Saturday, 2 November 2013

Winter Hand Cream

Canadian winters can be hard on skin, even in rainy Vancouver. For me, colder weather means painful, itchy and cracked skin on my knuckles. Using my own soap has helped decrease the frequency and severity of this affliction, but I still tend to suffer from it when the temperature drops to near freezing.

Because of this issue, I have made a lotion that I hope will help my skin this year when the frost arrives. I set out to create a thick, emollient lotion - really more of a body butter in texture - with lots of nice oils, butters and film formers. I also wanted to include ingredients that are specifically known to help dry, cracked skin.

The result is a lotion that is very thick, containing 25% oils and butters (including lanolin, which creates a protective barrier on the skin, sunflower and olive oils, and cocoa and shea butters). I also included hydrolized oat protein, panthenol, a humectant (sodium lactate) and 0.5% powdered wheatgrass extract, which contains a variety of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. This ingredient is purported to soothe, moisturize and revitalize the appearance of dry, cracked or raw skin. And for a relaxing touch, the lotion is lightly scented with lavender essential oil.

The lanolin and wheatgrass extract are new ingredients to me, so I made a very small test batch to see how the resulting lotion works. The small batch also seemed like a good idea as my understanding is that some powdered extracts can be hard to very preserve. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a lot of info on this particular extract, so I used the maximum amount of preservative and I was extra careful in sterilizing the utensils, and heating and holding the ingredients. Fingers crossed that this lotion stays preserved!

The texture of this lotion is like whipped icing and it feels wonderful on the skin. There is an ever so slight stickiness that I think is probably from the lanolin, but it doesn't bother me because I intend to use this lotion mostly at bedtime.

Here's to healthy, moisturized skin this winter :)