Using Snake Oil in a Hand Cream 17


Last week, I shared the adventure that brought a jar of Snake Oil Cream to my attention. Jerry helped me find some snake oil online. When I first received the bottle, it was cold outside and the snake oil had solidified in the bottle. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get it out of the narrow mouthed bottle. Fortunately, once the snake oil sat in my apartment for a day, it became a clear liquid. Soooo, here is your reminder because my brain wasn’t working! Oils change during shipping during hot or cold weather! :)Snake oil has a “meaty” odor to it, so I would recommend using a small amount if you are going to use it. According to some of my extended family here in Beijing, snake oil is used in traditional medicine as it is said to help relieve pain if applied to painful joints. It is also used in cosmetics because it is a favorite for making skin softer and more pliable. Emu Oil is very similar to snake oil, so you can even try out this formula using Emu Oil!

Ready to go check out the rest of the ingredients that I chose for this recipe? Let’s take a peek!

I chose Macadamia Nut Oil because it is a light weight oil and I wanted to make a hand cream that was to be applied and then the user could go back to their project of choice.

I wanted to ensure that my cream wouldn’t separate, so I used Emulsifying Wax as my emulsifier. I added a little bit of Stearic Acid to give the cream some body without making it waxy or too heavy.

I decided to use Hydrovance as my humectant for the long term moisturizing. You can use any humectant of your choice, so don’t feel limited by my choice!

As I haven’t worked with snake oil before and I wanted to help extend the shelf life to help the accuracy in my personal testing of this recipe. I added Vitamin E Acetate as an antioxidant to help slow the oxidation of the cream.

Liquid Germall Plus is one of my go-to preservatives because it has a low required usage rate. (Which means money saved!) It also is compatible with most cosmetic ingredients so I don’t have to worry as much about a failed preservative.

Should we go make some hand cream now? Let’s go!

Collect needed items:

Ingredients
Water
Macadamia Nut Oil
Snake Oil (You can use Emu Oil with no difference to the texture of the recipe.)
Emulsifying Wax
Hydrovance
Stearic Acid
Vitamin E Acetate
Liquid Germall Plus
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes

Recipe: (Makes 4 ounces or 115 grams)

Recipe in ounces:
3.02 ounces Water
0.32 ounces Macadamia Nut Oil
0.2 ounces Snake Oil
0.2 ounces Emulsifying Wax
0.12 ounces Hydrovance
0.08 ounces Stearic Acid
0.04 ounces Vitamin E Acetate
0.02 ounces Liquid Germall Plus
Recipe in grams:
86.8 grams Water
9.2 grams Macadamia Nut Oil
5.7 grams Snake Oil
5.7 grams Emulsifying Wax
3.5 grams Hydrovance
2.3 grams Stearic Acid
1.2 grams Vitamin E Acetate
0.6 grams Liquid Germall Plus
Recipe in Percentages
75.5% Water
8% Macadamia Nut Oil
5% Snake Oil
5% Emulsifying Wax
3% Hydrovance
2% Stearic Acid
1% Vitamin E Acetate
0.5% Liquid Germall Plus
Completely cooled cream on my finger.

Completely cooled cream on my finger.

Snake and Macadamia Oils.

Snake and Macadamia Oils.

These ingredients are ready to be melted!

These ingredients are ready to be melted!

Melted ingredients after being briefly mixed.

Melted ingredients after being briefly mixed.

The hand cream after cooling for a few minutes.

The hand cream after cooling for a few minutes.

Weigh all ingredients except the additives (Vitamin E Acetate and Liquid Germall Plus) into a microwave safe container. Heat in the microwave using short time bursts until everything is melted. Blend the ingredients to a smooth, creamy consistency using the immersion blender. Add the additives once the temperature drops to approximately 120° F in the mixing bucket. Stir gently until completely mixed. Pour into containers and allow to cool completely before labeling.

Cream Notes: This is a hand cream that almost is a mid weight feeling cream. I applied it to my hands and found that it did take some time to absorb, but once it had absorbed my hands didn’t feel greasy. I have left a few oily fingerprints on my keyboard. I would apply this after a shower for the best results! I think this cream feels great, which surprised me because I was more hesitant than usual about trying a new recipe.

The meaty odor of the snake oil does not completely dissipate after being mixed with all the other ingredients. It would be easily covered up or act as an accent note to earthy or plant like fragrances. Think Autumn Afternoon, Berries & Twigs, Earth or Sandalwood.

Well, this was interesting! Ready for a surprise? Tomorrow, I’ll show you a soap that I made with snake oil. (Then I won’t make anything else with snake oil!) See you tomorrow!

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About Andee

I'm a twenty something soap snob. I've grown up with hand made soaps and I love them! I really like making lotions, soaps and perfumes. I adore mixing scents to come up with something new. My favorite scent is either Wicked or Cotton Candy. I tend to hoard fragrances, I even have an Earl Grey Tea from the MMS catalog. I won't tell you how old it is, but it sure is good!


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17 thoughts on “Using Snake Oil in a Hand Cream

  • Barb Murphy

    I hate, hate , hate snakes, however, I do love emu oil. I think I could have been ok with the idea of snake (I hate even typing the word, lol!) oil for the benefits it may provide….but you lost me with the “meaty odor”, gag!! I like the idea of killing all of the snakes in the world in order to get their oil for others to use, but count me out!

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    • Tina

      Barb, I agree! The meaty odor made me wonder. Since snake oil isn’t available here I will stick with emu oil. Tina

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  • Debbie

    I am all for trying something new. If its properties are even close to emu oil ‘s then it is great by me! I would love to try some just to compare. I wonder if I have any friends who will ship it to me! I for one am going to go read up.

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  • Dani

    I am going to try this with Emu oil. My daughter’s boyfriend is a firefighter and requested a moisturizing lotion for his hands, elbows and knees. This sounds perfect and “manly”. So, if we are adding fragrance – what percentage should I add, and what ingredient do I reduce?

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    • Andee Post author

      I would start with 0.5% fragrance for a light fragrance load as it is the amount most men like. Reduce the water by the amount that you use for the fragrance. I hope he likes it! I would love to hear his opinion!

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  • Cynthia

    I am glad to hear it’s very similar to emu oil. However, I have to admit I’m intrigued. I wonder what kinds of snakes they get their oil from??

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    • Andee Post author

      Snake oil comes from Chinese water snakes (Enhydris chinensis). It lives in all types of water environments, but it has no problems living in human altered environments like fish ponds and rice paddies.

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  • Karen

    I hate snakes! but the lotion looks interesting I will have to pick up some emu oil to try this one

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  • Mesha

    Interesting idea but Idk how it would go over here in the states. I can see far to many folks with their faces screwed up over the idea.
    Bet the recipe id great with the Emu.

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  • Barb Murphy

    For the snake oil soap, it would have been cool to use some type of creepy Halloween type mold and use a greenish tint. The soap could then be given out to boys or men or snake loving females as cool gifts, maybe scented with dragons blood fragrance oil.

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  • Lori

    Ha Ha! I think my brothers would get a kick out of snake oil products. It has a macho manly ring to it… or maybe a mountain-manly ring, I’m not sure which. 😛

    What are the properties/benefits of snake oil?

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    • Andee Post author

      Lol! That does sound like a mountain man thing. According to Chinese Traditional Medicine, snake oil is used to relieve pain in joints that are affected by arthritis and other types of inflammation. It is also said to help keep skin younger, heal burns faster, work as a fever reducer, and to relieve headaches. Wow!

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