Tis the season for dry, cracked hands.
Here’s a simple recipe for home made body butter.
If you don’t have time to make it yourself, give me a call, as I do have a few jars available.
I’ve been using some variation of this butter in my massage practice for years.
In the winter I often add peppermint oil. I also like to blend scents like orange and clove, or clary sage and lavender. Feel free to omit the essential oils if you have sensitive skin, or prefer unscented products.
The main ingredients are shea butter, jojoba, and coconut oil.
Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nut of the shea tree. It can be used to heal minor cuts and abrasions. It is solid at room temperature. It’s often used in soaps and cosmetics.
Jojoba “oil” is actually a liquid plant ester, or wax extracted from the seeds of the jojoba plant. It typically is found in the deserts of Arizona, California and Mexico (the photo above is yours truly in Joshua Tree National Park where I stumbled up on a few jojoba plants growing wild).
Jojoba has the consistency of olive oil at room temperature, but unlike olive oil it has a long shelf life, and is able to withstand high heat without going rancid.
I was first introduced to this product when I was a wee massage therapist in Florida in the 90’s. I have oily and sensitive skin, and traditional massage oils caused me to break out if I did not immediately wash my skin. I once found myself having to go back to work after receiving a massage from a massage therapist who used jojoba. I thought, “oh man my neck and back are going to be so broken out tomorrow”. Instead, the jojoba absorbed into my skin, and I had no issues. I’ve been a fan ever since.
Coconut oil is a rich source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of saturated fat. It has microbial effects, boosts the moisture content in skin and hair, and contains antioxidants that have been shown to lower inflammation, and boost brain health. I put a spoonful in my coffee every morning. You can also use it as a substitute for butter in baked goods (I used some in a recent banana bread recipe). If you’re not a fan of the coconutty scent and taste, look for refined coconut oil.
While the ingredients in this body butter are “all natural” please do not eat it. Jojoba is not meant to be consumed.
Spread this on your hands, not on your toast :).
Having said that, your skin is highly absorptive. As with what I put in my body, I try to stick to skin care products that have a short list of easily pronounceable ingredients.
Ok on to the recipe…
Body Butter Recipe:
- 1/2 cup Shea butter
- 1/2 cup Coconut oil
- 1/4 cup Jojoba
- 5-10 drops of essential oil (optional – I used peppermint for my latest batch)
- Melt shea butter, coconut oil and jojoba oil in a double boiler. If you do not have one of these you can nest a glass bowl over a saucepan. Start with about an inch or two of water in the bottom pan, so that it comes close to the bottom of the bowl without spilling over the sides.
- Whisk the first three ingredients together over medium heat until they are combined. No need to boil them, just give enough to heat so that they melt.
- Turn off the heat, and whisk in 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil.
- Refrigerate for an hour or until white and solid.
- With a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the oils until they are fluffy like whipped cream.
- Fill glass jars body butter, seal them, and refrigerate another hour.
A note on storage: Depending on the temperature in your house (and the time of year) you may want to keep these babies in the fridge. If you leave them in a warm room, they won’t go bad, they just might melt and lose the whipped texture.