- Hand Cream:

This recipe makes a fairly rich cream, which is also suitable to use as a body cream.

You will need:

  • 250ml sweet almond oil
  • 120ml avocado oil
  • 90g pure beeswax
  • 180ml mineral water
  • 5ml essential oil
  • 1-2 drops food colouring (optional)

To make:

1 Pour the sweet almond oil, avocado oil and beeswax into a heavy-based saucepan and heat over a low heat, stirring continuously until the beeswax has melted.

2 Heat the mineral water and gradually add it to the oil mixture, taking care not to let the hot oil splash.

3 Remove from the heat and stir continuously until the mixture becomes creamy and reaches body temperature (37°C).

4 Stir in the essential oil and add the food colouring, if you are using it. Keep stirring until the mixture has cooled down completely, otherwise the oil and water will separate. If this does happen, reheat the mixture over a low heat and stir continuously until it has cooled down completely.

- Fizz Granules:

This is exactly the same recipe you’d use to make fizz balls, but it is a lot faster and you can decide what quantity of the granules you’d like to add to your bathwater. Package it in an airtight container, with a decorative wooden scoop.

You will need:

  • 500g bicarbonate of soda
  • 250g citric acid
  • 250g cornflour
  • 5ml essential oil
  • 1-2 drops food colouring (optional)
  • dried flowers (optional)
  • witch hazel

To make:

1 Pour the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix well with your hands. Add the dried flowers, if you are using them.

2 Add the essential oil and the food colouring, if you are using it, then rub into the dry ingredients with your fingertips.

3 Pour the witch hazel into a spray bottle and lightly spray the mixture. Take care not to spray too much or the mixture will start fizzing. Mix well with your fingertips to combine. Keep going until the mixture resembles the consistency of damp sand.

4 Keep spraying with witch hazel and mixing with your fingertips until the granules are roughly the size of a 10-cent coin.

5 Spread out the granules on a baking sheet lined with wax paper, then dry in the oven on a very low setting. After about 20 minutes they should be rock hard and ready to be packed.

- Room Spray:

This is the simplest recipe of all and something you can easily make at home. Pour 250ml distilled water into a spray bottle, add 10 drops of essential oil and shake the mixture well.

- Massage Oil:

This is wonderfully fragrant oil that is really quick to make.

Pour 100ml sweet almond oil into a container (preferably made of glass, because not all types of plastic are suitable for storing oil), add six to 10 drops of essential oil and shake well.

- Handmade Soap:

This method uses traditional soap-making techniques that take up to four weeks to complete from start to finish.

You will need:

  • 350g solid coconut oil
  • 250g solid palm oil
  • 28g cocoa butter
  • 350g vegetable oil
  • 50g evening primrose oil
  • 151g caustic soda
  • 367g mineral water
  • 15ml essential oil
  • food colouring (optional)
  • dried ingredients of your choice, such as rose petals (optional)

To make:

1 Rub the inside of two plastic containers (about bread-pan size) with a little sunflower oil. Line with wax paper and smooth out.

2 Weigh the coconut oil, palm oil and cocoa butter, then place in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the vegetable oil and the evening primrose oil.

3 Warm over a low heat and stir continuously with a metal or plastic spoon until everything has melted, and is well mixed. Remove from the heat.

4 Ensure that you work in a well-ventilated room and wear an apron, protective gloves and safety goggles. Measure the caustic soda in a separate glass bowl. Measure the water in a fireproof glass container, then add the caustic soda. Take care not to inhale the fumes and be very careful not to burn yourself, because the mixture (lye) produces heat.

5 Use two thermometers to measure the temperature of the oil mixture and the lye respectively. As soon as both reach 49°C, you can add the lye to the oil mixture.

6 Whisk continuously until the mixture starts to thicken. It is ready when you scoop up a spoonful and it leaves a trail in the saucepan. This step can take between 10 minutes and an hour.

7 Add the essential oil and any other ingredients, such as colouring or rose petals.

8 Pour the mixture into moulds, cover with thick cardboard and leave to stand for 24 hours in a warm, dry place to set.

9 As soon as the mixture has set you can turn out the soap and carefully cut it into bars with a sharp knife. You can also use cookie cutters to press out shapes. Pack the individual bars of soap on a lined baking sheet and leave to stand for four weeks to dry out completely, turning occasionally.

Words and images: Ideas magazine

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