I'm covered in flour - it would take too long to explain...

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Before your very eyes.....moisturize!

 Let's be clear, you do not need to buy a new Bosch stick blender to make your own face cream. But yes, it helps. Especially when the lovely Neff people send you one to test out for free. I wonder if they had considered home made cosmetics when they developed the product, but never mind, if it can make face cream, then whipping up a cake to two will be a doddle.
First impressions? Oooooh - shiny! Easy to put together, good weight, good selection of accessories. I've selected the whisk for this job.
 Now to the face cream. First ingredient - bees wax. I get mine from a lovely bee lady (she keeps them, she doesn't dress as one) who sells at our local markets. She will be at Hatfield House farmers market on Sunday July 21st and every third Sunday, so if you want any let me know. This 45 gram block cost 60p, and I need one for this batch of face cream. Next to it is a jug of camomile tea with sprigs of rosemary infusing in it, of which I will need one cup (250 ml) Next time I'm going to try green tea.
 Next the oils. I'm using my favorite coconut oil by Lucy Bee which you can get every where but I get from Sanisbury's which is easiest for me. I think it's expensive but it's the best price I've found and a little does go a long way. With it I'm using organic olive oil - I use 1/2 a cup of olive oil and 1/4 cup of coconut oil, but you could use almond, avocado or jojoba oil in the same quantity - eg 1/4 cup of three different ones or 3/4 just one of them.
Measure out the oils and the beeswax (chopped or grated up) go into a double boiler. I already have one, but if you don't treat them as you would chocolate and place in a glass bowl over some simmering water to great a bain marie. Heat until they've melted, stir to combine and then take off the heat and allow to cool for two minuets or so. The Bosch stick blender does state not to use hot liquids and I'd agree, as they splash. Then put a cup of the cold tea into the goblet ready for blending - you can of course use a food processor just as well. The recipe suggested adding essential oils for perfume and I chose Vanilla as I have this one which I love : But honestly you don't smell it so it's optional.

I also added two flax seed oil capsules, pricking them with a pin and squeezing out the oil. This is a good source of vitamin E which helps preserve the face cream and is good for your skin - you can use any oil based vitamin E for this but flax seed is vegetarian. BTW, if you want to make a vegan version of this cream, use sheep wool lanolin in place of the beeswax. I squeeze these into the oil mixture as its cooling down.

 Now the stick blender, with the whisk attachment. Very easy to change over and not too heavy to hold which is good. MY ONLY COMPLAINT IS..... why can't they make big suckers on the foot of the goblet so as to hold it in place on your counter if you need to have both hands free? The next stage of my face cream is to stream the warm oil into the cold water while whisking to create an emulsification, which is what you'd do if you were making mayonnaise for example, but there was an issue keeping the goblet steady and holding the whisk while pouring. If you were using a larger food processor then it would be much easier, but what I LIKE about stick blenders is they are small, compact and light, ideal for a small kitchen. However, I did manage to stream the oil in though there was a little spillage, and the whisk emulsified the cream beautifully. In seconds it was a white, whipped up fluffy mix which I scraped into a big jar for me and a small jar for mum. 

 Here it is after whisking - it smells mostly of coconut which I love and it really was hard not to taste it as it looked like whipped cream!

 But the proof of the pudding, or the cream, is in the using and after I scraped the goblet clean I applied the residue to my skin - lovely! Sinks in and leaves the faintest sheen for about ten minuets, then it's gone and my skin feel soft as anything. I actually had a spill of the oil and beeswax mix on the counter, just a few drops, and so I rubbed this into my elbows. I'd say this stronger mix would be great for dry heels and also as a lip salve in the winter.
The face cream goes into the fridge with the lids open to cool without trapping condensation, and in this heat I'm going to keep mine in the fridge, though in winter it would be fine at room temp.
The Bosch stick blender was then washed up which even though its tricky cleaning off the oil, I gave it a whizz with the blender filled with water and bicarbonate of soda which got it clean - and this is where stick blenders win because there are less parts to wash than a big blender.
 So, the cost. All together this cost £1.50 to make this batch, and I would say the two oils would easily make another four to five batches if they weren't also being used for other things. I would estimate I've made between four and six weeks worth, unless I go mad and slather myself in it, but I mean to make a more solid lotion bar next for my body and keep this for my face. I'm sold!

I should add that I have now begun my honey cleansing - I'll write a separate blog about that but so far - so amazing!

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