Thursday, August 29, 2013

Body Butter

Left: Solid (Refined) Butter..............................Right: Solid (Unrefined) Butter
Above: Liquid butter 
( refined butter maintains it's liquid state, while unrefined butter tends to coagulate)

This is my homemade body butter/lotion that I use to moisturize my skin from head to toe after I shower.  It's a mixture of raw shea butter and coconut oil.  I've used shea butter intermittently over the years mainly for my hair and scalp, but not so much on my skin.  I've used various commercial lotions on my body for years, but several months ago I noticed that my skin would react to some of them.  That's when I had identified an increase in my sensitivity level and had to make some changes.  I had some left-over refined (white) shea butter and I used this to make a trial batch that lasted me 3 months.  My skin responded well to it.  However, I plan to use the unrefined (yellow) shea butter instead with my next one, since it contains more nutritive and moisturizing properties.

Application
(Left pic) Sometimes I'll keep my batch refrigerated and since it's solid I simply take the batch out of the fridge, slice a chunk, rub it together in my hands until it melts and then rub it all over my body.
(Right pic) I'll use it as a liquid and just pour some into my hands and rub it all over my body.

Within a week of using my body butter I noticed my skin changed.  It felt softer, more moisturized, and blemishes became less visible.  Better yet when I did not use my butter after I showered, my skin still remained silky soft!



Recipe
1/4 cup - Unrefined (or refined) Shea Butter
1/4 cup - Coconut Oil (Organic, Virgin, Cold Pressed, Unrefined)  
  
It's easier to mix both ingredients if they're at room temperature, or you could melt them on the stove.  I scoop out the butter and oil into a small glass bowl, then place the bowl in a steel pot, and turn on the burner to let the ingredients melt.  You may add your own essential oils if you wish to have a different scent, but I don't use any because I'm sensitive to most of them.

Once they've melted, I'll do 1 of 2 things: 
1) I wait for the glass bowl to cool and then I refrigerate it until the mixture solidifies, OR
2) I pour the liquid into an old empty 8 fl oz. bottle and use it as is (i'll make a funnel using foil and pour the contents in that way to avoid spillage). 

When I'm ready to use my batch then I'll:
1) (solid): cut a chunk out with a knife and rub my hands together until it melts, OR
2) (liquid): Pour some liquid from the bottle into my hands. 

Shea Butter comes in two forms:
Unrefined Shea Butter is yellow, oily, smells nutty, more moisturizing and melts easily
Refined Shea Butter is white, less oily & odorless, but less moisturizing and lacks nutritive properties
Click here to learn more about Shea Butter and the difference between both forms.
(Many different website sell shea butter, so it would be a good idea to search for deals)

Coconut oil is processed in one of three ways:
Expeller Pressed - Uses high heat and harms nutrients
Centrifuge - Contains more water which causes it to become rancid much faster, but it saves nutrients
Cold Pressed  - It preserves nutrients

Coconut Smell:
Refined - It's odorless and processed with chemicals
Unrefined  - It has the delightful meaty coconut smell

Brand
Trader Joe's or Carrington Farms 

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