Homemade Organic Hand Cream

I have a love/hate relationship with Winter. On the one hand, Winter can be beautiful. Falling snow, Christmas lights and decorations, Snow Days, and warm, cozy fires are just a few of my favorite things. However, Winter can be gray, cold and raw. I don't enjoy being cold and I'm typically very unmotivated during the cold Winter months of January and February. I call it my hibernation period. And along with the cold comes dry, chapped skin. It's very unattractive, sometimes painful, and downright annoying.

Being a mom and a teacher, I wash my hands about a hundred times each day, and I rarely use lotion after washing. I also don't typically wear gloves when performing daily household tasks like washing dishes or wiping down counter tops with antibacterial wipes. Therefore, my hands turn into dry, rough sandpaper. I call them my alligator hands. Recently I was changing my two-year old into her pajamas and she said, "Ouch Mama you scatch me wif you nail." I wasn't wearing my rings and my nails are typically super short, so yes, it was my dry scratchy skin. Seriously, I have a problem.

Coupling my crazy dry skin with my new found love of homemade items, you can imagine how excited I was when I found found the How to make luxurious body butter with just three ingredients by Hens and Honey. I was searching around Pinterest, one of my favorite pastimes, looking for a homemade gift idea for my kiddo's teachers and a couple friends and I stumbled upon this gem.

In recent years, I've become more interested in products that are free of harmful chemicals such as phlyates, parabens, and sulfates. I've become a more conscious consumer, reading labels before purchasing items and trying to cut back on processed foods. I still have a long way to go to, but reading labels is quite an eye opener. You wouldn't believe the label on Bath and Body Works scented lotions. When I saw this body butter recipe I was ready to try it out and upon reading the post on Hens and Honey, I was even more determined to make a product that I could share with others and find a use for myself. And the best part is, I know exactly what's in it and can pronounce each item. Does it take a little more time to make your own body butter? Of course, but to me the peace of mind is worth it.

I followed Hens and Honey's three ingredient recipe. I call it Hand Cream instead of body butter, because I can't really imagine slathering it all over my body, although you could if you wanted to. First you need coconut oil, cocoa butter and peppermint essential oil.

Coconut oil is pretty readily available in any grocery store. Cocoa butter, I'm talking real cocoa butter, not the lotion kind you can buy in the store. It's a solid and you have to break it up with a butter knife to get it out of the container.

Hens and Honey got her cocoa butter on Amazon and since I'm a Prime member, I went ahead and followed her lead. Now, I'm sure you could find it in a store that sells natural products, but that's just a hunch. I went ahead and got the peppermint oil on Amazon as well. You can use another scent if you're not keen on peppermint or if you already have another essential oil, but keep in mind that the coconut oil has a slight coconut scent and the cocoa butter has a chocolaty smell so you need something somewhat complimentary. I chose peppermint because I thought it was Christmas appropriate for gifts. 

First, measure out one cup each of coconut oil and cocoa butter.

Next, heat the cocoa butter and coconut oil in a saucepan on low until it is a liquid.

After heating, cool the mixture until it is a semi-solid. I transferred the liquid into a room temperature stainless steel mixing bowl and placed it in the refrigerator for about an hour or so. Really, I gave my kids baths and went through the bedtime routine and then the mixture was ready. Here's a picture of me sticking my finger in the cooled mixture to give you an idea of the texture. You want the consistency of cooled bacon grease. Yum, right?

Now you want to add your essential oil. I added two cap-fulls of peppermint oil. After adding the oil, you want to whip the mixture in a stand mixer until it's a whipped cream consistency.

It takes a little while 7-10 minutes depending on your mixer and the bowl size.

After whipping, put your hand cream into a container. I used 8 ounce Mason jelly jars, since I was giving my hand cream as gifts.

Each batch makes enough hand cream to fill 2-3 8 ounce jelly jars, depending on how full you make them. I added some raffia and a gift tag before gifting to dress them up a bit.

Also, if you've never worked with coconut oil before, you may want to note that depending on the temperature of where you store your hand cream, it will not keep the whipped consistency. If your hand cream is kept in a cool location it will be more firm and in a warm location will be softer. However, I must say that my house is on the chilly side and I can still easily skim off a small chunk to use and the hand cream quickly smooths into my hands. I've used my fair share of different kinds of hand creams over the years and with regular use, this has to be one of my favorites. But maybe that's because I made it myself!