The next question naturally is, ” what do I do with it?” There are always recipes like the Oranges in Cardamon & Rosewater Syrup and Mediterannean sweets like basboosa and baklava.
Beyond cooking, rosewater is also used in cosmetics and toiletries. This is a simple recipe for a hand cream that you probably have the ingredients for at home right now.
Honey is hygroscopic. That means it has the ability to gather moisture from the air, keeping skin hydrated and fresh. It also has antibacterial properties and research of these properties is back in fashion as the medical industry struggles with the declining success of antibiotics.
Coconut Oil is another ingredient helpful in moisturizing skin and both coconut oil and honey have anti-oxidants.
Olive Oil is widely used in cosmetics around the Mediterranean Sea. It has regenerative properties and is used to soothe and heal skin irritations.
Rosewater is widely used as a skin purifier and toner. It helps to maintain the ph balance of the skin and can assist in calming minor skin irritations and sunburns. If you don’t have any on hand, it is available in many local ethnic food stores.
This hand cream has no preservatives and is best stored in the fridge. Making smaller batches, more frequently is your best option for keeping it fresh.
You will need:
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 1/2 tsp. grated or chopped beeswax
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. honey
6 Tbsp. rosewater
4 drops tea tree oil (optional)
6 drops rose wood oil (optional)
You can see from the picture above that it is so warm here right now, the coconut oil is naturally liquid.
Begin by bringing your focus to the task at hand. Is this cream for a friend who gardens? Are you preparing it for a special evening? Is there a dry skin issue you are working on solving for yourself or your friends? Keep your intentions clear as you craft. Request assistance from the compassionate spirits around you and be open to the creative nudges they offer. Deep breath in to clear the niggles and begin.
Measure 2 Tbsp. coconut oil into a bowl or pyrex cup.
Add the beeswax pieces to the coconut oil. Make them as small and thin as possible and they will melt more quickly, meaning the mixture will not need to heated for as long and will cool more quickly. The choice is yours to melt over hot water or to put in the microwave for 10 – 15 seconds. There are valid reasons for each choice and I will leave it up to you. I use up bits and pieces from my classes when doing these projects, so I happened to have some vegetable dyed 100% beeswax on hand. There is no need to find this, a natural coloured beeswax or charcoal filtered white beeswax will work as well.
Heat the coconut oil just enough to melt the beeswax. Once melted add in the 4 Tbsp olive oil. The olive oil will be cooler and the mixture will begin to thicken. Put back on the heat or pop in the microwave for 5 – 7 seconds to reheat the mixture. Add the liquid honey and stir.
Heat the rosewater to a similar temperature and then SLOWLY mix the oil mixture and rosewater together.
This is like making mayonnaise and I would have needed two extra hands to hold the camera while doing this to get pictures. Here is the thing, water and oil do not play well together (think oil and vinegar dressing. It needs to be shaken before each use.) The beeswax acts as the glue that holds the cream together (like the egg in mayonnaise) and it is important not to overwhelm it by adding too much water at one time.
Additionally, the stirring movement benefits from the mixing being fast. A mini whisk if you have a good arm or my hack for this, which is a coffee frother. ( In the picture above.) I use it in small batch soap making as well. They cost about $12.00 and are battery powered. I can stir and add the water without needing to be Kali and it doesn’t take up the space that a full size electric hand mixer would in a 1 cup measuring container. I can see what is going on for the small quantity I am making.
With both liquids at about the same temperature and still warm enough that the wax is not solidifying begin to slowly mix in the water while using your frother, hand mixer or mini whisk. As you SLOWLY incorporate the water, the mixture will turn opaque and thicken. Continue until all the water is mixed in.
Add the essential oils if using and mix well. Tea tree is great for soothing and healing skin and rosewood increases the aroma of the cream, acts as a deodorant and helps keep bugs away. Store the hand cream in a dark container in the fridge and use as needed. The picture below in the antique glass jar looks pretty but it is not good for the essential oils. They react with the light.
Another thing to be aware of is that as this cream sits, a little water may separate. Not a lot, maybe half a tablespoon or so. This can happen if the proportions were out or if there was too much temperature difference between the oils and the rosewater. Just tip the water out and carry on, if this happens.