Now my husband says, what does hand cream have to do with hospitality? But again I say it’s a nice gift for others. Also, I’m planning on hosting a lady’s spa weekend at my home this fall sometime, and I’ll probably pass out some of these creams as gifts. So…I think that meets the qualifications for writing about it in a hospitality blog.
All of the supplies for making homemade hand cream can be purchased from soap making supply houses. I really recommend Wholesale Supplies Plus (www.wholesuppliesplus.com). Their prices are probably the most affordable of any of the suppliers I’ve bought from, and they offer free shipping for orders over $30.
Most of the supplies come in 16 oz. bags or bottles. So…you might spend $40 on supplies, but that will make you many, many batches of hand lotion. So, in the long run, you really do save money. Also, I think the handmade hand cream is a whole lot nicer than what you can buy in stores. For one thing, if you have sensitive skin, this stuff isn’t going to irritate your skin at all. So many of the commercially-made lotions and creams can really be irritating and to my skin and cause it to feel itchy. This homemade kind doesn’t.
Because you end up making quite a bit, I recommend getting together with a friend or two and hosting a handcream making party. That way you can share the costs of supplies, and divvy up the handcream among yourselves.
Here are the supplies needed for this homemade hand cream recipe:
3 T. almond oil
3 T. apricot oil
3 T. olive oil
1 T. plus 2 tsp. shea butter
2 T. plus 2 tsp. emulsifying wax
1 T. plus 2 tsp. vegetable glycerin
3 cups distilled water
½ tsp. citric acid (vitamin C—and a natural preservative)
4-5 T. fragrance oil
1 T. Germaben II (a natural preservative)
Optional: 4 or 5 drops of colorant (the liquid kind made for melt-and-pour soap making—available from craft stores like Michael’s works great for this. Just put in enough to add a tiny bit of color. It should be very pastel in color; you don’t want the color to be too noticeable.)
The basic steps are this:
First, in a quart-sized microwavable bowl, place the almond, apricot and olive oils, the shea butter, wax and the glycerin. Heat in the microwave about 1 ½ to 2 minutes, just until the mixture melts and looks clear. Then put the bowl in the refrigerator about 10 minutes, to let it cool to room temperature.
In another bowl (about 1 ½ quarts in size) place the water and citric acid. Heat in the microwave for one minute—just until the mixture is lukewarm.
Pour the oil, wax and glycerin mixture into the water and citric acid mixture.
With a stick blender, blend the mixture together until it looks creamy and thickened (about 10-15 minutes)—until it emulsifies. Then add your fragrance oil, Germaben II and colorant.
With this batch of hand cream that I made tonight, I divided it in two (after adding the Germaben II, but before putting in the fragrance or colorant). In one bowl, I put strawberry fragrance oil and three drops of red coloring to make a very light pink. In the other bowl, I put in cucumber melon fragrance oil and no colorant.
Finally, pour the cream into bottles or small jars. The hand cream will only be halfway-thickened at this stage. As it cools, it will thicken the rest of the way.
This lotion lasts the longest if you store it in the refrigerator, and then just get out one bottle/jar at a time to keep at room temperature while it’s in use.
This recipe fills about 10 3-oz. jars/bottles.
Happy hand cream making!