Certain ingredients in the beauty world are beloved by many and used frequently. Shea butter, coconut oil, almond oil, tea tree oil, aloe vera, and honey are a few of these ingredients. They help to hydrate the skin, provide antibacterial properties, and keep the skin ultra soft, to name a few benefits. Although you can apply some of these ingredients individually, most of them work best in combination with each other.
What Is Body Butter?
Body butter is a nutrient-dense cream that typically contains natural oils, butters, and essential oils. Applying body butter helps to protect, nourish, and hydrate the skin to help you avoid dryness. Body butter is a non-greasy cream that gives your skin a glow without the oily finish. It is thicker than lotion and made with all-natural ingredients, provided you make it yourself. In the case of this body butter, for example, it only contains six wholesome ingredients. Like most body butters, this recipe helps reduce wrinkles, nourish the skin, protect the skin barrier, and enhance moisture levels. Learn more about some of these ingredients below.
Why is shea butter so popular in beauty products? Well, it is naturally rich in fatty acids, triglycerides, and vitamins, all of which contribute to healthier, smoother skin. When you apply shea butter topically, it acts as an emollient, helping the skin retain moisture and reducing the risk of moisture loss. The linoleic and oleic acids in shea butter help to enhance moisture levels in the skin without leaving a greasy residue behind. Shea butter also protects the skin barrier, filling in micro cracks to seal in moisture. In fact, shea butter may exhibit similar topical effects as ceramides, which are responsible for sealing the skin barrier.
Is it cocoa butter or cacao butter? Although people think these terms are interchangeable, they do have different meanings. Cacao refers to chocolate in its raw state, while cocoa refers to chocolate that has already been roasted. Similar to shea butter, cacao butter contains healthy fats that help protect the skin. Cacao butter also contains polyphenols, especially resveratrol, which fights free radicals and oxidative stress. Increasing the presence of antioxidants on the skin can not only enhance the overall appearance, but also contribute to optimal smoothness, hydration, and shine.
Lemon Essential Oil
Exhibiting astringent, fragrant, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and absorbent properties, lemon essential oil deserves a place in your skin care routine. Because of the antimicrobial and astringent properties, lemon essential oil helps reduce inflammation and P. acnes, the bacteria that causes inflammatory acne. Astringents also work to remove dead skin cells that can clog pores, contributing to more breakouts. Lemon essential oil may also assist with gentle exfoliation and evening your skin tone.
DIY Lemon Vanilla Body Butter
- 1/2 cup cacao butter
- 1/2 cup shea butter
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup almond oil
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- 40 drops lemon essential oil
- Melt the cacao butter, shea butter, coconut oil, and almond oil in the top of a double boiler over medium heat.
- Stir gently until the oils and butters are completely incorporated and melted.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool at room temperature. You can also place it in the fridge for about 30 minutes. You want the mixture to thicken, but not solidify.
- Once the oil mixture has thickened, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add them to the oil and butter mixture. Pour in the lemon essential oil and mix well to combine.
- Place the mixture in the fridge and allow it to thicken even more until it is near a solid state. This should take about one and a half hours.
- Remove the mixture from the fridge and then get out your hand mixer. Whip the mixture until it forms a fluffy body butter.
- Transfer to glass jars or containers and store and then store them in a cool, dry place. Use as needed.