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Natural Awakenings Metro Phoenix & Northern Arizona

Herbal Body Care Recipes: Herbalist Kathleen Gould teaches us how to make her favorite face and body creams and aftershaves

Sep 02, 2013 12:16PM ● By Kathleen Gould

It is no secret that many of the ingredients in personal care products are harmful to our bodies and the environment. People want to make their own body care products, and the good news is that there are more craft and herb shops than ever around town that carry all the ingredients needed. Many of these specialty shops give classes, too. The really good news is that you don’t need a class to have fun making high-quality products right in your own kitchen. Here are some amazing recipes to get started.

Luscious Moisturizing Face and Body Cream


2 oz extra virgin olive oil

2 oz jojoba, apricot kernel or sesame oil

1 oz coconut oil

1 oz Shea butter

10 grams beeswax

10 drops essential oil (optional)

1 cup water


Put water and essential oil into blender and sit aside.

Put oils, Shea butter and beeswax in water bath. To make a water bath: put oils and water in Pyrex measuring cup and place in a small pot of water. Hang the measuring cup on the side of the pot so water does not enter the cup.

Place this over low heat just long enough to melt beeswax into oils. Do not let oil get too hot.

Remove from heat and let oil/beeswax mixture cool a bit until you see a light rim of hardened beeswax forming on the side of the cup.

Turn blender with water on high and begin slowly pouring the oil/water mixture into the center until all the oil is gone. Depending on the blender, you may have to start at a lower speed and increase as more oil/beeswax mixture goes in. (This is the emulsion process that transforms oil and water into amazing, luscious cream. You may have to use a chopstick or knife to help stir the cream in a bit, so be careful of the blades at the bottom of the blender.)

If you need to add more essential oil, add them now and only turn blender on long enough to blend in the essential oils. Be careful not to over-blend.

Put the cream into jars. Keep one out to use and store the rest in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.

The below recipe is an old, yet very current masculine aftershave that works great and smells amazing. It is also very simple to make.


Bay Rum Aftershave


Big bunch of fresh or dried bay leaves

1 tsp of any combination of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice or orange peel pieces

1 bottle of Captain Morgan Spiced Bay Rum

Bay essential oil (optional)


Fill a jar with bay leaves and sprinkle in other spices. Fill jar with spiced rum. Place a small piece of plastic wrap over the top of jar and twist lid on tightly.

Shake once a day for two weeks and strain through cheesecloth. You can add a few drops of essential oil of bay to enhance smell.

Bottle and share with all the special men in your life. They will love the spicy, masculine smell and so will you.


There are lots and lots of great recipes for easy-to-make, high quality body care products out there. Herbalists are great resources because they have usually made many of these recipes and know which ones hold up the best and work the best. Little by little you will find yourself replacing those harmful retail products with your own pure and natural products that are safe for both you and our environment.

Kathleen Gould is a registered herbalist RH and proprietor of SW Herb Shop, 148 N. Center St., in Mesa. Contact her at 480-694-9931 or