I have fairly dry skin, especially in the winter. I used to slather my face with Vaseline before bed, but wanted to find a non-petroleum alternative (FYI, aquaphor is 41% petrolatum). I began experimenting, trying many formulas and ingredients, and this is my official "Becky's Body Balm" recipe. It is soothing, moisturizing, and chock-full of great stuff for your skin!
I started out making it as just a blend of oils, but it was too....oily. The beeswax helps a lot. If you make your own, experiment with varying proportions of ingredients to suit your taste and/or budget.
The basic recipe is 1 part beeswax, 1 part coconut oil, 1 part shea butter, and 1 part a mix of olive/sweet almond/jojoba oils. I also add some raw cocoa butter, pure Vitamin E oil, and essential oils.
Step One: set up a double boiler. Mine is just a stainless steel bowl set over a saucepan filled with water. I turn it on to medium, but then keep it low once the water has heated up.
Step Two: Add beeswax; I like these little pellets. Keep an eye on it and, when the beeswax melts, you'll probably want to lower your heat.
Step Three: Add coconut oil. I try to put in the things that can take a higher heat first, so the heat will only go down from here!
Step Four: Add raw cocoa butter. This is what it looks like, if you've never seen it before, and yes, it does smell like chocolate.
I was so excited when I first got my cocoa butter that I decided to make something with only cocoa and shea butters, but what began as a "deliciously chocolate" aroma was so overwhelming after heating/cooling in my kitchen for a few hours that I actually became nauseated. Now I only add a small amount (as you can see above).
Step Five: once all of that has melted well while I mix gently, I turn off the heat completely and add in the shea butter. You can purchase white shea butter, but it has been more highly refined. Raw shea butter can vary in color, but it has a definite yellow tint (much like most beeswax).
Step Six: add in olive oil, sweet almond oil, and jojoba oil.
Step Seven: Remove bowl completely from the saucepan and stir regularly. If you have a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, I think it would be ideal to use here on a really low speed, but I don't have one. I set my bowl on a towel and try to stir it every 5-10 minutes until it cools down and begins to firm up. Once I can see it getting firmer/thicker, I add the Pure Vitamin E oil and any essential oils. Currently, I use tea tree oil, and lemon/lavender essential oils until I like the smell.
It's important to keep it moving at this stage, or the beeswax will seem to "re-form" slightly. It's not a big deal, since the beeswax will easily re-melt if you rub it between your hands before applying (and some of my friends prefer it that way).
Once it has cooled down and smoothed out, pour into your container of choice and use/share! This is a great way to reuse old body butter containers. Jelly jars also are an affordable/convenient option. I recently found a great source for these little tins, which are wonderful for the Body Balm.
I use this on my face and body every day. It is terrific for dry, cracked hands in winter, and for soothing skin in summer. Not everyone can handle the emollients on their face, but I don't know anyone who doesn't like it for knees, elbows, or ankles. I am experimenting with adding some zinc oxide to the mix for a mild barrier sunblock, and thus far I like the results! I'll keep you posted.
Go forth, and make your own!!