The winter months bring cold temps and harsh weather that does its best to dry out your skin. We live in South Dakota where the addition of low humidity makes maintaining soft, supple skin a bit of a challenge. The best way I’ve found to combat mother nature is to protect and moisturize my skin with an indulgent homemade body butter that nourishes as it hydrates.
The great thing about homemade body butters and lotions is that they are fully customizable to your unique needs or preferences. From the addition of your signature mix of essential oils, to dropping in a few of your own secret ingredients, this recipe can be completely personalized.
The recipe starts with a base of pure unrefined shea butter and cold pressed coconut oil. When I first ventured into using natural products as a replacement for my lotion dependency, I started with just pure coconut oil. Coconut oil is great because it has transdermal properties that allow it to soak deep into your skin to start healing and moisturizing almost from the inside out. However, because it soaked in so well, I found that I felt a bit dry once it soaked in. Then I tried pure shea butter. Shea butter offers a thick, rich option that seems to stay on your skin for hours. But again, it wasn’t perfect. I needed it to soak in a little better, and I didn’t care for the overly greasy feel it left on my skin. This led to trying a combination of the two to achieve something that would render the benefits of both at the same time.
As mentioned above, coconut oil has the ability to soak deep into your skin. The medium-chain triglycerides penetrate deep into your skin and promote healing, hydration, and protection from free radical damage. Because of this, many believe coconut oil to be a natural alternative to fighting the aging process and reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Also used in many homemade sunscreens, coconut oil screens up to 20 percent of ultraviolet rays. And the best part, it’s a gentle moisturizer safe for those with sensitive skin and babies.
Rich in fatty acids, and Vitamins A and E, shea butter is a moisturizing powerhouse for your skin. It stimulates the production of collagen, improving the elasticity of your skin by helping to regenerate and reduce the effects of aging. It also has anti-inflammatory and UV protection properties. It can even be used to treat minor wounds and burns. And again, it’s safe for sensitives skin and babies.
To this base, I have experimented with a variety of add-ins such as jojoba oil, vitamin E oil, and vegetable glycerin. These additional oils are optional, but when making it for myself, I typically always include jojoba oil and vegetable glycerin.
Jojoba oil is similar in makeup to sebum, the oil that your skin naturally produces, which allows it to be easily absorbed into the skin. Due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it is often used to treat skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, and dry skin.
Vegetable glycerin is a clear, odorless compound that helps nourish the skin by helping it to retain moisture, and by drawing oxygen into the lower layers of skin providing anti-aging properties. Vegetable glycerin pulls water from the air and creates hydrogen bonds which continuously provide your skin with moisture throughout the day.
Why the Whip is Important
This body butter is usable as soon as the base ingredients are blended together. However, in my personal experience, at this stage the mixture is very dense and harder to spread over my skin. The whipping helps to incorporate air creating a lighter consistency that is not only much easier to apply, but also uses less for each application, stretching the life of your finished product.
Homemade Whipped Body Butter
- 1 c. Pure Unrefined Shea Butter
- 1 c. Organic Cold Pressed Coconut Oil
- 1 tbsp. Jojoba Oil (optional)
- 2 tbsp. Vegetable Glycerin (optional)
- Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. (Important to break up the chunks of shea butter to create smooth finished product).
- Pour mixture into a mixing bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool until it solidifies.
- Using a stand mixer or hand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk cooled mixture until it takes on a whipped consistency similar to whipped cream.
- Resist licking your fingers, it may look delicious, but I can promise it doesn’t taste so great.
- Spoon whipped butter into tubs or jars with a lid and store in a cool place. *This will become liquid again if it gets too warm.
Feel free to try other oils or your favorite essential oils to create a scented body butter!