Simple Two Ingredient Multi-purpose Cream
The important thing to know with making an anhydrous (water-free) product is how to properly heat and cool those lovely butters and plant oils to create a viscous, glossy, smooth balm. Shea butter in particular can be tricky to handle, it likes to become grainy if the appropriate method is not used. Even then, sometimes its fussy.
The fun thing about this simple cream is the various ways one can think up to use it. Here's just a few ideas: body butter post shower, foot cream topped with socks before bed, moisturizing baby bottoms, messaged onto the skin to remove makeup at night, impromptu lip balm . . . It feels so rich and makes skin oh, so soft.
Just two easy peasy ingredients: shea butter and apricot oil. Although, if you don't have apricot oil on hand, you could easily substitute olive, almond, or avocado for this. You might try coconut oil, but since its a completely composition, your final product will likely turn out different. Let's talk about shea butter for a minute. Most shea butter comes from Ghana. The seeds for the shea tree are made up of about 50% butter. It is high in Vitamin E, and it is excellent for dry, irritated, inflamed, or allergy prone skin. The saturated fatty acids in it help prevent moisture loss, and can help restore an impaired lipid barrier. Two types of shea butter can be found---refined and unrefined. The form also deodorized, because as you will quickly find, the unrefined butter has a distinct scent. It can often come across as unpleasant being quiet earthy, or as one book I have notes, "strong odor reminiscent of goats." It has taken me some getting used to, but now I prefer it and rather enjoy the scent. Unrefined shea butter is also preferable as it retains properties for beneficial skin affects. One can always try using plum oil (very lovely scent) or an essential oil to help mask the scent if desired. The unrefined version also lasts longer :)
Without further adieu, on to the recipe . . .
unrefined shea butter 30 grams
apricot oil 30 grams
jewelry scale, or possibly a kitchen scale bowl to melt ingredients
stirring rod or spatula
bowl of ice cold water
clean glass jar with lid
1. measure the shea butter and apricot oil into a heat safe bowl using the scale.
2. Get your bain marie ready by placing a sauce pan with a couple inches of water over medium heat on the stove. After a couple of minutes, place your heat safe bowl inside the sauce pan. It should just rest on top, not actually touch the water.
3. Stir the butter and oil continuously, until the butter is completely melted.
4. Remove from the heat and place in bowl of ice water. Stir, stir, stir, until your cream becomes opaque and starts to thicken. Keep stirring, because before you know it, your cream will thicken into a balm and any parts of the products not being stirred may be difficult to keep smooth. You should be able to stir figure eights in your balm. This is the rule of thumb of how to tell your balm is at "trace" consistency.
5. Transfer to jar, label, date, and slather on!
6. Give yourself a pat on the back. You did this!