Last year, I developed some sort of awesome sheaness foot butter that resulted in an almost sponge like texture. It was awesome. Pure awesomeness. It had peppermint essential oil, shea butter and…. yeah you got me there. I have no clue what else was in there. Obviously preservative, maybe some silk? wheatgerm? aloe? water? vitamin e? Who knows for sure! But it was truly awesome. I rubbed it into my feet, put on some socks and shoes and left for work. After about twenty or so minutes, my feet would start to tingle as the peppermint decided to peek it’s pretty little head and I’d sigh in bliss. Hot toes!
As I said. Pure awesomeness.
I went looking for that recipe some time ago and realised that some of my notes were lost in a computer file transfer (see why I strongly suggest notebooks?) and then decided since I couldn’t find the recipe why not create something with more awesomey-packin’-a-bigger-punch for a foot and hand butter?
I work with my hands both at home and at work too. My hands are constantly being washed, while at home usually encased in latex gloves which I personally find drying, I put my hands into scalding steam often, the dishes to wash up… and I work in China so that means tons of dusty environments, children cooties… what I put my hands through really takes its toll on them. And then in winter, I usually suffer from dry cracked knuckles, I probably possess the worst looking cuticles in the history of man-kind. And all this is when I apply butters and lotions and such to my hands on a regular basis. You should see them when I don’t apply anything helpful to try to keep them soft. You’d run screaming into the night sky.
And then there is China. China, is not that pleasant come winter in the north. It’s dry, and then dry some more. And then even more dry. The temps are far enough below zero to take care of the moisture in the air, the wind also is pretty bad, then you have the state heating system that dries out the air even more. So yeah. It’s AWESOME! But it takes a huge toll on your skin.
And I need something stronger than a body butter for my hands… and oh yeah. My feet too. Originally I designed this for a winter foot butter, but it’s quickly becoming more of a hand butter to apply at night. This sits on my night stand and I dig into it each night. It goes on like a dream, and then I put my hands into a pair of cotton socks then go to bed. I wake up with cuticles that are remarkably soft, hands that feel like they’ve been pampered and no dry skin. But it is still “technically” summer, so that is a pretty easy accomplishment.
I’m training my hands to look beautiful for winter.
Take that winter cracked skin! I’m ready to accept your defeat!
The star of this recipe is lanolin. And surprisingly, there is not a lot of solid info that I can find about this awesomeness. Other than a possible history of over 8,000 years. I know it comes from sheep, helps to repel water, but is a superstar at keeping water in, helping resolve the issue of dry cracked skin, and was one of the star ingredients in my favourite balm growing up, Udder Balm which helped tremendously with my cuticles. It’s a superstar ingredient for those with severe cracked skin and a precious ingredient for mountain climbers and cold weather junkies like myself.
We’re also adding in some aloe juice to work as a film former, shea, sweet almond oil, panthenol and silk all amazing ingredients to help dry and cracked skin. I’ve decided to use peppermint essential oil and lemon fragrance oil in this butter to compliment the emulsified foot scrub we made the other day. In that post I mentioned that I don’t regularly use sweet almond oil as I generally go for other oils with a dry finish rather than an oilier finish. But, we’ve had a few people request recipes with easier to obtain ingredients, however; if you are like me and prefer that dry satiny touch finish, swap out the sweet almond oil and replace with some hazelnut oil. Or apricot oil. Both are good choices.
Now with the foot scrub, we used lemon essential oil. In this butter we are not. And the reason is simple. I plan to be wearing this on my hands when I go outside come cold weather. And that means, the sun+citrus essential oil=BURNS. When it comes to adding in fragrance or essential oils, you can choose to change them up so maybe you want cherry blossom or lavender scented hands. The skies the limit! Have some fun with fragrances!
To make this foot butter it is just like making a lotion. There are two major differences though; a butter is scoopable making it easy to decant into pots. And you aren’t able to use a pump or decant into a squeeze tube unless you fancy wrist damage. And, you’ll be using pots for butters.
Let’s get making!
- In a heat resistant Pyrex or beaker (all hail the beaker gods), weigh out your water phase: water, aloe and silk and place into your double boiler on a barely there simmer.
- In a second heat resistant Pyrex or beaker, weigh out your ewax, sweet almond oil, shea and lanolin and place into the double boiler.
- In another bowl, weigh your panthenol and preservative, and let sit.
- After about twenty minutes, remove the ewax, almond oil, shea and lanolin beaker from the water bath.
- Remove your water phase from the water bath and wipe the bottom of any water before gently combining your water phase into your oil beaker. You will need to blitz it with an immersion blender to make sure everything emulsifies completely.
- Every five to ten minutes come back and blitz for a few seconds, then let it sit for another five to ten minutes to cool down.
- Once your lotion has cooled to a temperature below 40C, it is time to include your panthenol and preservative, blend, then add in your fragrances or essential oils using a pipet.
- This lotion will be quite thick, so take a sterilised spoon and scoop into a pot. I used a 100g tin pot and a 100g plastic pot for observing. Allow to cool completely with the lid off before capping and labeling.