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 :)

8 comments:

  1. Your hand cream sounds soothing and luxurious! I have been reading a bit about making lotion but have not made the leap! I am still looking where to source the materials locally and it is proving to be a big challenge. Would you have a any advice for someone going into lotion-making for the first time? :-)

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    1. Thanks Silvia! The lotion is very nice. I'm liking it more and more. If you're interested in making lotion, you should definitely give it a try. As a soaper, you will already have a lot of the ingredients on hand. To start a basic lotion, you'll just need to get some emulsifying wax and preservative. Like many, I've learned most of what I know from Susan's blog http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.ca/?m=1 and I would recommend you read as much as you can at her site before getting started. She has some great recipes to get you started too. If you can find the ingredients, I'm sure you'll love it. Just like soap, handmade lotions are so much nicer :)

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  2. Thank you for the encouragement, Deirdre! I have started reading Susan's blog. Ton of great info there! I still have not found where to buy the preservative and emulsifying wax, at least not where I buy my soap supplies. I might have to order from the States, so that means I will get started next year already. :-)

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    1. No problem Silvia! It's really too bad that you can't find the ingredients close to you. Do you have to order a lot of supplies from the US?

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  3. This looks lovely Deirdre, it looks like you have put together a wonderful formula...perfect for our Canadian winters! :)

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  4. Hell there,

    I looove your blog! I live in Vancouver, BC and I was wondering, would you be willing to sell me some soap? Also, your hand cream? I love your recipes, but I have no talent to make them :( Please let me know, thank you so much!!

    Best,

    Lana

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    1. Hi Lana, thanks for your comment. I really just do this as a hobby (more of an addiction really), but there are lots of great sellers in the Vancouver area that I'm sure would love to have your business. Christmas is also the perfect time to find new soaps as so many vendors are out at the Christmas markets and craft fairs. Here's a few you could try: http://www.waxandsoapywater.com/ and http://www.oilandbuttersoap.com/

      Best of luck!

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