My biggest advice for someone who is trying to switch over to a more natural, healthy lifestyle is to just do a little at a time, and I follow my own advice. I think it is the key to sustaining changes in the future.
Now that it doesn’t feel like such a struggle to buy, cook and eat naturally, I’m starting to take aim at other areas in my life. My new goals? Switching over the health and beauty products I’m using to more natural alternatives. Our skin is our largest organ, right? So, why would we want to gunk it up with a bunch of junk? I’ll admit my cabinets have been filled with Bath and Body Works lotion. It’s my weakness, but after I checked out the ingredient list (and realized I didn’t know what nearly anything was), I decided to end the love affair. Seriously, check this out:
That’s why this rich and creamy body butter was one of my first projects, and I have to say I AM IN LOVE with this stuff! It is light, fluffy and leaves my chapped winter skin feeling silky, smooth and moisturized. I don’t think I will ever buy lotion again.
This body butter is made from just three ingredients: coconut oil, cocoa butter and essential oil. That’s it. No chemicals or unpronounceable, unidentifiable ingredients.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve surely heard by now how great coconut oil is for just about everything in the world. At the top of the list of beneficial uses is skincare. It seeps in through your skin to provide a deep, soothing moisture, great for dry winter skin.
Cocoa butter, which is full of antioxidants and provides deep hydration, is also a great for the skin and provides a chocolate scent.
The sssential oil gives the body butter a great scent, and depending on which oil you use, it can contain some beneficial properties as well. If you use peppermint essential oil, it leaves your skin with a cooling sensation and mixed with the cocoa butter smells amazingly like mint chocolate chip ice cream or peppermint patties. If you use orange essential oil, you get an amazing chocolate citrus scent. They both smell SO good!
Here’s how it’s made:
1 cup organic coconut oil
1 cup organic cocoa butter
essential oil of you choice
Note: I bought my organic coconut oil and organic cocoa butter at Amazon.com. Coconut oil is readily available at many grocery stores, but I haven’t found cocoa butter anywhere locally. If you are in a larger city, you may be able to track some down.
1. Measure out one cup of coconut oil and one cup of cocoa butter. Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, the coconut oil will probably be in a soft solid state similar to the consistency of Crisco. The cocoa butter on the other hand is more solid. I usually take a butter knife and hack at the cocoa butter container until I get enough chunks to fill the measuring cup. It’s a great way to take out your frustrations from the week!
2. Put the coconut oil and cocoa butter into a small to medium saucepan on medium heat. Melt the contents until completely liquid, and there are no longer any chunks. It usually takes 4-5 minutes.
3. Transfer to a mixing bowl and refrigerate until the liquid becomes a soft solid again. This took about a few hours for me, but I’m sure all refrigerators are different.
4. Add your essential oil to your liking. For this batch, I used two cap-fulls of peppermint, first distill, from my essential oil sampler pack I ordered from Brambleberry.com.
5. Mix until light and fluffy, similar to whipped cream consistency. This took me about 10 minutes on a high setting on my Kitchenaid stand mixer.
6. Transfer to a jar, and enjoy. That’s it!
Note: Because the body butter is made partially from coconut oil, you’ll want to store it at a comfortable room temperature. If it’s too cold, it’ll become pretty solid, and if it’s too warm it’ll turn to liquid. If it happens, no problem, just transfer it to a more temperate area.
I made a few jars up for Christmas gifts for friends and family, the last of which finally was finally delivered yesterday to the wonderful foreign exchange students I oversee throughout the year. Our scheduled December sleepover and German Christmas party had to be cancelled because of ice and snow, so we met back up on Saturday and had a late Christmas party. We exchanged gifts and Henrie, our German girl, cooked up a huge German feast. It was a blast!
For their gifts, I transferred the body butter to a couple of jelly jars and just added some scrapbook paper, puffy letters for their initials and some leather string with a pine cone attached. I think they turned out really cute!