I thought quitting my corporate job would eliminate my stress.


How wrong I was.  Self-employment brings with it a whole different kind of stress … irregular income, accountants, hustling for business, sitting alone in front of your computer all day with no coworkers…

But I experienced a completely unexpected source of stress this week … trying to make a video tutorial on how to make this body cream!

Oh I had visions of Amanda-as-Nigella creating a luscious body cream in a gorgeously light and airy kitchen.

The reality was dark and dreary, with echoey sound and going on far too long (thank you small city kitchen, London gray skies and trying to film myself!)

Fortunately for me, I was making stress relief body cream, which was almost as good as chocolate to soothe my frustrated nerves.

And you can make some too.  Just follow this tutorial (in photos … while I work up the courage to try filming again!)

Oooh body cream, looks complicated?

If you’ve never made a cream before, you have got to try this project.  It’s a bit of a miracle.

At first you have water and oil.

And then… voila!  It blends together into the most thick, luscious cream.

It’s kind of like making mayonnaise.  But even better (in my opinion.)

This cream is so thick and rich, a spoon stands up in it!
This cream is so thick and rich, a spoon stands up in it!

Why is this body cream good for reducing stress?

In this recipe, I used a synergistic mental stress blend of essential oils (thank you, The Fragrant Pharmacy for inspiring this blend.  Great book, btw.)

This blend for stress relief includes geranium, lavender and patchouli oils and is especially for stress caused by “trying to achieve; doing exams; anguish over uncompleted jobs; unemployment or financial worries.”   A pretty useful blend for modern life!

As you know, one of my very favorite things about making beauty products is that you can customize them exactly for your needs.  So if you don’t like the oils I suggest above, you can change them!  Just make sure to use the same number of drops of essential oil as I do in the recipe below.

Mmmm homemade body cream! Looks good enough to eat (but please don't!)
Mmmm homemade body cream! Looks good enough to eat (but please don’t!)

Stress Relief Body Cream

(makes about 500ml or 2 cups of body cream)

  • 250 ml rosewater ((or filtered water, or herbal tea))
  • 1 tsp vegetable glycerine
  • 175 ml olive oil ((or sunflower oil))
  • 75 g coconut oil
  • 25 g beeswax
  • 20 drops geranium essential oil
  • 20 drops lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops patchouli essential oil
  • Blender or stick-blender ( (or strong arms and a whisk!))
  • Container to store your finished body cream
  • Label for your finished product
  1. In a double-boiler, bain-marie, or just a bowl over a pan of simmering water – combine the olive/sunflower oil, coconut oil and beeswax until melted.

  2. Remove the oils from heat and let cool to room temperature. Decide if you’re going to use a blender or a stick-blender. If you’re using a blender, pour the warm oil into the blender container, and allow to cool in the container. If you’re using a stick blender, just allow to cool in the bowl.

  3. Meanwhile, combine the water and glycerine in a glass or measuring jug, something that’s easy to pour from.

  4. The goal is to make the oil & water the same temperature. So, you can get fancy and use a thermometer, or you can just estimate it by dipping your finger into each container. I usually wait until both oil and water are at room temperature. Note: the oil will go white and semi-solid as it cools, this is good!

  5. When the oil & water are at the same temperature, it’s time to make cream! If you’re using a blender, put on the lid, open the feeder hole, and start blending. If you’re using a stick blender, just start blending. Drizzle in the water slowly while you’re blending. This is where the magic happens! You’ll notice the mixture becoming thick and white – it’s turning into cream! Add all of the water and make sure to blend it all in. You may want to stop and scrape down the bowl or blender container halfway through.

  6. Once all the water is incorporated and you have a thick cream, you can add the drops of essential oil and stir them through.

  7. Pour the cream into your container(s). It will thicken as it sets. LABEL the container with the name of product and the date.

How long will homemade body cream last?

Creams are perishable!  If it’s very hot outside, you may want to store your cream in the fridge.  At cool room temperature (London), this cream lasts for at least one month.  However, there are TONS of variables for why your cream might go off … so just be as clean as possible while making the cream, use clean containers, and watch for any signs of spoilage.

If you get any mold growing on your cream, or if the smell changes, just throw it out and make fresh.  Use your common sense!

Now go on and enjoy your thick, rich body cream – ahhhhh luxury!

Have you ever made body cream?  What are your favorite scent combos? Have any tips to share?  Let us know in the comments!

About the Author

Amanda Cook is an author, entrepreneur, and alchemist. She helps successful women create lives of meaning & magic by connecting with the seasons. Her work has appeared on BBC Radio 4, The Sunday Telegraph, Natural Health UK Magazine, and more. Learn more at

  1. This body cream is amazing! I just made it and it’s rich and thick and totally non-greasy. I can’t believe it really is NON-GREASY!! It also blended together beautifully. I’ve made other creams and they’ve always separated. I think the secret was waiting about two hours before combining the oils and water and once I did combine them I added the water very slowly – it took me about 25 minutes to blend it completely. Success!!!

  2. Hi Aanda, Fantastic blog and recipes, can I ask if you use emulsifying wax in your recipes and if not how does it still emulsify? thanks

  3. I made this cream and had no separation, it whipped up well and it was yellow because I used olive oil and beeswax instead of the lighter colored oils you suggested as options. I used coconut oil as well. I have been making this lotion for a long time without water and could never get it to emulsify. The trick is to MAKE SURE the oil cools, is not hot when you mix in the water. It will not work otherwise.

  4. Hi Amanda. I was creating this cream. But it was not thick, not running, but not the texture of the cream. And it was yellow not white. Do you have an idea what I’ve done wrong? Is it possible to do away something different from this. I wont throw this away, too much good stuff to throw it in the trash.

  5. With all do respect, you can not make lotion without the emulsifier, and beeswax is not one. Separation will start intermediately or 5 minutes after is finished.

  6. This cream needs to be used very fast because of the water or it needs some kind of preservative!

  7. What a wonderful website! Thank you so much for the recipes!

    I would like to make a medicinal cream for my son’s eczema and I have a question. Would it work if I use the following combination of oils:

    ◾175 ml (2/3 cup) coconut oil
    ◾75g (4.5 Tb) seabuckthorn oil

    Also, if I would like to add some vitamin E (as a preservative and for its healing properties), how many drops do I add?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. And if I also wanted to add shea butter (I have raw shea butter) what proportion would it be in relation to other oils?

  8. Hi, Amanda! Thanks for posting this!! I’m Júlia, from Brasil. I have a question for you: could this be made only with water? Or tea (a good organic tea)? Just to simplify things, cause all the rest (oil, essential oils, beeswax) I have. Can I take off glycerin and just do with water? Thank you so much!!

    1. Yes it should work with just water, no glycerine. It might make the cream spoil more quickly though, so just keep an eye on it.

    1. That jar I reused from some terrine I bought in France … but would love to find a source to buy more like that, will be on the lookout!

  9. Lovely recipe — I’ll be trying it soon. Will use distilled water with a bit of ascorbic acid powder in it, and add rosemary oil extract (ROE) to the oils, then include tea tree oil with the other essential oils. The ascorbic acid (vitamin C) will help stabilize the cream and will do the skin some good as well. The ROE will stabilize the oils and extend their storage life. The tea tree is a great all-purpose anti-microbial — I use it in nearly everything! Thanks for the recipe — it sounds divine!

  10. The biggest problem I see with all these DYI creams, lotions and such is most of the ingredients, esp. the essential oils, even the beeswax, aren’t things I have ‘on hand’ so I’d have to purchase all the stuff, which isn’t really frugal. Great idea tho and I wish I could do it!

    1. only thing I don’t have on hand is the beeswax. I have all the others. I can see that it would be a good thing to make with friends, and each brings something to the table that they have in the recipe and all get their jar at the end…Then it is super frugal. It amazes how much people spend on their creams and beauty products..Most of them have unknown chemicals in them and we cover our bodies with those chemical..Toxin galore

      1. you may go to the city farmer market outside and they ussualy sell beeswax in small portion for this body lotion preparation and I Gat and only cost $2.00 the pieze and make several user for your lips preparation also.

    2. Marci, to keep the expense down, find a friend with similar interest and split the cost. It also might be fun to do with a friend! 🙂

  11. Can you use this on your face too? I really want to make a facial moisturiser. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Sure, you can use it on your face if you like a thick cream (better for dry skin, I think)!

  12. I added a few drops of vitamin e. I’ll leave some cream just to see how long the cream will be fine!

  13. Hi Amanda,
    your site is beautiful. Just a note on the recipe. The rosewater and beeswax might harden the cream in the long run. so try oils and butters if you like. But the post and photos are gorgeous.

    1. Thanks! Since there are no preservatives in the cream, I figure it will be used up before it hardens (with any luck!). I will watch out for that though, thanks!

  14. I HATE patchouli so I used Eucalyptus instead, Turned out excellent & is still stress relieving! Great recipe!

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