What to do when you have very dry (an excess of vata) skin? Body butters to the rescue.
Body butters are not creams or lotions but rather a combination of emollient and nutrient rich ingredients that feed the skin valuable oil and in this case delicious organic cocoa to boot! There are many ways to make body butters and different ingredients can be used based upon your goals for the end product. You can add beeswax, other butters such as Illipe, Mango, Kokum, Kpangnan, or Kombo butter and a whole bunch of different vegetable or infused oils, from simply sesame or jojoba to vanilla infused jojoba and rose hip seed oil. Sometimes in some recipes hydrosols or water is added, however, this is then creating a cream rather then a body butter. In body butters, no water is added.
When experimenting with body butter formulations be prepared to get a bit messy and definitely oiled up. Your body (if you are dry or more vata in constitution) will love you. For those of you who are more kapha or are all ready oily by nature/constitution you can still enjoy body butters you may just want to add in 1-2 tsps. of organic corn starch to reduce greasiness of body butter or refrain from using them as they are not really indicated for kapha constitutions in general.
A body butter can also be very thick and placed into a tube or it can be more creamy (by adding more oil).
This is a recipe for Organic Cacao Body Butter, which makes about 1 cup of butter.
You will need: (everything is organic)
- 3 ounces shea butter
- 2.5 ounces Cocoa butter
- 1 tbsp. cacao powder (or more if desired)
- 8 – 10 tablespoons vanilla infused jojoba oil
**I decided not to add Coconut oil into this butter, but you could add 1-2 ounces and increase your vanilla infused jojoba by 1 – 2 tbsps
Step One: Weigh 3 ounces of Shea butter
You can choose to melt down the shea butter at this point in a double boilers as it takes a bit longer to melt down then cocoa butter. This would be a wise decision particularly if you were going to place your glass heat resistant measuring cup direct into the hot water. I was using a double boiler and then placed the glass measuring cup into the top pan. To reduce heat exposure.
So for me, Step Two was to weigh out 2.5 ounces of Cocoa butter.
Step Three: Add the shea and cocoa butter into a pyrex glass measuring cup. I recommend using at least a 2 cup measuring glass. Place this into the top pan of a double boiler. Turn heat on medium. It will take about 10-15 minutes for this to melt down. You can also add in the tablespoon of cacao powder at this point too.
ADD Vanilla infused oil in at this time too!
Step Four: Stir ingredients well as they melt down together. You can use either a glass or wood stirring rod and then move on to using a wire whisk as it melts down.
Step Five: Once all the ingredients have melted together. Take cup off of heat source. Wipe outside of measuring cup to remove water condensation.
You can add your essential oils in at this point. I decided not to add any as I loved the way it smelled without it. But if I had added some in (say, ylang ylang and ginger perhaps), I would have added a total of 15 drops.
Whisk a few more times and then place measuring cup into the refrigerator.
After about 10 minutes, remove container from fridge and whisk with a beater for a few minutes then place back in the fridge. I recommend doing this every 10 to 15 minutes as the ingredients cool down and harden.
Step Six: After about 3/4 of an hour, the butter should be solidified. I would whisk a few more minutes and then the butter is ready. Try the texture out on your skin. If you find it too thick you can remelt it all down and add more vegetable oil (in this case, vanilla infused jojoba oil). If it is simply too greasy, melt down and add in 1-2tsp. of organic corn flour.