Herbal Apothecary: Cold Cream

Yesterday I was planning to make a few more bars of soap, but was stopped in my tracks. Check out the state of my glycerin soap base:

What you are looking at is a plastic bag with a big hole in it. Inside that bag is a half-eaten block of glycerin. I know we have some mice in the basement of our old, less-than-perfectly-sealed house. I did not know that mice like to snack on soap when there are perfectly good butternut squashes and seed potatoes nearby. 


So after a moment of admiring the pattern of those industrious little teeth marks, I pitched this block and ordered more online.

In the meantime, I decided to make some cold cream. Now that 50% of Port Potager residents wear makeup, we could use a makeup remover. This one is all natural and very gentle, with just four ingredients: water, grapeseed oil, coconut oil and beeswax. Here's how you do it:

1. Measure 1/4 cup of grapeseed oil and 1/4 cup of coconut oil. Start with the liquid grapeseed oil, then add the solid-at-room-temperature coconut until the liquid rises to the 1/2 cup mark. Displacement is your friend:

2. Pour the oils into a saucepan, add 1 tsp. of beeswax, and melt over very low heat:

3. When the oils and beeswax are thoroughly melted, pour into the cup that goes with an immersion blender and allow to cool almost back to room temperature. You can tell it's ready when the cup is no longer hot and the oil looks cloudy, but is not yet solid:

4. Drizzle a scant 1/2 cup of distilled water into the oils while running the immersion blender. This part is just like making mayonnaise. Or other lotions.

5. This makes enough to fill two 4-ounce jelly jars, which is a perfect size for little cosmetic pots. We have reusable plastic lids for mason jars, which is much better than anything metal:

6. Pro tip for cleaning up: sprinkle baking soda over lotion residue. It will help it clump up, which makes it easier to tap right into the trash. This will cut way down on the time you spend trying to wash away thick lotion and oil, and will help keep your sink pipes nice and clear:

This recipe makes for a more of a lotion makeup remover rather than a cream, a texture we like for cutting through mascara. For more of a cream, increase the beeswax by 1/2 tsp. or so. This is a great eye makeup remover, since the grapeseed oil keeps it from being too heavy and greasy. There's no added fragrance, so it just smells like coconut. This product is Tiegan-approved for sensitive skin.


  1. The glycerin tastes sweet, which could be why the mice preferred it over the veggies. Even animals like junk food!

  2. According to my book on natural pest repellents mice hate peppermint, so they said to place cotton balls laced with peppermint oil around the areas where you think they might be getting in, or you could plant mint close to your basement foundation.


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