Gardener's Hand Cream

Gardener's Hand Cream

Photo by Jan Berry/The Nerdy Farm Wife

This deeply moisturizing hand cream is great for gardeners, farmers, and those who work a lot with their hands. It’s simple to make and easy to customize. While you can leave it unscented, you can tweak it with you favorite essential oils—lavender, rose, jasmine, peppermint, spearmint and lemongrass are all nice choices.

The following recipe fills about two 4-ounce canning jars—one for you and one to share with a friend! I also like to top each jar with a homemade label. You can find instructions for printing labels I use below.

Photo by Jan Berry/The Nerdy Farm Wife


  • 4 ounces shea butter
  • 2½ T. sunflower or olive oil
  • 1½ tsp. corn starch or arrowroot powder
  • 5 to 10 drops essential oil (optional)

Weigh out the shea butter and add it to a medium-sized mixing bowl. If you don’t own a scale, a tightly packed 1/2 measuring cup yields almost the same amount. Whip the shea butter until light and fluffy. A stand mixer works best for this recipe, but you can also make do with a hand-held mixer, used in bursts to avoid over-heating.

Add the sunflower oil and corn starch then beat again until fully incorporated.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add a few drops of essential oil if desired.

Beat the mixture for a final time. The finished cream will resemble a fluffy buttercream frosting.

Spoon the hand cream into glass jars for storage. When stored in a cool, dry place, the cream will keep for 6 months to a year. Some settling will occur over time.

Photo by Jan Berry/The Nerdy Farm Wife

Substitutions and Tips
Feel free to play with this recipe to make it your own. Here are some substitutions you can try:

  • Instead of shea butter, try mango or avocado butter. Cocoa butter is too hard for this no-melt recipe and coconut oil is too soft.
  • For added skin benefits, infuse your sunflower or olive oil with dried herbs and flowers such as calendula, rose petals, lavender buds, violet or plantain leaves.
  • Substitute all or part of the liquid oil portion with other oils, such as rosehip seed, tamanu, jojoba, hemp, avocado or sweet almond.
  • If you’re allergic to corn, try arrowroot powder or tapioca starch instead. Its purpose in the recipe is to cut oiliness while adding a silky feeling to your skin.
  • For easy cleanup, scrape as much of the cream from the mixing bowl into the jars as possible. Squirt a generous amount of dishwashing liquid to the bottom of the bowl, and run scalding hot water into it until it starts to overflow. Let the bowl, spoon and beaters soak in the soapy water for 10 to 15 minutes, then wash and rinse as usual.

Directions for Use
Apply a small amount of cream, as needed. It will melt upon skin contact and seem a bit oily at first, but will absorb within minutes. It’s wonderful to use on your hands, elbows, knees and feet after a bath or at bedtime.

Make a Label

Photo by Jan Berry/The Nerdy Farm Wife

To label your hand cream, print out one sheet of these labels. They’re sized to fit a standard canning jar lid.

If printing on regular copy paper, cut out and affix a label to each lid with a thin, even layer of glue. Alternatively, you can use repositionable sticker paper, found at office supply stores.

Make more body-care products at home:

  • Winter Rose Soap
  • Violet Leaf Lip Balm
  • Make Soap with Milk

About Jan Berry

Jan is a goat-chasing, soap-making, homeschooling farm wife who loves vintage tea cups, word games and turning weeds into beautiful things. She joins the Craft Hub each month with DIY body care recipes and projects. She can also be found at her blog, The Nerdy Farm Wife.

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Tags farmers, gardener's hand cream, homemade hand cream, oil, shea butter

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