Nerd Girl Makes Hand Cream – and a Giveaway!


A Very WARM Welcome to our GuestPoster,


In our old life in the Old Country, my family used to travel a lot, by plane and train. Schlepping bags and babies around Europe can be…stressful (is there a single diaper-changing station on this train??!) and airplanes had just banned all liquids. Gack. As a lover of all things frankincense, I knew how soothing it was for me, and to tired toddlers, too. So I learned to make a frankincense hand cream for myself, my kids, my stressed-out DH, and all my friends in the Traveling Class who needed a little (legal) relief on their journeys. Whatever is calming and beautiful for you, you can make into a hand cream/solid perfume as well. It takes a little while in the kitchen to get your own recipe just right, but here’s a good place to start.

For about 2-3 tablespoons of lovely glop, you’ll need:

A little screwtop jar that can handle some heat. You can reuse one, or buy one.

1 T finely grated natural beeswax (try your local whole foods store or coop).

1 T carrier oil, I prefer jojoba, pistachio, or sweet almond. Others can be used, but their longevity will vary.

1T beurre (I use macadamia, some use coconut or avocado). If you can’t find a beurre, just use another T of your oil of choice, or a second oil.

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of essential oil/absolute/oil perfume. This can be your own signature blend, or just one substance, or an oil perfume you use already. I use frankincense eos and absolutes in mine, so I blend them with a little jojoba in advance, as absolutes can be real sticky! Be wary of orange peel oil, cloves, and cinnamon/cassia, which can burn the skin or cause a phototoxic reaction (which is both unsightly and annoying).

Heat the oil(s)/beurre/beeswax in a double boiler or heavy-bottomed, small saucepan over very low heat. Stir, stir, stir until the wax has melted. Patience, Padawan! Pour it into your container. Add the fragrance and stir with a toothpick or coffee stirrer until it’s well-blended. Let it cool gradually, don’t stick it in the freezer so you can try it sooner!  You can make a softer cream by adding more oil or decreasing the wax, and a harder solid by doing the opposite.

It’s a bit like bread-making, you have to find your own perfect ratio of ingredients and your own style in working them. But give it a few tries and you really will have something worth using, and even gifting to other stress-meisters.

This was a wonderful ps from Marla – I just had to share, having done this very thing with a peppermint body oil (for those of you new to EOs, know that essential oils can be VERY volatile! start with less and add in tiny increments)  from Marla:  do you mind changing the text of the recipe to read 1/8 tsp. to 1/4 tsp. for the eo/abs/perf oil? I’m having visions of someone dumping in 1/2 tsp of peppermint eo and taking the whole kitchen down….Something like muhuhu you can use 1/2 tsp, but I’m thinking most who try it will try something like lavender or rosemary, so the smaller amount is safer!

Just so y’all know, I did change it.  After I picked my lips up off the floor from laughing!!!  Like I said, ‘been there’.


Oooh!  I almost forgot!!!  She has graciously offered to send a little scrab of her handcream to a lucky commenter.  I can attest to the fabulosity of this handcream; I find myself trying to figure out how to combine my puppylike whining with some dignity.  Yah.


So…if you would like to entered in the draw, let us know what your favorite EO combo is and what you use it for.  Mine is Clary Sage, YlangYlang and Geranium in a body cream.  Yum!!!  Keeps the noives steady and the mayhem to a dull rumble.

  • I don’t really have a favorite essential oil, but I hope you’ll enter me anyway. 🙂

  • Amy Orvin says:

    I’ve never used any EOs

  • Ms.Christian says:

    I’m a certified aromatherapist and gotta say-1/8 to 1/4 tsp. of an essential oil in an amount of cream as small as the indicated recipe is waaaaaay too much. Essential oils need to be treated with respect. They are aromachemicals, not just little bottles that smell nice.

    Off topic-I hate to offend, but I don’t like this new format and find myself not visiting any more. No loss to anyone, I’m sure. Just offering my opinion.

    • Marla says:

      Hi, Ms. Christian!
      Thanks for your caveat, the range is so vast depending on which fragrant ingredients you are using. Some, a drop of two is adequate. Others, like amyris or muhuhu, I can use 1/4 tsp. no problem. And if using a perfume oil, 1/4 tsp is probably too little. It’s best to start by adding a couple drops, stirring, and testing. If, like me, you blend your frankincense into jojoba, then it’s really a dilution, and 1/4 to 1/2 tsp may be fine, depending on how dilute it is. So, the best rule is, check in an aromatherapy manual for safety, then go with how strong the ingredient is, and go cautiously!

    • March says:

      Ms. Christian, we would miss you very much if you didn’t stop by. This is a work in progress. We are fiddling with various components. Most people have said it loads faster. A fair number have complained about the login requirement. All I can say is, I understand now why NST requires a login. Patty is getting the sh!t spammed out of her mailbox, defeating our really good spam filter. The login stops that.

      • Ann says:

        Hi, Ms. Christian! I’m seconding March in hoping that you’ll come back. I know change can be aggravating (it is for me, too), but hopefully we’ll all get used to it. Just remember that the Posse won’t be the same without all our terrific commenters, like you!

      • Musette says:

        Update: we’re doing away with the registration and will move the mailbox to a Secure Location. That way everybody wins!!!

        Hope you come back to see us, Ms C!

        xo >-)

  • March says:

    You know what makes great hand cream? MAJMUA. Still working through my beeswax tin! xo

  • Ann says:

    Hi, Marla! Welcome to the Posse, from one of your former Swapmania swap pals. Thanks so much for this great post — will definitely have to try my hand at this (pardon the pun) sometime.

  • Perfumista8 says:

    Bath & Body Works sells a battery powered Scent Bug. You drop oil onto a cotton round and insert it into a little “drawer”. A built in, quiet little fan disperses the scent. It’s great for those with little ones (furry or not) as the oil is not exposed and it doesn’t heat up.

    • Marla says:

      Just what I was thinking of, thank you! There are also some pump/air dispensers, but I seem to remember they are quite expensive, used in hospitals and clinics and so on.

  • Janice says:

    I used to use EOs with a candle diffuser—eucalyptus was a particular favorite. But since we adopted our cat, no more candles… I should find another way to use them.

    • Marla says:

      I’ve seen some good electric ones. And an electric candle warmer could be adapted for use, too, I think. Because yes, it’s tricky with pets!

  • Sujaan says:

    I use essential oils in my acupuncture practice, there are so many wonderful uses. Neroli and ylang ylang are great for calming palpitations, spikenard for insomnia, frankincense and roman chamomile for asthma, etc. I personally love ylang ylang, neroli and clary sage for PMS in a bath.
    I usually use coconut or almond oil as a base or carrier oil for the body, and jojoba with vegetable glycerine for the face.

  • FragrantWitch says:

    I love essential oils. One of my favourites is sandalwood or ange and jasmine.
    Also adore frankincense, ylang and patchouli. Love hearing about all the combos people use!

    • Musette says:

      Orange and sandalwood together! oooh! I would’ve never thought to add jasmine…that sounds extremely luscious.

      xo >-)

  • Marla says:

    There’s definitely a reason why orange blossom/neroli is so popular at weddings!

  • Joanna says:

    I really like ylang and neroli, especially in the spring and summer. There must be something about the male brain that responds to this combo because without fail I get a lot of men complimenting the way I smell when I wear these two together.

  • Olfacta says:

    I practice Ayurvedic facial massage and I blend a special oil for it. It’s a sweet almond oil base — about 10 mls — with eucalyptus (for clearing the sinuses), lavender (for relaxation), a drop or two of clary sage and sometimes a little vetiver EO. If I’m stuffy or getting over a cold I’ll add more eucalyptus — works wonders.

  • Tatiana says:

    I’ve never used any EOs, and I’m beginning to feel like I’m missing out on something. I do love Lavender to help me fall asleep at night. But Frankincense sounds really lovely for calming frazzled nerves. Please enter me into the draw.

    • Musette says:

      They’re a lot of fun to play around with and you can make some absolutely lovely combinations – just be careful. Like so many other things, they can be volatile.

      xo >-)

  • dremybluz says:

    I melt shea butter and add orange oil for a great body cream

    • Marla says:

      I’ve never had a problem with orange oil on skin, either, so I use it, too. But I know a couple people who blister in the sun when they use it. Why do some have a problem? Probably some gene, it’s too bad. Lemon seems tamer.

      • Musette says:

        Orange and lime can be extremely photosensitizing on skin – you’re right, lemon does seem tamer. Interestingly, though I adore lemon in so many perfumes and body apps, I have NEVER attempted anything with lemon EO. hmmm…

        xo >-)

  • Jillie says:

    Like 50Roses, I went through an aromatherapy phase a long time ago, and I loved (still do) mixing geranium, orange and lavender oils and dripping them into water in the little bowl that fits over the lit candle. Don’t know if they help, but they smell good. I even came up with a mixture that smelled identical to Aromatics Elixir (probably by looking at the oils Clinique said the perfume contained) – it was a lovely bath additive, and cheap!

    Don’t enter me into draw – not that I don’t want to be in it, but am in the UK. xxxx

  • 50_Roses says:

    I used to be very much into aromatherapy a few years ago, and one of the best combinations I discovered was Atlas cedar, orange, and frankincense. I especially liked to but it in an electric potpourri pot (the type you fill with water and a few drops of oil) at night. It seemed to guarantee restful sleep. If you add just a touch of nutmeg, it also induces very vivid dreams.

    • Musette says:

      when I was a kid, making French Toast, my mother warned me about the psychotropic effects of nutmeg. I thought she was nuts – because I was 13 and she was My Mom.

      Of course, now that I am way past grown, I realize that she new a whole lot! LOL!

      xo >-)

      • FragrantWitch says:

        Oh man, now I have the earworn of ‘Like a blister in the sun,….’!

        • FragrantWitch says:

          Whoops! In my excitement at having FINALLY logged in I posted too high- this should be under the orange oil thread !

      • 50_Roses says:

        I think that with the whole spice, you would have to consume a great deal of it to get the hallucinogenic effects, probably far more than anyone is likely to use in a single serving of French toast or cookies or whatever. I love a little nutmeg in sugar cookies, rice pudding, eggnog, etc., and have never noticed any such effects. The EO is far more concentrated.

        • Marla says:

          You’d probably have to eat several dozen nutmegs, but you know people, and you know someone’s tried it…!

    • Marla says:

      Yes, nutmeg is a hallucinogen in high enough doses. I don’t know about mace, which is the covering of the nutmeg. Maybe I should experiment….