March is the last stretch of the really cold weather, and here in NYC our radiators are pumping strong. While I am very grateful for the provided heat, it can make our apartment very dry.
Most of us, no matter where we live, experience dryer skin during the colder months. This happens because the humidity is low both indoors and outdoors and the epidermis (the outer most part of the skin) tends to reflect the level of humidity around it.
When I first started making sustainable swaps for my home and beauty products I went down the DIY route hard… trying to come up with recipes and formulas to make my own products to substitute out for the ones that had non-biodegradable ingredients and came in non-recyclable containers.
Some of these recipes were an absolute fail, admittedly. I learned that there are certain products that, when made mindfully and sourced ethically by larger companies, are worth it to buy.
I found the recipes that stayed around were the simple ones that worked as well if not much better than any store bought alternative and were easy to whip up. One of my favorites is a body butter I make using Coconut Oil, and Shea Butter/Cocoa Butter.
Coconut Oil, an anti-inflammatory for the skin, has been known to help heal wounds, and is moisturizing and helps improve your skins hydration. For use in skincare, unrefined (virgin or extra-virgin) cold-pressed coconut oil is what's recommended.
Shea Butter is rich in different types of fatty acids that can boost your skins moisture and protect the skin from damage from pollutants from the environment. It includes antioxidants including Vitamin A and E and is known to be anti-inflammatory.
Cocoa Butter is also rich in fatty acids so it helps hydrate skin. Cocoa butter is good for stretch marks and scars because it is the only butter that can seep into the dermis (the middle layer of skin), and not just the epidermis. Because it is able to penetrate deep, it keeps the skin soft and supple.
-Measure out equal parts Coconut Oil and Shea Butter/Cocoa Butter.
-Melt in a double boiler (or microwave at 30 second intervals) until mixture is smooth.
-Let cool for 2-5 minutes.
-Add in essential oils for scent and additional skin benefits.
-Add optional add-ons such as a few drops of Vitamin E, or a tsp of Jojoba Oil.
-Put in the refrigerator until the mixture is 80% hardened.
-Use a hand mixture and whip the mixture.
-Scoop into glass jars.
-Put in back into the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes if you feel the lotion needs to reset after mixing.
My Favorite Recipe:
1/3 cup Shea Butter
1/3 cup Coconut Oil
2 Tablespoons Cocoa Butter
1 tsp of Jojoba Oil
2 drops of Vitamin E
20-50 drops of my favorite essential oils depending on the type of lotion I am making.
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