Part two of our yearly faves involve body and health products that enhance our well being! African Shea Ivory Butter has a more neutral scent than the yellow we've found. It's creamy and so dreamy when used in our homemade body butters!!
Shea Butter rich in skin loving fats derives from the shea tree and is one of the Lord's greatest blessings! Shea is an emollient and skin moisturizing agent. It also has some anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties, we're all about that at LivingThruGrace! These healing properties in the shea help reduce inflammatory skin diseases and damage from free radicals. Why Hoo!!! Shea is rich in vitamins A & E which give us protection from the sun UV radiation. Vitamin E also improves skin's elasticity which make it a good anti-aging product. Raw or pure shea butter is the most natural form that ranges in color from yellow , greenish to white.
Unrefined shea is the purest form and the least processed, this means it retains most of it's vitamins and minerals and healing properties. Refined shea butter is the more processed form and it also goes through a deodorizing process [ to remove the slightly nutty scent]. It's often bleached to make it brighter and whiter. Sometimes additives and preservatives are added so make sure to read your shea labels to know what you're getting. The more processed the shea the less nutritional value it has.
Our shea and cocoa butters were purchased from www.amazon.com
Coconut oil purchased from Costco
Virgin coconut Oil has been a staple of ours for years. The uses for this oil are endless and the benefits are many! Coconut oil is a medium-chain fatty acid that can improve our health in many ways. For cooking, this oil can withstand very high temps without suffering from heat damage!! Coconut oil is easier on our systems to digest than many others and the fatty acids are quickly converted into Energy rather than being stored as fat!
Coconut oil is now recognized buy the medical community as a pretty powerful addition in the fight against immune system related diseases. This oil contains a disease fighting fatty acid called Lauric acid which is also high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Organic raw and unprocessed usually labeled Extra Virgin coconut oil is the best and the most health beneficial. It also ensures that its not genetically modified or has no added chemicals or additives.
This powerful oil is known to promote heart health [ in spite what's recently been in the news to dissuade us ], supports thyroid function, aids in keeping skin, hair and nails smooth glowing and healthy, increases cell regeneration by helping speed up our metabolic rate so we're replacing old cells with healthy newer ones faster. Coconut oil is widely known for its anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties because of the lauric acid along with the other natural agents that can help reduce fungus, bacteria and the viruses that cause influenza, herpes and other illnesses!
[ Unrefined, Non Deoderized pure Cocoa Butter! ]
Cocoa Butter, I can't say enough about this wonderfuly scented [naturally] butter!! Cocoa butter is an natural oil extracted from the cocoa bean, hence it's delicious chocolate smell! The fats in this butter are used to make chocolates and give it the melt in your mouth feel! Like shea butter cocoa butter is hydrating for the skin and that's why its so widely used in skin care products.
[ Take a good look at the beginnings of chocolate! ]
[ Her hard work is so appreciated...]
Cocoa beans are a high antioxidant food and many of the properties are in the cocoa butter as well. This butter which can be consumed as well as applied onto our body topically can improve our immunity help to lower inflammation and improves heart health! Raw or Pure cocoa butter is treated less during manufacturing so it keeps more of it's healthy fats and other nutritive properties that cocoa beans contain.
Cocoa butter helps skin to heal because of it's antioxidants, which are the same to be found in dark chocolate! These natural skin moisturizers are great for people with sensitive skin because they're free from additives, extra fragrances, dyes and colors that may be used in conventional body products.
[ Healthy glowing rejuvinated skin impossible with natural butters! ]
Cocoa butter like it's counterpart shea, heals and soothes skin from irritations, sun burns, dermatitis and eczema, and rashes. The polyphenols are responsible for the skin regeneration and healing. Cocoa butter makes a great shaving cream for men and women, just use a small amount melted into your skin before shaving to prevent cuts and it will leave the skin soft and moisturized!!
Dried cocoa powder contains more of the polyphenols and antioxidants than the butter in it's pure form due to the the processing. So eat up that dark chocolate! The darker the better!! Pure dark cocoa powder [ the powder without additions like cocoa mixes!] can be used in more than a tasty drink. Cocoa powder is widely used in Mexican and other ethnic dished to deepen the flavors or savory foods. Mmmm, get cookie' and getting in those healthy properties of cocoa!
[ Our skin just can't be without this stuff! Love you skin with rich healing butters from the earth! ]
We like to change up our body butter recipes my mixing different butters and vitamin E [so good for skin health and acts as a natural preservative!]. Currently our most recent recipe is:
Creamy Body Butta!
* 1 cup pure shea butter
* 1 cup virgin coconut oil
* 1/4 -1/2 cup cocoa butter [ I've found the more cocoa butter added the more firm the body butter, especially in our cold climate! But we're working on getting a 50/50 mix! :()
* 1/4 cup olive, almond or avocado oil
* 1/8 cup Castor oil [ultra moisturizing and rejuvenates skin and hair!]
* Sometimes we add in a few drops of Sea Buckhorn oil, so good for skin and anti aging!
* In a bowl [ glass or plastic] over a pot of boiling water add in the butters and coconut oil until melted
*After butters are melted, add in other oils including Vitamin E
* Set the bowl into the fridge or fast track it and place into freezer [ but watch so it doesn't completely freeze! :() ]
* When butters have firmed up enough to stir, using a mixer whip the butters until you have a smooth buttery consistency. Here is when if you choose you can add in essential oils. Often I use a combo of vanilla and cherry, or citrus oils.
* Transfer to a container of choice and store. The warmer the climate the looser the body butter will be.
It will melt into your body after a warm shower or bath!
Hair also loves this butter for ultra moisturizing and defrizzing!!!
A quick and simple way to make your own cocoa butter sticks is to get some quality pure cocoa butter and cut off slices [ you may need to soften in a bowl over hot water for easier use, here if preferred, you can add in essential oils. ], then place into old lip balm containers, or purchase them online! Now you have the pure cocoa butter to easy application to your skin to go!
Stay tuned with us for part 3 of our favorites!!
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