Night cream.

This winter the weather has been out of control; first, a week of 72 degree days in January, and then a week of below-freezing temperatures in late March. It is so dry that I flinch every time I touch anything at all and breathe a sigh of relief when I don’t get static-shocked. And my skin, typically, has responded by whimpering, cowering, and giving up. Where are the oil glands that are supposed to spring bravely into action and help my face survive these cold winds and super-dried air? (They ran off, apparently, presumably to someplace warmer. They’re probably partying in Tahiti). I had one eczema breakout so bad it looked like I’d slept in poison ivy.

Of course I could buy $50-an-ounce cosmetics to try and coax them back (I’ve gone that route before) but I think it would be rather hard to explain that to my husband. Besides, I’d rather know exactly what is in the stuff I’m smearing all over my body, and I’d rather I had some control over the ingredients, and come to think of it, I’d really rather not pay $50 an ounce, either.

So I’ve had to take matters into my own hands. Literally. I’ve done some reading and experimentation and have come up with a few different lotion recipes. Up til now, they’ve all been variations on the basic oils + butters + water theme, with varying success. The first was too watery. The second, I overcompensated, added too much beeswax, and ended up with what I’ve been calling my “Face Crisco.” (well, at least it smells nice). -grin- Once I got down the basics, I decided to get serious.

I checked out the Burt’s Bees website because I vaguely remembered that they listed all their ingredients online. So I was able to gather information about what should be in certain creams, and which ingredients were reserved for others; which ingredients purportedly have which effects; and so on. I stocked up on lots of goodies at Majestic Mountain Sage’s online catalogue: and boy was it hard to get out of there without dropping a huge load of cash!

Well, so it might be plagiarism, and it might be a load of crock, but I ripped off the Burt’s Bees recipe for “Carrot Nutritive Night Cream”. I left out all the man-made ingredients, since I can make it in small enough batches that I don’t need to worry about preservatives. While I would have liked to include the vitamin C, I had to leave it (and 2-3 other things) out… because, well, I probably shouldn’t be spending hundreds of dollars on facial lotion ingredients, not even with the excuse that I might be saving money in the long run! -laugh-

I ended up with a sheer, creamy, tangerine-colored lotion made primarily of mango butter, shea butter, macadamia oil, avocado oil, and beeswax. To these I added carrot seed oil, which apparently “is proven to stimulate cell renewal and helps deter and reduce wrinkles. It also softens the texture of your skin and promotes the healing and repair of sun damage.” Balsam of peru provides a myrrh-like fragrance while it “helps promote the healthy re-growth of your skin”. I also added vitamin E, silk protein, and a healthy dose of aloe extract.

It’s got a good texture, a good firmness, and a very pleasing subtle scent; it’s still a bit oily, though (leaves my face with a sheen for a little while) so future batches will benefit from further experimentation.

So is it actually doing anything? Who knows? But my skin feels super soft, and I feel pampered and lovely (and self-sufficient), so who cares? :)

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