Living in New England, one thing is guaranteed this time of year...
My skin will be screaming for moisture!
I can predict during the coldest months the pain of cracked knuckles and flaky arms and legs. Throughout my life I have been burdened with dry skin. While this was a blessing in disguise when my siblings and peers were dealing with the oily acne stages of puberty, (I can count the number of pimples I had in middle school on one hand) I was never able to outgrow my dry skin.
Drug store lotions proved ineffective, Vaseline filled cotton gloves at night were uncomfortable and the OTC creams were too greasy, too stinky or too chemically to use.
Enter Shea Butter!
After some deep and heavy research (read: Pinterest scrolling) I learned about Shea butter. This thick, rich, nutty scented butter originates in Eastern and Western Africa. It is hard when cold but melts easily when rubbed between the hands to create a protective layer on skin. When mixed with beeswax and jojoba oil (another nourishing oil), an amazing salve is created that moisturizes and protects, without the harmful chemical of medicinal or drug store products.
Make your own!
I have since started making my own hand salve and stock up this time of year. Interested in making your own? It really is quick and simple. You will need a double boiler (a glass pyrex or mason jar placed in pan of 1" of boiling water will do the trick) and a glass or wood stirring rod. Add 1 ounce of jojoba oil and 1/2 ounce beeswax pellets to the top of your double boiler and allow to fully melt. Remove from heat and add 1.5 ounces of shea butter. Ensure accurate measurements with a food scale. Stir until melted. Pour into a 4 ounce container such as a mason or metal tin. Allow to cool slightly then add 20 drops of Lavender Essential Oil. Cover and allow to harden.
A little of this body butter goes a long way. To use, scoop a dime sized amount out and rub between your palms to melt. Apply the warmed butter to your dry skin until absorbed. This butter will leave a protective layer that may at first feel greasy but it will absorb and leave behind a soft smooth layer.
If you suffer from dry skin or are looking for a hydration boost during the cold winter months, give this butter a try. Experiment with other scents by switching up your essential oils. These also make great gifts!! Not ready to invest in the ingredients and materials? This product is now available for purchase.
What are your secrets to keeping your skin hydrated during the cold dry winter?
Please share your tricks in the comments...I am always looking for new ideas!