Friday, January 9, 2009

Luxury Body Care - Whipped Shea Butter

Many of you may have noticed that with the cold weather comes that dreaded phenomenon.....scaly skin.

What is it about winter that turns our lovely summer flushed skin into something that should be in a horror movie? I have often thought that aside from the drying weather, it's the abundance of clothes we wear.

Longer socks, long pants, long sleeve shirts and sweaters and perhaps long underwear are rubbing against our skin all day long and many are made of absorbent materials like cotton. The idea, of course, is to wick away moisture from the skin to keep our bodies warm and dry. Unfortunately, our clothes don't know how to regulate the amount of moisture to remove and the result is flaky, alligator skin.

Whipped Shea Butter is one product that can help relieve dry, flaky skin and it is incredibly easy to make. The following recipe requires very few ingredients and only makes a small amount...about 1.5 cups....a little goes a long way with Shea butter and because it doesn't contain chemical preservatives, it's nice to have it as fresh as possible.

Whipped Shea Butter

1/2 Cup Shea Butter
1/3 Cup Carrier Oil*
(sweet almond, apricot kernel, avocado, hemp seed, hazelnut, camellia, evening primrose, borage, or olive oil infused with calendula or chamomile are all good choices)
1/8 tsp Rosemary Extract or Vitamin E oil (optional but will help to prolong the life of the oils)
1 tsp Corn Starch (optional...makes the butter feel less greasy)
1/8 - 1/4 tsp essential or fragrance oil (optional)

Place the Shea butter in a mixing bowl and begin to beat with a stand mixer or electric hand mixer until the butter is creamy. Have may take awhile for the friction of the beaters to soften the butter. If the butter is too hard, soften slightly in the microwave for about 15 seconds but do not melt. Gradually add the carrier oil a small amount at a time and blend completely between additions. This is important or you will get lumpy butter.

If you are adding Rosemary Extract or Vitamin E oil add it now. Once that has been blended in add the cornstarch and then the fragrance or essential oil. Blend the mix until all ingredients are fully incorporated and spoon into a wide mouth jar.

Whipped Shea butter resembles thick whipped cream. It will be light and fluffy and should absorb quite quickly. I find the best way to use it is to apply a small amount after a hot shower. Your skin is hydrated and the oils help to lock in the moisture.

Now go and enjoy a little do-it-yourself luxury that is inexpensive and fun.

*Visit Soap Making Essentials for information about the carrier oils and what they will do for your skin.

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