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Hand creme
Making Creams
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Traditional Hand Creme Recipes
using beeswax

The hand cream recipes on this page have come from many sources and have taken several years to gather, I acknowledge the original source of those that I know, I apologise for those cases where I have not attributed the name for those that I don't know. In all cases the fragrance is optional, the water used was de-ionised.

The term FGMO seems to cause some confusion, it stands for Food Grade Mineral Oil and is an American term for what we in UK normally call 'Liquid Paraffin'.

The beeswax used should be purified and filtered to pharmaceutical standards and should be light in colour. If you get poor results from any of these recipes, the problem is likely to lie with the purity of the beeswax, consult the following pages for methods of purification of beeswax... Wax Decontamination, Wax extractors, Wax Filtration and Wax Melting.

The quantities of the ingredients are not 'cast in stone' you can (and should) experiment, but make small batches and small adjustments at any one time. The quantities for the recipes, that I have myself worked up, are to produce a nominal 100 gm quantity and should be scaled up according to need. If making adjustments, do so only in one ingredient at a time.

The first recipe is for the hand creme in the menu at top left, that I used to sell. The method used is common to most of the recipes on this page. Read all of the recipes, even if you only wish to try one of them as some comments in them may help.

26 gm Beeswax
50 gm FGMO
2 gm Borax
22 ml Water
1 drop fragrance


I use a large saucepan part full of water with a wire grid in it's base and two tall glass jars to contain the ingredients. In one I melt the oil and beeswax and in the other I put the water and borax these are heated to around 70° C. The jars themselves are only ever filled to about 40% capacity. The exact temperature is not critical as long as both liquids are at the same temperature, the wax is fully melted and the borax fully dissolved. Add the water phase to the oil/wax mixture while stirring briskly using a domestic power whisk. A white cream forms, The first stirring benefits from being about 10 minutes, then stir intermittently until the mixture cools to 40° C or below and any fragrance oil can then be stirred in. Pour the cream into your pre-labeled jars (this avoids tilting the jar and wetting the interior of the top part of the jar and the inside surface of the lid).

Another version that I used to make was called 'skin creme', this was similar, but had different ingredients and quantities.

16 gm Beeswax
18 gm Anhydrous lanolin
30 ml FGMO
1 gm Borax
35 ml Water
1 drop fragrance


The method used was identical to the recipe above except that the lanolin was included in the oil phase.

Cosmetic cream was another that I used to manufacture and was of much looser consistency.

16 gm Beeswax
50 ml FGMO
3 gm Borax
31 ml Water
1 drop fragrance


Again the method was as the first recipe, if such a cream is to be used for removing make-up... Try substituting witch hazel for some of the water.

Witch hazel occurs in this recipe that carried the title 'face cream'.

27 gm Beeswax
33 ml Olive oil
8 ml Glycerine
8 ml Witch hazel
5 ml Water
19 gm Grated soap


The soap in this recipe can provide the fragrance and acts to emulsify the mixture. Include the soap, glycerine and witch hazel in the water phase. (I used 'Lux soap flakes' as my soap ingredient).

This recipe seems to have caused several people trouble, I have had a few Emails that say the consistency varies. I believe this may be due to several causes or combinations of causes...

Purity of beeswax, viscosity of olive oil, variations in witch hazel, hardness of water, type of soap used or amount of stirring. As with all recipes if the finished product does not meet your expectations, you can adjust the ingredients up or down to achieve the effect you desire.

The following is clipped from an Email I sent to someone that found the cream came out too hard and difficult to apply, who asked for my suggestions as to what ingredients should adjusting to make the cream softer.

I suggest you try increasing the amount of olive oil by 3 ml and try again. If you need to go even softer, I suggest add 2ml or 3 ml olive oil, 1 ml glycerine, 1 ml witch hazel and 1 ml water.

Massage cream... Although called a cream, this product was more of grease. The ingredients were 8 gm Beeswax + 32 ml FGMO + 60 gm Anhydrous lanolin (wool fat). These were simply melted together and whisked to combine. Adjusting the amount of FGMO up or down will alter the consistency.

I have a recipe from Ettamarie Peterson

She makes a solid hand lotion just by mixing warm olive oil and melted beeswax, she uses a ratio of 3 beeswax to 4 olive oil.

Rick Green uses a similar recipe and adds coconut oil and 'essence of lavender', he sells this under the title 'Bee Balm'.

The following recipe was published in an American Magazine "Country Living" where it was offered as a 'gardener's hand cream'. I have metricated the original quantities so that anyone can understand them.

240 ml Grated beeswax
(why measured by volume is beyond me!)
120 ml Jojoba oil
30 ml Aloe Vera gel
30 ml Vitamin E oil
120 ml Sweet almond oil
9 drops Peppermint essential oil
9 drops Orange essential oil


Combine the grated beeswax, Jojoba oil, and aloe Vera gel in the top of a double boiler or in a glass measure in a microwave oven. Melt (about 45 seconds in a microwave oven or up to 3 minutes in a double boiler). Remove from the source of heat and whisk until cool, adding vitamin E oil, almond oil, and essential oils as it begins to thicken. Spoon cream into a jar, cover, and store 1 to 2 days in a cool, dark place.

I also offer this American skin cream recipe that has not been tested by myself.

70 gm Beeswax
115 gm Anhydrous lanolin
160 ml Baby oil
180 ml Water
5 gm Borax (sodium borate)
5 drops Fragrant essential oil


Method... Use the method of the first recipe.

Emollient lotion, Another untested American recipe...

80 gm Beeswax
150 gm FGMO
20 gm Isopropyl miristate
100 gm PEG 400 mono stearate
50 gm Lanolin
20 gm Stearic acid
1.5 gm Propylparaben
1.5 gm Methylparaben
7 gm Borax
570 ml Water
9 drops Fragrance


Method... Use the method of the first recipe.

A Hand lotion recipe that contains beeswax and honey...

16 gm Beeswax
64 ml FGMO
20 gm Honey
30 ml Glycerine (glycerol)
15 gm soap flakes
5 drops of lemon juice


Method... Melt the beeswax and FGMO at about 70° C and stir together in one water bath whilst raising the honey, soap and glycerine to 39° C in another water bath. allow the wax and oil mixture to cool to 39° C and combine the two mixtures. When combined, but only partially whisked add the lemon juice, then finish the whisking. (this recipe may benefit from an addition of about 20 gm of lanolin.)

A soft soothing cream that has many purposes can be made as follows...

20 gm Beeswax
20 ml Olive oil, Jojoba or FGMO
20 ml Coconut oil
20 ml Glycerine
19 ml Water
1 gm Borax


Method... Use the method of the first recipe. One experiment that I have intended to try and have never gotten around to, would be to substitute 20 grams of soap flakes for the 1 gram of borax, as borax is difficult to obtain in some places.

Aloe Vera can be liquidised in a food mixer and the Juice strained out. This liquid can be used to replace some of the aqueous components in any of the above recipes. Coconut oil or olive oil can be used to substitute the FGMO where it occurs. If coconut oil is used then no other fragrance should be added.

Using an electric beater or whisk is essential, no amount of hand stirring can produce the smoothness that makes these creams so luxurious.

Work accurately... Use electronic scales and check them against known weights, use photographic measuring cylinders to calibrate the cups and scoops used for volumetric measures. Strike off excess powder from spoons with a knife to ensure consistency every time you use them. Keep records and seek the opinions of others as to the way the products feel and work.

Printed from Dave Cushman's website Live CD version

 Written... 05 & 06 September 2003, Amended... 07 September 2003, Upgraded... 12 April 2006, Further Upgraded... 24 December 2007,
Source Code last updated...
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