also found in Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Healing for Women.
You will probably be grinding herbs and flowers here. A coffee grinder works nice, but you will need to have a separate grinder for this purpose because you will not want lavender or rose petal residue to flavor your coffee! You may have a Vitamix, and wish to try that.
This recipe will make a nice scrubbing grain mixture, for cleansing your face without using soap. Be creative and custom tailor a recipe of your own!
After cleansing your face with this scrub, use a nice astringent – such as Rose Water or Herbal Facial Astringent – to close the pores.
- Finely grind oats, or oats and corn.
- Use 1 cup flour to 2 cups clay, then add 1/4 cup finely ground seeds (try almonds)
- 1/8th cup finely ground lavender or lavender powder
- 1/8th cup finely ground rose buds. (these ingredients should all be finely ground and mixed well.)
- Ground seeds will give it that “gritty” texture: Everything else should be more of a powder. Of course, grains always have some “grit” to them as well, even when finely ground.
- To this mixture, add a drop or two of essential oil(s) to enhance the scent and effect of the grains. Do not add too much!The oils must be Pure essential oils, such as lavender, peppermint, or orange: Do not use synthetic oils, as they can burn and irritate the skin. You can store this dried powder mixture now in a glass container.
- To make the moist facial scrub, add honey and a small amount of rose water to the mixture, forming a paste. If your complexion is dry, you may also which to add wheat germ oil, Vitamin E oil along with these moistening ingredients. This moist facial scrub will only keep for a few weeks, so don’t make too much at once. It can be stored in a glass jar where it is readily available for use.
These cleansing grains are the perfect soap replacement: Suitable for all skin types, they are mild, nourishing, and may be used daily.
To use, mix with a little water if necessary, and gently massage into the skin. The grains massage off dry, dead skin, increase circulation to the surface, and provide a nourishing “meal” for your face.
After thoroughly cleansing, rinse the grains off with warm water.
It is recommended you follow up this cleansing with an herbal facial astringent to close pores and tone the skin.
There is no need to refrigerate this astringent and it will have a long shelf life just like a tincture. For a glowing, natural complexion try using the Herbal Facial Scrub to wash your face, followed by this astringent to close pores and tone the skin.
- 6 parts lemon balm
- 4 parts chamomile
- 1 part rosemary
- 3 parts calendula flowers
- 4 parts rose buds
- 1 part lemon peel
- 2 parts comfrey
- 2 parts chickweed
Mix herbs and place in a glass jar.
Cover with witch hazel, vodka, or gin.
Be sure there is an inch or two of liquid above the herb mixture.
Cover tightly and let sit in a warm spot for two or three weeks.
For each cup of herbal extract, add one cup of Rose Water.
A drop or two of essential oil, such as lavender or rose can be added to enhance the scent.
Strain and rebottle for use.
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