When I first started making my own body butters I was in heaven, but when I finished washing my face, I couldn't feel comfortable putting something so thick on my face. I didn't really care how healthy shea butter was or how much scientists say it doesn't clog my pores. The very consistency of the butter leaves me very skeptical about using it on my face. So I started looking for alternatives to a water base because I also am in it to retain moisture and water based lotions just don't do it for me. That's when I had the breakthrough about aloe vera gel! How had I not thought about that before? I ended up finding out that aloe vera gel is like a unicorn! It contains over 75 different vitamins, nutrients, minerals, enzymes, lignin, anthraquinones or phenolic compounds, amino acids, sugars and our all time favorite: salicylic acid! If I know one thing about acne fighting ingredients, it's that salicylic acid is everything! Adding this to my lotions is a must.
If all THAT wasn't enough, aloe vera gel also has two hormones that help heal wounds and act as an anti-inflammatory; these are called Auxin & Gibberellins. This knock out combination here allows aloe vera gel to sooth irritated skin, blisters and itching while healing the skin faster than normal. That also means it's amazing for acne, eczema, psoriasis, scars and stretch marks. Cha-ching! Can you say gold mine?! If you're not convinced as of yet, know that it's chalk full of antioxidants, beta carotene, vitamin c & e so say buh-bye to all those wrinkles and hello aloe vera gel... I love you.
If you're like me and you've been researching how to make your own lotions and body creams, then you know it really is all about the butter that you choose. Everything needs a solid foundation and lotions are no different. Many of us are wanting to keep our skin moisturized, but we rarely consider the science that backs the various products that we are using on a day to day basis. According to the hype cocoa butter is amazing and it can cure stretch marks... this is not found to be true. In fact, coca butter is found to be no more effective than a placebo lotion. Because cocoa butter clogs your pores, it is not a butter I opt to use as a base for lotions. I also do not tell my pregnant friends to use to for stretch marks. If you want to have a portion of your base as cocoa butter, I would suggest using 3/5 shea butter and 2/5 cocoa butter. This ways it doesn't clog your pores as much. You might be reading this wondering why I would suggest any cocoa butter if it clogs pores, but it also contains a chemical called 'cocoa mass polyphenol' (CMP), which helps ease symptoms of dermatitis or rashes. A LiveStrong.com article also suggests that the CMP chemical helps inhibit the growth of cancerous cells and tumors. So depending on your individual skin care needs, some cocoa butter may still be needed even if it clogs pores. Just be mindful of that.
I can appreciate shea butter for it's various qualities and the fact that it does not clog pores. I use it in combination with 100% organic aloe vera gel as a base for face lotions and acne solutions. Using the two together also makes for more of a lotion consistency than a butter or a cream that depends on your body heat to melt it down slightly before application to skin.
A Little About Shea Butter
Shea butter is a non-comedoenic, so your pores will stay clear when using this as a base for any lotion, cream or butter recipe. If you have acne prone skin or have issues with stretchmarks or scars that you are trying to work on shea butter is a much better solution than cocoa butter. Also, as the mother of a toddler ANYTHING that can help fight off infections is a good thing because children get into absolutely everything. Shea butter has antimicrobial properties so... know this is how I start off each recipe.
Every once in a while I might splice in some mango butter using the same 3/5 shea butter and 2/5 mango butter combination. Mango butter has vitamins A, C & E and can help protect skin from UV rays as well as calm sunburned skin. It also has a very soft consistency that helps leave skin feeling silky smooth.
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.