Four years ago, I started experimenting with making face creams and body lotions in my home kitchen. My work began because it was so disappointing to find high-quality natural products I liked, only to have them disappear from the market over time. I don’t like to use products on my skin with lots of chemical-sounding names I can’t pronounce, let alone know whether they were good for me and my skin, the body’s largest organ system, over the long term.
With my training in herbology and cooking, I figured I could make some good products for my personal use. Along the way, I’ve learned a lot about organic oils for topical use, skin-nourishing herbs, essential oils and hydrosols. We’re thrilled to share what we’re learning and what we make.
One of my favorite oils is baobob oil, along with jojoba oil, rosehip seed oil and apricot kernel oil, the other main oils Buddha and the Bees uses in our skin care products. Gardener’s Hand Cream contains baobob tree oil made from the tree’s seeds. Baobob trees are indigenous to Africa and are referred to as the “Tree of Life.” They can live at least 500 years, and some trees have been found to have lived for more than a thousand years. I love the idea of putting the oil from long-lived trees on my skin! Baobob seed oil is incredibly emollient and nutrient rich. The oil absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving a greasy residue, so you can get about the business of doing what you love, whether it’s gardening, working as a mechanic, caring for livestock or cooking for your family. It also has a shelf life of two to five years that makes this precious oil well worth the investment.
Gardener’s Hand Cream is scented with calendula hydrosol, giving it a fresh, grassy scent. Hydrosols are the byproduct of steam distillation of essential oils and are used to scent cosmetics. In herbology, calendula is used to heal wounds, aid digestion and hydrate skin. We grow calendula in our large suburban yard, and I personally harvest, dry and store the flowers for use in my creams and lotions. I supplement this supply with high-quality calendula I buy from Rebecca Luna’s store in Boulder, Colorado, Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary.
Pure beeswax binds together the oil and water elements of the hand cream. I also use it on rough spots on my elbows and heels. I hope you find Gardener’s Hand Cream to be as effective and pleasant to use as I do.