EDITED TO ADD CUP/SPOON MEASUREMENTS!!!
EDITED AGAIN AT THE END
Before we get into it – Cold Cream is a water/oil emulsion that is used as a cleanser. It is not “Vanishing Cream” (which is actually what we would call moisturiser today) as one thing you will notice once you use it…it doesn’t really vanish – you need to wash it off.
After years of struggling with my skin I stumbled across a Fedora Lounge post about cold cream. At that point I was spending a small fortune each month on products that were getting stronger and stronger as I was still breaking out like a teenager. I was reading to throw it all away and start with something simple, but with my skin I was positively terrified of oil. I had been using coconut oil as a make up remover without any extra breakouts and had also added rosehip oil to my oil free moisturiser (during winter). But the thought of slathering my face in an oil/beeswax mixture seemed bizzare – especially as it was the “cleansing” stage. Normally I used something that would rival industrial strength floor cleaner on my face to get rid of the oil….why put oil on to get rid of oil?
Of course if you know much about chemistry oil likes to stick to oil. Dirt also clings to oil. Which is why oil cleansing works. Cold Cream is very similar to Oil Cleansing. So after reading pages and pages I decided to try it. I ordered a pot online and waited. Then while I was across the road at the chemist picking up my witch hazel (apparently the thing to use with cold cream) right there next to it was a jar of ponds classic cold cream. I raced home to try it and I have never gone back.
My oil production slowed right down as I was no longer stripping my skin to within an inch of its life. My breakouts mostly went away and my skin is crazy soft all the time. I loved it.
BUT – it is still hard to get in Australia and I was going through a jar every 2-3 weeks (at $7 a jar it is still one of the cheapest things I have ever used on my skin). I discovered about a million recipes (cold cream has been around since 150AD) and decided to try to make my own. They were mostly good – but some were too thick, some to thin. Some didn’t cleanse right and one concoction I made was so thick and greasy It took dishwashing soap to get it off. I wanted one just like my ponds – but without the preservatives and mineral oil.
I decided to use the Ponds sample recipe from 1947 and some math
- White beeswax 22.0%
- White mineral oil 50.8%
- Distilled water 26.0%
- Borax 0.8%
- Perfume 0.4%
I decided I didn’t need perfume, but to keep the percentage at 100% total I added perfume to water – giving water a new percentage at 26.4%. An easy way would be to treat every 1% as 10 grams – which would give you a kilo of cold cream which is too much in one go for most people, remembering that it has no preservatives in it. I then halved that to make 500g which is quickly used by me. Which gave me the following recipe
- 110g White Beeswax (3/4 cup Australian Cup Size**)
- 254g of Oil – I use Rice Bran Oil (1 and 1/8th cup Australian Cup Size**)
- 132g Distilled Water (2/3rd cup Australian Cup Size**)
- 4g of Borax (1 Tsp)
This is really quick to whip up. I measure the oil and beeswax in a disposable plastic container and pop it in the microwave for no more than 30 seconds at a time, stirring each time until all the beeswax is melted. Mix the borax and water in another container and microwave until the water is hot and the borax is dissolved. Then using a whisk mix the water/borax into the oil/beeswax. It will turn white straight away but keep mixing til it starts to cream up. Some people like to use a hand blender for this to make it light and fluffy…but I find the cream is just fine. Then I pour it into a very clean jar and leave until cool.
Now I have my oil/water/beeswax/borax mix right I have been experimenting and my latest one is just divine! Keeping the oil weight the same I added 20g of Rosehip oil and a couple of capsules of vitamin e oil, then topping up with rice bran oil until it reaches 254g in weight. Now here is where it gets tricky without preservatives. Instead of using distilled water I brewed a cup of very, very strong green tea and used 132g of that instead of distilled water. As this is only a few days old I can’t comment on how long it will last. But I would urge you to be careful as without preservatives things will start to grow long before you see them. I also have no idea how effective brewed green tea is for the skin (as opposed to green tea extract which is used in commercial beauty products) – it just sounded like a neat idea.
Anyone else use cold cream? What about other vintage beauty ideas? Tell me all about it!
**As far as I am aware Australian Cup sizes are slightly larger than US ones. 1 cup here measures 250ml of water
NOTE: Thanks to everyone who visits. This is the most popular page on my blog and gets hundreds of visits per day. Thanks to this lost of people have added lots more great information including how/what preservatives you can use. Others have changed the recipe to suit themselves and this is AWESOME!!! I do try and respond to all the comments so if you ask a question be sure to check back sometime…hopefully 2015 will be kinder and I will be able to respond in a more timely manner.