Gardener hands are severely tested. We dive them into the dirt, we use them to scrape, to pull up, to pinch and cut. They’re stung and scratched and washed often. But they stroke and massage and caress too when they’re done gardening.
That’s why I made a balm for them so that they can reap the benefits of the beautiful plants they carefully grow and stay soft and smooth.
Well, I say a balm but the amount of butter is quite low and it’s actually more an anhydrous cream than a balm. It wasn’t a very reasonable choice for a warm spring because the temperature may liquefy the preparation but I wanted something creamy and fast absorbing. I’m capricious sometimes. Don’t fret though, we’ve had a very warm spring and the balm/cream passed the test with honours!
As usual, I’ll review the ingredients before getting to the formula and the preparation.
> KOKUM BUTTER
It’s a very hard butter and it will help keep the texture solid but soft and smooth nonetheless. It has emollient properties to soften your hands and it will not leave them greasy. Win-win situation, right?!
> CHAMOMILE MACERATED SWEET ALMOND OIL
Please go read this article and you’ll learn everything about how chamomile and sweet almond oil can help soothe your skin.
I use a DIY macerated sweet almond oil and I explain here how to make a macerate. It’s easy as pie and so rewarding! You have to wait for a few weeks though but you’ll be rewarded tenfolds if you’re patient. It might even become a bit addictive!
Now, I understand that you can’t or don’t want to make your macerate and you can very easily buy macerated oils in organic shops or cosmetic ingredients suppliers. However, you’ll most probably find sunflower macerated oils, which is not a bad thing but modifies the formula. Just ping me in the comment section and I’ll do that for you.
> HEMP SEED OIL
You’ll find it in the same article.
> Berry wax
Or Rhus Verniciflua Peel Cera (wax). It’s made with the fruits of the verniciflua rhus tree, which are cooked and filtered to make a pale, soft wax. Its melting point is low (52°C) and it means that it will liquefy very fast, which makes it another whim of mine. What can I say? I love its soft powdery touch. Plus it has emollient properties. Ha!
I bought mine at Alexmo, in Germany or you can find it at Ecco-Verde too. Depending on where you live, it may not be easy to find, I’m sorry. But you can replace it with myrica fruit wax or even besswax. In this case the texture will be a bit harder, that’s all.
> calendula CO2 EXTRACT
I talk about it at great length here.
> High altitude lavender essential oil
It soothes itchy boo-boos and supports the skin in its healing process. Just remember to not put a balm on an open wound and wait until it’s closed.
High altitude lavender essential oil has such a lovely and fresh scent that it often reconciles people with lavender!
> vetiver essential oil
It soothes redness and has a deep, woodsy and earthy scent, which fits our theme, don’t you find?! On an energetic level, it helps connect to the Earth and the Nature. Quite fitting too.
It’s a fabulous ingredient that herbalists use to treat wounds, burns, eczema, psoriasis and many other skin issues. We use it here to soften the skin and lessen the greasy feel you can’t totally avoid with a balm.
Pour 30 grammes
- Chamomile macerated sweet almond oil – 39,3%, 11,79 gr.
- Hemp seed oil – 30%, 9 gr.
- Kokum butter – 23%, 6,9 gr.
- Berry wax – 6%, 1,8 gr.
- Calendula CO2 extract – 0,1%, 0,03 gr.
- rosemary CO2 extract – 0,1%, 0,03 gr.
- Vitamin E – 0,5%, 0,15 gr.
- Allantoin – 0,5%, soit 0,15 gr.
- High altitude lavender essential oil – 0,25 %, 0,075 gr.
- Vetiver essential oil – 0,25%, 0,075 gr.
Ingredients: Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (sweet almond) oil, Cannabis Sativa Seed (hemp seed) oil, Garcinia Indica (kokum) butter, Rhus Verniciflua peel cera (berry wax), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) (chamomille) flower extract, tocopherol (vitamin E), Allantoin, Lavandula Angustifolia ssp. angustifolia (high altitude lavender) essential oil, Vetiveria zizanoides (vetiver) essential oil, Calendula Officinalis (Marigold) flower extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (rosemary) Leaf Extract, and Helianthus Annuus (sunflower) Seed Oil, linalool*
* naturally occurring ingredients of essential oils
- Disinfect your work table and material.
- Weigh the butter and the wax in a beaker. Weigh the sweet almond oil too if it’s not macerated.
- Put the beaker in a bain-marie and let them melt slowly.
- When all the ingredients are melted, stir the liquid preparation out of the heat to make it cool down. You can put the beaker in a cold bath to speed the process.
- Add the macerated oil, the extracts, the vitamin E and the essential oils under 40°C and stir again. Depending on the room temperature, the calendula extract may not blend easily. In this case, just put the beaker in the bain-marie again for a few seconds without any heat. It’ll be enough to help without ruining your heat sensitive ingredients.
- Now it’s time to put your still liquid balm in the fridge for short periods of time. 10 minutes in the fridge → stir at room temperature → 10 minutes in the fridge → stir at room temperature → 10 minutes in the fridge, etc. until the preparation thickens. You might need to shorten the stay in the fridge at the end of the process.
- When your stirring leaves a trace in the thickened preparation, it’s time to add the allantoin. Stir and blend carefully.
- Pour into a jar.
- Put the open jar in the fridge for approximately 12 hours.
- After the 12 hours, keep your open jar at room temperature. You can close the lid when you can’t see any sign of condensation.
It’ll take a few more days to get the definitive texture but you can use your cream/balm now.
I hope you’ll enjoy it!