This weekend Ithaca, NY had a whopping 12 inches of snow dumped on it! It was our first major snowfall of the season, and I was absolutely PSYCHED to go out for a hike in the winter wonderland. One of my favorite things about winter is experiencing the stillness and magic of silence in the forest behind my home. The gym was closed, and I needed to get me some cardio in. I bundled up in my snow pants, brand new Easy Living Beanie, a warmest gloves to hit the hills to sweat my patootie off.
Half way down the driveway I realized this wasn’t any typical winter day in Ithaca, the windchill was dropping to somewhere around 25 below. I pulled a scarf over my face and headed up the hill dutifully. A half mile uphill in the snow was no joke, I was indeed sweating, and life was all good and full of my cardio burning dreams. I returned back home and my mother told me to go check out my face in the mirror. Much to my dismay, my skin had become wind burnt and was flushed red with blotches. Oh dear me…if I’d only remembered my face mask…and ouch, it hurt!
I went upstairs and found my secret repair weapon. Danielle’s Homemade Whipped Shea Butter!!! Who is this magical Danielle I speak of? Well… she’s my dear long time friend, incredibly gifted teacher at New Roots Charter school, mother of two amazing children, AND she also happens to be a magical potion maker (and to boot she lovingly fosters cats in her spare time) Basically, she’s a straight up angel living on earth.
For my birthday this year she gifted me a jar of her homemade Shea butter. She knows all to well that I’m a big fan of shea butter. I slather it everywhere all year round on my super dry skin. I have used a numerous variety of brands over the years; from Alafia, to Now Foods. Nearly every brand available at Greenstar and Whole Foods market; I’ve tried them all…but let me tell you NOTHING COMPARES TO HERS! Hers is a special kind of magical. That’s because it comes from her heart and home, and is clearly infused with love. (just like she herself is)
So what does this have to do with loving up your winter skin? Let me spell it out for you. HYDRATION!!!
When the temperatures drop, our skin dries out. Did you know that your skin can loose up to 25% of its original moisture during the winter season? True story! So even if you don’t naturally have dry skin, winter will take its toll on us. Aside from drinking more water and using a humidifier in your home, one of the best ways to care for your skin during the winter is to hydrate it…and yes, you guessed it, Shea butter its THE SHIZZLE when it comes to hydrating your skin!
Shea butter comes from an African nut tree called the Karite tree. The nuts are picked, cracked and pounded to extract the butter which is then boiled in water until the fresh Shea butter rises to the surface. It is then scooped into gourds and left to cool and set.
What is so incredible about Shea butter is its ability to deeply penetrate the pores and reduce dryness and redness. Regular use can prevent weather related problems such as wind burn. Shea butter also has the added bonus of being anti-aging and anti inflammatory. Some say that it has sun protection as well. WIN WIN!
My inquiring mind wanted to know… and so Danielle was kind enough to share with me (and all of us) her Whipped Shea Butter Recipe. Insert Drum Roll…
Danielle’s Whipped Shea Butter Recipe
1 cup raw shea butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup of another liquid oil (you can use olive, almond or jojoba or castor) You can also use 1/8 cup of each of those if you prefer.
Directions: Melt the Shea butter and coconut oil together then let cool for 30 minutes. Once cooled, stir in the remaining oils and place in the freezer. When the mixture becomes partially solid, WHIP THE HELL OUT OF IT using and handheld electric beater. Once you’ve got the consistency of frosting, place the whipped butter into a mason jar and store. It will solidify once its in the jars. Once solidified, slather yourself head to toe daily to protect your skin.
If you’re looking for a good source for Shea butter. I highly recommend checking out MOUNTAIN ROSE HERBS
I hope you find this recipe as magical as I have! Once you try it out, let me know how it worked for you!