Cold Cream – basic recipe

This recipe seems simplistic due to minimal ingredients however it can be tricky getting emulsification. Once mastered it can form the basis for many creams and lotions, and you can get as creative as you like. Altering the fixed oils and/or changing the water-based content as desired allows for endless applications and uses. But first, simple cold cream!

I have worked various recipes many times and settled on this one. This recipes yields a firm, stable and easily absorbed cream. I have not used artificial preservatives, only natural ones and found the shelf life to be years! That is – sealed, left in storage, untouched, in my kitchen cupboard. I don’t recommend that however and hope that you use it often, and make more.


50ml rosewater

3gm beeswax

40ml fixed oil – any of almond, jojoba, camellia, sunflower etc. I usually use almond for this, but in this recipe I used half avocado and half  jojoba.

rosemary extract (in amount as indicated by manufacturer), antioxidant which prevents oil rancidity. Not necessary but recommended.

5 drops benzoin essential oil Styrax benzoin, preservative which inhibits microbes and fungus. Not necessary but recommended.

1/4 teaspoon Borax or boric acid. Improves emulsification and mildly inhibits microbes and fungus. Recommended as a stablizer and for the novice cream maker.


1. Prepare ingredients before hand.




2. Melt wax and oil in a pyrex glass jug over a saucepan with water using the double boiler method. When melted remove the saucepan from heat and transfer the jug with oil mixture to a wooden board.




3. Put rosewater in a medium mixing bowl and place over the same double boiler saucepan, off the heat. Add the Borax to the rosewater if you are using it, stir to dissolve.




4. When oil starts to solidify it will form a ring on the side of the glass. This is when you need to start combining the oil and water. At this stage you need to work quickly or the oil/wax will solidify in the jug.




5. Remove the rosewater from the boiler and start beating in the oil mixture (I use an electric whisk; it is easier to manipulate the cream and easier to clean). Start adding the oil in a steady stream and keep beating (in this recipe I have added the oil to the rosewater, but you can add the rosewater to  the oil if you like). At this stage it may look as if it is not going to combine, but as long as both rosewater and oil are about the same temperature (which they would be if you followed method!) it will happen. Keep beating. The mixture may look a little greasy which is normal. Just continue until it starts to thicken up and the cream lightens.

6. Add your antioxidant (rosemary extract) and preservative (benzoin) and beat in. You can add any essential oils that you like. 10-20 drops depending on your selection. Beat to combine those too.




7. Your finished cream can be transferred to clean jar.  See my notes on hygienic practices




How to make your cream maintain a good shelf life

  1. Use hygienic preparation methods. Use utensils that have been sanitized from a hot oven or dishwasher. Wash your hands before preparation or use disposable gloves.
  2. Use cold pressed and good quality fixed oils.
  3. Do not excessively heat fixed oils, or heat more than necessary.
  4. Store the finished product in cool or refrigerated environment if needed.
  5. Add a natural preservative and antioxidant. Essential oils have antimicrobial activity and inhibit bacterial/fungal growth. Alcohol inhibits microbe s also at 20-25% of the total material. This recipe does not use alcohol but consider herbal tinctures for other recipes.
  6. Dipping your finger in the product will introduce bacteria, so consider using an implement or dispense in a pump bottle.
  7. Make small quantities so there is less spoilage.

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