This juicy, honey-hued Orange Abyssinian Overnight Balm is utterly lovely. It has an almost unbelievable dry finish, leaving skin hydrated, but not greasy. It smells of pure, juicy oranges with the slightest hint of sweet, floral Tahitian gardenias. It’s smooth and rich, and it’s vegan. In short, it’s beautiful. I like using it on my face before bed on extra dry days—it’s brilliant for dry patches, and guarantees I’ll have sweet smelling dreams. Yum.
I was originally going to make this balm with argan oil as the star ingredient, but as I was rooting around in my absurdly overstocked ingredients cabinet, I stumbled across a mostly forgotten bottle of pale yellow abyssinian oil. I remembered reading that it was a great alternative for argan oil, so I thought I should pull it off its forlorn shelf and transform it into something lovely.
Abyssinian oil is wonderfully light, and sinks into the skin quickly, leaving it feeling silky smooth and hydrated. It doesn’t smell like much, and is a pale yellow in appearance. Abyssinian oil is highly heat resistant and shelf stable, and has a very unique composition of primarily erucic acid. It adds gloss to hair, moisturizes skin, and perhaps best of all—it’s produced in Canada! So few DIY ingredients come from Canada that I’m pretty excited about that 😉
Up next is some orange wax, which has a rather misleading name. It is orange, and from oranges, but nobody who is familiar with beeswax or candelilla wax would ever guess it’s a wax. It has the consistency of water; incredibly thin and not at all oily or tacky feeling. It absorbs into the skin in a flash, leaving nothing behind (except for, perhaps, a slight orange stain on the skin). It smells utterly delicious—I wouldn’t blame you if you were tempted to add it to a cocktail! It is photosensitizing, though, which is why this is an overnight balm.
The other half of our scent blend is some luxurious Monoi de Tahiti. Monoi is coconut oil that’s been macerated with the petals of the Tahitian gardenia, giving us a beautifully fragrant oil that’ll leave you wondering where your bathing suit is. Blended with the orange wax it’s a beautiful, sweet undertone. Yum.
Rich mango butter, silky coconut oil, antioxidant rich vitamin E oil, and glassy candelilla wax round out the balm, giving us a firm final product that smooths over the skin beautifully. I seriously cannot get over how dry the finish of this balm is, especially on my hands; you’d never guess you just applied straight oil to your skin! I love this stuff and I think you will, too 😉
Orange Abyssinian Overnight Balm
10g | 0.35oz abyssinian oil or argan oil
5g | 0.17oz orange wax (what’s that?/need a substitution?)
4g | 0.14oz mango butter
4g | 0.14oz virgin coconut oil
3g | 0.1oz monoi de tahiti
2g | 0.07oz vitamin E oil
8g | 0.27oz candelilla wax
Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3cm/1″ of water to a bare simmer in a small saucepan.
Weigh all of the ingredients into a small heat resistant glass measuring cup. Place the measuring cup in the water bath to gently melt everything through; this will take 20–30 minutes thanks to the high melting point of candelilla wax.
Once everything has melted through, give the mixture a stir with a flexible silicone spatula to combine, and decant it into a 45ml/1.5 oz jar or tin. Let it set up for 20 minutes until the jar is cool to the touch and the balm has started to pull away from the sides a wee bit.
To use, smooth a small bit over your skin before bed. Due to the photosensitizing properties of orange wax this balm should not be worn out into the sun.
Because this balm is 100% oil based it should last for at least a year.