I’m incredibly enamored with this exotic rose cream that my sister Lisa made and gave me for Christmas. Just opening the jar and inhaling the heady scent improves my day, and I can literally feel my facial cells drinking up the creamy goodness when I smooth on a few dabs after showering or washing my face.
I swear I can hear them cheering.
My daughter Ciel (remember her concern with wrinkles) loved it so much that she made up her own batch so she’d have several month’s supply. And I got to be a beneficiary of that. After all she owes more for all those years of nurturing. So now I have two jars!
The Healing Rose
Essential oil of rose is more than just a cell-rejuvenator, it is used by aromatherapists to treat couperose skin and varicose veins.
It goes deeper than that though – way deeper. But you knew that didn’t you? What other plant as been sung, painted or written about by so many artists?
The fragrance of the rose is known in aromatherapy to open the heart. Ever so gently the rose will calm depression, fear and anxiety and it can even give a boost to our confidence.
No wonder I love this cream so much!
I don’t know about you, but as my estrogen levels start their inevitable plummet my skin – especially my face – feels more parched than ever before.
My skin is drinking this stuff up. It’s my new love. Move over Dr. Haushka and Origins!
Soon my two jars will run dry and I’ll have to make up a fresh batch, but meanwhile I thought I’d share this amazing recipe – so those of you who enjoy concocting your own skincare goodies can get in on the fun.
Even if you’re not crazy about making your own skincare products – your wallet may motivate you to do so.
A cream like this would run upwards of $50 an ounce in department stores or upscale natural bodycare boutiques. When you make your own, you’ll end up with ten times that much for an equal investment.
As with the eye serum I wrote about earlier – the ingredients can get a bit pricey. But if you go in on this with some girlfriends and make it up together, you’ll all go home with a few jars of yummy cream – enough to moisturize for months.
By the way, this cream soothes and invigorates all skin types – so invite your daughters or friends of any age. It’s not specifically a wrinkle cream, although the rich oils will work their magic to minimize those pesky fine lines.
But, umm – unlike the eye serum, making a cream is not a quick snap.
Creams and lotions require a bit more finesse and a careful eye, as well as some essential equipment such as a blender. I wrote a lengthy description of the process here – read up if you want more background on the tricks of the trade.
Lisa’s (and Ciel’s) cream is a delightful rose pink color. To me, the unusual color makes slathering the stuff on even more fun and appealing. But it does add an extra step of work to achieve this natural color, which comes from alkanet oil.
Lisa says that the cream is fine without the alkanet oil. It will still smell and feel like you’ve gone to dance with the rose goddesses.
Alkanet is an herb that makes a deep red natural dye. It’s wonderful for lip balms, cheek tints or other products that benefit from some natural color. The amount of alkanet used can vary this color action from a light shell-pink to a rich burgundy.
To turn your cream pink, you need to first make up some alkanet oil. It’s not that hard. We call this an infused herbal oil.
How To Make Alkanet Oil
Take one ounce of dried alkanet root (see resources below for where to get it) and grind it up in a clean coffee grinder or blender. Put it into a glass jar that has a tight fitting lid.
Pour your choice of oil over the ground herbs, enough to cover then completely (but don’t fill the whole jar unless the herbs fill the jar.) Put the lid on and shake it all up. It will turn red almost immediately.
What oil to use? Lisa used sunflower oil, but any light oil would work. Kukui, hazelnut and macadamia are also sweet choices for skincare products.
Let the alkanet soak in the oil for at least an hour, or up to one week, shaking it each day. Then strain the herbs out through a fine mesh strainer with a piece of cheesecloth draped over. (Or just place the cheese cloth over another jar or a measuring cup and have a friend hold the edges while you pour the oil through.)
Press on the herbs with a wooden spoon, or wrap them up in a ball in the cheese cloth and squeeze and wring to extract every last drop of ruby red oil.
You will probably have some extra left over after making your rose cream – be sure to label it so that months from now when you find this bottle of red oil you don’t go, ‘what the heck is this??’ and throw it out.
Let’s Make Some Cream
Okay – so now that you’ve got your alkanet oil made (or decided to skip this step), you’re ready to get into the cream.
First, you’ll need to gather together your ingredients. If you don’t have a health food or herb store nearby I suggest ordering high quality body oils, herbs, beeswax and essential oils from Moonrise Herbs or Mountain Rose Herbs.
Lisa’s Exotic Rose Cream – Ingredients
1 cup rosewater
2 ounces rose hip seed oil
2 ounces macadamia nut oil
1 ounce jojoba oil
1 ounce alkanet oil (or add an extra ounce of any of the oils above)
½ ounce beeswax (about 2 tablespoons, those beeswax granules work great for this)
800 IU vitamin E (either as Vitamin E oil, or take two 400 IU gelcaps, poke them with a pin a squeeze the oil out. Don’t get too hung up on how many IU you are using, just use ½ to a teaspoon of good quality VE oil.)
20 drops rose essential oil (Now don’t get all cheapy here and use fragrance or perfume oil. It’s NOT the same thing! Spring for the real stuff – it’s where so many of the therapeutic benefits come in.)
(The recipe is adapted from the book Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art, one of my favorites and highly recommended!)
Equipment You’ll Need
Chopstick or small wooden spoon
Makeshift double boiler (such as pyrex measuring cup and small saucepan)
Another measuring cup (or something with a pour spout)
Small jars (for the final product)
What To Do
The process of making a cream or lotion is similar to making mayonnaise. You are emulsifying oils with water – so it’s a delicate operation.
I described the method in full detail in “How To Make A Fabulous Face Cream Or Lotion.”
Here’s a short synopsis:
Place oils (not rose essential oil though) and beeswax in your double boiler set up and heat gently till beeswax is melted. Cool slightly and pour into blender. Slowly drizzle the rosewater in through the hole in the top of the blender cap while the blender is turned to high. The mixture will begin to emulsify into a cream and may need some light stirs with our chopstick or wooden spoon to mix in stray drops of water.
Add the essential oil at the end and just whiz briefly, then stir. Voila. You have a thick, beautiful cream!
But be sure to hop over to the other post, and read the long version of this procedure. Making creams is not for the faint of heart. But the results – oh so very sweet!
How about you? Do you have a favorite wrinkle cream or other natural facial cream that you adore? What about a recipe? Take it away in the comment section!