Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Restorative Hand Cream (recipe)

Luckily I care much more about what my hands make than how my hands look making things. Read: I have ugly hands. A lifelong passion for gardening followed by a love for cooking topped off with being a hairstylist, my hands didn't stand a chance. I don't do much to help my case either. I hate wearing gloves. Cuts, chemicals, washing hair, and borderline-obsessive hand washing take their toll. At no time is this more evident than in the depths of winter.  I started making my own "lotion" about a year ago and have been very pleased with the results.  I can't truly call this a lotion.  It is much too thick and heavy to qualify as a lotion one could rub on throughout the day.  I use it more as a treatment than a lotion.  It also lasts and heals much better than any lotion I've used.  Most recipes I've found online state that the lotion is not greasy.  All I tried were most assuredly greasy.   Or the lotion had been so diluted that it was no longer greasy but it also no longer worked.   This cream is not greasy.  It is waxy and filmy.  So much so that I rub it on my hands for a few minutes and then I wash them with soap and water. That is why I consider it a treatment rather than a lotion. 

1/2 cup cocoa butter
1/3 cub beeswax
1 cup aloe vera gel

1. over a double boiler, melt cocoa butter and beeswax until completely liquid and combined. 
2. once melted, take off heat and mix in aloe vera gel. 
3. Watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians while rubbing hands together until you can sit still no more. 3-   5 minutes for me (I like to see their hair).
4. Wash hands with soap and water, admire hands imagining what life would be like as a hand model.


Because you really only need to use this once a day, a small amount at that, it lasts quite a long time.  Sometimes I add essential oils to it; but because the cocoa butter has a strong scent it is somewhat useless from a fragrance perspective.  
A tip for cleanup: pour baking soda all over your bowl and mixing utensil. That effortlessly takes off the waxy oil film soap and water will not.  

If you'd like to make this using the exact ingredients I did:
Cocoa butter: here
Beeswax:here
Aloe Vera Gel: here

I have received one compliment on my hands in my life.  My beauty school teacher told me I had lovely lanulas (the half-moon shaped white thing at the base of the nail bed). If only my nails weren't constantly stained with color. 


33 comments:

  1. The hands of an artist!!! That's what you have, my dear!! Thanks for sharing this - I definitely need it with this frigid weather.

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    1. Haha yes I suppose you're right! If you make it, please let me know how you like it!

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  2. Do you have lanulas on all your fingers? Mine are just on my thumbs.
    This treatment couldn't have come at a better time for me. I wash my hands constantly because I'm always cooking or just coming back from a store. My hands get so dry I get tiny deep cracks at the corners of my
    thumbs. Thanks, Stephen...Kathleen

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    1. I have little ones on all my fingers but I'm not sure how common or uncommon that is. Oh I hear you! My hands crack so badly. This really does help tremendously.

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  3. My dad's hands were the roughest, most callused, stained, crooked-fingered, wide, short-fingered hands I'd ever seen. And still to this day, I remember them as being the most beautiful, loving and strong hands that I've ever seen, or felt. I always thought my hands were ugly too. Picture, wide and short-fingered. Until the day my daddy died. I remember staring at my hands during the ceremony and thinking that I had daddy's hands, and they've always seemed more beautiful since that day. I am thankful for what they can do, and for who they remind me of. :)

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    1. Oh that is such a lovely sentiment. Thank you! And I'm glad you have that connection to your father.

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  4. I love making lotions! Your recipe is great because it makes a reasonable amount too, most recipes I have make so much that it all goes wonky before I can use it up. Oh, and your half-moons are beautiful, too, lol. My mum used to take great pains to manicure her cuticles so hers showed. Yours are naturally there!

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    1. Ah! Did she push her cuticles back or pinch them? Neither is pleasant!
      I noticed that too with a lot of lotion recipes. Even if it didn't spoil per se, it still seemed off. Please let me know if you make this!

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    2. Mum pushes hers back with a little manicure tool and used to try to get me to do so too. No use, no half-moons on my fingers. Oh well! I am using my last bit of lotion right now and will try making yours next. I have everything but the cocoa butter...where did you find yours?

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    3. I got it on amazon! It's a huge tub that has lasted me forever.

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    4. Excellent, thank you! Going to order it tonight, I've been using coconut oil but I love the smell of cocoa butter.

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  5. Wow, how did you know I needed something like this? Being a full time mom and living in such a cold climate, the hands are always dry and wrinkled. I've been trying to hydrate the skin with some lotions and oil, but it hasn't been working that well. Thank you for sharing the resources and cleaning tips as well. I'll be making this as soon as the snow storm passes. I'll let you know how I like it. ox

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    1. This really does work! That storm was here last night and it's a pretty big one! By Ohio standards, anyway.

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  6. Nice-sounding recipe! My hands are dry, and my cuticles are always bad (plus, I pick them, making them worse). I love to use cocoa butter on my lips (Palmer's). Speaking of lips, I love those tulips!
    Claudia

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    1. Thanks! Oh it's sooo hard to stop picking cuticles once you start! Yes I've been using this in lieu of lip balm and I love it. The tulips are the only flowers in sight for miles! I love snow but I'm missing my garden.

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  7. A very sensible formula. I have "farm" hands and am not particularly nice to them. Should really make a bigger effort to soften them.

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  8. I am bookmarking this for later use, thanks for the recipe!

    xo Kat

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    1. You're welcome! You'll have to let me know when you make it!

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  9. You hit the nail on the head again! My hands have seen too much activity over the years. I refused to wear gloves in the garden, dishwashing, etc. I try to wear them now but it is too late.

    I have been obsessed with trying to get them softened and not looking so old the last few weeks since our move. I am heading out today to make your concoction!

    Here is one thing I do that makes a difference. Slather Aquafor or Vaseline (or generic versions) for several minutes. Then take Apricot scrub, a liberal amount on top of the ointment, do not wash the Aquafor off, and massage into your skin for several minutes, taking care to get into the dry areas around the nails. Be patient and spend a few minutes for best results. Then wash with soap and moisturize with lotion. Skin is visibly softer and more comfortable.

    You do have lovely lanulas! I don't have any. I do have dainty hands and used to get compliments on the shape of them but they are granny hands now and much more aged than my face. Also your thumb looks great! Mine are cracked. Thanks for the tip!

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    1. Thank you! I do hope you make it...it really works and no mineral oil like in aquafor. Although when my hands a cracked and almost bleeding I definitely keep an emergency tube of aquafor on hand...no pun intended :)

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  10. I also use the treatment mentioned above on my feet after buffing them thoroughly with a Swedish file.

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  11. Stephan, the links did not work for products, will you redo them? Will go onto Amazon and look for the beeswax and cocoa butter....

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    1. thanks for letting me know...they should all be working now.

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  12. this is a wonderful thing!
    reminds me of some 'mary kay' treatment a lady at work once did on our hands. first a waxy like heavy cream rubbed in then a grainy defoliator then wash with a cooling gel. it made your hands feel great . . . BUT . . .
    with YOURS . . . the lovely realization that it's all pure product. no chemicals. no additives. just lovely!
    thanks!

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    1. Thank you! Haha I REALLY wanted to sell Mary Kay so I could get a pink Cadillac! But now they do a barely pink, overly-pearlized pink that I wouldn't want! haha! I like the hot Barbie pink they used in the '70s and '80s!

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  13. This is such a great idea. This is the WORST month for me and I need any and all pickmeups I can find or make. I love cocoa butter!

    I've been slathering on coconut oil this winter, but it is rather greasy. Feels great on the hands, but I leave little greasy marks on my desk blotter. :/ Ha!

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    1. Thanks! I don't know why but I think this works a lot better than coconut oil. I know a lot of people who use coconut oil as their primary moisturizer but I feel it does very little. But maybe that's because my hands are so far gone, usually!

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  14. Hi Stephen. This looks interesting for dry hands and can see why it would work well. I use shea butter when I need to and also a Melaleuca product (tea-tree oil based) called Renew....great for dry sensitive skin like tend to have in the winter.

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    1. Oh I love tea tree oil. Especially helps when hands are dry and red!

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  15. Question: where have you been all my life?

    Just read your lengthy yet informative post on grey hair and was enraptured.

    Let me assure you, i am "blonde" and remain so as long as one of my BFF's is a hairdresser.

    I have very fine hair, well no hair, and he assures me I would look like hell if I tried to go grey.

    And who wants to look like hell?

    I'm off to follow you so I don't miss one more post.

    xo J

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    1. Thank you! You're right...there is no better way to create texture instantly than to go blonde!

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  16. My father kept bees when we were kids, so I know all about the healing power of honey and beeswax. That said and done, I'm too lazy to concoct my own potions.

    I swear by the Body Shop's hemp hand cream for the winter months. Recently I bought a tub of Vaseline petroleum jelly, and find it moisturizes even more. It's great slathered on just before bedtime.

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