Especially good for dry or hardworking hands.

I love being able to make my own body products.  All my life I've battled with dry skin, and although I've tried to combat this through my diet, I still need a lot of moisturiser and go through so much of the stuff!   In making my own I can afford organic ingredients, I save lots of money compared to buying pre-prepared products, and I can heavily reduce packaging waste by re-using containers.  

The following recipe is a more recent discovery and I love it.  The initial greasiness disappears quickly (at least I find it does...but if you skin is not as dry you could play with the beeswax quantity, as discussed below).


1/4 cup shea butter (get from purenature.co.nzgonative,co.nz or honestskincare.co.nz

1/8 cup sweet almond oil (as above)

1 tbsp beeswax (as above)

20 drops of essential oil (or mix it up with 10 drops of two types)


Melt all ingredients, except essential oils, in a double boiler.  I placed a glass Pyrex jug into a pot of simmering water.

Stir the mixture as it melts.

Once everything is melted, remove mixture from the heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Stir in the essential oils, and pour the liquid into a small glass container.  The jar I use holds 65ml and this gets filled to the top.  I have a small amount remaining in the jug so I keep it on the bench and use throughout the day.  I guess I'm saying that a 70ml jar would be ideal, but you could always divide it among a couple of jars anyway.  

Allow it to harden completely, which usually takes several hours.  Depending on the air temperature, you may find this a little too soft in the summer and too hard in the winter, so keeping in the fridge or softening in your hands first might be needed.  However where I am, in Auckland New Zealand, I've not had any trouble.

I found this recipe on theprairehomestead.com and the following information was provided which is also super useful.  


  • Shea Butter; powerful moisturising and nourishing benefits for the skin.  (You could substitute half of the shea butter for cocoa butter or *coconut oil)
  • Sweet Almond Oil; wonderful moisturiser and also contains vitamins that nourish and soothe. (Can substitute with jojoba oil, olive oil, etc)
  • Beeswax; helps the hand cream to set and stay firm.  Coats the skin and protects it.  If you want your hand cream to be softer try reducing the beeswax.  Conversely, if you want it to be firmer, increase the amount of beeswax.  

    * I have read about the negative effects of coconut oil in some people with very dry skin, so personally I try to avoid coconut oil in skincare products. 

    Essential Oils: I'm mostly guided by smell when choosing essential oils for skincare, but I have researched those that are said to be the most effective for dry/mature skin, as follows...
  • lavender
  • frankincense
  • cedarwood
  • geranium
  • ylang ylang
  • chamomile
  • rose


The ingredients are very similar to a lip balm I make and LOVE, so you can apply some to your lips while you're moisturising your hands!

When purchasing ingredients, I try to get the biggest container I can, without buying so much that I worry about it going off!  These tend to come in plastic containers and foil lined paper bags, so in the interest of reducing packaging, it obviously makes sense to purchase larger quantities if possible.  


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