What is a natural cream?
A natural cream is one that does not use chemical based ingredients as fillers or preservatives.
Why use a natural cream?
Some people with sensitive skin are allergic to the chemical ingredients within creams. Or you may want to reduce the chemicals that you are coming into contact with as part of a healthy lifestyle.
What is the difference between a cream and an ointment?
The short answer to that is water. There are no water based ingredients within an ointment, only oil and beeswax.
When would you use an ointment?
An ointment is a much heavier application, it sits on the surface of the skin for much longer and does penetrate very far into the layers of skin. This can be really useful for slow release actions such as pain relieving. A chilli ointment for example, could be applied at before bed to provide pain relief throughout the night.
When would you use a cream?
Creams vary depending on their ingredients but in general they are much lighter than ointments and penetrate further into the layers of skin. They tend to soak in and don’t leave a film on the skin. They can have many uses from moisturising face creams to anti-inflammatory creams for sore joints and muscles.
How can I make a natural cream?
There are lots of herbal cream recipes around, but this is one that is a classic traditional herbal cream. Change the water component and the type of infused oil in the recipe below to change the type of cream. E.g. chamomile infused oil with a chickweed infusion for eczema. Change the infusion and oil to plantain for an easy and safe nappy rash cream (remove the benzoin essential oil).
Traditional herbal cream recipe
50ml herbal infused oil
Benzoin essential oil (2 drops) (to act as a natural preservative)
Rosewater, distilled witchazel or warm herbal infusion (5 – 7ml) (water component)
Clean glass pots (mixture makes approx 60ml)
Melt the beeswax and herbal infused oil together in a double boiler over a low heat, once fully dissolved, remove from the heat, add the rosewater/distilled witchazel or warm infusion and essential oil and beat well until the mixture begins to thicken.
Spoon the mixture into the pots and allow to cool (with the lids off), and then label and apply the lids.
This cream will last up to 3 months in the fridge, remember to check for spoiling.
If you would like to learn more about natural creams and how you can make your own, take a look at my new natural cream making module.