diy belly butter

hi loves! with this post i’m sharing a belly butter that was inspired by a peachy-colored “all-over” balm i made for my friend.

this is for all our pregnant peeps out there that want to keep their skin moisturized. it also helps with itching and scarring, which i hear happens when your stomach skin stretches to grow a human. seriously, growing a whole human being inside of you? badass.

this is anhydrous, so it doesn’t need a preservative system. it’s pretty easy to make, too! it should take about a half hour from start to finish. 

it’s a great gift idea!

>>> makes 6 ounces. // store tightly sealed and away from sunlight. // toss after 1 year. // apply to dampened skin for best results.

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RECIPE: 1 ounce oil & 5 ounces butter

  • 5 oz unrefined shea butter
  • 1/4 ounce tamanu
  • 1/4 ounce rosehip co2
  • 1/2 ounce marula oil
  • 5 mL calendula co2

need help sourcing ingredients? i have a post HERE to help (no affiliate links, etc).

HOW TO

  1. in a double boiler, melt your shea butter until completely liquid. this should only take a few minutes.
  2. remove from heat once melted. let cool for 1-2 mins.
  3. add calendula co2 and mix well. this ingredient is the consistency of ear wax. make sure it melts and mixes evenly!
  4. add rosehip co2, tamanu oil, and marula oil. mix well.
  5. carefully pour into a balm container with a tight fitting lid*.
  6. let cool at room temperature overnight OR for best results, blast chill for 20 minutes in the freezer and remove.

ENJOY!

XO, ALEXRAYE

*- you can use two 3 oz jars, 3 two oz jars.. depends on what you have / what you find. i recommend to use wide-mouth cosmetic jars, so it’s easy to scoop product out. 

herbal-infused body oil

hi crunchies! i hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead.

today let’s blend up 8 ounces of a silky, soothing, fast-absorbing body oil that contains skin-supporting herbs.

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before you order or bring out your ingredients, please note this will require an herbal solar infusion lasting 6 weeks. if you don’t have that kind of patience, this isn’t the DIY for you. i do have other body oil blends you can check out, though. just use the search bar 🙂 i promise the wait is oh-so-worth-it!

the base oil i suggest for this herbal body oil blend is marula. it’s pricey, and nearly any carrier of your choice will do. just be mindful of its oxidative stability. for example, argan oil and hempseed oil would unfortunately be poor choices for herbal infusions, whereas jojoba oil would be a good one.

ok, so why marula?

marula oil is very high in oleic acid* (~76%), deeply moisturizing, super fast-absorbing, and is one of the only oils that remains stable when exposed to light for extended periods of time. that will come in handy when we infuse our herbs in sunlight.

if you use another carrier oil, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it – please keep doing what you know and enjoy. after all, mixing up other people’s DIYs is more than half the fun!

for our skin-supporting herbs, we’ll be blending in calendula and chickweed, as both are soothing and anti-inflammatory. aka, perfect for cooler weather when you may get a little dry and itchy.

i’ve also chosen these 2 herbs because their constituents are fat-soluble. solubility is incredibly important in herbalism. if someone working with plants does not understand solubility, the end product could be ineffective. for example, an oil infused with horsetail will never help your skin and hair, because silica needs to be extracted in vinegar. as another example, marshmallow root is fantastic, but since the constituents you want for skin and hair are mucilaginous, it can only be extracted into hydrous bases. does that make sense? i wrote more on it before here.

INGREDIENTS:

other:

  • 16 ounce mason jar for steeping
  • cheesecloth or nut milk bag (what i prefer) to strain oil
  • 8 ounce pump bottle to store oil when finished

HOW TO:

the typical ratio of herbal infusions is 1 part dried herb to 10 parts oil. in this case, due to small batch amount, we will use 2 tablespoons dried herbs** to 8 ounces oil. remember the herbs will swell as they steep, so you want to avoid overfilling the jar with dried herbs.

in your sterilized mason jar, add your 2 tbs of dried herbs, and top with 8 ounces carrier oil. gently tap to release air bubbles and make sure the herbs are completely covered in oil to reduce risk of mold growth.

sit in sun for 6 weeks, very gently “stirring” the jar every day.

strain after 6 weeks. bottle in airtight, UV-protecting bottle.

enjoy all over body, particularly on dampened skin.

happy blending!

XO, ALEXRAYE

*=not suitable for the face for most people
**= must be dried, not fresh, to avoid mold growth in oil infusion

cold weather body & hair butter DIY

before i start this post, i will say please do not put this on your face. it has a high comedogenic rating, but it’s great post-shower during cold months when your skin needs help staying moisturized.

here is a body butter that is purchase-worthy, but easy enough to make in your own home. it’s a true THICK whipped butter product.

this body butter works best if applied on damp skin from shoulders to toes, like after a shower. PS – it also dupes as a bomb hair butter, so you can also run the tiniest, tiniest bit through the ends of your hair, if it needs some cold weather repair.

body butters, depending on the types of butters and oils use, range in ratios from 70% butters/30% oils to 50/50.

as with any of my recipes, you can use your favorite carrier oils in place of the 2 carrier oils that i’ve chosen. if you also choose to substitute the butters, i can’t promise consistency or recipe ratios. please share your versions if you do!

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pic: VegaVert / RECIPE MINE

mango butter

  • deeply moisturizng emollient
  • antioxidant and revitalizing, leaving a glow
  • rich in omega-9 and vitamins C and A

cupuacu butter

  • soft and nourishing emollient
  • high water absorption capacity, protecting skin from moisture loss and restoring skin elasticity
  • rich in phytosterols, making it anti-inflammatory
  • rich in fatty acids omega-3 and -6, and vitamins C and A

marula oil

  • healing and moisturizing, improving the overall look and feel of your skin
  • absorbs instantly; completely non-greasy, “dry” oil
  • rich in omega-6 and -9

hemp seed oil

  • deeply healing and moisturizing
  • absorbs quickly
  • suitable for sensitive skin
  • contains omega-3/6/9

 

HOW TO:

this recipe makes 6 ounces.

  • 2 ounces mango butter
  • 1 ounce cupuacu butter
  • 2 ounces marula oil
  • 1 ounce hemp seed oil

in a double boiler, slightly heat the two butters until liquid. remove from heat. add marula and hempseed oils and stir with a spoon, and then allow the oils to cool. once closer to room temperature, blend with a hand mixer until whipped and smooth. if you want to add essential oils, now is the time. try starting with 6 to 8 drops, increasing little by little if you need to. the end result will look like a thick body butter lotion-type product.

store in an airtight jar, away from direct light and heat.

use sparingly after a shower on damp skin and hair, making sure to avoid the face and neck area.

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WHERE TO BUY

here are some links to help you source the ingredients. none are affiliates. i gain nothing; the links are only provided to help guide you.

it’s more cost-effective to buy double what’s needed, but the links provided are for 1 body butter mix (except for the hemp, because 4 ounces is the smallest they carry).

  • mango butter – 2 ounces for $8
  • cupuacu butter – 1 ounce for $4
  • marula oil – 2 ounces for $11
  • hemp seed oil – 4 ounces for $11
  • 200 mL sturdy glass containers – 1 for $19; this has a really wide opening, best for scooping out of; can be reused many times
    • if you get the 3 pack for $39, you get a free 15 mL screw top jar, perfect for traveling or another DIY. this is just on their website banner in plain sight – it has literally nothing to do with me nor do i benefit from your purchase.
    • here’s a 100 mL option. it’s technically 3.38 ounces, but i won’t tell you to just put a blank sticker label on it saying 3.28 ounces and take it through airport security… because that would be wrong… and i’ve definitely never done that…

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COST ANALYSIS

  • 1st 6 ounce finished product – $41
  • after 1st 6 ounce finished product, when the cost of the jar is no longer allocated – $22

if you want to purchase a body butter, 100% Pure sells some ‘okay’ ones in 3.4 ounce containers (half the size of your DIY) for $26.

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looks pretty good to me from all sides! what do you think?

do you have any favorite butter d.i.y’s or ‘buys’? please share with our community!

XO, ALEXRAYE

top 5 / bottom 5 face oils commonly used

the green beauty world is saturated with oil blends right now (pun kind of intended). to help try and guide you, i’ve compiled a list of the top 5 and bottom 5 most commonly used oils, – – NOT of all time. that can be another post, heehee. if i was including the top 5 of all time, you already know i’d be including what i use in The Botanical Dew 😉

with less than 2 months left before this blog’s hiatus, i’m trying to arm you to be a more educated consumer as best as i can. it’s why i started this blog, after all!

skincare is incredibly personal, so what really works for one person could be disastrous for the next. let’s keep in mind this is all relative and meant to serve as a loose guide to understanding oils and their components. and plus – i think all of these are great for body and hair.

to rank these, i’m using what i’ve found to be the best way to cross-check if an oil would do well on your face – 1. comedogenic rating; and 2. oleic acid percentage.

comedogenic rating is how likely the oil is to clog your pores, on a scale of 0 (not likely) to 5 (very likely).

i use oleic acid as an indicator because i like to work off the norm, not the exception*. oleic acid is the naturally occurring omega-9 fatty acid, that your body produces. it commonly disagrees with oily, or sensitive, or acne-prone skin. linoleic acid, omega-6, is the better, and lighter, fatty acid that your body does not produce. it reduces clogged pores. this is not to be confused with linolenic acid, omega-3, which commonly clogs most people’s pores and should be avoided for use on your face.

here’s my take on the bottom and top oils most commonly used in face oils (not of all time).

BOTTOM 5 COMMONLY USED OILS

5. camellia seed oil

  • comedogenic rating – 2 to 3
  • oleic acid – 60-80%

4. macadamia nut oil

  • comedogenic rating – 3
  • oleic acid – 65%

3. avocado oil

  • comedogenic rating – 3
  • oleic acid – 70%

2. marula oil

  • comedogenic rating – 3 to 4
  • oleic acid – 70-75%

1. coconut oil

  • comedogenic rating – 4
  • oleic acid – 10%

TOP 5 COMMONLY USED OILS

5. grapeseed oil

  • comedogenic rating – 1
  • oleic acid – 20%
  • linoleic acid – 70%

4. argan oil

  • comedogenic rating – 0
  • oleic acid – 45%
  • linoleic acid – 40%

3. squalene (plant-derived or in whole plant form like amaranth oil)

  • comedogenic rating – 0
  • oleic acid – n/a (ex: amaranth – 25%)
  • linoleic acid – n/a (ex: amaranth – 55%)

2. hemp seed oil

  • comedogenic rating – 0
  • oleic acid – 10%
  • linoleic acid – 60%

1. prickly pear seed oil

  • comedogenic rating – 1
  • oleic acid – 20%
  • linoleic acid – 60%
  • palmitic acid – 20%

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do you disagree or agree with any? any you’d like to add? please share with our community.

XO, ALEXRAYE

*please note that oils high in oleic acid are sometimes favored by mature skin for deep moisturizing.

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