Both are solid at room temperature and won't spread without being warmed (I'll go ahead and let you make your own jokes) which can make application a bit of an ordeal. Fortunately, there's a quick fix in the form of an easy homemade body cream.
I've been toying around for a while about doing a regular DIY feature, but fear of becoming one of Those Bloggers --you know the ones who can't show you how to do anything without posting eighty supersaturated close-ups of Mason jars-- stopped me.
Sidebar: I think this new-found jar obsession has got to be a Yankee and California (i.e., Yankee with a Tan) thing. Southerners have always used them, and woe betide the backside of the child who breaks one or worse, is entrusted with the last of a jar of peaches in her lunchbox but fails to bring it home.
Don't expect too much, I'm not interested in knitting bicycles from goat eyelashes or making lactose-free tarantula cheese, but I've had enough of you ask me how for certain tutorials that I thought I might as well give it a go.
First up: How to make a simple all-natural body butter with raw shea or cocoa butter.
Easy DIY Body Butter
|What did I tell you about the jars?|
-solid raw shea or cocoa butter
-plant or nut oil of your choice (jojoba, sweet almond, coconut, olive, whatever)
-double boiler or a large heat-proof bowl fitted over a small pot of simmering water
-electric mixer or a whisk if you're really patient
-rubber scraper spatula
- lidded container for storage
-optional: essential oils to scent your body butter
The key to a successful body butter is a 3:1 ratio of solids to liquids. If you're using an oil like coconut or neem that's semi-solid at room temperature, switch that ratio to 1:1. You can make this recipe in any quantity you want.
Put butter and oil in the top of a double boiler or heatproof bowl set over simmering water and heat until just melted. Remove from heat and stir to combine.
Note: I know some of you are going to want to do this in the microwave. I can't stop you, but shea butter in particular is sensitive to high heat. Since microwaves don't heat the molecules evenly (ever try to soften butter only to have it be solid on the outside and totally melted within?) you risk destroying some of the vital nutrients and/or having a busted butter. No one wants that, so just use the double boiler.
Now here's the hard part: let it cool to a semi-solid at room temperature.
Trust me, I know how badly you want to put it in the fridge.
I tried that cheat the first time and I ended up with a batch of lumpy butter. If you must, you may chill it for 5 minutes only, but only once it's truly room temperature and a skin starts to form on the surface.
Now whip it. Whip it good.
I like to use my Cuisinart hand mixer instead of a stand mixer or whisk. It came with a whisk attachment and although I'm not usually a sucker for retro design, it had the power I wanted and was on sale in Mamie pink. It makes me feel like I'm making moisturizer for Eisenhower.
Whip your mixture on medium speed until it creams and becomes pale and opaque, remembering to scrape down the edges as you go.
|Mamie E. resplendent-ish in her signature pink|
Repeat the whip/chill routine until it's the consistency you like.
The more air you incorporate by whipping, the lighter and easier to spread it will be. I used coconut oil and shea butter and ended up whipping mine to a light frosting consistency. Since coconut oil is one of those solid oils, mine cooled to a light solid that melts instantly into the skin but doesn't spill.
That's it. Slap it in a lidded container, smooth it out if you want to be fancy and rub it over the beloved Cold War president of your choosing.