Making your own hand creams and foot creams is surprisingly easy. You can start with just a few basic ingredients: the easiest recipes require only 3-4 ingredients and take very little time to make. Start with small batches of cream and increase the amounts once you feel confident with each recipe. As you get used to making your own aromatherapy creams and balms, you can invest in wider variety of essential oils and base oils. It might be a good idea to get a good book on essential oils, or check out the many aromatherapy articles here on the Untrained Housewife to learn more about the different oils and their properties.
To get started making hand creams, foot creams, and lip balms, you’ll need:
Good quality base oils:
- Sweet almond is great for most skin types, widely available and affordable.
- Olive oil is a common ingredient in many recipes.
There’s no need to buy ten different types of oils at once (unless you want to!) – start with one or two base oils and build up your collection over time as you experiment with making your own beauty products. You will probably also need beeswax for most hand cream recipes; beeswax is what makes the cream solid. Beeswax is available from all good aromatherapy suppliers; I get it in small granules that are easy to use. Some recipes also contain flower waters, such as rose water.
A few essential oils
Once again, you can start with even just one oil. These oils work well in hand and foot creams:
- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia/officinalis/vera): great for hand creams and foot creams and for massage oils or bath oils, Lavender is soothing and healing, helps with sunburns and other types of burns, suitable for most skin types, moisturizing, balancing, hydrating and even soothes insect bites, good for bruises and for achy muscles.
- Peppermint (Mentha piperita): especially good for foot creams and lip balms. It refreshes and energizes tired feet and smells lovely. Try Peppermint in combination with Lavender.
- Benzoin (Styrax benzoin): excellent for dry and cracked skin, for example dry heels or dry elbows; popular in foot creams. It’s one of my favorite oils in homemade hand or foot creams.
You’ll also need:
- Glass jars for storing your hand creams. Ideally beauty products that contain essential oils should be stored in dark glass containers (not plastic) and away from direct sunlight.
- Many hand cream recipes use the double boiler method, so you’ll need a bowl – stainless steel or Pyrex – and maybe a rotary whisk for mixing the creams – you can find most equipment for making basic hand creams in your kitchen cupboard!
- And it’s a good idea to have some labels for your creams. Write down all the ingredients and the date of manufacture on the labels, especially if you get very productive or experiment a lot!
Here are a few hand cream and lip balm recipes to get started with:
You can also make foot creams or massage creams and herbal balms using the basic hand cream recipes. I’ll be adding a few more recipes using these basic formulas and changing the base oils and essential oils.