Everyone who has experienced dry skin will attest to how difficult it is to get rid of rough, dry patches on your hands, arms, feet, elbows and just about everywhere else. Not only is dry, scaly skin itchy, but looking like a sun-baked alligator is not the prettiest picture on the planet. I am not just talking about the ladies here, either. Guys get cracked hands, knees, and elbows too, and it drives them crazy.
There are many ways to combat dry skin but my favorite solution is with an ultra-creamy, whipped body butter that I make myself. This has not always been the case. My first foray into the world of body butters was over ten years ago with commercial products that had a sticky, yucky, texture that sat on top of the skin. It wasn’t until years later that I was brave enough to try again, this time with my own DIY version.
Making a body butter is insanely easy and requires just two ingredients (or three if you choose to include essential oils). Here is how I do it, and it never fails.
Super Simple Whipped Body Butter with Just Two Ingredients (Essential Oils Optional)
Here is what you will need to make a super rich and creamy body butter.
1/4 cup Shea Butter
1/4 cup Coconut Oil
Glass jar or tin for the finished product
Optional: 10 to 20 drops of essential oil
1. Measure the shea butter and coconut oil into a glass bowl or large, Pyrex measuring cup.
2. Create a make shift double boiler using a pan filled with no more than an inch or two of water. Heat the water, using a low flame. You do not want the water to simmer or boil.
3. Add the glass bowl or measuring cup to the water bath, allowing the shea butter and coconut oil to melt. This will take up to 15 minutes so be patient. You want your ingredients to be completely melted.
4. Remove from heat and allow to sit and set for 60 minutes or until your body butter starts to harden. If you are as impatient as I am, a quick trip to the fridge will speed things up. It should look like this:
5. At this point, add essential oils if you choose to use them. Hint: essential oils deliver some amazing healing qualities and will make your whipped body butter smell divine.
6. Get out your hand mixer or stick blender (this is the one I use), and start whipping things up. It may take five minutes or so to begin to look whipped but once it starts, things will go quickly. Once you feel that your body butter is at the right consistency, add a few more minutes to the process. The goal is light and fluffy.
7. Pile the completed body butter into a small glass jar or tin. At this point, it will be very soft and may seem to be exceedingly greasy. Not to worry, however. It will firm up to a just-right consistency in about six hours. Again, you can speed things up in the fridge.
How to Apply Body Butter
Take a pea sized amount and rub it into the desired body part. It may seem kind of greasy for a moment or two but you will find it absorbs very quickly. That said, a little bit goes a long way and you can always add more if needed.
Essential Oils and Essential Oil Combinations to Try
5 drops Frankincense and 5 drops Lavender
5 drops Lavender, 5 drops Peppermint, 5 drops Rosemary (my favorite “miracle” blend”)
5 drops Lavender and 4 drops Lemon
Are you detecting a recurring theme here? Lavender is a soothing essential oils that is universally loved. Lavender + something else is always a good combination.
10 drops Shield Blend (from Spark Naturals) or another thieves-like blend
Any other essential oil blend you have on hand a love including the Bye-Bye Bites blend I recently shared or even your favorite diffuser blend.
This recipe is highly variable. You can substitute cocoa butter or mango butter for all or part of the shea butter. Likewise, you can substitute a liquid carrier oil (Jojoba, Sweet Almond, Hemp, liquid coconut oil) for the traditional coconut oil. The only caveat is that if you do decide to substitute a liquid carrier oil, reduce the quantity by half to 1/8th cup.
Here in Arizona, the temperature has been running in the 80s and 90s. Using a 50:50 proportion of shea butter to coconut oil, my whipped body butter has maintained its texture without refrigeration. As a matter of fact, it gets very firm in the refrigerator and is not very pleasant to use. That said, refrigeration is still an option.
This recipe makes a small batch but it can easily be doubled or tripled. In that case, ensure you use a deep glass vessel to facilitate the whipping process. If you do not heed this advice, you will have a mess on your hands with body butter spatter all over the place.
A Word About Essential Oils
I prefer essential oils from Spark Naturals, an online company based in Utah. They are not the cheapest nor are they the most expensive, but they have a quality product I trust and some fantastic sales. You can purchase them directly from their website and also on Amazon.com where they have their own branded store.
Another brand of essential oils I have used is NOW Foods. This bargain brand works great in DIY cleaners. Feel free to experiment and always let your nose guide you. If your essential oil smells like paint thinner, return it. Good oils smell nice.
Note: For direct purchases from Spark Naturals, Strategic Living readers get a 10% discount using this link and discount code “gayelevy” at checkout. I am definitely a "Spark Girl"!
Personally, I gave up on over the counter lotions and potions years ago and have found better relief from my own, do-it-yourself concoctions. That said, over the years I have simplified my favorite recipes, streamlining the process and reducing the number of ingredients where I could. Of all things, the most difficult part for me is choosing the oils I use both for healing and for aroma.
Ah, the aroma. Let us not discount the feeling of calm that descends when your home and the products you use smell heavenly. Let us make that a topic for another day.
Strategic Haul: Here are links to a few of the products mentioned in this article.
Shea Butter: This is the brand I use and it has never disappointed. Others have told me that their shea butter tends to produce a grainy body butter but that has never happened to me. This brand is creamy and does not smell. Yes, some shea butters do stink. You will have to trust me on this one.
Organic Coconut Oil: Any high-quality coconut oil will work. I prefer an organic coconut oil and use the same product in the kitchen as I do in my salves and body butters. Costco has some great prices but since I purchase 5-gallon tubs from Healthy Traditions, that is what I use.
Round Steel Tins: I have these tins in two sizes and find them handy for slipping a small amount of body butter or salve into my pocket or handbag so I have it handy when I need it while out and about.
Essential Oils from Spark Naturals: I love this company and know you will too. For small quantities, you can get free shipping when you purchase them from Amazon. For best prices, order direct and get a 10% discount using code “GAYELEVY” (without the quotes) at checkout.