This is truly the ultimate decadent moisturizer. It is super hydrating, soothing and nourishing for the skin and is especially handy in a dry climate, like Colorado. This is definitely the main moisturizer that I use on myself and my kids. One of the best things about this recipe is that it is VERY easy to make. If you are new to homemade body care, this is a great place to start. It is an all oil product (unlike lotion which is oil and water emulsified together), so it mixes together easily, doesn’t require any preservatives and is quite stable. The two main ingredients are Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter. From there, you can choose whatever liquid carrier oil you would like to add as the third ingredient. I love using herbal infused olive oils, almond oil, apricot kernal oil, jojoba oil and coconut oil (I know it is not always liquid, but it works). I usually just use whatever I have on have on hand. You can also add all natural, pure essential oils to give your body butter a scent. Lavender, Chamomile, Grapefruit, Frankincense and Rose are some of my favorites for this recipe. You can also keep it simple and leave it unscented. Let’s take a closer look at the skin-loving properties of the Shea and Cocoa butter:
Shea Butter, Butyrospermum parkii
Shea butter, made from the vegetable fat of the Karite tree in Africa, is the number one moisturizing butter for dry skin. It is naturally high in antioxidant vitamins A and E. It’s soothing and anti-inflammatory properties make it a great remedy for dermatitis, eczema, itchy skin, diaper rash and other skin irritations. Shea actually has some UV protection (SPF-6) making it a nice base for natural sunscreens. It also increases circulation, accelerates wound healing and is regenerative to the skin.
Cocoa Butter, Theobroma cocao
Made from the roasted seeds of the cocao tree, the best thing about this butter is the amazing chocolate smell! This edible butter is high in vitamin E and other antioxidants, making it very stable and it quickly absorbs into the skin. Traditionally used in Africa to protect and condition skin that has been overexposed to sun and wind, it moisturizes, restores skin elasticity, relieves stress and boosts the immune system. It is the most common butter used during pregnancy to prevent and/or treat stretch marks.
1 cup Shea Butter
1/2 cup Cocoa Butter
1/2 cup Liquid Carrier Oil (Almond Oil, Apricot Kernal Oil, Olive Oil, Jojoba Oil, Coconut Oil)
50-60 drops of Pure Essential Oils (optional, this recipes is fabulous unscented as well)
1. Weigh out the cocoa butter and place in a double boiler on low heat to melt.
2. Weigh out the shea butter and place in a large mixing bowl. Chop it up as much as you can with a knife. Shea butter does not like to be heated, that is why you have to incorporate it into the other oils with a blender rather than melting it. If you do heat shea, it will have a slightly gritty consistency once it hardens. It does not make the butter bad it just won’t feel as nice as a smooth, creamy butter will. Trust me it is worth the extra effort.
3. Measure the liquid oils oil and pour them into the bowl with the shea butter. Once the cocoa butter is completely melted, pour it into the mixing bowl with the shea & oils.
4. Blend with the hand mixer until the oils are completely incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
5. Add the essential oils at this point, if desired and mix well.
6. Continue to blend with the hand mixer until the butter becomes fluffy (it will start to peak like egg whites).
7. Spoon the butter into clean, dry containers. Label and date. The shelf life of this product is about 1 year. It is super stable and could even go longer than that as long as it is stored away from light and heat and no water is introduced into the container.