This is such a special post for me, as I don’t often share personal/medical stuff. Though it has nothing to do with food, it’s still a recipe and it’s still about treating your body with whole, natural ingredients. Because what goes ON your body is as important as what goes IN and AROUND your body. The things you touch, the things you eat, the things you smell or inhale – everything has the potential to nourish or negatively affect your body.
Here’s few interesting facts about skin:
- It’s our largest organ and weights about 15% of our body weight.
- It protects us from more than we can imagine.
- Thinnest skin is on our eyelids.
- Every 28 days the skin renews itself. Magic!
- Lipids are natural facts that keep the outer skin layer moist and healthy. Lipids can be destroyed by chemicals (founds in detergents and cosmetics and pretty much any ‘beauty’ product on the shelf) and alcohol.
- Our skin has it own bacteria microbiome of over 1000 species! Talk about keeping things in balance.
- For healthy skin we need vitamins A, D, C and E – these should come from the foods we eat or products we put on our skin. Antioxidant is THE key word when it comes to healthy skin.
The conversation can be long and there is heaps of information out there on what type of products are actually good for us. I will only say that, similar to the food I buy off the shelf, if the ingredient list shows any items or numbers I cannot understand, I will not purchase the product no matter what it is. Which is what led to me make my own hand cream.
Last winter, I developed chillblains on my hands. Very sexy I know! Despite being active, not actually being cold in winter (feet are fine!), despite my age and healthy eating habits, it happened anyway. It was due to a combination of cold weather and my job which involves handling a lot of cold and even frozen food, taken together they affected the circulation of blood in my hands. What this basically means is that I had swollen, painful fingers. After a whole month of refusing to believe I had chillblains (duh) and after trying few home remedies that did not work, in desperation, I succumbed to doctors orders and used conventional topical medication to treat it – corticosteroid cream. And it worked.
When it recurred this winter however, I decided to try it my way first. I seriously researched what plants support and boost circulation and it led me to essential oils. I won’t pester you too much on how amazing essential oils are, I will just tell you this. My hand cream, made with only essential oils, healed my chillblains in 4 days. I showed improvements and pain reduction in less than 24 hours and complete remission by day 4. Since they healed, I have been using it regularly during winter, every 2-3 days, once a day, before bed time, and I haven’t had any issues. At all. So you be the judge.
I used nourising coconut oil, cacao butter and rosehip oil (all organic) because they are all absolutely gorgeous and incredibly nourishing. And in this particular ratio and combination, the result is a soft, creamy, rich result, that will get absorbed into the skin very quickly, leaving it soft and hydrated.
I chose these particular oils because they have powerful medicinal properties and they work wonders for circulation. Eucalyptus oil has wonderful antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, it speeds healing and is a natural pain reliever. Clary sage has relaxing, soothing and balancing properties with great benefits for the skin.
Rosemary is much more than the aromatic herb that makes roast potatoes amazing, it is also one of the most powerful herbs and essential oils. Of particular interest for me and my hands were its antiseptic properties, as well as the fact that it soothes muscle aches and pains. It is a rich antioxidant, has great anti-inflammatory properties and boost micro-circulation.
Similarly, cypress oil helps to heal skin, but also decreases fluid retention, stimulates blood flow and reduces inflammation! It improves circulation while also reducing aches and pains – double win. Black pepper oil has antioxidant properties and helps support the immune system, while ginger helps reduce inflammation and improves blood circulation (among many many other properties).
I believe essential oils are gorgeous and have such nourishing properties. I use them in my baths, as a deodorant, topical treatment and disinfectant, and for aromatherapy – because the stuff we inhale is so so important! Which brings me to the second part of this post which I cannot wait to publish tomorrow – healthy candles! Yes, there is such a thing as healthy candles and bad-for-you candles. Most of the ones you find on the shelf are filled with toxic perfumes and dangerous synthetic chemicals you do not in your home nor in your lungs. More about this, plus an interview with one of my favorite people, in tomorrow’s post!
*If you try this cream, I would LOVE to hear your feedback.
Homemade hand cream to nourish and boost circulation
Makes about 150ml
*For best results, I used organic cacao butter, organic, coconut oil, organic rosehip oil, and pure essential oils (I love the DoTerra brand).
* If you are buying all your essential oils for this recipe, you will not end up using the whole bottle. But rest assured, they keep for a long time and they are so good to have around the house!
* I used a small 1L blender for this recipe, as the quantities are not large. If you have a larger 2L blender, it might be best to double the quantities to be able to blend everything.
*This will last for several months, up to a year.
- 20g cacao butter
- 90g coconut oil
- 30ml rosehip oil
- 12 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 12 drops clary sage essential oil
- 15 drops rosemary essential oil
- 12 drops cypress essential oil
- 10 drops black pepper essential oil
- 12 drops ginger essential oil
- Melt your cacao butter and coconut oil using the bain marie method.
- Once they become liquid, add them to a blender with the essential oils and blitz for 30 seconds, until they foam a bit at the top.
- Pour everything in a clean jar, close it airtight with a lid and pop it in the fridge. You can also leave it room temperature, but fridge will help set it quicker if you want to start using it right away.
- Once set, it’s ready to use! I have used it up to 3-4 times a day, while my hands were quite bad.
- For best results, massage your hands well for a full minute (even longer if you want!) to really get all those beautiful oils in the skin. Massage every finger, the palm and back of your hands.
- If you’re concerned about any allergies or reactions to any of the ingredients, try it on a small patch of skin first and leave it for few hours, before starting to use it regularly.
*In summer, this is best kept in the fridge.