I don’t know about you, but up here in Vermont we are in the midst of a real New England winter. For my family, that means dealing with very dry skin, of course our pellet stove doesn’t help the situation. My latest experiment has been to create the most luxurious, super-soothing, all natural body butter. As testers, my three young children have been of late lubed up with various mixtures of coconut oil and shea butter, but I’ll save you this trouble and share with you the very best one we’ve discovered. Their skin (and mine) is no longer red and chapped but back to being as smooth as a baby’s bottom (ok, theirs is, but my hands no longer look like grandma’s).
I infused my butter with gifts from the garden, lovely lavender and calendula flowers, saved and dried from harvest season. This is optional, but if you don’t have your own and would like to do this, you can purchase dried flower petals online. Just be sure to purchase organic, since toxins from pesticides can enter the body through the skin. For the body lotion ingredients, I purchased my supplies through Vitacost because I find they have the best prices, but most or all of them could also be purchased at your local health food store.
Step 1: How to infuse oil with herbs and flowers
(adapted from Herbal Academy of New England)
- Sweet almond oil as the base oil
- Lavender petals
- Calendula petals
- Place your flower petals in a sterile, dry, clean jar.
- Cover the flowers entirely with the base oil.
- Make sure no flowers or stems are sticking out of the oil as this may lead to mold.
- Cover and leave in a sunny window for up to two weeks (use a dark colored bottle or place in a paper bag) or for a quicker method, place the lidded jar in warm water for about two hours..
- To strain out the petals, put cheesecloth into a funnel and pour the infused oil into a clean jar or bottle.
Step 2: Making Herbal-Infused Lavender Body Butter
- ½ cup almond oil (optionally infused with lavender and calendula flower petals)
- ¼ cup organic coconut oil
- ¼ cup beeswax (shredded or you can buy beeswax in pellet form)
- 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
- 2 tablespoons Shea Butter
- 10-20 drops of essential oils of your choice (I used lavender and rosemary)
- Combine ingredients in a pint sized or larger glass jar. I reused a peanut butter jar for this project.
- Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and place over medium heat.
- Put the jar in the water. As the water warms the ingredients, they will begin to melt.
- Stir the mixture occasionally. When all ingredients are completely mixed, it will become a yellow, butter-like oily substance.
- Using a funnel, pour mixture into a jar for storage. Small 8 oz mason jars, small ointment containers, or reused lotion containers are great for this. Once it cools, the consistency of this lotion is similar to Vaseline, so this will not pump through a lotion pump dispenser.
- Makes enough body butter to fill about eight small containers.
- Shelf life is about 6 months.
Use as needed to nurture your skin with this super-soothing body butter and enjoy!