Tuesday, October 22, 2013


12 Days of Christmas Crafting: Revisited
Day 6: Making Moisturizing Butters from Aloe, Shea,  and Cocoa
By Christi R. Pugh
For Nature’s Gift, Inc.

We’re back with more aromatic Christmas crafting ideas.  It’s our 6TH day blogging about essential oil and aromatherapy holiday creations and we appreciate you joining us on the journey. We’re often asked about the differences between our various Butters: Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Aloe Butter, and our Virgin Coconut Crème Oil versus butters.

Today we’re tackling the topic with tips for working with these delightful deep moisturizers. (Perfect for dry winter skin!) Pampering winter skin has never been easier.  Simply select Aloe, Shea, or Cocoa butter, along with specially chosen essential oil or oil blend.  Warm the butter or butters slowly over the stove & then add the oil you wish to use for the project.
First let’s look at the “Butters,” Aloe, Shea and Cocoa.  Yes, our delightful whipped Shea Soufflé starts out as our naturally refined Shea Butter, as white as snow..  We chunk the Shea to size and package it in baggies for ease of transport and use, however, PET plastic jars or PET plastic bail jars may be purchased on our website to hold your nifty creations.Please note those with both nut and latex allergies should avoid any Shea product.

 Extremely firm and solid at room temperature, our pure Cocoa Butter tends to soften as outdoor
temperatures rise or with body heat from the hands, emitting an inviting chocolaty aroma.  As the thermometer drops outside, it is advisable to melt a bit and add your favorite carrier oil to soften.  Our Virgin Coconut Crème oil also combines well with the Cocoa butter.  This might be a good time to mention that Fractionated Coconut Oil, our favorite carrier due to its long shelf-life, is virtually odorless.  Don’t order Fractionated Coconut expecting to smell coconut, because you will be disappointed.   (Marge says that the combination of Virgin Coconut Creme and natural Cocoa Butter smells like a Mounds Bar™ .)

Our Aloe Butter offering, Certified Organic Aloe Vera, enfleuraged into Certified Organic (deodorized) Coconut Oil is grown and produced in the USA. This unique combination is excellent on dry elbows and heels.  It is an odorless, white, instantly melting cream, helpful for chapped lips or hands and as healing and anti-inflammatory as it is moisturizing.  Warm it gently in a bowl of warm water to add your favorite soothing essential oils:  Lavender, Chamomiles, or even Poplar Balsam or Helichrysum for irritated skin or small wounds. 

What can be said about our organic Virgin Coconut Crème Oil, other than it is fabulous!  Smells like freshly grated coconuts, too! It liquefies much quicker than either Shea or Cocoa Butter, nearly instantly in your hands.  Ours is cold pressed from freshly grown organic coconuts and solvent free and can even be utilized in high heat cooking (over 350 degrees. Traditionally it is used to nourish skin and condition hair.  We offer it in our PET plastic 4 oz white jars and larger PET plastic clear bail jars. 

On to the recipe fun! Once upon a time we offered Belly Balm to help diminish stretch marks from pregnancy but quit offering it because the added carrier oils had a tendency to separate, not what we wanted in a commercial product.  However, women swear by the formula, and Marge tweaked it for her daughter-in-law and shares the recipe.  (Her daughter-in-law swears by it. Three big babies and not a stretch mark where she used the butter.)   

You’ll need a postage scale or scale that measures in grams for this project: 250 grams Virgin Coconut Cream Oil and 75 grams Cocoa Butter. Melt the Cocoa Butter, and stir it into the Virgin Coconut.  The heat of the melted cocoa butter should be enough to melt the coconut. If not, warm gently just until liquefied. Blend: 7.5 grams Rose Hip Seed Oil and 21.5 grams Argan Oil. Stir in to the melted solid oils. Weigh and sift together 14 grams of Corn Starch (yes, from your kitchen pantry.) Sift over the balm and beat in until smooth.  (The corn starch gives a lovely powdery finish and makes the balm feel 'non greasy’.) These quantities will yield a full to the brim Bail Jar and perhaps a tiny bit left over.

Marge’s friend Janice offers basic balm how-to tips:
          Use a double boiler and heat slowly.  We recommend barely simmering water. (Note, if you don't have a classic "Bain Marie" or double boiler, put a glass or ceramic cup inside a saucepan of water, and heat to a bare simmer.)
2      Keep in mind the butters and oils are flammable.  Always stay with them as they heat.  This is another reason to use the double boiler rather than direct heat.
3      Some individuals use the microwave for heating/melting waxes or butters.  We prefer not to use the microwave for heating our all natural products. There is a lot of information on the internet about the negative effects of microwave energy on items subjected to it. While we don't know if this is a factor we prefer to err on the side of caution to maintain the integrity of our ingredients.

From our website: A Basic Balm is simply a choice of hard and liquid oils whipped together. I also add cornstarch to give it a "drier" feel.
  • 4 oz. of one or combination of the following -Shea Butter, Mango Butter, Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 1 to 2 oz. Liquid Oil of your choice (Depends on what you want to accomplish)
  • 1 oz. Cornstarch
  • 2 Teaspoons Antioxidant (Grapefruit Seed Extract, Vitamin E, Low Alpha Tocopherols) if desired.  Note: If you prefer skipping this step or don’t have any antioxidant products around, our Meadowfoam Oil can be divided among whatever carrier oil you use above and should extend the shelf life. Or simply select our longest lived liquid oils, the Meadowfoam, Jojoba or Fractionated Coconut Oil.
  • Combine the oils and beat on high in your mixer or with hand beater until light and creamy looking. Start adding cornstarch and beat in thoroughly until complete.
  • Add 45-90 drops of your essential oil or oil blend depending on what you want to achieve. 
Have fun creating & please share your pix, hints, and tips with us!  For now, take advantage of special savings on all of our butters (Shea, Cocoa, and  Aloe), as well as our Virgin Coconut Crème Oil. Simply enter the promotional code craft6 and press "apply" at checkout to see the 20% discount reflected online through October 29.

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