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DIY Nourishing Chamomile Calendula Hand Cream Recipe

Chamomile Calendula Hand Cream

With the arrival of winter to British shores, I found myself struggling with dry, chapped hands crying out for nourishing moisturiser. And what better way to protect my hands than to make my own? A few trial and error attempts later, I’ve finally got a recipe that I’m happy to share with you!

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Why Do You Need Chamomile Hand Cream?

Our hands are exposed to harsh environmental stressors during winter, including the wind, cold, dry air and pollution, causing dryness, irritation and itchiness. Chamomile Calendula Hand Cream is a nourishing moisturiser that helps soothe, soften and moisturise overly dry and sensitive skin. Calming and comforting, this simple hand cream enrobes hands like a cosy blanket, keeping them soft and smooth and relieving the feeling of dryness.

How Does it Work?

Chamomile hand cream combines beeswax, various oils, butter, water and essential oils to make a nourishing emulsion that keeps your hands soft, moisturised and protected. Here are the ingredients included in the formula and their function:

  • Water keeps skin hydrated.
  • The glycerin draws additional moisture to the skin and smooths and softens it.
  • Colloidal oatmeal improves moisture retention.
  • Cupuacu butterMoisturising, soothing, and firming, cupuacu butter is a light emollient that improves skin elasticity and overall appearance. 
  • Infused chamomile and calendula oil. While chamomile helps soothe sensitive skin and reduce inflammation, healing calendula helps relieve cracked and dry skin.
  • Beeswax creates a protective film on the skin, helping to lock the moisture in. 
  • The essential oils in the formula create a lovely light fragrance. 

How Often Should You Apply Hand Cream?

Although there is no specific time of day you should use hand cream, squeeze a pea-sized amount onto your hands every time you wash your hands or whenever your hands feel dry and rough. A little goes a long way.

DIY Soothing Chamomile Calendula Hand Cream Recipe

DIY Soothing Chamomile Calendula Hand Cream Recipe

Recipe by KayDifficulty: Intermediate Formulator


Prep time




Total time





Calming and comforting, chamomile hand cream is a wonderful moisturiser that will enrobe your hands like a cosy blanket, keeping them soft, smooth and protected.



  • Infuse chamomile and calendula in sunflower oil. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to. To infuse calendula, follow the same process.
  • Prepare a hot water bath by bringing 2-3 cm of water to a simmer over medium-low heat in a small saucepan.
  • Weigh all phase A ingredients in a glass beaker, and place them into the hot water bath.
  • Weigh distilled water and colloidal oatmeal (stage B ingredients) in the second glass beaker, and place it into the hot water bath.
  • Mix xanthan gum and glycerine in a third beaker and set aside.
  • Once the oil phase in the first beaker and the water phase in the second beaker reach 70°C, slowly pour the oil phase into the water phase, stirring continually. Add glycerin and xanthan gum mix. The emulsion will thicken gradually. Keep string while it’s cooling down.
  • When your emulsion cools down to under 40°C, add phase C ingredients (vitamin E and essential oils).
  • Check the pH is in the range between 4.5 to 5.5. If it’s over 6 or below 5, adjust before moving to step 9. You can check it by diluting 10% of the emulsion in distilled water (10% emulsion/90% distilled water). Suppose the pH of the emulsion is too high. In that case, you can lower it by adding a few drops of citric acid solution( 10% citric acid to 90% distilled water). Subsequently, you can increase pH by adding a drop or two of sodium bicarbonate solution (10% sodium bicarbonate to 90% distilled water).
  • Add the Preservative Eco and recheck the ph. Adjust if needed, just like described in step 8.
  • You can transfer the hand cream into a jar and allow it to set. The emulsion will thicken overnight.

How-to Video

Skin Patch Test

  • Carry out a skin patch test first to ensure you are not sensitive or allergic to the product. Apply a small amount of the product onto a clear patch of skin, somewhere you can leave it alone for 24-48 hours (like the inner wrist). If your skin turns red or itchy, or you experience a burning sensation, discontinue using the product.


high-precision scale

glass stirrer

glass beakers


mini wire whisk or milk frother

paper ph strips

container with a lid

Shelf Life and Storage

Hand cream, just like most skincare products, will ultimately spoil. The freshness of ingredients, storage and cleanliness of your worktop and utensils will impact the product’s shelf life. Even though this formula includes preservative ECO and I expect it to last for a minimum of 6-12 months, it is difficult to determine how long it will keep for sure without running lab tests. To increase the shelf life of your hand cream, store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. If you notice any change in smell, colour, or texture, dispose of it and whip up a new batch. 


Please remember that swapping the ingredients in the formula will alter the final product. Consider how the ingredient you wish to switch will affect the final product’s scent, consistency, or absorbency when making changes. 

Shea butter: Although it is incredibly moisturising, it has a robust scent that not everyone likes. You can swap it for sal or mango butter.

Cupuacu butter is a fast-absorbing butter and plant-based alternative to lanolin. It is intensely hydrating and works particularly well for dry and rough skin. You could try swapping it for shea or mango butter.

Distilled water: You could replace distilled water with deionised water or hydrosols such as chamomile or melissa hydrosol.

Colloidal oatmeal: In this recipe, colloidal oatmeal helps improve skin moisture levels and acts as a thickener. Omitting it from the recipe will affect the overall texture of the emulsion. 

Oils: I have picked buriti oil as it intensifies yellow in the formula and offers an array of skin benefits. If it’s unavailable in your area, replace it with chamomile or calendula-infused oil instead. 

Vitamin E: You can replace vitamin E with rosemary extract. Just remember that rosemary extract has a robust aroma and might overpower chamomile. 

Olivem1000, Glycerin, Xanthan gum: I don’t recommend omitting or swapping any of these ingredients in this formula. 

Essential oils are potent substances that can cause adverse reactions if not used cautiously. Before swapping them, check out Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals by R Tisserand and R Young. If you have sensitive skin, consider leaving melissa essential oil out and replacing it with oil.


How do I make hand cream less greasy?

In general, oils and butter used in the formula significantly impact the product’s overall feel and absorbency. If you find the cream too oily for your liking, you could replace the shea butter with mango butter, which is much drier butter. In addition, you can decrease the amount of oil in the formula to create a lighter emulsion. It might take a few attempts before you achieve desired consistency. 

My hand cream split. What happened?

Emulsions can be tricky and take a bit of practice to learn. This hand cream is a hot process emulsion, and to ensure it doesn’t split, both the water and oil phases must reach 70°C before you attempt to combine them. Keep stirring during the cooling phase. I use a milk frother for small batches. It makes the whole process much more manageable. A mini-wire kitchen whisk also works well.

Are you looking for more ways to incorporate chamomile into your skincare? Check out the recipes below!

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