Rich Winter Body Cream

This recipe is a lifesaver when you’ve neglected to apply moisturiser every day like your momma told you (don’t worry, I’m guilty of this too). The title perfectly describes the texture and purpose of this recipe. It is rich, it is ideal for winter, and it lives up to the definition of a “cream” in being denser than light watery lotions. Yet, it still absorbs better than body butters and balms, with only a slight oily residue. Yet, what I love most about this cream is how it softens my skin. This body cream is best for dry, dehydrated, itchy and chapped skin. If you prefer light, non-greasy lotions, then rather give this recipe a miss and make my aqueous cream recipe instead. If you have never made a cream emulsion before, please refer to my basic lotion recipe for step-by-step photos.

Recipe variations

Substitutes:
You may substitute the oils in this recipe with any other oils as long as you use the exact same weight. The best substitute for grapeseed oil is sunflower oil or sweet almond oil. The best substitute for olive oil is hemp seed oil. If you do substitute, I cannot guarantee that it will have the same texture, colour or scent as my recipe, since each oil brings different properties to creams. You can also use guar gum instead of xanthan gum. You can also substitute hydrosols for the distilled water.

Changing quantities:
If you want to make a bigger batch, you may multiply the quantities. For example, multiply all ingredients by 2 to make 800g of cream. Although, this cream is thick, it does still work in a pump bottle.

Note on preservatives:
When I make this recipe, I use the preservative Geogard 221, which is a golden liquid, whereas Geogard Ultra is a powder. You may use any cosmetic preservative you wish, but you must adjust the recipe accordingly. Remember that each preservative has its own directions for use, so simply adjust the instructions in this recipe about when to add the preservative, and how much of it to use according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

COST & SHELF LIFE

Cost Price: R 64.53 per 400g excluding essential oils (in 2020, based on the best retail prices I’ve found).
Lasted me about:
 1 month using every night on my entire body.
Estimated shelf life: 3 months if you include the preservative, and store away from direct sunlight. Without the preservative, this lotion only has a shelf life of 1 week when stored in the refrigerator. Please note that adding ingredients like vitamin E oil and anti-bacterial essential oils will not effectively preserve your product.

CHALLENGE

Leaves a slight oily residue, but it’s not as greasy as oil-based body butters and balms. If this bothers you, apply at night.

CHERRY ON TOP

  • Makes your skin feel silky soft when absorbed.
  • Suitable as an everyday, all-over body cream in winter. Use it on your hands, feet, face, body. One product for everything.
  • You can use this recipe as a base for an anti-ageing night cream.
  • See the before-and-after photos below for the results after 1 week of daily use.

INGREDIENTS

  • Distilled water: is a pure form of water without additional minerals, salts and other deposits which typically shorten the shelf life of a lotion. You can find distilled water at most pharmacies. Don’t confuse distilled water with filtered, spring or purified water – they are not the same thing.
  • Vegetable glycerine: moisturises the skin and retains moisture in the skin by acting as a protective barrier that locks in moisture. It is also necessary to hydrate the xanthan gum in the recipe to prevent clumps from forming. (Buy here )
  • Hydrolysed wheat protein: is also known as phytokeratine. It helps skin retain its moisture, and is high in amino acids. It also minimises pores, smoothes, softens and firms the skin. Avoid this ingredient if you have celiac disease. (Buy here)
  • Xanthan gum: stabalizes the lotion so that it does not separate or curdle in heat. Xanthan gum is a sugar derived from either corn, soy or wheat. (Buy here)
  • Olive oil: contains anti-ageing antioxidants and hydrating squalene, making it superb for hair, skin, and nails. It is an excellent moisturiser for dry skin, and is rich in vitamin A, E, D and K. (Buy here)
  • Grapeseed oil: is a hypoallergenic oil with a low comedogenic score, making it suitable for all skin types. It is one of the lightest and best absorbed carrier oils, and it lacks fragrance. Grapeseed oil contains vitamin E, and has been shown to improve skin tone, and help the vitamin C and E in your skin to be more efficient. (Buy here)
  • Vitamin E oil: An antioxidant that protects the skin from further sun damage, treats damaged skin, and it helps decrease the signs of lines and wrinkles. (Buy from Faithful to Nature or Dischem)
  • Eco E-wax: is a vegetable-based emulsifying wax which allows water and oil to combine without separating. It is also known as Glycerol Monostearate, and is ECOCERT and SOIL association approved for use in natural and organic products. (Buy here)
  • Geogard Ultra: is a synthetic preservative composed of gluconolactone and, the organic acid, sodium benzoate in powder form. It is ECOCERT, NATRUE and SOIL association approved for use in natural and organic products. (Buy here)
  • Geogard 221: is a synthetic preservative composed of dehydroacetic acid diluted in benzyl alcohol, in liquid form. It is ECOCERT and SOIL association approved for use in natural and organic products. (Buy here)

Need help finding these, or other ingredients? My shopping guide may help you.

RECOMMENDED RETAIL OPTION

If you don’t want to make it yourself, then The Everyday Cream by Skin Creamery is a natural body cream which you can buy. I have not used this product myself, but there are a ton of positive customer reviews. It is, however, much more expensive than making your own body cream.

Do you think that this is an effective body cream for dry, winter skin? If you’ve tried it, please share your feedback in the comments below.

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