My eyes are on shea butter and coconut oil these days. Why now? Because I can feel the approaching fall really at my doorstep, and the fall spells drier skin and the urgent need for a nice body crème to keep the moisture in.
Even though we had record heat waves up until last week, as I look outside my window, I know the autumnal vibes are really here. I see my garden slowly completing its summer production: tomatoes, peppers, zucchinis are still on the vines, but not growing as vigorously as just a few weeks ago. The leaves are starting to fall off my beloved sycamore tree in our backyard. And, the ever-present smoke and ash in the air remind me that the fire season is here – fire season in California means the arrival of autumn and the Santa Ana winds.
Why shea butter and coconut oil?
I usually moisturize with a body oil right after the shower or with body melts. But, sometimes, I want something with less fat content, especially when I need to dress quickly and don’t have time to wait for the grease to absorb. Enter non-greasy body creme! For my whipped body butter, I pick shea butter and coconut oil because of the superb moisturizing qualities that they offer.
Both are fats extracted plants: shea butter comes from the nuts of the shea tree, and coconut oil – well, comes from the flesh of the coconuts. So, both fats not only have amazing benefits for the skin but are also completely vegan and cruelty-free.
Key ingredients for body butter
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Shea butter comes mostly from West Africa and boasts amazing amounts of vitamins and fatty acids that are suitable for all skin types.
Shea butter contains high levels of linoleic acid and oleic acid. These two acids balance each other out. That means shea butter is easy for your skin to fully absorb and won’t make your skin look oily after application.Healthline
There are two types of Shea Butter: raw and refined. To refine Shea Butter, the fat is extracted from the nuts in a heat-driven process. Sometimes, potentially harmful hexane is used in the process as well, so it is very important to make sure that your refined shea butter (if you decide to go for the refined type) comes from a reputable source that does not use hexane.
The positives of using refined Shea Butter is that it is white and fragrance-free, so if the more earthy color of the raw butter is an issue for you, the refined might be the one to choose. However, some of the amazing benefits of Shea Butter might be lost in the process of using such high temperatures.
Raw Shea Butter is darker in color, ivory to beige to brownish-greenish, and it has a pretty strong earthy fragrance. If you find the earthy smell too much, this type of Shea might not be for you. Because it is extracted with traditional, non-heating methods, raw Shea retains all of the goodness that it has to offer.
Both types are solid at room temperature and the consistency is pretty solid. However, it is very easy to whip shea butter, and adding a bit of a softer fat makes it easily spreadable and soft to the touch.
What can a whipped shea butter do for your skin?
There are so many benefits of shea butter. Healthline counted 22, but I will mention only the most important ones here:
- Super moisturizing thanks to the high content of a variety of fatty acids
- Anti-bacterial so it is beneficial also to acne-prone skin (bye-bye backne and butt-ne)
- Anti-fungal, for example, “it kills spores of the fungi that cause ringworm and athlete’s foot.”
- Non-oily thanks to its particular make-up of fatty acids
- Anti-inflammatory so it is particularly useful to use to soothe infections or sunburns
- Can boost collagen production thanks to its triterpenes content.
- Helps against stretch marks, scarring, and skin imperfections.
- Can soothe difficult to treat skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis
- Promotes wound healing
In case you still need convincing, it’s also good to know that a DIY whipped Shea Butter might be the easiest skincare product you’ll ever make. Usually, a handmade body butter might require melting and adding beeswax. This means using a double boiler, melting the oils and wax so that they can mix, and then whipping them when cool.
With Shea Butter, we can omit the melting step. This butter is soft enough to just whip it at room temperature!
Organic Shea Butter (Refined)
from: Starwest Botanicals Inc.
This oil might be better known as the current it-oil for sautéing and frying food.
But, this oil also boasts amazing benefits for hair and skin: it is naturally antibacterial, anti-fungal, and moisturizing.
Studies show that coconut oil—which is extracted from the meat of mature coconuts—may improve skin barrier function and repair, has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, fights the signs of skin aging, and makes an effective moisturizer.Prevention
To top it off, this oil smells like something crunchy that just came out of the oven. This wonderful aroma of baked goods can be a particularly nice addition to a fall-scented or holiday-themed body butter, don’t you think?
However, some people are allergic to coconut oil. For others, it might be too greasy. It is really great for those with very dry skin, but if you’re after something a bit lighter, you can easily substitute it with another oil more suitable for your skin type. Grapeseed oil or jojoba would be wonderful for oily or normal skin.
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How to make whipped shea butter and coconut oil body crème
As I mentioned, this body butter might be the easiest DIY you’ll ever make. All it takes is to gather your ingredients, grab a hand mixer, whip, and voila, you’ve got a natural, healthy, beautifying body crème. Because I want to minimize the greasiness and shine that normally stays on the skin for a while when only oils are used, I am adding here two additional ingredients: Aloe Vera Juice and Arrowroot Starch.
Aloe Vera Juice
If you read my earlier DIY posts, you’ll know that I love to use Aloe Vera everywhere: my face wash, my serum, moisturizing face mask, hair conditioner, salt texturizing spray for the hair. They all have some Aloe Vera in them to add moisture and other benefits. Added here to the body crème, it adds moisture while at the same time taking away some of the greasiness.
The real star when it comes to removing excess grease is this starch in the recipe. While it does not bring any additional benefits to the skin, it really makes the body crème less oily, more satiny, and delightfully spreadable.
Organic Arrowroot Powder – $5.50
from: Starwest Botanicals Inc.
My recipe for whipped Shea Butter and Coconut Oil body creme
These measurements will make around 3 ounces of the finished product. If you need more or less, adjust the recipe accordingly.
Gather your ingredients:
4 tsp liquid Coconut Oil (or another oil of choice)
2 tsp Aloe Vera juice
2 tsp Arrowroot Powder
Essential oils of choice (optional)
For this recipe, I used 20 drops of Orange Essential Oil and a squirt of Vanilla Extract. I wish you could smell it! So beautiful!
Whip the shea butter by itself for a few seconds.
Add the liquid oil and aloe vera juice and keep whipping for a minute or so.
Add the starch and continue whipping.
If using, add your essential oils of choice and whip another few seconds.
All you have to do now if move it into a container and either gift somebody or start using it yourself. It can be used as a body lotion or as a hand cream. It is really super versatile.
I hope you’ll enjoy this simple recipe for Shea butter and coconut oil body cremè. Let me know how it went or maybe you have a different recipe to share. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.