Cold Cream with Frankincense and Juniper Berry

Cold Cream with Frankincense and Juniper Berry

The first time I ever saw cold cream was only a few months ago, while watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Have you seen it? It's set in the 1950s. In one of the early episodes, she pretends to fall asleep beside her husband. When he eventually dozes off, she quietly rushes into the bathroom to remove her makeup, applies a hefty layer of cold cream (which she leaves on), puts rollers in her hair, cracks open a window, and gently lies in bed beside her husband. This is how she sleeps until the crack of dawn, where she repeats the process but removes everything, applies fresh makeup, and closes the window. It's absolutely ridiculous and funny; a representation of marriage, perhaps, at the time. I wouldn't know! 

Cold cream is not a new invention. In fact, it was founded by second century Greek physician and philosopher Galen. He mixed together oil from olives and rose water to make an emulsion that was applied to the face for supple skin. Now, of course, there are many modern elements added back into the cream that were not used in Ancient Greece. This includes fragrance oils and preservatives, things that we now are learning are not so great for our skin. 

Dermatologists admit that cold cream isn't exactly elegant and can be heavy on the skin. While this is true, that is of course said in review of creams with lots of added ingredients. All you really need are four! Beeswax, oil, water, and a clay of some kind to thicken the product. In modern times natural oils were replaced with petrolatum and borax powder was added to emulsify and whiten the product. No wonder it didn't work well! It's the same story with our food: good things were taken out and replaced by synthetic ingredients. The product didn't work, so they added back beneficial ingredients while still keeping the cheap fillers. It's a vicious cycle, which is why making your own is SO much better! 

Ingredients + Recipe |

  • 2 oz beeswax

  • 1 cup carrier oil (sweet almond, grapeseed, jojoba, Vitamin E, apricot kernel, etc)

  • 4 tbsp distilled water

  • 1 tsp bentonite clay powder

  • 3 drops frankincense essential oil

  • 3 drops juniper berry essential oil

  1. In a double boiler, melt the beeswax and 1 cup of carrier oil. You can mix oils if you so choose, but sweet almond or jojoba is often recommended for the face. Vitamin E is great, too, if you suffer from acne and scarring.

  2. In a separate small pot, heat the water and bentonite clay powder over medium heat and whisk until it forms a paste.

  3. Remove the melted oil and beeswax from heat and add the clay paste. Stir until combined.

  4. This part can be tricky; you will probably want to add the mixture to an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. The cream needs to be whipped heavily for about 10 minutes or until it cools and thickens up. I tried by hand, but it worked much easier with an electric mixer.

  5. Once the cream has formed a whipped nature, drop in the essential oils. Mix thoroughly.

  6. Scoop the cold cream into a container with an airtight seal (I used these metal tins) and store in the fridge for up to one month.

  7. To use: apply to the face, knees, or elbows. You may leave it on if you desire. It also works as an overnight skin softening method that you can wash off in the morning. You may also enjoy it as a makeup remover; rub into the skin and remove with a washcloth or cotton pad to take off your makeup!

Enjoy! xoxo Kayla

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