When it comes to beauty, I can be a hard-core Do-it-yourselfer. Especially when it comes to items that I can easily make myself! For a long time I was using Pond’s Cold Creme, but when I decided to go cruelty-free, I was at a loss as to how I would replace this essential item. I tried a few cold creams through Etsy but didn’t find any I really loved.
So I started to do some research and see if I could make it myself! Turns out, cold cream was invented by one of my all time favorite historical figures, the 2nd century Greek physician Galen. Cold cream is an emulsion of fats and water — and gets its name from the cooling sensation it leaves on the skin. Most ancient formulas used beeswax, olive oil, water and rose water.
Sounds simple to me! Plus I liked the idea of making this myself so that I knew exactly what was going into it! No worries about mysterious ingredients with unknown effects on my sensitive skin because I knew the ingredients were fresh, natural and as pure as possible.
I knew what ingredients my skin generally likes so I searched for recipes using those same ingredients. I couldn’t find anything that suited me perfectly so I decided to devise my own. And here it is!
1 oz. beeswax
4 Tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 cup sweet almond oil
2 Tablespoons distilled water
container for your finished cold cream
The process of making cold cream is pretty easy but you will need a double boiler to prevent scorching the beeswax!
There’s about 1.5 cups of water in the pot on the bottom. A stainless steel bowl is on top and that’s where the ingredients will go. For more information on how to make a double-boiler, see this page.
Once the water is simmering, add the beeswax!
Stir gently until everything is melted and mixed together. Then, take the bowl off of the double-boiler (be careful and use a good potholder as it will be very hot!). Once off the double boiler place the bowl on a heat-resistant surface and then add the 2 tablespoons of water. This is when the magic happens as the cold water will immedately start to solidify the waxes. This is when you need to WHISK LIKE CRAZY!!!!
Whisking the water into the oil is what creates the emulsion and gives the cold cream its lovely creamy texture. Once it’s thoroughly mixed, pour it into a container — but leave the container open until it’s completely cooled.
The finished texture of your cold cream will depend on what you use to make it. If you can’t abide coconut oil, leave it out and add more sweet almond oil. If you prefer jojoba oil, use that instead of the almond. If you want to make this vegan, use food-grade paraffin wax. If you want scented cold cream, use a few drops of essential oils (added when you add the distilled water). This unaltered recipe will smell softly of honey and coconut, but Lavender and Rosemary are traditional and healing to the skin. If you prefer a softer/looser cream, add more oils. The sky’s the limit! You can really alter this recipe to suit whatever your needs are!
So now you’ve got your cold cream, what do you do with it? Well I use it as a makeup remover and facial cleanser. My skin is very dry and sensitive and I find this works perfectly to remove my makeup and sooth my skin. And because of the oils, it also removes eye makeup — even waterproof mascara! — without causing my vision to go all blurry like so many oil-based cleansers do. I simply smear some on, rub it gently into my eyelashes and then after a minute or two, towel off with a warm wet washcloth. Voila, my makeup is removed and my skin is soft!
You can even use cold cream to moisturize your skin, as a balm to help protect skin in the winter, on elbows and feet, as a rich moisturizing mask. You can scoop some in your hand, mix in a teaspoon of plain sugar and use as a sugar scrub that will exfoliate and soften the skin.
Basically it’s like one-stop shopping for your face and body.
One word of warning though — if your skin is oily, cold cream is likely to be far too oily/rich for your face! But if your skin is dry or you live in a dry environment, this may be just the thing for you to try!