Many times, we may realize too late that they are irritated or dry. This irritation occurs when we cannot hydrate our hands optimally. If we are not careful enough, we can increase our sensitivity to aggressions, which can often be painful and cause skin cracks or chilblains*.
*Chilblains are alterations that occur on the skin due to sudden changes in temperature. This exposure causes blood vessels in the area to become constricted (vasoconstriction), causing blood supply to decrease in this particular region of the body. The painful inflammation of these small blood vessels occurs in response to this sudden temperature contrast. Chilblains or erythema can cause itching, red spots, swelling and blisters on the hands and feet. When the cold ends, the inflammation usually goes away without any treatment in about three weeks.
In the event that the lesions do not disappear in a few days, it may be necessary to go to the doctor or to seek an herbal remedy * to improve our venous circulation, as this is mostly the cause of the problem.
*You can read more about this topic in our entry on herbal treatments to treat chilblains.
If the lesions are not severe, it is important to keep your hands and feet well hydrated to prevent them. In this sense, a hand cream like this, of which we offer formulation, can be of great use to us. And also, without a doubt, a calendula ointment,which we will talk about in a future entry.
HOUSEHOLD CLEANING PRODUCTS
On many occasions, household cleaning products can be extremely damaging to the beauty of the hands. These products irritate, destroy the protective film of the skin and make it sensitive. To the extent possible, we will avoid direct contact with these products, including liquid detergent or dishwasher detergent.
Some people are particularly affected by cold and moisture, causing their hands to turn red, dry and irritated. But, if we think about it, it’s not really the cold and humidity that’s causing it, instead, it is the lack of skin’s hydration. When it’s cold, we cover up more, but often we forget that the hands are exposed and, if they are not well hydrated, we will soon notice the dryness and effects of cold on our skin.
On the other hand, if we make sure to use a mild natural soap whose composition is respectful of fragile, dry and sensitive skin and we use a balm or moisturizer with natural butters and oils; we will see that this inclement weather affect us much less.
It is also very important to avoid washing dishes without gloves. Likewise, with other types of cleanings that require contact with detergents and aggressive products.
In this blog we want to provide a hand cream recipe based on castor oil for its multiple properties when it comes to moisturizing the skin of the hands and the strengthening of the nails.
Cold-pressure castor oil is composed of Omega-3 fatty acids that help the skin stay hydrated and also stimulate cells that repair skin discoloration, tending to match tone and reduce skin hyperpigmentations. It is also a natural moisturizer that prevents the skin from being affected by free radicals by stimulating collagen and elastin synthesis.
It contains ricin oleic acid, which is a rare fatty acid that makes up 90 percent of the composition of castor oil. This fatty acid is known to act as a natural anti-inflammatory agent. In the event that we have swollen bags under the eyes, it therefore helps to drain and deflate them.
Castor oil therefore has many potential benefits for the skin. These include:
–Prevent wrinkles: Castor oil contains antioxidants that fight free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for accelerating the aging process, causing wrinkles to appear earlier.
–Reduce swelling: Castor oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling of bags under the eyes or swollen pimples. Also due to its anti-inflammatory properties, castor oil can relieve pain associated with sunburn and redness and erythema caused by cold.
–Moisturize: It is highly moisturizing and therefore prevents wrinkles. Moisture keeps skin looking young, shiny and healthy. Its moisturizing qualities can also reduce flaking.
It is for this reason that castor oil, in the form of homemade vegetable lanolin, like the one we have formulated below, contributes greatly to repairing dry and cracked lips.
In general, this oil, if it is ecological and cold pressed, promotes the general health of the skin as it is full of healthy fatty acids and fatty acids are essential to maintain good skin health.
Castor oil is best used mixed with other oils such as coconut, almond, jojoba, or even olive oil as it has a very thick texture and a strong aroma. It can also be added to shea butter for an extra moisturizing effect.
As we said before, we will formulate homemade vegetable lanolin because it will be of great use to us to prepare many other recipes of creams, balms and lip ointments.
Homemade vegetable lanolin
90% castor oil
10% beeswax (if we want vaseline to remain transparent we will use white beeswax)
What we do to get this wax is to put the normal yellow wax (from which it comes in pearls or flakes) in the sun for a couple of weeks to bleach. For example, on the windowsill. Through the glass, it will be more difficult than an excess of temperature melts it than if we expose it directly to the sun’s rays.
In principle, we do not advise you to use a commercial white wax because they all follow a chemical bleaching process that makes them more fragile. The problem with bleached beeswax is that in Europe it is at the moment IMPOSSIBLE to buy beeswax that has not been treated with chemicals (chlorine/peroxide). These products affect the quality of the wax as their viscosity and natural melting point are altered. You will observe in your cosmetic preparations with commercial bleached wax that, over time, they do not have the same durability and stability as with natural wax and tend to produce lumps and flaking.
We put the beeswax in the water bath, when it has melted, then we add the oil, we mix it well and remove it from the heat. We will remove it until mixture cools completely.
It is possible to prepare a homemade ointment (recipe that we will save for a future entry) very similar to the traditional vaporub with essential oils to treat muscle aches and our vegetable lanolin as a base. The absorption of the EO will be much better than with the commercial vaporub that has a base of mineral vaseline which, as you know, is a derivative of petroleum that, therefore, our skin cannot absorb.
Vegetal lanolin in most moisturizers is used as an emollient because it helps maintain skin hydration and gives greater stability to our natural cosmetic preparation. This homemade vegetable lanolin can replace beeswax as its composition is very similar and its expiration is also quite extensive, as in the case of beeswax.
It is for these reasons that we will use vegetable lanolin in the composition of these two hand cream recipes.
Hand cream is a preparation that many of us use daily, whenever it is hot or cold, and that is why it is so important that it be very stable and also have a good hydration capacity.
RECIPE of a hand cream for a container of about 50 grs.
– Cocoa butter 20 gr.
– Almond oil 17.5 gr.
– Natural beeswax 3 gr.
– Homemade vegetable lanolin 5 gr.
This recipe does not require preservatives or antioxidants. Beeswax is an exceptional preservative and, on the other hand, castor oil barely oxidizes. The combination of beeswax, cocoa butter and vegetable lanolin based on castor oil, makes this formulation a very stable product.
– Optionally, a few drops of an essential oil that you like. I have opted for laurel, but sandalwood, geranium, chamomile, lavender or incense would also be very suitable for this type of product.
Precautions to take: We will always remember that essential oils are real medicines that cannot be used happily. Essential oils should be used with great care, in small doses, and never in everyday products. Also think that there are even dermo caustic essential oils. Of course, not the ones we are discussing here. In general, this factor of the potency of EOs should be taken into account, especially in the case of sensitive skin which, as it does not tolerate them well, tends to become irritated.
This second recipe we wanted to simplify it to make it accessible to everyone and we have also included a higher dose of castor oil to make it more emollient and moisturizing.
RECIPE of a hand cream for a container of about 100 grs.
– Shea butter 35 gr.
– Castor oil 40 gr.
– Natural unbleached beeswax 5 gr. (If you live in a very hot climate, you can put 9 grams in it so that the cream has a more solid consistency).
This recipe also does not require preservatives or antioxidants. Natural beeswax is an exceptional preservative and, on the other hand, castor oil barely oxidizes. The combination of beeswax with castor oil makes this formulation a very stable product with a wide shelf life.
We will melt the exact amount of yellow beeswax in a water bath over low heat, then we will add the vegetable castor oil and, finally, the shea butter.
We will remove it from the heat and optionally add a few drops of essential oil. We will bottle it and allow to cool to room temperature.
We hope that these recipes will be of great use to you. If you try them, leave us your comments.