I LOVE this stuff!!! The first time I made this, I fell in love! This recipe was inspired by this recipe. My first batch I used raw cacao butter instead of the shea butter, simply because I didn’t have any shea butter haha! I also used peppermint, lavender, and frankincense. It was phenomenal at moisturizing our skin, but I personally thought it smelled disgusting! Everyone else loved it though so I think it was just me. This time I’m changing it up a bit in hopes that I will love the smell, but not lose the awesomeness of the lotion. Yes I said awesomeness! 🙂 I’m using avocado oil instead of almond oil and adding in a few different essential oils.
Why these particular ingredients?
Raw Cacao Butter
Cacao comes from the South American evergreen tree known as Theobroma cacao of the family Sterculiaceae. This tree has small yellowish flowers and fleshy pods that contain the cacao. The dried seeds that are partly fermented is what we use for our glorious chocolate creations. 🙂 What does raw mean? RawFoodLife says, “Basically, raw food (sometimes called live or living food) is food that has not been cooked or exposed to temperatures over 118° F. At that temperature, the natural enzymes in food are completely destroyed. Enzymes are essential for all the chemical processes in your body, especially digestion.” Cacao beans are pressed until the pure, stable fat that is cacao butter comes out. It stays solid at room temperature so its perfect for things like lotion, lip balm, etc.. It also has its own naturally occurring antioxidants that prevent it from going rancid so it lasts for years! GENERALLY speaking, cacao is the word used when the product can be considered raw and cocoa is used when it’s not. HOWEVER, that is not always the case. Always do your research, with anything you use, to find out for sure what is in your product and where it comes from!
So what does it do for your skin? Natural News says “External use of the butter clears everything from psoriasis to dermatitis to eczema, while conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, heart disease and cancer respond well to internal use. Cocoa butter is also nutrient dense — supplying antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and beneficial fats.” Most of us know the element of cacao beans known as chocolate very well, but not as many know the health benefits in the butter element. The butter of the cacao bean is actually the part that gives chocolate that smooth, amazing-in-your-mouth quality. It is full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants as well as flavonoids. It also has lots of CMP (cocoa mass polyphenol). Research has shown that it is able to prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease and ease achey arthritis. CMP has also been shown to help regulate T-cell activity when it becomes high. This is the main cause of dysfunctions in the immune system such as psoriasis, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Natural News also states that “Researchers believe that the oleic acid content in cocoa butter may lower the risk of heart failure as well. Oleic acid is a healthy monounsaturated fat which is also found in olive oil. For ultimate nutrition and flavor, source organic cocoa butter that is processed under low temperatures. Not only nutritious, cocoa butter is famous for its topical applications. This exquisitely scented butter seals the skin, creating a barrier against environmental pollutants and the aging effects of weather. Cocoa mass polyphenol also inhibits the production of immunoglobulin IgE — helping to calm eczema and dermatitis. Bursting with vitamins B1, B2, B3, C and E, cocoa butter is ideal for preventing stretch marks during pregnancy. It also neutralizes free radicals on the skin. This deep penetrating oil improves skin tone, heals scars and reduces wrinkles as well.” Now THAT is some good stuff! 🙂
Coconut oil also helps treat skin issues like psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema too! It also has tons of antioxidants so it helps prevent wrinkles and premature aging…yes please!
Vitamin E, a very powerful antioxidant, is soooo good for your skin! The UCLA Center for Human Nutrition says that avocados have the highest vitamin E content when compared to other fruits. Vitamin E is good at cleaning up the free radicals that can cause SO much damage to our skin. Avocado is naturally hydrating so it absorbs deep into the squamous layer of your skin. Between this and the cacao butter, your skin will be hydrated all the way through!
Put It All Together
1 c cacao butter
1/2 c coconut oil
1/2 c avocado oil
*optional essential oils of your choice
1. Melt your cacao butter and coconut butter in a double boiler (or make shift one). Don’t boil it, just melt it and remove it from heat. Let it cool down a bit before you add in anything else.
2. Once it has cooled, add in your avocado oil. Now some people add in their essential oils at this point, but I do not. I prefer to wait until the oils are completely cooled that way I know for sure that my EO’s are working at their best.
3. Next put your oils in the refrigerator to solidify some, not all the way. 30-60 minutes
4. After your oils have solidified a bit, put them in a mixing bowl and whip them just a touch.
This is the point that I add my essential oils. This time I used lavender for its calming and healing abilities, frankincense for its immune boosting and skin softening abilities, peppermint (about 3 drops because its strong!) because peppermint is amazing and does so much, as well as grapefruit, geranium and wild orange because I wanted a citrusy scent. Those last 3 are also great for the skin and boosting the immune system! Use anywhere from 3-33 drops, depending on how you want it to smell and what you want your lotion to do for you. (Make sure to research your EO’s, some are not safe during pregnancy, some need to be extra diluted for children, etc…)
5. Now whip it up and you’re done! It doesn’t look like much when you first start, but you end up with a lot of lotion! A little goes a long way too so don’t use as much as you would a store bought lotion.
The cacao butter is what thickens this lotion. At first the lotion is a bit oily, but your skin will completely absorb it so make sure you rub it in well. When you do, the butter is able to go deep in your skin and destroy the free radicals once they are produced. This prevents the free radicals from doing any (more) damage! It has also been proven that cacao butter prevents sun damage to your skin. So mix and match and find what you love and what works best! Feel free to use almond oil or jojoba oil instead of the avocado. There is also shea butter as well as mango butter to try if you would rather not use the cacao. I hope you love this as much as we do! Rub it in and feel good about not using harsh chemicals, but actually “nourishing the skin you’re in”!
Another great site about cacao: http://www.allgreenrx.com/cocoabutter.html
Another great site about avocado oil: http://www.livestrong.com/article/256792-why-is-avocado-oil-good-for-the-skin/