October is one of my favorite months of the year. The weather is chilly but not quite cold, and the leaves on the trees turn into the most stunning colors. Nature is breathtaking.
Along with seasonal change, I know my mind and my body can both use some kind of a boost. Fall is the perfect time to take a step back, check on projects, rejoice over achievements and focus on remaining tasks you might want to complete before the end of the year. As the temperatures are slowly decreasing, my skin tends to be on the dry side again, and could benefit from a moisturizing treat.
Aromatherapy is the perfect way to uplift the mood, support the immune system and nourish the skin at the same time.
Glowing Fall Whipped Body Butter
with pumpkin seed oil and spices
Pumpkin spices; we all know what they are and how wonderful they smell (cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg and allspice). They are actually great at helping warm up our body and at stimulating our immune defenses. I love them, and sprinkle them into soups and lattes, but I wanted to try something different for my body butter. I chose to keep cinnamon and ginger, and composed the blend adding other beautiful essential oils.
Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) – 14 drops
Primarily composed of a compound named d-limonene, well-known for its anxiolytic quality, sweet orange is also antiseptic. The uplifting and refreshing aspect of the aroma can add cheer to any gloomy fall day!
Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) – 8 drops
The smell of cardamom is lovely, warming and stimulating, yet comforting. The high amount of both ester and oxide compounds give cardamom essential oil a strong antispasmodic effect, and expectorant as well as decongestant qualities. I use it to support my respiratory system and soothe muscular tension.
Laurel (Laurus nobilis) – 8 drops
Laurel is a complex essential oil in its aroma and therapeutic properties! It offers excellent support for the respiratory system, and is an immune-enhancer (antibacterial, antiviral) to help you face weather changes. I love how strong it makes me feel, and how it provides a self-confidence kick – much needed during fall.
Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamomum verum) – 2 drops
How could I not include cinnamon in my spicy body butter? This spice also has an antibacterial, antiviral and generally stimulant action, excellent to keep my metabolism strong. However, the essential oil is irritant for the skin and should never be used undiluted; in this recipe, I only use a small amount, which is sufficient to bring the spicy scent that I like without being overpowering.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) – 8 drops
Another warming and boosting essential oil is ginger! This sesquiterpene-rich oil supports the digestive system in particular, and its fresh and energizing smell never fails to bring me energy, clarity and motivation.
Pumpkin seed oil
Rich in essential fatty acids (linoleic, oleic, palmitic and stearic), as well as tocopherols (vitamin E) and minerals, pumpkin seed oil is excellent for skincare. The antioxidant effect of vitamin E protects skin cells, and fatty acids are deeply moisturizing without being too greasy. Applying oils and butters on your skin is a perfect way to keep it firm and nourished, as well as protecting it from dryness and weather changes.
It is quite difficult to predict the final amount of body butter, as the whipping action increases the volume. I used 80 grams of ingredients (about 2.8 ounces) and this recipe gave me about 6 ounces (in volume) of body butter.
20 g cocoa butter
20 g shea butter
20 g coconut oil
10 g pumpkin seed oil
10 g jojoba oil
- Let the butters melt together in a double boiler, and add the oils of pumpkin seed, coconut and jojoba.
- Refrigerate for about ½ hour, until the mixture has cooled down. The texture should be thick, but not too firm.
- Use an electric whisk to whip the mix.
- When you reach a whipped cream consistency, turn off the whisk. Slowly add the essential oils and stir very gently or your body butter will lose its fluffiness.
Choice of ingredients:
With purely skin care in mind, it is better to choose non-fractionated, non-deodorized ingredients. When they are processed, oils and butter tend to lose the precious nutrients and vitamins that are necessary to their efficacy. My body butter ended up smelling a bit like cocoa, coconut and pumpkin seeds, but the effect on my skin is worth it (and it blends well with the essential oils I selected).
From a purely aromatic standpoint, you might want to choose deodorized ingredients to enhance the smell of the essential oils.
Why I chose to add essential oils at the end:
Adding them to the mixture when it is warm is not a good idea, as essential oils are sensitive to heat. Adding them before whipping the butter is not good either, as they will be interacting with a lot of air; they are quite volatile and evaporate quickly. Adding them at the end of the process is the best way to preserve them; just be sure to stir the butter very gently.
Enjoy this warming and spicy goodness!