I'm not sure about the rest of the world, but I start my day off with a steaming cup of coffee. Every morning, without fail, you can find me enjoying the morning sun with my cup of coffee and not wanting to 'adult' until after 1 cup is completely finished. One morning, as I'm gazing into my cup of awesome, I wondered what I could do with coffee aside from just drinking it; after all there are a bunch of wonderful benefits for skin inside this miracle drink. Not long after, the coffee coconut lip balm was born in my kitchen and it's been pretty rad. For those of you not familiar with the greatness that is the coffee bean, let me list some of the skin benefits for you:
Crazy rich source of antioxidants that fight against free radicals that are very damaging to skin. The antioxidants in coffee help boost the bodies natural defenses & preserve skin cell energy. It protects against UV rays, inhibits DNA damage response, makes skin smooth and bright because of an ability to repair tissue, regulate cell re-growth and leads to retained hydration that can increase skin elasticity. Last, but not least, it enhances blood circulation while effectively reducing swelling.
Now, in order to get the coffee into the lip balm, I infused it with coconut oil prior to adding the coconut oil to the recipe. You can learn more about infusing oils by reading more here. The long and short of it, is put coffee in a tea bag and place it inside the coconut oil in a double boiler. Let seep for 3-4 hours on low heat. Strain and taa-daa! Coffee infused coconut oil! Easy and well worth the effort for all the added benefits of coffee on the skin, as you've just read above. Combine coffee and coconut oil and you've got one heck of a combination. Remember that coconut oil is antiviral, antimicrobial, antibacterial AND protects against UV rays. Seems like the sky is the limit with this combo. Adding in some shea butter only helps this right along bolstering the anti-inflammatory properties with an added ability to help heal cuts and abrasions; makes it seem like a good fit for those prone to cold sores or dry, cracked lips.
Coffee infused coconut oil
Vitamin E Oil
Shea butter has anti-inflammatory properties which is amazing, but it also protects against sunburn, moisturizes and helps heal cuts and abrasions. The selling point to me was when I also learned it helps with insect bites, eczema, frostbite, dermatitis and WRINKLES! Hello there! There's nothing like being a mom in her 30's to make you start to worry more about wrinkles. Obviously, I had found a base for my body butter. Happy that it isn't to oily and doesn't leave my skin looking greasy. So when I came across this tutorial for a DIY Shea Butter body butter, I had to try it out.
However, the recipe calls for a carrier oil and I didn't have the same kind used in the tutorial, so I opted for coconut oil. I'm sure if you're reading this blog than you're already aware of how wonderful coconut oil can be, but just in case you don't I'm going to list a few of the benefits here. It's antiviral, antimicrobial, antibacterial and it blocks about 20% of UV rays. It has a tendency to be oily, but the recipe calls for only 2 tablespoons of it. When you have a toddler running around, the natural antibacterial and antiviral properties are a blessing... anything that helps him not get sick from all the little germs he comes across, I am so excited about it. Keep in mind, this is the carrier oil I chose and you can choose a different one if you have different needs.
Vegetable glycerin is clear and odorless. It helps the skin absorb the moisture provided by the body butter. It draws the moisture into the lower layers of the skin helping skin retain moisture longer. It also pulls water from the air (there isn't much in Nevada) then creates a hydrogen bond with it. This plus the jojoba oil retains moisture and with consistent usage there will be a noticeable difference in how dry your skin gets. I can wash my hands several times before it is dried out making me need to reapply lotions after using the body butter for a week.
The next ingredient is Vitamin E Oil. This acts as a preservative making sure that the body butter does not go rancid. Just a little goes a long way and makes the butter last for about 6-7 months. Aside from that Vitamin E Oil also helps with scars and skin irritation. Makes for a wonderful combination. The arrow root helps with the consistency of the body butter, although it will be hard at first. The very last ingredient is the optional essential oils. I used lavender and chamomile to help elevate moods, add to the antibacterial properties of the body butter and sooth skin irritation. Be careful with the essential oils as using too much can result in rashes and discontinuing the usage of the product you just made.
Bella Eiko is a single mother of a 6 year old boy, freelance journalist, foodie & Civil Rights activist that is dedicated to building a better world by increasing communication & applying positive changes to her everyday life. This endeavor includes educating both herself as well as her son about sustainable living and healthy alternatives to everyday products using practical application.