A friend with two growing boys asked me recently what I’d recommend for helping with growing pains. She said her boys sometimes wake up with pain in their legs, and she wanted something that would comfort and relax them so they could go back to sleep. The real medicine of this product is the one doing the applying. Sure, the boys could rub this cream on their own legs and then go back to bed, but how soothing would that really be? Instead, they get their mom’s tender loving care, and all they have to do is soak it up. Mom’s TLC is the magic ingredient!
Nevertheless, I went to work perusing our catalog for ingredients that would achieve my friend’s goals and give those boys some relief. She has been using a product that contains menthol, but I stayed away from that. Menthol is great for sore muscles, but it is quite stimulating, and we are aiming for something more relaxing. Lavender and chamomile both have long been prized to promote relaxation, so that’s where I began.
My next decision was whether to make a massage lotion or massage oil. Both have benefits, but my personal preference is lotion. I decided to keep things simple and use MMS Massage Cream Base rather than spend time messing around with a bunch of ingredients. (Some days are just like that, right?) Plus, our base already has a preservative added so you can get right into creating.
How about some fun additions? Yes, please!
I’m adding Comfrey Leaves Extract, Chamomile Extract, and Lavender Essential Oil for their reputed histories of calming, healing, and promoting relaxation to name a few. Since the most benefit will come from the tender, loving massage that mom gives, we’re still going to consider this product as a cosmetic.
This is an easy project to make and involve the kids. Won’t the kids be excited to help make their own massage cream?
Massage Cream Base
Comfrey Leaves Extract
Lavender Essential Oil 40-42 Extra
Large bowl or bag
Four each Round Base Jars (Size 70) and lids
A note about this formulation. You’ll notice in the percentages column that the Massage Cream Base is listed at 100%, so the total, when combined with the other ingredients, is over 100%. That’s because we used baker’s math. It always begins with 100% of the constant ingredient – in the case of bread, that is flour; here, it is the Massage Cream Base – and other ingredients are expressed as a percentage of the constant ingredient. (King Arthur Flour has a good explanation of baker’s math here.)
This type of formulation works when using a single main ingredient like one of our moisturizing bases. It’s not the best way to formulate a recipe when using multiple oils, butters, and emulsifiers to create a lotion or other product.
Since we are adding some extracts as well as the Lavender Essential Oil to the Massage Cream Base, we want to be sure not to exceed the allowed addition of 10% total additives.
|Recipe in Grams
1350 grams Massage Cream Base
54 grams Comfrey Leaves Extract
54 grams Chamomile Extract
6.75 grams Lavender Essential Oil 40-42 Extra
|Recipe in Ounces
48 oz Massage Cream Base
1.92 oz Comfrey Leaves Extract
1.92 oz Chamomile Extract
0.24 oz Lavender Essential Oil 40-42 Extra
|Recipe in Percentages
100% Massage Cream Base
4% Comfrey Leaves Extract
4% Chamomile Extract
0.5% Lavender Essential Oil 40-42 Extra
Weigh Massage Cream Base into a bowl or beaker. Set aside. Weigh additives into a separate container. Pour additives into Massage Cream Base and stir a bit with a rubber spatula. You’ll notice it’s difficult to get the oils to mix into the cream. The best method to mix and dispense a cream like this is as follows: Put the mixture into a plastic bag, squeeze out all the air, seal the bag, then knead the bagged cream until it is all combined. Now cut a corner from the bag to pipe product into jars. (Similar to using a pastry bag)
The recipes above are scaled to make enough of this massage cream to fill four 4-oz jars with a little extra. I like the size of the jar. It fits comfortably in the palm of your hand, yet it is not so small that it would quickly get lost in the covers of the bed while my friend rubs the legs of her boys. Since the product is a cream, she can scoop a bit out on her fingers while holding the jar in her other hand and still be able to put the lid back on before setting it down.
Do you have any problems you need help solving? Send us a message at customer support, and we’ll come up with a formulation just for you!