Wednesday, 22 April 2015

DIY Body Butter

DIY Body butter
You know how sometimes you see a recipe and think… oh yeah, that sounds nice… but then never actually make it. Please don’t do that with this one. This homemade body butter is just heavenly! and honestly – I think you’re going to love what it does for your skin! Don’t worry, you can get all the ingredients you need to make it here or any good health store.

A body butter is made by combining oils (liquid) with butters (solid). Example:

oils (liquid): coconut oil, almond oil, safflower oil, avocado oil.
butters (solid) : shea butter, mango butter, cocoa butter
From what I know, basically you can make your body butter with any combination, as long as the proportions are 75% solid, 25% liquid. 

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I chose to work with cocoa butter ( which hardens easily), coconut oil and sweet almond oil as my liquid.

Coconut Oil  is a top favourite of mine. Always use a virgin cold-pressed oil, organic is best, to make sure that all the nutrients and beneficial properties are intact. Coconut oil’s antioxidant properties protect the skin from free radical damage and because it’s so full of essential fatty acids, it also helps to build and strengthen skin-cell structures. This keeps the skin’s connective tissues strong and supple, which helps to prevent sagging and wrinkles. My skin loves it and I love that it’s easily absorbed.

Sweet Almond Oil is an emollient – in that it smoothens and softens skin more than hydrates it. It’s full of vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant and great skin protector and healer. I also love that it’s easily absorbed into the skin without leaving a greasy residue. With this recipe I wanted to use light oils, otherwise it may be a bit much. On a side note – vitamin E is such a great antioxidant that it’s used as a preservative in many natural skin care recipes – so if you have vitamin E at home, a few drops in your skincare recipes helps to keep them longer.

Raw Cocoa Butter

Cocoa Butter comes from the cocoa bean. It has a distinct nutty, chocolate scent – so yes, you will smell… delicious! When I use it on my skin, my Son notices immediately!  Cocoa butter is a rich emollient, it leaves your skin buttery soft. It contains fatty acids which help to retain moisture and build elasticity and also has properties which can help ease dermatitis or rashes. And did I mention it smells like chocolate! Just like your oils, you want to choose a raw, cold-pressed butter – free of chemicals that are used in bleaching and refining.


Cocoa Butter is solid, so you’ll need to melt it down in  a hot water bath. Depending on where you live, and if it’s cold, your coconut oil may be hard too. Melt them gently until completely liquid, before you mix in any other oils.

Once the butter is melted and is well mixed and combined with all of the oils you’ll need to then harden it in the freezer for about 20 minutes. If it’s too soft, it won’t whip up! If it’s too hard, it won’t whip up. Don’t worry about it now. Freeze it until it’s a semi-solid mush, you’ll know when it’s ready!

Now, I want to tell you something up front , this body butter is unusual in that it melts onto your skin the instant you apply it – like butter on a hot pan. Honestly, I found it to be a bit strange. The recipes that I had read don’t tell you this, so when I first used it, I thought it was greasy and that I wouldn’t like it. But then, something magical happened – my skin soaked it all in – and instead of feeling greasy, it felt velvety soft! My skin is seriously thanking me and has promised to glow and never wrinkle, if I use this everyday. I’ve happily accepted.



1 cup melted cocoa butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup sweet almond oil
20 drops essential oil


In a water bath, melt down your hard butters and oils until fully liquid
In a bowl, blend together the melted butters with all of the oils and set in the freezer to harden, about 20 minutes.
Once the mixture is solid again, but not too hard, whip it up using an electronic whisk, a food processor with a whisk attachment, a handheld whisk and a bit of elbow grease or your kitchen-aide (lucky!) until you have created fluffy white clouds
Spoon it into a clean jar or container. It will keep for months.
Slather it on!

The richness of this recipe makes it a great night-time lotion for me.  I’m telling you this because it’s always important to play with recipes to make it work for you – and just like cooking, the more you practise and work with your ingredients – the more you understand how they work and how to best use them.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

At home facial for clear skin

How to Pamper Your Face

 Before you begin, read through these steps first so that you can make preparations. This will ensure that you have the most relaxing experience.

 1. Cleanse

 Fill the bathroom sink or a clean bowl with very warm water and throw in a nice facial cloth. Turn on some soothing spa-esc music or any music that allows you to relax.

Before you begin pampering, you need to have a clean face with no grime, sweat, or makeup. The most natural way to do this is to use oil (don’t worry, it won’t clog your pores or break you out). I like to use coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil, but you can any oil to cleanse your face that is natural and cold pressed like almond, sesame, jojoba, or grape seed oil…etc . Apply a small amount to your fingers.

 Massage the oil into the skin in a circular motion to break up any makeup. The oil will even break up the most resistant mascara, just make sure to keep your eyes tightly closed. I recommend cleansing your eyes last if you need to remove makeup to lessen the chance that you might accidentally open your eyes.

 Massage the oil into your skin for at least a minute, focusing on problem areas like dry skin, puffiness around the eyes, blackheads, and acne (just be gentle here). Make this an enjoyable experience, you’re pampering yourself after all.

 After cleansing, reach into the sink or bowl and grab your face cloth. Wring it out a bit and gently wipe your eyes first, then the rest of your face. Your skin will be clean and glowing already! But we’re not done yet!


2. Herbal Facial Steam

 This is a really relaxing and luxurious experience. All you need is:

 • A nice big bowl

• 2 TB of your favorite fragrant herb like chamomile, rose, lavender…etc or a few tea bags of herbal tea or green tea

• A few drops of your favorite essential oil.

• A big towel

Fill the bowl with very hot water (be careful if you’re using a glass bowl), and fill it ¾ of the way to the top. Add your herbs and oils. Get comfy somewhere, and put your face over the steaming herbal tea. Put your hair up and then put the towel over your head to create a tent that traps in all that glorious fragrance and cleansing steam. Leave a small opening for air flow, and steam your face for at least 10 minutes.

Your pores will open and release toxins, oils, and bacteria, allowing the nourishing plant oil vapor to penetrate and cleanse your skin. Steaming will really help with our next step because you want your pores to be as open as possible.


3. Exfoliation
Now that your pores are all nice and open, it’s time to scrub away blackheads and dead skin cells. Reach into your spice cabinet and grab some cinnamon and then the pantry for some almonds or oat bran. Grind up the almonds until they are fine but still have a little grit, you need this to exfoliate.

Mix 1 TB ground almonds or oat bran with ¼ tsp Cinnamon powder. Add 1 drop of essential oil like lavender or tea tree and a small amount of water or green tea. You need just enough water to make it moist. Dab a cloth into your herbal steam bowl and gently wipe your face clean of the impurities from steaming. Apply some homemade scrub to your fingers and massage into your skin in a circular motion. Focus on blackheads and dry skin areas. I don’t recommend scrubbing too hard because it will aggravate acne and oil production. We’re shooting for clear skin here!

 Rinse the scrub thoroughly and pat dry.

 4. Mask

Applying a nice facial mask after clearing away blackheads and impurities, will allow the clay to tighten and minimize the appearance of pores. I love bentonite clay.

 Mix a small amount of clay with water or herbal tea until liquid but not too runny. I like to mix clay using this method. Apply the clay with your fingers or a fan brush in an even layer and let the clay dry completely before rinsing.

 Clays masks will absorb toxins, stimulate nourishing circulation, and deep clean the pores. It is one of the best ways to achieve clear skin.


 Using rose water after a facial mask will balance the PH of your skin, hydrate it, and make it glow. The astringent properties of rose water will tighten the pores, making them appear smaller, and seal in moisture for a smooth and supple look.

 All you have to do is liberally spray or apply with cotton balls, the rose water all over your face, breathe deeply of its heavenly fragrance, and press it into the skin with your fingertips.

 6. Facial Oil Moisturizer

 We began with oil and now we will end with oil. Using a facial oil like jojoba, rosehip oil, argan, tamanu, or almond oil will deeply moisturize and smooth the skin. They also happen to protect and balance the skin, making them the perfect one ingredient moisturizer..

 Simply apply a few drops to your fingertips and massage into your skin. I like to apply it while my face is still wet with rose water for best results. This will prevent dragging the skin and allow for even application.

Once you’re finished, your face should be bright and fresh! I hope you take the time to pamper yourself and enjoy this luxurious at home facial.