Cruelty-free Cold Creams

A number of you have written in to me lately asking about
cruelty-free and petroleum-free substitutes for the leading
national brand of cold cream. Cold creams are heavy, thick
creams that are smoothed on the top of the skin to absorb
makeup, dirt, and oils; they are then wiped off with cotton
balls or washcloths, and then the face is washed and an
astringent applied to remove excess oils.

Conventional cold creams, also known as vanishing creams,
aren’t greasy, and most current commercial brands tend to
be made of mineral oil (a petroleum product) and/or stearic
acid (a fatty acid from animal or vegetable sources). In the
old days, oil from sperm whales was used in cold creams, but
you can substitute jojoba, a natural liquid wax in my easy-to-
make cold cream recipe. Jojoba is known to have similar properties
as sperm oil; both lubricate the skin without being too greasy.
Shea butter is the oil of choice used in the Kiss My Face brand
of eye makeup remover.

Menthol cold creams are stimulating for the skin, and can be
incorporated in your cold cream easily by adding mint oil, or
equal parts of eucalyptus and peppermint leaves.

Basic Cold Cream Vanishing Formula
The ingredients are available from most health food stores.
Borax is found in the laundry section of the supermarket. Borax
is used in this recipe as an emulsifier.

1 ounce jojoba
1 ounce grapeseed oil
1/2 to 1 ounce beeswax (less for a thinner cream)
2 ounces distilled or filtered water
1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
1 teaspoon borax
10 drops mint oil or other essential oil of choice (optional)
40 drops grapefruit seed extract as a preservative

Combine the oils and beeswax in a double boiler and melt. Remove
from the heat and pour in the remaining ingredients; mix with an
electric handheld mixer until the cream is thick and creamy.
Makes 3/4 cup. Store in a glass jar with a screw top. Discard
after 6 months (or sooner if mold begins to grow).


Kaitlyn C.
Kaitlyn Clements5 years ago

Bees are insects, not animals. Pollination is therefore an "animal" by-product. Do you still eat plants and grains? bees are necessary for all life; no pollination, no plants, no food, period. Bee-keeping has also create more interest and studying of Colony Collapse Disorder as well. Further, if you claim veganism, then use products which come in plastic containers, you are using crude oil and chemically derived synthetics. Which causes more harm? Please be coherent in practicing personal beliefs.

Mari Basque
Mari 's7 years ago

Cruelty-free!! :-)

Using and NEEDING beeswax helps the bees because we need the bees. If there is NO need for a species humans tend not to care so, we need to need them to a degree.

Kristin H.
Kristin H.7 years ago

here's one for the foods are grown with organic fertilizer, correct? well, guess what is commonly used as an organic fertilizer? any takers? that's right! cow manure! what's cow manure? an animal by product!

Kelsey E.
Kelsey E8 years ago

I didn't think Beeswax was cruelty free. I'm vegan so defiently a no-no as others have stated..

Jenny Dunlap
Jenny Dunlap9 years ago


Beewax is a no no for vegans simply because it is an animal byproduct. Vegans do not consume, put on their bodies or support the use of animal products/byproducts of any kind. It is a personal choice and one which we hope that others will respect. And the fact remains... YOU would not use the beeswax in a way that harmed the brood hives, but we all know that mass produced anything is subject to corruption.

Susan Allsop
Susan Allsop9 years ago

As as vegan, why is beeswax a no no? As someone who keeps bees for pollination (or, used to before Colony Collapse Disorder), beeswax can be obtained AFTER the bees have hatched and the hive abandoned. Beeswax is rarely, if ever, obtained from the brood hive, as brood wax is dark and gummy and contains impurities. Trust me...the last thing beekeepers want is their brood hives harmed in any way, whether their bees are simply pollinators or for honey.

Jackie T.
Past Member 9 years ago

How can products be cruelty free and say no animal byproducts if they use beeswax? Realizing of course bees are insects, but still.

Debbie S.
Debbie S10 years ago

can coconut oil be substituted for the beeswax?...I am vegan and beeswas is a no no

Paulette Ransum
Paulette Ransum10 years ago

can you make cold cream out of crisco?