Cold Cream is not a reference to temperature but to Coleseed Oil, which was originally used along with Mineral Oil (a petroleum product) to make the first Cole Creams in the 16th Century invented by Galen. This formula went nearly unchanged throughout the Victorian Era. These days we substitute the Coleseed Oil for Sweet Almond Oil and the Mineral Oil for Beeswax. The name is a simple corruption of the original
This is just about the simplest recipe you can start with, and demonstrates the simplicity of making a basic oil-and-water emulsification. Modern creams and lotions do not contain Borax, as this product has been deemed generally unsuitable for use in creams and lotions designed to be left-on the skin, although it is not completely banned. Borax has a toxic effect on all plants and animals in fairly high doses, although the minute amounts used in these traditional recipes would not be at all harmful.
- 2 Small saucepans
- Hand whisk and/or Electric whisk with a slow speed setting
Pour 75ml of clean water into 1 saucepan (the smaller if there is one).Add 1/4tsp (1.25ml) Borax powder to the water.Place this pan on a gentle heat and hand whisk until the borax is completely dissolved and the water gently steaming, then remove from heat and leave aside.
Pour 120ml of Sweet Almond Oil into another saucepan (the larger if there is one).Add 30g Beeswax pellets to the saucepan.Place this pan over a gentle heat and melt the Beeswax into the Sweet Almond Oil completely, then remove from the heat.
Immediately, while all ingredients are hot…Take your whisk (an electric whisk or small hand (stick) blender is best, on a Low-Med setting, but a hand (balloon) whisk is effective if used Vigorously). Whilst whisking the oils, slowly and little-by-little, pour your water/borax mixture into your oils. You will immediately see the two liquids emulsify into a fairly thick, white-ish, rich cream.
Whilst warm, spoon the cream into a suitable jar or container and leave to cool and thicken.
Adaptations to this recipe…
- Enhance your cream by using Rose or Lavender Water instead of water.
- Add your own choice of essential oil/s. Just a few drops, after adding the water whilst still whisking.