Make your own chamois cream!
I work as a freelancer, and I go to different races around the country each week. Because of this, I’m always facing new challenges, situations and tasks, I don’t have much of a routine, and one day is rarely the same as the next. I obviously like this, but it also makes me crave small routine where others might like to vary things. For example, I am happiest if I have the exact same breakfast made to the exact same specification every day. I like to watch long long TV series over and over again on rollers/when cooking/just before I go to bed. When I train on the road, I listen to comfort audio books; Terry Pratchett, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games. As Katniss runs to escape a fellow Tribute, I can be found smashing out a max interval. And I also find comfort in using the same specific products and gear when I race. Small routines that keep the things around me quiet, leaving my wits ready to deal with all of the bigger stuff.
This is all by way of introducing how gutted I was when my favourite chamois cream changed its recipe. THIS STUFF BOTHERS ME. I like things just as they are. Gutted.
For those of you who don’t know, chamois creme is basically a kind of lube you put around your ‘bits’ so that when you sit on a saddle for hours on end everything keeps moving smoothly. I was a massive fan of this particular brand ->
It wasn’t as gloopy as a bunch of other brands, and is “made from natural butters, and contains both anti-inflammatory and antiseptic oils” – which is definitely important for women, who have more delicate bits in touch with the saddle than men. I dislike many brands with tingly, menthol-like contents. This was gentle and really nicely scented, consistency a bit like hair wax, but warm it up and it’s slippery and super long lasting.
Unfortunately its availability was not to last… It became harder and harder to find in the UK, and then, one fateful day, I ordered 3 tubs online and opened one to discover the consistency and smell had radically changed. 😱😱😱
Instead of finding a new brand like a normal person, I spoke to my mum, who since retiring has decided to become an expert in basically everything (sourdough bread, rock choir singing, stain glass window making, lino printing, MA creative writing, dress making, volunteering at the National Trust, setting up a local publishing press, to name a few). Her new-found expertise included learning to make cosmetics from scratch. She makes great moisturisers, lip balms, etc., especially for people allergic to modern preservatives and processes, so I sent her the ingredients list on the old tub, and a description of the purpose and texture. Then she DID ACTUAL MAGIC and produced exactly what I wanted. ❤️❤️❤️
All hail my mum.
And it’s cheap! It can typically cost aroun £10-15 for tub of chamois cream. The total ingredients for a tub of this stuff (and you can use it sparingly) is around £6, and is vegetarian-friendly.
So, I thought I would share her process on here, in case anyone else wanted in. If you’re the kind of cyclist who makes your own jam/gin/bread then this might be up your street. Thanks to my mum for all the pics and the description!
MAKE YOUR OWN CHAMOIS CREAM!
Time: about 30 minutes
40g Shea Butter,
20 g Cocoa Butter,
25 g Grapeseed oil,
20 g Callendilla wax (vegetarian alternative to Emulsifying wax)
10 g Sunflower Oil,
10g Calendula Oil (Marigold is good for healing skin),
Lavender essential oil 20 drops (also healing)
Chamomile essential oil 10 drops (calming and healing).
Optional 5g Vit E oil (natural preservative).
- Heat water in a large pan
- Measure the Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Grapeseed Oil, Callendilla Wax, Sunflower Oil, Calendula Oil ingredients into a heat proof container like a jug or a glass. Use electronic scales, (tare them after each thing is added to avoid mental arithmetic!).
- Place the jug into the now simmering water – just as you would do to melt cooking chocolate.
- Stir with a fork or spoon to speed melting, and to keep the texture smooth.
- When it is totally melted, carefully remove the jug from the pan, as it begins to cool, add the Vit E oil, Lavender essential oil and Chamomile essential oil (if you use anything other than lavender/ chamomile check that it is suitable for sensitive skin).
- As it cools, beat it like you would to mix sugar and butter together in a cake mix, to keep the grain of the solidifying mixture smooth, it should be like stiff butter cream.
- Spoon into a sterile jar or tub, and leave to set.
- If you make a batch (more than one tub) keep unopened tubs in the fridge until use.
A quick check of costs:
Shea Butter £4.99 for 250 g
Sunflower seed oil £4.66 for 100ml
Grape seed oil £5.99 for 100ml
Cocoa Butter £4.99 for 100g
Candelilla wax £6.95 for 100g
Lavender essential oil £3.95 for 10 ml
Vit E oil £6.95 for 100 ml
Chamomile oil £3.95 for 10 ml
Enough to make 6 pots at less than £6 each!