How to Make Our Sea Buckthorn Face Cream
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Many people ask me how I make my popular Sea Buckthorn Cream. Professional creams are made very similar to buttercream icing and if you are a good baker, you should try your hand at it.
STEP 1: Write Your Base Recipe
The first thing you want to do is make your base. This base can consist of the same ingredients for all your creams or you can change it up and make a different base for each cream you invent.
At the shop we use a different base for each cream, but all my bases consist of some kind of:
- thickener, maybe like EWax (veggie fat),
- liquid (water),
- preservative (mine is vit C),
- other ingredients you want to enhance your cream, such as primrose oil (1-3% for each oil you add) or maybe a butter like shea (1-6% for each butter you add). You can really put anything together, so long as you use the minimum % of water (70%) and the right % of thickener.
Here is a typical cream recipe (using grams at a 120g calculation):
*Hint: These two ranges match each other, so 70% H2O needs a min 5% thickener, if you don’t use any butters. Your butters thicken and will impact how much thickener you need. If you use 6% shea, 70% water, you’re better off trying only 4% thickener to start. Adjustments are common. Your Special Ingredients are added after you make your base, but are part of your total recipe calculation.
STEP 2: Make Your Base
- Combine your thickeners and water in a pot and bring to a boil. When they boil, mix with your hand-mixer on low and combine into a thick soup.
- Turn off heat and add your butters. Let them melt slowly and mix again.
- Remove from the heat and add your oils. Mix again with your hand-mixer on low.
- Pour out the mixture into a large mixing bowl. I use a glass one so I can be sure my ingredients mix thoroughly. Mix again to make sure everything is combined 100%.
- Let your cream cool to about 85’F before adding your preservative. Mix in well. Note: Heat 100’F and over will kill a natural preservative.
Important: Do not allow your cream to cool to room temperature before adding your Special Ingredients. The cream base needs to be warm to touch. If it does cool too much, pour it back into the pot, melt it down on low and then add new preservative at the proper temperature. Be ready to add your Special Ingredients.
STEP 3: Add Your Special Ingredients
You now have a warm base you can add to, to make your cream unique. It is at this stage that I add my organic, cold-presses Sea Buckthorn Oil.
You can add it all at once or in stages, just be sure you mix thoroughly on low.
STEP 4: Jar Your Cream
Once mixed you now need to jar your cream to keep it nice. You can use any jar for this, but we do have packaging at the shop to buy for your projects.
Once jarred, let it cool to room temperature before putting on the lids. If the lids go on while it’s hot, your cream will sweat, possibly separate and will spoil. It can take up to 24 hours for a cream to set. You can put the lid on even if it isn’t set yet, so long as the cream is at room temperature.
STEP 5: How Do I Adjust My Cream?
Firstly, you can fix the cream you just made if it is too thick by:
- Pour your cream back into the pot.
- Heat it up on low and let it melt slowly to a liquid. Mix it with your hand-mixer on low to recombine, if necessary.
- Remove it from the heat and pour it out into your bowl. Mix again on low.
- Add the extra liquid (it should be at room temperature) and combine thoroughly.
- Let cool to 85’F.
- Add a new dose of preservative. Be sure to calculate a bit more preservative for the added water.
- Jar and let cool to room temperature. Put on lids.
This can be repeated if your cream is still to thick but repeated heating destroys nutrients in your cream.
If your cream is too liquid you will need to rewrite your recipe with more thickener and make it again. If you followed the recipe above, you shouldn’t need more than 1 or 2% more thickener. Most times this will be the perfect place to start if you need it just a bit thicker, which is about the difference between a face cream and a body lotion.
If you have a watery mess then the original recipe is not within the ranges above or you should rework the recipe to see if you have a calculation error. You also may have measured wrong and if so, you will need to toss it out and make the original recipe again. It might come out perfect this time!
Making a professional cream takes practice and an understanding of how ingredients behave, which takes time to master, but it’s not difficult. Explore all the ingredients available to you and experiment. Before you know it, you’ll be able to make anything you want using this recipe in different ways.