I used to be a drugstore junkie. There was a Shopper’s Drugmart, our Canadian drug superstore, at the corner near our house while attending high school and there was one near my house while attending university. I’d slip in a few times a week, sometimes for legitimate items, such as toilet paper, but mostly to check out the new lip glosses or eye shadows. I spent long hours and dollars there, and ended up filling my body (and medicine cabinet) with a lot of useless junk.
There’s an inspirational quote (I think on people’s Lululemon shopping bags) that says, “do one thing a day that scares you.” If you find yourself nearing the end of the day without having scared yourself, then I suggest you check out this terrifying website, which lists pretty much every beauty product on earth, even natural brands, and all the toxins that they contain. If you’ve already scared yourself sufficiently today and don’t appreciate the fear-mongering of most health sites, and I can’t say I blame you, I’ll offer you a synopsis: all cosmetics sold at most drug stores contain ingredients that are toxic. Harmful chemicals are cheaper, more stable and tend to preserve creams better, so, when it comes to drugstore fare, toxins are here to stay. That’s the bad news. The good news? You don’t have to put up with it. There are plenty of easy, cost-efficient and incredibly nutritive cosmetic recipes online. I’m about to share one with you right now.
Whipped Shea Body Butter
Rub this beautiful silky mixture into dry winter skin and reap the benefits of vitamin-rich, nutritive shea butter, which is very moisturizing and contains skin-nourishing vitamins A and E.
1 cup unrefined shea butter (you can order it here). Cocoa butter works well too.
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup of a light oil such as almond oil, apricot kernel oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil or even jojoba oil. You can even mix them up to your liking.
Optional: a few drops (10-15) of an essential oil for fragrance. I used soothing lavender. (It’s also the only essential oil I own).
Create a double boiler using a glass bowl and a large pot. Put all of the ingredients in the glass bowl, fill the pot most of the way with water and put the glass bowl in the water. Turn the stove onto medium heat and melt the oils. Stir frequently while heating until all the oils have melted and the mixture is uniform. This takes about 10 minutes.
Remove the glass bowl from heat and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
After the hour, the mixture should be solid, but still uniform. Using a hand mixer whip everything on medium-high speed for 10 minutes until the oils have a creamy consistency. Add the essential oils half-way through. After 10 minutes of whipping, spoon the body butter evenly among glass or plastic containers (such as mini mason jars). Put back in the fridge to chill for another hour.
This makes an amazing gift and is one of the best body butters I’ve tried (take that, drugstore brands)! It can be stored at room temperature and, although it contains no preservatives, usually keeps for a few months. The body butter absorbs well into skin, doesn’t feel greasy and gives skin a soft, velvety texture. Who needs drugstores now?
Other homemade natural body care recipes you might like: