Making handcream from Beeswax and olive oil.

I make my handcream from organic olive oil and beeswax and then add essential oils to it.

Making the base mixture is a simple process that doesn’t need a lot of equipment for small quantities. IMG_0004First the beeswax is melted into the olive oil which is warmed by standing in a water-bath on the stove. If the wax has already been melted into a block this takes longer than if comb is used though with the latter it needs to be fed in a bit at a time.

Next, the IMG_0012mixture is filtered. – If doing this with cleaned wax this step can be missed out. I use a double layer of cotton material. Unless it has been cleaned prior to use  beeswax usually has the discarded linings from when the bees emerge and also any other detritus that might be in the hive. If the wax is taken from comb that has only contained honey there is a lot less detritus to filter out.

The mixture is then either poured into 50 or 60ml jars to which I add up to 20 drops of essential oil.2013-04-23_10-04-30or sometimes I will leave it in the jar it is filtered into before doing the final step on another day. IMG_0013

The colour of the final product will vary slightly according to what the bees have been foraging on when producing the wax. The whitest wax comes from when the bees are fed sugar syrup, but this is something I do not do as routine. Sunflowers produce a dark yellow wax. If you see very dark comb, this is because the wax is old and two or more years of brood have been raised in the comb. Once filtered the wax is not noticeably darker than normal.