Creating your own luxurious creams is so rewarding! You can easily formulate sensuous creams, using only the best of ingredients for a fraction of the price you would pay for a similar natural product.
I first learned to make cream by watching a video of Rosemary Gladstar making her famous perfect cream. I had always been so intimidated by the process and she really made it so accessible.
There are a thousand variations of this basic recipe. I make it a different time each way so feel free to experiment with the different butters, different oils and different infused plants!
Let's begin with the ingredients. I think of this recipe in three parts with the butters and wax, the oils and then the waters.
The Ingredients for Wild Rose Facial Cream
Butters and Wax
- 1/4 cup wild rose petal infused grape seed oil (I add a bit of alkanet root to make the cream pink - about 1-2 tablespoons per pint of oil)
- 1/4 cup violet flower and leaf infused grape seed oil
- 1/4 cup rosehip seed oil
- 2 tablespoons tamanu oil
- 2/3 cups rose hydrosol
- 1/3 cup aloe vera
- 1/4 tsp borax powder
- one tsp cottonwood bud tincture (optional, helps with preservation)
- Rose essential oils or Rose absolute
1. Begin by weighing out the butters and wax. You'll need a scale to do this.
In the original recipe Rosemary uses a 1/3 cup of butters. I don't like trying to get hard butters weighed into a measuring cup so I strongly prefer weighing them out with a scale. Rosemary often uses coconut oil and I sometimes to do. So many possibilities and butters to choose from!
2. Mix together your oils. You are basically looking for 3/4 cup oils of any kind. Jojoba oil, almond oil, apricot oil and almond oil are also nice choices for light carrier oils.
Olive oil will make a very thick cream that can feel a little greasy. If you've never made herbal infused oils before you can learn how to do so in this video. I use fresh wild rose petals that I harvest myself. If you don't have access to fresh petals you can used dried rose petals.
You don't have to use an herbally infused oil either. It can simply be a straight carrier oil
3. Slowly melt your butters on very low heat. I use a pan that I only use for cream and salve making that has a nice spout on it. (I found it at a thrift store for $2!) I use popsicle sticks to stir the mixture.
4. Once the butters and wax have melted turn off the heat and slowly stir in the oils. You'll notice it start to thicken up a bit. If necessary turn the heat on low again until the oils and butters and wax have completely melted. I then pour this mixture into a large pyrex measuring glass. If you use a blender to mix the waters and butters then pour it into the blender.
5. Let this mixture cool down in the fridge. It is ready when it is no longer clear and is just barely solid. Don't wait until it becomes too hard, if that happens, reheat and then cool down again.
6. While the butters and oils mixture is cooling, mix together your waters. You can use distilled water in place of a hydrosol but I strongly prefer the hydrosols since they add additional healing benefits and help to preserve this cream longer.
Let's pause for a word on preservation...
Preservation is a bit tricky with creams. Some people use grapefruit seed extract, but since this isn't a natural substance and it is potentially dangerous I avoid it. I used to have problems with my creams molding after a few months but once I started adding the cottonwood tincture that problem went away. Be sure to use only very clean instruments when making your creams, then store them in a cool place and they will last for several months if not longer.
I use borax powder as an additional emulsifier.
A word on essential oils
Using rose hydrosol and herbally infused oils will scent your creams very slightly. If you want a stronger rose scent you'll need to add Rose essential oils Warning, these are expensive! I adore the scent of roses so much that I do pony up and pay for the rose essential oil. I use just a tiny bit and it lasts a long time.
7. Once the butters and wax have cooled they need to be blended at high speed to mix them into the waters. I use a hand held cake mixer to do this. Some people use blenders. I like the ease of clean-up with the hand held mixer.
What I do is slowly mix the butters, wax and oils mixture until it is all one consistency (generally it is in varying stages of hardening), then I turn up the mixer to high and slowly drizzle in the waters. Once the mixture has thickened and changes consistency I turn off the mixer immediately. You don't want to over blend or the cream will separate.
8. Now you have an incredibly luxurious face cream that you can easily pour into jars. This recipe makes about 14 ounces of cream.
Undoubtedly you'll have significant amount of cream in the bowl, blender, on the mixers, spoons etc. I learned from Rosemary that the best thing to do is get naked and use it all up. That's one thing I appreciate from Rosemary, she keeps it real!
Another thing to make clean up easier is to use paper towels to soak up the excess oils before washing the blender and bowels with hot and soapy water.
Enjoy your creams!
I have to warn you about making creams, it's addictive! I love watching the oils and water combine to create this totally different substance.
It's also addicting to create the most luxurious creams for a fraction of the price that you would spend on a similar (though often inferior) product at the store.
I'd love to hear from you!
Do you have a favorite version of Rosemary's Perfect Cream? I'd love to hear it in the comments below!