I mentioned I wanted to make my own massage cream that used only natural ingredients and gave a good drag for deep tissue work. I wanted something that would absorb well, have a light scent, a good shelf life, be unlikely to trigger allergies, and should wash out well. Here’s my chemistry experiment.
These are my five ingredients: grapeseed oil, coconut oil, jojoba, cocoa butter, and beeswax. I’ve worked with all of them before except the grapeseed oil. I needed a gentle way to warm them for blending.
Using a water bath is popular. You place a glass bowl in a pot or saucepan with water. If using this method be careful of getting water in your cream. Also, make sure that you have a glove or something to protect your hand when you remove the bowl.
Another popular method of delicately heating something is using a double boiler. I don’t own a double boiler so I improvised one from a metal bowl on top of a pot with water. Don’t fill the water so high that it touches the bowl. You still want the glove or oven mitt.
I’m pretty sure I should have timed out when to put in which ingredient, but I decided to keep it simple and put all the ingredients together from the beginning. I used a 1/3 cup of each ingredient. I was worried it might come out too thick, so I went with a small batch for now. I know that the solid cocoa butter wafers and beeswax have space between them, so they don’t technically fill up the 1/3 cup.
I didn’t boil the water. I just had the heat on medium. It was enough to steam the water. Here the coconut oil and most of the cocoa butter have melted into the grapeseed oil and jojoba leaving mostly beeswax. It took about 20 minutes to melt it completely on medium.
After it finished melting I poured it into a 20 oz tin with a fork to stir it every fifteen minutes or so.
Here is what I thought was the finished product. It actually became slightly more solid than this and slightly lighter in color.
I’m happy with this as my first run. I gave it a small test run. It spreads the way I want and then begins absorbing allowing me to still slide but with grip for deep tissue work. In the past I’ve used an all natural cream made from olive oil, beeswax, and coconut oil. That cream was, I don’t want to say gritty, but maybe felt a little more grainy when I first spread it. This definitely has a more cream like texture and a little goes a long way. It matches mostly what I wanted. The cocoa butter scent is definitely there with hints of coconut oil, but I don’t think it is overpowering enough to be a deal breaker.
To prevent cross contamination of my tin I went to the local restaurant supply and bought metal ramekins a.k.a sauce cups. Now I can scoop out what I need for each session keeping my tin clean from cross contamination.
This is just a beginning recipe. Alter as needed and enjoy.