The addition of olive oil to this recipe helps create a rich, moisturizing cream. For an even better (and less irritating) shave, shower beforehand to let the steam soften hairs. Stearic acid powder is found at some drugstores and pharmacies or chemical suppliers.
• 1⁄4 cup stearic acid powder
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 cup hot water
• 1 teaspoon borax
• 2 tablespoons grated mild soap
1. On the stovetop or in the microwave, gently heat stearic acid powder and olive oil until just melted. Remove from heat and continue to stir until you have a clear liquid.
2. In a separate container, mix together hot water, borax and soap, and stir until the soap is completely dissolved.
3. Pour the soap solution into a blender or food processor and blend for a few seconds. Slowly pour the stearic acid and oil mixture into the soap solution and continue to blend on high until you have a smooth, creamy mixture.
4. Spoon into a clean container. To use: Soften your beard with warm water and then smooth the shaving cream over your face. Use a sharp, clean razor.
Janice Cox is the author of Natural Beauty at Home (Henry Holt and Company , 2002). She and her daughter, Lauren Cox, co-authored a book, EcoBeauty (Ten Speed Press , 2009). Find them at www.herbcompanion.com/shopping.
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