Orange creamsicle hand & body cream

Who doesn't love creamsicle anything? For me, it's the irresistible smell of orange and vanilla together. I'm on a make-it-myself mission these days and this hand and body cream is amazing. Last month, I made body butter, and while it is still my choice for all over body moisturizing right out of the shower, this cream is better for day use as it's much less greasy & you don't need the 10-minutes-to-let-it-sink-in before you do anything-wait like you do with the butter.

You'll notice the addition of borax in this recipe. I did a little research and seems to be not unusual:
Borax is used as a natural agent that is completely 'clean' to help emulsify the beeswax, otherwise it would go hard. When combined with beeswax borax does not irritate the skin. However, if you used borax alone on the skin it may cause irritation.
....It is extremely safe and we have not had one complaint over any type of issue with the borax causing skin issues. In fact, it is quite the contrary. Conditions like eczema and psoriasis respond very well to it. Source.
So...essential it's used to emulsify the beeswax. And the amount is teeny, tiny anyway. It hasn't bothered me at all and I have pretty sensitive skin.

My review
  • Spots of eczema on my hands showed noticeable improvement after just 2 days of use (and mine gets so bad that I resort to cortisone cream when nothing else works).
  • Dry, bumpy skin on elbows is gone-almost overnight! As I write this, I am touching my super smooth elbows. 
  • Craig loves it & he is picky about cream. No greasiness or strong scents. He gets very dry hands from washing so often at work. 
  • Love this cream! 
This recipe is modified from the Soapmaker's Companion (a book I am enjoying immensely).

Yield: about 300 grams (or visually, the amount in the containers in the pic above)

Ingredients 
62.5 grams extra virgin olive oil
12.5 grams sweet almond oil
12.5 grams jojoba oil
2.5 grams shea butter
11 grams castor oil
5 grams cocoa butter
25 grams beeswax

110 grams water
2.5 grams borax
4 grams vegetable glycerin

2 grams essential oils of choice (I used 1.5 grams vanilla oil and 0.5 grams sweet orange oil)

Instructions 
  1. Combine first 6 ingredients (all the liquid and solid oils) into a small saucepan and melt. Heat to 165 °F. 
  2. Combine next 3 ingredients in another saucepan and heat to 165 °F. Ensure borax is fully dissolved.
  3. In a container (I used a plastic 750 ml yogurt container-it is tall to help with spatter and fits a stick blender nicely) pour the heated oil mixture. Slowly add the water mixture while blending with a stick blender on the lowest setting. Turn off the blender from time to time and just stir it around with the stick. You'll need to scrape down the sides of the container with a spatula once or twice. Note: The mixture starts off looking curdled like bad mayonnaise but it comes together and becomes creamy after about 10 minutes of mixing. Slowly increase blending speed as you go. Don't be afraid to over blend...but when it looks like cream, it's probably done. Add your essential oils and blend further to ensure they are fully incorporated. 
  4. Allow to cool fully and put into containers. Ready to use immediately. 
  5. Update: I've made this where it doesn't get curdled, but is fully emulsified but super runny. Keep blending for a little while to help cool the mixture. It will thicken up as it cools. Pour into your contain and wait until full cooled to use. 

DIY peppermint earthpaste

Have you seen Earthpaste toothpaste? I tried it 6 months ago and immediately was hooked. It was like nothing I'd ever brushed with before. It feels good in the mouth and on the teeth. Shortly after starting to use it, random people started noticing. Strangers told me how white my teeth looked and asked if I get them whitened (I don't!). At the dentist, they said my plaque was lower (and my close together bottom teeth usually get quite a bit, gross).

I switched to non-flouride toothpaste years ago, but this toothpaste was better than anything I'd tried...but better costs lots....Earthpaste is at least $7/tube! I tell you, I made each tube stretch as far as possible. But, in the back of my mind, I knew I had to diy it. Locating food grade bentonite was the only tiny obstacle. But it's on amazon, so there you go.

I looked at the ingredients on Earthpaste: I included everything except menthol (because I didn't have any at the time, and you don't miss it in my opinion).

IMPORTANT: do not use metal mixing things with bentonite clay (bowls, spoons...). It's not serious, but it reduces the potency of the clay. (google for self, it's real)

DIY peppermint Earthpaste

Yield: 9 oz

Ingredients
1/2 cup bentonite food grade clay (I buy this one)
3 Tbsp xylitol granules (I buy this one but you can find in grocery stores)
1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
5-7 Tbsp boiled tap water (depending how thick you want the consistency, also distilled would probably be better if you have it- but I don't and it works fine)
20 drops peppermint essential oil
3 drops tea tree oil

Instructions
1. Using a ceramic or glass bowl (no metal, remember?) add clay, xylitol, salt and water. Mix well with a silicone or wooden spoon.
2. Add essential oils and mix.
3. Scoop out and store in a non-metal container.

The results are amazing. Looks a little lumpy but smooths at it sits. The taste is nearly identical to the 'real' thing. My only wish would be to have it in a squeeze tube. Maybe I'll add this to my next MEC order).
au natural pic taken after about 2 months of use
Cost comparison (the best part!!)

Earthpaste 
$7.00 for 4 oz (I have seen it higher than this)
This comes to $1.75 for 1oz 

DIY toothpaste
Redmond bentonite clay $14.96 (10 oz). Recipe used: 1/2 cup (4 oz) = $5.98*
Xylitol $9.99 (1lb) used 3tbsp or about $0.90
Peppermint essential oil and Tea Tree oil (let's say $0.49 but it's probably lower, depends on the cost of your essential oils)
Salt (I buy in bulk sizes... 1/4 tsp is around $0.01)
Total=$7.38  makes 9 oz
This comes to $0.82 for 1oz

*Bentonite clay must be food grade.

UPDATE: May 10, 2015: I've since ordered the squeeze tubes (these ones). I thought the opening was way too large...but I gave them a try and they work great. I use 7 tbsp (or 1/2 cup water) and the consistency is perfect.
P.S. This is my 100th published post on the blog!!! See the soup that started my blog here.
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