Today at the London Permaculture Festival I attended a workshop on making infused oils, balms and creams. The first two of these I do already, though the infused oil I make most of is chilli oil for cooking rather than for therapeutic purposes!
In the workshop it was demonstrated how easy it is to produce a cream by whisking water at the same temperature of the oil & beeswax or other emulsifier mix. You can also use a hydrolat/floral water or a strong tea made with chamomile or other herb(s).
If I start making creams for sale it will be in small batches for specific purposes, perhaps with the same blends of essential oils used for clients during massage.
While there was little that was brand new to me in the workshop, it was good to be reminded of the process and also to hear of some of the properties of herbs as herbs rather than just the essential oils which is what I normally use in my work.
Why use this rather than just oils or the skin balm I already make? Probably no reason if just for my own use, however some clients would prefer something less oily for use on their skin, something that where all traces on the outside will be gone earlier than would be the case using either oil or an oil/beeswax mix. This is especially likely to be true if they are wearing or going to be wearing clothing that could be damaged by oil stains. Flexibility is the key here and a willingness to accept that not all clients will be prepared to put up with oily patches of skin for as long as I will!