Friday, 11 March 2011

Five Cold cream recipes

Something much like cold cream, i e an emulsion of fat and water, have been around for some 2000 years, at least. Beeswax, almond oil and olive oil always seem to have been used to make it. In the 18th century spermaceti, the waxy substance found in the heads of sperm whale, became an ingredient. Borax was eventually added, which gives the cold cream its colour, but also makes it thicker. In the 1940's cold cream still contained spermaceti, which luckily isn't used today. Jojoba esters have a similar chemistry and is now used instead. If that can't be found, jojoba oil works too, but makes the cream a little runnier. Modern cold cremes also substitute organic oils with mineral oil. If you don't feel up to make your own cold cream, but don't want a modern one, then Ageless Artifice sells one from a 19th century recipe.

To find the right ingredients you probably have to look around a bit, though some can be found in your friendly neighbourhood food store. I have found beeswax in stores for art supplies. Borax in a craft store and rose water in a store for Oriental food. Various other oils in health food stores. Drug stores are a good bet too and in all probability there are online stores as well. Home made beauty products lack preserving components and don't last as long as the stuff you buy, so it's a good idea to keep them in the fridge. When making them, make sure that everything you use is really, really clean. It is also a good idea not to stick your fingers into the jar but to use a clean teaspoon to scoop up the creme. Another idea is to keep the cold cream in a bottle you can squeeze, like a water bottle or similar, which would minimise the cream's exposure to air and fingers.

The recipes comes from a Swedish beauty book from 1946, Skönhet by Vivan Huber. I haven't tampered with the ingredients in the recipes, but I have added substitute ingredients in cursive. The weight measurement used is gram, shortened to gr. I hope some of you will find the recipes useful!

Cold cream
A classic recipe.
250 gr Spermaceti (Jojoba oil/esters
25 gr White beeswax
250 gr Olive oil
150 gr Rose water
2 drops of Rose or Lavender oil
7 pinches of Borax

Mix oil, wax and spermaceti and heat it slowly under constant stirring. Let it cool a little and mix the borax with the rose water with a silver spoon. Add that to the cream and continue to stir until it is cold. Then add the rose or lavender oil.

Lemon cold cream
250 gr Almond oil
14 gr White beeswax
14 gr Spermaceti (Jojoba oil/esters)
250 gr Rose water
5 pinches of Borax
50 drops of lemon juice or essence

Made in the same way as Cold cream.

Almond cold cream
5 gr Borax
300 gr Water (Distilled)
100 gr White beeswax
100 gr Spermaceti (Jojoba oil/esters)
200 gr Almond Oil
300 gr Lanolin
30 drops of Rose oil

Made in the same way as Cold cream.

Salicylic cold cream
For irritated skin
5 gr Salicylic acid
15 gr Glycerol
150 gr Water (Distilled)
100 gr White beeswax
100 gr Spermaceti (Jojoba oil/esters)
500 gr Lanolin
10 drops of Bergamot oil
10 drops of Orange flower oil

Heat wax, spermaceti and lanolin while stirring and the add a mixture of borax, water and glycerol. Stir until the creme is frothy and then add bergamot and orange flower oil.

Nourishing cold cream
Spermaceti (Jojoba oil/esters)
Olive oil
9 drops of Bergamot oil

Made in the same way as Cold cream.

Muscle oil
Not a cold creme, but this oil is an excellent complement. Used to ward to wrinkles around eyes, mouth and on the forehead.
20 gr Castor oil
10 gr of Almond oil
8 drops of Rose oil

Pour all ingredients in a bottle and shake until well mixed. Keep in a cool place.


Elissa said...

Thanks for posting these recipes. The measurements are bit odd though - what does one do with 1 kilogram of cold cream as in the recipe for almond cold cream?

Isis said...

Elissa: You are most welcome! I agree, that is a bit odd, but that is what the recipe said. I would definitely halve or quarter the amount instead of doing a full batch.

Lithia Black said...

I use this recipe:
5 g beeswax
9 g jojoba oil
58 g almond oil
29 g rose water

It's an 18th century recipe from the site that I've translated to modern weight measurements.


Isis said...

Lithia: That's the one I make for the beauty-lecture. :)

Danièle said...

Ladies where do you find all the ingredients? (I dont mean the essential oils)

Isis said...

Danièle: I only have the sources I mention in the post.

Anonymous said...

Can I use olive oil instead of jojoba? I'm allergic to jojoba :/

Isis said...

FoReVeR gLam BoUtIqUe: I don't think it would make the cream bad in any way if you substitute jojoba with another oil, but I think the concistency may runnier. I haven't tried myself though, so I'm not sure. :)

Amanda said...

Thanks for sharing. Have you personally made all of these recipes? I tried to make the recipe featuring salicylic acid and found that it cooled to such a hard consistency -- like cold butter -- that it was difficult to apply and to remove. When I referred back to your page, I noticed that the mixing instructions mention borax, which does not appear in the ingredient list. How much borax should be included? I wonder if that will solve the consistency problem that I mentioned.

Isis said...

Amanda: I have tried to locate my book to check, but evidently I have placed it at such excellent place that I can't find it... I suspect that it is I who slipped when I transcribed the recipe... I would guess to 5-7 pinches of Borax as the other recipe swwms to call for, though I admit that "a pinch" is a bit vague.

I have not tried any of the recipes myself, but I think Borax is more for preservation. I don't think it is supposed to be that hard, but I'm not completely sure. What did you use to substitute the spermaceti?

Amanda said...

Isis: I substituted jojoba oil for spermaceti.

Isis said...

Amanda: Hmm, then I don't know why it turned out so hard, sorry.

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