Monday 21 January 2013


Some of us are beginning to show our age. I noticed my hands this year are looking particularly elderly for a 27 year old - dry, wrinkly creases have appeared across the back of my hands and up over my wrists. Too many summers of baking my pale English rose skin under a hot Norfolk sun have caught up with me - not that I wanted to tan, I just had far better things to do back then than stopping to apply sun lotion. Lesson learnt.

I am trying my best to drink my eight glasses of water a day. A moisturising barrier between my papery skin and the biting wind would also be helpful. We still have a few litres of olive pomace oil left over from soap making and some beeswax of forgotten prior purpose (perhaps just because it smells so nice?), more than sufficient to make something soothing.

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Winter balm

1 30g bar of beeswax, grated
1 cup olive oil
Geranium essential oil
1 clean prewarmed glass jar (1 1/4 cup capacity)

Heat the oil in a bain marie over a a gentle heat. Stir in the beeswax until completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the essential oil. Pour into the jar and leave to cool. 

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My hands are supple once again. I applied no less than four coats to my lips this morning, each coat being sucked into my skin almost immediately until they were back to their former plumpness. In this short space of time it has been pressed into service not only as a body, hand and lip balm but also as a shaving oil  - and a lubricating oil for the tension knob on my spinning wheel. I suspect it could be used as wood polish too. I love having one jar in the place of many, two ingredients in the place of potentially hundreds. 

I used geranium oil simply because we had it, but doing a little research suggests that it has some application in balancing oily skin, which is very handy for someone whose skin varies between filo dry and butter pastry. Most importantly though, geranium oil is the smell of spring and summer. It reminds me of  one of the happiest moments of my life, sitting drinking tea on the lawn of a hotel in Kathmandu, the walls, window sills and beds riotous with red trailing geraniums. Before that moment, I think, I had actively disliked the smell; now I love the 'greeness' of it. In our garden we had a geranium, 'Attar of Roses', with small delicate pink flowers that appeared at the height of summer and smelt of Turkish delight - I wonder if I were to invest in a bottle of rose oil, the two oils combined might recreate that smell?


  1. I can almost smell it! Just what I need now, just done some handwashing and forgot to put my rubber gloves on!

  2. It is lovely - I used it after making laundry powder this morning. They were quite dry after rinsing away soda crystals. It works a treat!

    I also used it to lubricate a hinge the other day. The balm that just keeps on giving :)