Slow Down Sunday: Body Butters + Balms
Balms and Salves are largely the same and are plant (or animal) fats* and beeswax (-traditionally). Often they contain medicinal plants (helichrisum, chamommile, plantain, yarrow, etc).
Lotions and Creams are an emulsion of plant (or animal) fats* and aqueos (water-based) components. Emulsifying wax or lecithin, are often added to stabalize the blend - and texturizers like borax are often used.
Butters are usually a blend of plant-based solid fats* - and often in fairly equal parts.
BODY BUTTERS - super easy to whip up at home - whipped Shea, coconut, mango, cocoa butter, etc
Body Butters are especially fun to play with because they aren't very fiddly.
Basically you melt the ingredients together, over the lowest heat possible (in a double boiler / bain marie), and let cool. Once they are mostly solid again you tip them into mixer and whip like crazy. The links below are great recipes- I’ve probably made them all… and under the links MY favorite proportions for easy butters at home.
GREAT SOURCES FOR RECIPES
The Little Herbal
Fresh Picked Beauty
This blend is melty from the heat of the skin, has a lovely 'slip', and absorbs quickly.
I like to start with a whipped plant butter base (equal parts shea butter, coconut oil, liquid fat (apricot kernal, sweet almond oil). As the mix sets and you whip it up, you can adjust the fluff by adding a little bit of your carrier oil at a time until you get a texture you like.
When deciding on 'additives' like argan oil, sea buckthorn seed, baobab and essential oils, I prefer to be guided by the needs of the season or individual skin care needs. Most of those additives will only be 1T or so. Be mindful of color: hemp oil is a wonderful for skin and hair, but some are put off by the green of the whip.
NEXT LEVEL? now we can talk herbal infusions: steeping liquid plant fats (hemp oil, apricot oil, jojoba, etc) with medicinal herbs (straining) and blending into the butters (or salve, or balm).