Why should someone make their own hand cream? Personally, I started doing it to avoid plastic waste. I didn’t like that all those jars were produced for use over a very short period of time, and then they get thrown away.
Another advantage of homemade cosmetics is that you know what you’re getting. Each ingredient was added by you, so there are no surprises. No nanoplastic or polymer, no uncertified palmoil, only the ingredients you want.
To get you started, I’d like to share this simple recipe:
20 ml (4 tsp) shea butter (or cocoa butter)
20 ml (4 tsp) oil (see suggestions below)
2 tsp beeswax pellets
20 ml (4 tsp) aloe vera
When choosing oil, you can use whatever you prefer (olive, jojoba, almond, grape seed…). You can also add some herbal extracts to the oil.
Once you select your favorite herb, it is best to cut up and dry the herb parts a little bit before you put it in the oil. That way it doesn’t contain too much water. Add it to the oil and let it sit for 24 hours. Then drain the herbs out of the oil before using it in your cream.
Some suggestions of herbs that might work well in cream:
• Hyssop and sage are anti-inflammatory and antibacterial
• Rosemary stimulates blood circulation
• Marjoram helps heal wounds and prevents itching
When I first started making my own hand cream, my goal was to reduce plastics. But I’ll be honest, some of the ingredients you need for your homemade beauty products are hard to get without plastic packaging. One exception is aloe vera, which is easy because you can simply buy a plant.
How do you harvest aloe vera once you have the plant? You’ll see that it’s easier than you think.
The leaves of the aloe vera grow from inside out. The plant constantly produces new leaves in its center, leaving the outer leaves to die off or to be harvested regularly for gel extraction. It is important to note that the leaves are placed vertically after cutting until the yellow, bitter, slightly poisonous sap has completely drained off. Then proceed as follows:
• Cut the leaf crosswise into portions.
• Cut the individual pieces in half lengthwise and scrape the fresh gel out of the halves with a spoon.
Other ingredients easily found without plastic packaging are shea butter (https://www.organic-essence.com/), and beeswax, which is available in paper bags.