Winter is the hardest season on my son Peter’s skin. The low moisture content plus the cold makes his already dry, itchy skin even more so.
Peter has an unusual skin condition that most people have never heard of (Lamellar Ichthyosis), but lots people suffer from painfully cracked skin and itchiness in the colder months (myself included).
Once upon a time, before 4 kids, I spent a lot of time experimenting with various creams and ointments for this kid. When I was in the mood, my kitchen looked like a laboratory with a digital scale and various bowls and implements all over the place.
You see, most over the counter and prescription creams are petroleum-based and have all sorts of other questionable chemicals in them. The skin is the largest organ we have and it absorbs all those things.
A little cream on the hands or face might not be too harmful overall, but imagine having to slather that cream over your entire body more than once a day (when Peter was an infant, we were creaming him as often as 7-8 times a day) and imagine the potential health problems over a lifetime.
Petroleum-based creams are also really hard on clothes (if you’ve ever have a toddler coat herself in vaseline, including her hair and the clothes she’s wearing, and you tried to wash it out, you’ll know what I mean). Now imagine putting that slime all over you body and then putting your clothes on top. It has a real impact on my washing machine, too.
So I dabbled at making creams from natural ingredients. Back then it was harder to find information online and e-books weren’t all the rage, so I experimented. If you want to try your hand at creating your own homemade concoctions, you may want to take a look at the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle that’s on sale this week (there’s several great titles in it on natural skincare).
But there was no e-books on healthy living back then…this skin cream was one of my more successful experiments.
We used it in place of Aquaphor. It works better than Aquaphor for Peter, but needed to be applied more often, so I got out of the habit of making it (I just couldn’t keep up with his supply needs). Now that he’s older, I’m trying it again and just made a batch today.
It only takes a few minutes, y’all . Easy peasy!
It’s got kind of a creamy vaseline consistency, but you can adjust the proportions to get the consistency you like. It smells like beeswax to me, but you could add some essential oils.
Natural Skin Cream
1 part shaved unrefined beeswax (or pastilles)
2-3 parts virgin olive oil
Hint: Try it with the 1 to 3 proportion first. If it seems too thin (we like ours pretty thick), you can re-melt it and add more wax. My scale is defunct, so I eyeball my proportions. This recipe is very forgiving.
- I have a big block of beeswax. I just shave some off, break it up and put it into a glass bowl.
- Add olive oil.
- Microwave for 30 second segments until your mixture is clear.
- Take it out and let it cool a bit (you don’t want your bowl to be burning hot or it will crack in the next step).
- Put the bowl over a larger bowl that has ice in it.
- Start whipping the mixture with an egg whisk until creamy.
If yours is cooled completely and still too thin, you can re-melt and add more beeswax. I put ours in the type of rounded plastic container that has a screw top.
You could also replace some of the olive oil with sweet almond oil, castor oil or Vitamin E oil (I’ve used all of these successfully). Experiment and have fun!
You can download the “recipe” as a printable pdf here (no pictures).
And if you’d like a little more direction in your pursuit of natural skincare, check out the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle. The e-books on natural skincare alone are worth the $30 price tag and you’ll get the added bonus several healthy cookbooks, free natural laundry detergent and more goodies (you’ve got to see it to believe it).