Friday, 3 February 2012

A bit more handcream.

I've been making handcream again!

I did one batch with my Sis-in-law last week and then another batch today. I now know a bit more about handcream-making (click here for the original post and recipe).

Batch 2
  • To solve the not so perfect and professional (post-stirring) look we tried adding the lavender essential oil to the little containers and pouring the hot mixture on top. Then a quick mix while everything is still quite liquid. This way it cooled down with a smooth top. The downside is that some of the lavender oil probably still evaporates (as essential oil does when too hot), but hopefully not much. We can report that the cream still smelt lavenderish when it was finished!
  • To try and retain some of that lavenderishness we closed the lids of the pots before the cream was cool. This wasn't a good idea as we ended up with some liquid separation. I think it was the aloe vera  gel which was also added while the mix was hot. Perhaps re-melting and mixing again would help. 
Batch 3

  • I couldn't be bothered with the in-the-oven sterilisation process for the glass today. But as I was also using some smaller plastic pots, I used a bigger saucepan and just bunged everything in the hot water letting it boil for a minute or two to get them really clean. Update: Do not sterilise plastic pots in this way! The heat warps them, although impossible to see, when you try to close them the threads don't line up anymore. Very disappointed, I ruined them. Don't make the same mistake!
  • Again I mixed in the aloe vera gel when my mixture was hot. This time I let the cream cool with the jars open. There was still a little separation, but much less than batch 2. I think it's a good idea to add less aloe (so far I've put in a generous splash, might try a stingy one next time!) or to omit it unless I add it  and mix it in when the mixture is cooler...but then I don't get the pretty smooth top...Mmmmm...
  • I was hoping to make some coco lip balm today, but my new glass pots are quite big and swallowed up all my mixture! I will try next time (see updates below!).
  • I made another batch, this time using 20 drops of Orange essential oil in about 100g of cream (I mixed it directly in the jar). Smells like chocolate orange! 
  • And I had a tiny bit of the plain mixture left over so I melted in some coconut oil and then tipped it into an emptied out old vaseline jar. Mmmm... It's more of a vaseline type texture because of the extra oil: Please welcome my new Coconut Lip Salve :)
PS. Are you into buying handmade? Yes? Then you should check out the amazing stuff in the Etsy Stock Take. If you sell your craft on Etsy, please come and join in :)

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