(This is going to be a looooooong post… )
I know the Moon isn’t full right now, but it’s the perfect time to start gathering ingredients… and (as I’ve completed my Potion making and both the Moon ones already) this is for the Into the Light challenge!
(Also linking back to Weekly Witchy CHALLENGE - Catch-Up!)
I’ve dedicated this work to all the beautiful Goddesses of the Moon, who watch over us in the darkness of the night, literal and symbolic, wearing many faces to guide us and light the way.
This cream is going to be an emulsion, a mix of oil and water based ingredients, which makes it kind of tricky to make, so please reserve at least two hours for it, especially if this is your first time making one! The texture for the finished product is quite lovely though, so I think it’s well worth the time and effort
As oil and water don’t naturally mix, we’re going to need an emulsifier. I like to think of it as mixing water and earth based ingredients here. I haven’t found a completely natural one but Olivem 1000 comes close and is (relatively) easy to use. It usually comes as waxy flakes. You can find it in pretty much any well stocked DIY cosmetics store. If you don’t know any, that’s okay, googling the name is a good way to find one near you.
This recipe is going to yield 100 g of Moon Goddess cream. It’s a good practice to use weight for measuring the ingredients, but I’ve also included volumes for convenience. Apologies to those using imperial measurements, as I’m only using metric ones here.
For the oil phase you’re going to need…
|16 g||(18 ml)||Carrier oil or herbal extract|
|12 g||(13 ml)||Coconut oil|
|10 g||Olivem 1000 emulsifier|
And for the water phase
|55 g||(55 ml)||Distilled moon water|
|5 g||(4 ml)||Glycerol (optional)|
Near the end for the lovely scent and Moon correspondences we’re going to add…
|3 drops||Sandalwood essential oil|
|3 drops||Myrrh essential oil|
|3 drops||Vanilla absolute|
And for preservation (to up to 3 months)
|16 drops||vitamin E oil (to help the oils from going bad)|
|16 drops||Geogard 221 Cosgard (against bacteria, molds and such)|
The tools we’re going to need:
- a scale with measuring accuracy of 0.1 g or more accurate
- a thermometer or two depending on the method of preparing
- a stove or other heat source
- a water bath (a small double boiler kettle works for this… a tiny cauldron in a deep fryer filled with water might too! )
- a tool for stirring that doesn’t produce bubbles - a wand, a chopstick, a spatula…
- a jar for the final product
We’re going to be heating up the ingredients in a water bath to about 75°C / 170°F to melt the waxy Olivem 1000 into liquid form to mix with the other ingredients.
You can either heat up all of the ingredients in a single container, or the water and oil bases in separate ones. If you want to use two containers, make sure to heat them up to the same temperature so that neither of them cools down the other when mixed.
Method with one container
Put all the ingredients (water and oil phases) in the container and start heating them up in your water bath. Follow the temperature closely with a thermometer. Stirring is optional at this point. Pay attention to the Olivem 1000 flakes as they start to melt when getting close to the intended temperature. At this point start stirring gently and pay attention to the consistency.
Method with two containers
Put the water phase in one container and the oil base in another and start heating them up in your water bath. Follow the temperatures closely with a thermometer in each container. It’s a good idea to stir them (with a dedicated mixing implement for each container!), especially after they start reaching the intended temperature.
When the Olivem flakes have completely dissolved in the oil, keep stirring until the mixture is even. Making sure that the temperatures are close to each other it’s time to combine the two phases. It doesn’t make a difference which way you combine them (unless you have a specific intention for that of course). Gently pour one of the phases into the other one, mixing all the while. Pay close attention to the consistency of the mixture while stirring.
When it looks like the two phases are completely mixed together, take the container off of the water bath. You may still mix at this point if you feel like it, but it’s not required. As the mixture cools down, it starts to get thicker and more creamy, and the color starts to get more pleasant too. Wait for it to cool down to below 40°C (104°C). This is when we can finally add the more volatile ingredients like essential oils and preservatives.
Now we have a lovely smelling rich cream to soothe the skin and our spirit, and remind them of the soft, healing touch of our Goddess
Optional but very much recommended step: adjust the pH
The surface of the skin is slightly acidic, which protects it against microorganisms. Acidicity is measured using the [pH scale]. The pH of our skin is about 5.5, and to help keep our skin healthy it is a good idea to keep the products we put on it close to that.
Our cream is now about 7 (“neutral”) on the pH scale, which is about the same as for water. That means we’ll have to adjust it down a little. For that we’re going to need some acid. We don’t need sulphuric acid or anything like that! Lactic acid and citric acid are good ones and often used in cosmetics. In a pinch you could use lemon juice too, but it’s going to add a slightly yellow tone to the cream. For making sure where we are, we’re going to need pH indicator strips. Pharmacies often sell those, as well as DIY cosmetics shops.
This came as a surprise to me: acids are sold in powder form! That’s “pure” 100% acid, you’ll have to dilute it with water to make it the kind of burning liquid we’re more used to. That’s the case with citric and lactic acid too. I’ve heard the rule “50% water, 50% acid” and it’s worked well for me. It’s always a good idea to use distilled water, so that it’s just water and nothing else that might do it’s own thing.
Now the scary stuff: if you put a drop of water on a strong acid, it will react violently, boiling and splashing and even possibly starting a fire! I wish I was joking, but I’m not. With weaker acids like ours it’s much less likely to happen, but still it’s a good idea to always pour the acid into the water and never the other way around to avoid accidents! It’s also a good idea to wear a face mask to avoid inhaling the powder!
A dropper bottle is good for making your acid into, we only need very small quantities of it. Please label it carefully so you don’t confuse it with anything else!
Finally, to the practical part! Dip the pH indicator paper on the cream for about a second. Scrape off the cream and you should see a color that you can compare to a chart that comes along with the strips. If the color looks like it’s somewhere between 5 and 6, perfect, you’re done! If not, add a drop of acid and try again until you’re there. If you add too many drops, you can still save it by adding a little baking soda, which is a weak base and will neutralize the acid and increase the pH.