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
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 5 year old boy, freelance journalist, foodie and 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.