Watching our grandmothers, mothers, aunts and sisters apply cold cream to their faces is one of our most memorable childhood experiences.

Cold cream works as a pretty decent makeup remover. The shortening in this recipe acts as a barrier on the skin, trapping in moisture.


There are only a few ingredients in cold cream: jojoba oil, vegetable shortening, and an essential oil.

1tablespoon jojoba oil. Jojoba is a great base for homemade facial, skin and massage blends because it has a great shelf life, does not turn rancid like other oils and is a great moisturizer.

8 tablespoons of vegetable shortening (think Crisco). Vegetable shortening is made from soybean or cottonseed oils, which are OK for the skin, unlike lard which is made from animal fat, which is gross on the skin.

I like lavender oil because it’s super gentle on skin. Other good options include: lemon balm, calendula, cardamom, Roman chamomile, eucalyptus, lemongrass.


The Recipe

For this, you’ll need a saucepan, a whisk and a glass with a cap which will be your container.

Warm the oil and shortening in a saucepan over low heat until completely melted. A double boiler is best, but I don’t use one because I don’t have one.

Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

Add several drops of the essential oil.

Whisk until mixture thickens.

Pour mixture into a glass with a cap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

You can use this cold cream on your face, neck, and chest. It should last at least 6 months, perhaps longer. My friend likes to use hers cold, so she refrigerates it, but you don’t have to.

How to Use it

The traditional method is to apply a thick layer of cold cream over the face, let it sit for a minute and then wipe off with a cotton pad. Repeat until the pad is clean of dirt and makeup applies a thick layer, leave it on for a minute and then remove with a warm washcloth. Massage the face with the washcloth, which acts as a natural exfoliant

Cold cream works best on combination or dry skin. Skip it if you have oily skin. Cold cream can feel greasy.