Who doesn’t love soft, moisturized and healthy skin? For many, dry skin is a constant battle, particularly in the dry, winter months. Aside from drinking more water, creating recipes like this citrus lavender body butter is one secret tip I’ve mentioned over the years to people who suffer from severely dry skin.
Why can’t I just use grocery store moisturizer, you ask? Well, a lot of these ‘moisturizers’ aren’t really moisturizing your skin. They’re either 1) sitting on top of your skin, until you wash them off and you need to repeat the process again, or 2) they’re temporarily moisturizing while sucking every last droplet of water out of your skin (we can thank added alcohols for that).
A lot of moisturizers don’t actually help penetrate to nourish and repair the skin. And if they do, then they have added ingredients that are harmful to our health (I challenge you to go to your nearest grocery store and pick up a bottle of moisturizer and read out the ingredients. Can you eat them? Probably not. Does that mean you should be putting that product on your skin – the largest organ of the body? Mmm. Nope!).
Moisturizers from the grocery store are also majorly expensive, and honestly, not worth it (given they don’t work half the time). But what should be used in replacement?
Moisturizers made exclusively from plant materials are some of the best you could possibly choose for your skin. Things like coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, you name it. Anything that came from a plant is game in my books (and should be in yours, too!).
While many people assume that putting oils on their skin is going to make it even oilier – they’re sadly mistaken. In fact, plant oils like jojoba oil trick your skin into thinking that it is producing enough oil, and thus balances oil production. Your skin absorbs every last bit of jojoba oil, because the chemical structure of the oil is creepily similar to that of the sebum (oil) of the skin.
Essential oils are another great plant-based option to boost the benefits of any homemade moisturizer. This citrus lavender body butter contains essential oils that will soften the skin, improve stubborn skin conditions and heal any cracks or fissures in the skin.
What is so great about the essential oils in this citrus lavender body butter?
– Orange Essential Oil: this oil is great at increasing circulation (helpful for those with varicose veins), decreasing wrinkles, improving complexion and fighting acne. This oil is very high in vitamin C, which boosts collagen production, heals scarring and improves the overall quality of your skin.
– Lemon Essential Oil: lemon essential oil makes the perfect facial toner as it tightens and lifts the skin, as well as shrinks large pores (thereby controlling excess sebum). This oil also helps nourish dry, damaged skin, and is incredibly hydrating. Similar to orange oil, lemon oil can help reduce acne scars, and can even be applied over stretch marks to reduce their appearance.
– Lavender Essential Oil: lavender essential oil is known for its ability to heal burnt, wounded skin. It has even been found to completely heal third-degree burns. Lavender is great at reducing inflammation, so it helps with acne and other inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. This oil eases sore muscles (and anxiety), improves blood circulation, and even repels insects!
Citrus oils tend to be photosensitive (they react in the sun), so I don’t recommend using this body butter if you plan on being in direct sunlight after. It works best as a before-bedtime body butter, especially as it contains lavender essential oil, which is one of the most relaxing and calming essential oils out there (it’ll put you right to sleep!).
What brand of essential oils do I use? My favourite are by Eden’s Garden, but Young Living, Mountain Rose Herbs and DoTerra make some really great ones too!
Citrus Lavender Body Butter
– 1/2 cup coconut oil (raw is best if you can find!)
– 1/2 cup shea butter
– 1/2 cup cocoa butter
– 6-8 drops of orange essential oil
– 6-8 drops of lemon essential oil
– 10-12 drops of lavender essential oil
– 1/4 tsp. zest from an organic orange|
– 1/4 tsp. zest from an organic lemon
– 1/4 tsp. zest from an organic lime
1. Place coconut oil, shea butter and cocoa butter into a small glass mason jar.
2. Fill a large skillet/saucepan with 1-2 inches of water and bring to a boil.
3. Once boiling, add the glass jar to the centre of the saucepan to melt and combine ingredients.
4. Stir every couple of minutes until the ingredients are melted and combined (about 10 minutes).
5. Once all the oils and butters are melted, remove from heat and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Add the essential oils and optional zest at this point.
6. Let the mixture rest in a cool place (like the refrigerator) until it has set.
7. Once chilled, take out of the fridge and with a stand or hand mixer, start whipping the butter until it becomes light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes).
8. Store the mixture in a glass jar and keep in a cool place.
And that’s it! To keep your skin smooth and moisturized, use this body butter before bed time and you’ll be surprised just how soft your skin is in the morning.