Friday, February 4, 2011

Butter Up!

The other day a reader emailed me about a body butter that Sophie Mae makes for her mother, Anna Belle Watson, in Something Borrowed, Something Bleu. I realized that I provided cheese making recipes on my website but neglected to add recipes for the handmade toiletries in the book.

Though Sophie Mae’s intention is to provide a thick, emollient lotion to help sooth Anna Belle’s summer-dry skin, I made some of this a few days ago to slather on my winter-dry skin to the same effect. I’ve already waded through a third of it and will have to make more soon.

shea butter Shea butter

  • 1 1/2 cups shea butter. You can also use the same amount of mango or cocoa butter.
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon wheat germ oil. You can use pretty much any kind of oil -- olive, almond, avocado, etc. Sophie Mae uses olive oil in the book.
  • 1 teaspoon vitamin E,a natural preservative, and nice on the skin, too. But if you don't have any you can leave it out.
  • 1 teaspoon lavender essential oil. You can use anything you like, but be careful if you have sensitive skin... and if you'll be exposed to the sun avoid any citrus, including bergamot oil.

oil Melt the butter on the stove or in the microwave just until liquid, then add the oil and stir together. Let cool until it's just starting to set (helps to put it in the freezer for a few minutes), then add the vitamin E and fragrance. Whip using a mixer or better yet, an immersion blender. To get it extra fluffy, try freezing it a few times in between mixing. Don't overfreeze, though. But if you do, just remelt and start over.

Spoon into a jar with a lid for storage. Use as body butter, hand lotion, or even on face and lips (especially at night).

Apply sparingly until you get a feel for it, as it's pretty heavy and the butter melts on your skin as you apply it. It starts out a bit greasy then soaks in and forms a lovely protective barrier on your skin. Might want to avoid putting it on under something like light silk, for example, as it could possibly stain light, clingy fabric. If you're looking for something with more of a "dry" feeling, try adding a teaspoon or so of natrasorb (a wheat starch) or plain old cornstarch to the oil mixture. And here are some other, more complicated, body butter recipes at Snowdrift Farm.

You can buy shea butter at Snowdrift Farm, as well as cocoa butter and mango butter. If you get undeodorized cocoa butter and don’t add scent it will smell like chocolate. Heavenly. Snowdrift Farm also has natrasorb and lots of different oils. If you don’t want to order online though, do what Sophie Mae did and try a natural or health food store – or even Whole Foods.


1 comment: