I am already beginning to ponder my gifts for the upcoming holiday season. I remembered thinking to myself last year that I wish I had begun in August, so I could relax more during December! Last year, one of the gifts I gave my gal pals was a Homemade Pumpkin Pie Body Scrub and this year it will be a Whipped Shea Butter Body Scrub.
I cannot even adequately describe to you how much I love this stuff (and I am 100% positive it is gluten-free!). I live in an arid climate at high altitude and if one is not careful, you can easily begin to resemble one of the many species of reptilian critters that live in my backyard (or in my house).
Meet Quincy, my 10 year old Australian Bearded Dragon (she loves to look at herself on the computer).
This scrub has been my favorite, hands down and I thought I would share it with you! I found the recipe over at Homemade Bath Products. I will put Lori’s recipe here, so I can list my notes in bold violet). Lori has a lot of great looking bath recipes and I encourage you to check them out. The holiday season is quickly approaching and these make fun gifts for your friends or for yourself!
Homemade Whipped Shea (or Cocoa) Butter Body Scrub
1/2 Cup Raw Shea Butter
1/3 Cup Carrier Oil (Sweet Almond, apricot Kernel, Avocado, Hemp Seed, Hazelnut, Camellia, Evening Primrose, Borage, or Olive Oil infused with Calendula or Chamomile are all good choices) (I use Safflower Oil)
1/8 tsp. Rosemary Extract or Vitamin E Oil (optional but will help to prolong the life of the oils) (I do add Vitamin E)
1 tsp. Corn Starch (optional…makes the butter feel less greasy) (I substitute Arrowroot for the Cornstarch, which is good for corn allergies).
Essential or Fragrance oil (optional) (I use Pure Essential Oils: Lavender, Grapefruit, Peppermint and Rosemary are my favorites, just not all mixed together).
1/2 – 1 Cup Sugar (other choices include Salt, Finely Ground Nuts, Coffee Grounds…anything that provides a gentle scrub) (I use 1 full cup of either salt or sugar. Salt can be a little harsh though on freshly shaved legs, so be careful!)
- Place the Shea butter in a mixing bowl and begin to beat with a stand mixer or electric hand mixer until the butter is creamy.
- Have patience…it may take awhile for the friction of the beaters to soften the butter.
- If the butter is too hard, soften slightly in the microwave for about 15 seconds but do not melt.
- Gradually add the carrier oil a small amount at a time and blend completely between additions. This is important or you will get lumpy butter.
- If you are adding Rosemary Extract or Vitamin E oil add it now.
- Blend in the cornstarch and then the fragrance or essential oil.
- Slowly start to mix in the sugar a little at a time until you achieve the desired consistancy.
- Spoon into a couple of wide mouth jars.
I began buying Cocoa and Shea butter a few years ago to help with Luke’s severe eczema (I slather him with it every night and it has really helped to relieve the inflammation and itching!). I just recently bought my first batch of bulk Shea butter on Amazon and I have been doing some research on raw, unrefined Shea Butter (since I bought the above batch). I must say that I am not convinced that what I got was pure Shea butter…
According to The American Shea Butter Institute (yes, you read that right, there is an institute for Shea butter):
At room temperature, Premium Shea Butter is a soft uniformly beige colored creamy solid that readily melts in the hands and is quickly absorbed by the skin. Shea Butter is not yellow, green, gray, dark brown, or white. Shea products with these colors are modified substitutes sometimes bearing the name 100% Shea Butter.
Unless my iron overload has suddenly made me color blind, my shea butter was definitely yellow! Live and learn, right?
100% Pure & Natural Shea Butter is an all-natural vitamin A cream. Shea Butter has shown to be asuperb moisturizer, with exceptional healing properties for the skin. We now have a growing list of skin conditions where 100% Premium Shea Butter has been shown to be effective.
Vitamin A in Shea Butter is important for improving a number of skins conditions, including blemishes wrinkles, eczema, and dermatitis. Additionally, Premium Shea Butter cream has properties to treat skin allergies, insect bites, sunburns, frostbites, and a number of other conditions of the skin. (Click here to continue reading).
Raw Shea butter before whipping it up (above photo).
Shea butter after whipping and adding the carrier oil, Vitamin E and arrowroot (above photo). The consistency changes dramatically!
After this step, all you need to do is add the exfoliator and essential oil(s) of your choosing. I put the scrub in mason jars for gift giving:
(for my own personal use, I just re-use my Earth Balance tubs once they are empty. This is really helpful in the event it falls off the shelf in the shower…no glass!). Caution: Don’t leave your Earth Balance tub of body scrub in the kitchen, lest your unfamiliar hubby spreads some on this toast, LOL!
I also want to share a couple other homemade recipes that I am making for myself and as gifts.
First, I am in the process of brewing my own homemade vanilla extract using Shirley’s recipe on Gluten Free Easily. I found some cute glass bottles at The Container Store a couple of weeks ago that will be perfect for gift giving.
I am also using a vodka that is distilled from grapes (I did this just for the fun of it, but any plain vodka will do, as they are all gluten-free). Shelley Case has a great article on this subject titled, “Are there any alcoholic beverages that are gluten-free?” on BeFreeForMe.com.
Just to settle your mind, there is alcohol in store-bought vanilla extract, 35% in Tone’s (Cîroc is 40% alcohol):
One week into my 6 week “brewing” process for homemade vanilla extract (this is too cool!):
Another product I am making is Lexie’s (Lexie’s Kitchen) homemade (and non-toxic) deodorant (I will reserve these for my sisters and close friends who won’t be offended when I give them deodorant as a gift, LOL)!
I found a site that sells empty push-up deodorant containers, so I am going to buy a few of those!
Do you make homemade gifts for the holiday season? If so, I would love to hear about it!
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