Throughout my childhood I had eczema, which if you’re unfamiliar with it, generally means that your skin is drier than a normal persons. It manifests itself in very different ways in different people, though. Some get rashes, others don’t, I for example got tiny little scabs that looked like mosquito bites. All over. Being a kid, I’d of course pick at them which didn’t help much when it came to making them go away. During especially bad bouts people would think I had chicken pox, but nope. That was just my skin. Luckily, it went away with puberty (which happens about half the time with childhood eczema), and my skin was pretty great. Until I started wearing make-up, which is when general redness started appearing and break outs started happening, and I started to notice how easily I scarred. After something healed on the surface, a purple mark would remain behind for a couple months. After puberty the breakouts generally went away, but my skin still scarred really easily and the redness was still an issue. I just figured it was all genetics and there was nothing I could really do about it. But once I started eating more seasonally, I also started to think about what I was putting on my face everyday.
I used the generic drug store stuff for make-up and nicer department store face washes and creams, but had never really thought to read through the labels. The more I started researching about skincare, though, the more I kind of started to freak out about the harsh soaps, preservatives, and oil-stripping compounds I was putting on my face. Our skin breathes and absorbs materials, especially when it’s dry, so whatever is applied and rubbed into it goes into our bodies. About a year and a half ago, I decided to switch to all-natural make-up (really recommend 100% Pure, rms beauty, & Lush) and took a stab at making my own face cream through a tutorial on Mountain Rose Herbs‘ website. It was surprisingly easy to make, and honestly a lot like making aioli. And because I was making it myself, I was able to specifically buy ingredients that had calming effects on the skin and helped neutralize scarring, making a customized skincare product for myself. And the best part was that the recipe made enough lotion to last a year.
Because there are no preservatives, however, it does need to be refrigerated during the storage time. So I usually pour my cream into several jars and keep the jars I’m not currently using in the refrigerator until I am ready. This keeps the ingredients from deteriorating and preserves the beneficial vitamins and minerals that can become less effective when exposed to warm temperatures or sunlight for an extended period of time. And after the initial investment in the ingredients, you don’t have to buy face cream for a few years (when you buy them in bulk you can make more than a year’s worth of face cream).
I have an all-purpose face cream recipe below as well as the one I use for my own blend, so you can feel free to customize the general recipe with essential oils, extracts, butters, and hydrosols that target the problem areas of your skin. And the awesome folks over at Mountain Rose Herbs have put away a beginner’s skincare making giveaway for one of you, too! They’re offering an 8.5 ounce bottle of organic olive oil, an 8.5 ounce bottle of organic avocado oil, 1 ounce beeswax, 4 ounces organic cocoa butter, 4 ounces organic mango butter, 3 ounces lavender hydrosol, and 3 ounces rose hydrosol. Just use the rafflecopter widget below to enter! The giveaway ends at 11:59 pm PST on April 27th and is only open to US residents. Best of luck everyone!!
Also, there is a new episode of the First We Eat podcast up, and this one is all about Civil War foods. We talk about what the union & confederate troops ate, and the military strategies related to food (or a lack thereof, in this case). Give it a listen here!
For the general face cream, combine the gentle vegetable/nut oils, cocoa butter, and beeswax in the top of a double boiler over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the beeswax has melted completely and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.