I have come across lots of people suffering from skin conditions, and one of the most common skin conditions seems to be dryness and dehydration. Even though I believe that the roots of this problem might be in our lifestyle and nutrition (please, see your GP if you are suffering from any medical conditions or think you might be suffering from any conditions, as well as for nutrition advice), or the quality of water, I found that in many cases topical solutions could also relieve the dryness.
I have tried different methods, including showering in mineral water when my skin was unbelievably itchy and hurt, which seemed to really improve my skin condition. I also noticed that when I ate more greens (spinach, kale, lettuce, cucumber, and others), and drank more water, my skin was much healthier and less dry. The levels of stress can also influence skin health.
On top of all the internal solutions, I also tried a few natural topical solutions – different kinds of butter, oils, lotions, and other things. Coconut cream was good for me in terms of texture and absorption, however, was not rich enough to fight with extreme cases of dryness. Shea butter was too rich for me and not easy to apply (it stays solid at room temperature). I also tried various natural lotions, but they didn’t seem strong enough to fight with the dryness. Hence, I researched and experimented until I came up with my perfect body cream. Consisting of just three main ingredients, it has amazing smooth cream texture (think whipped cream), absorbs easily and is excellent for relieving dryness.
This body cream contains only three main ingredients which are easy to combine and relatively easy to find. I found those ingredients worked best to relieve dryness and nourish my skin, as well as were easy to work with.
Please, note that, as with any new products, it is best to consult a health specialist before starting to use any of the following.
Shea butter comes from Shea (karite) seeds and has been widely used in Africa to help improve skin and hair health. It is an edible butter, used in food preparation in Africa. Shea butter was used back in Ancient Egypt to protect skin from harsh winds and the sun, valued by many ancient Egyptians, including Cleopatra, for its healing and cosmetic uses.
- Moisturising and nourishing: contains a number of vitamins and fatty acids which make it very moisturising (read more here)
- Anti-inflammatory: can potentially help relieve acne and inflammatory conditions (see more here)
- Collagen production: shea butter can help stimulate collagen production, making skin smoother and reducing wrinkles (read more here)
Some of coconut oil’s benefits are:
- Anti-aging: can have anti-ageing effect if taken internally (read more here)
- Anti-inflammatory: can help with inflammation (read more here)
- Moisturising: contains a high amount of fatty acids (read more here)
- Anti-microbial: coconut oil has antimicrobial properties which might help with candida (read more here)
Before I came up with this recipe, I was only combining coconut oil and shea butter, which worked okay, but my skin still lacked some moisture. Having tried adding hemp seed oil, I am now completely happy with the new recipe which seemed to add that extra moisture I was lacking.
Hemp seed oil comes from hemp seeds and is different from hash oil, which comes from Cannabis flowers.
There are many uses for hemp, including biofuel, building blocks for houses, clothes, paper, substitute for plastic, food, medicine, and so many others. It is truly a versatile plant, easy to grow and manage. I recommend listening to this podcast by Rebekah Shaman, a wonderful shaman working closely with plant medicines including hemp, for more information about hemp’s history and uses. Rebekah is also growing her hemp in England, you can visit her website to learn more about it, volunteer, or buy products.
Please, note that hemp, also known as industrial hemp, refers to non-psychoactive varieties of Cannabis sativa L. Even though hemp and marijuana come from the same species, they are different in their genetic makeup and uses.
Some of the benefits of hemp oil are:
- Rich in Gamma-linolenic Acid and Omega-6 fatty acid, which “help stimulate skin and hair growth, maintain bone health, regulate metabolism, and maintain the reproductive system”
- Moisturises and can help with atopic dermatitis – read more here
Preparation time: 10 minutes (more if jars need to be sterilized)
- 1 part hemp seed oil (I buy this certified organic one)
- 2 parts shea butter (I buy this raw, unrefined, certified organic one)
- 2 parts coconut oil (I buy this raw, cold-pressed, virgin, certified organic one)
- a few drops of essential oils – I love to mix lavender (I recommend this certified organic one) and ylang ylang (I recommend this certified organic one). Lavender can help restore skin complexion, reduce acne, psoriasis, and eczema, as well as heal burns and wounds, and slow aging. Ylang ylang possesses antiseptic properties, helping with wounds healing. Both of these oils have antidepressant and sedative properties and have a lovely smell, making them excellent for adding to any cosmetics.
You will also need:
- a big plate
- a fork
- a mixing bowl
- a mixer (not necessary, but preferable for smooth silky whipped cream texture)
- sterilized glass jars with lids for storage (you can find out how to sterilize your jars here)
- add coconut oil and mash it together with shea butter until smooth
- add mashed coconut oil and shea butter into a mixing bowl together with hemp oil and essential oils
- mix the oils together with a mixer or by hand until it has a fluffy, whipped cream texture
- place the mixture into the sterilized jars for storage. Depending on your preparation method, as well as the quality of the products, the storage duration will vary – please, check the “use by” date on your ingredients. I do not recommend storing the mixture for longer than 6 months.
You can use this body cream topically anywhere on your body including face (though the texture can be a bit greasy for face skin). It is excellent for very dry skin, cracked heels, dry elbows – any areas that need more attention. I use it on my whole body in a thin layer (if you use too much your skin will feel greasy), and let it penetrate for 15 minutes before putting clothes on. I also love to do Ayurvedic self-massage using this mix – you can learn how to do it here.
It works very well as a hand cream and lip salve, though bear in mind that in high temperatures the cream might melt, and in low temperatures it might solidify, which means you will not have the same fluffy consistency throughout and it might leak in certain containers when it liquefies. Just make sure you use a leak-proof air-tight container if you are taking the cream with you when traveling.
Have you ever made your natural body cream? What did you use? Did you find it useful?