Me too. I always think about the skin as our first line or boundary marker. It's like the line drawn in the sand where the landscape changes from what is outer to what is inner; what all can see to what no one can see. What rules these inner and outer landscapes changes too. Boundaries are so important, yes? So we can start with the physical level. What we eat and drink, how we rest and exercise, and more all make a difference in our skin quality. These choices we make are actually the easy part when it comes to boundary work! Keep it simple and turn to chemical free care of body and home. There are so many cosmetic and cleaning chemicals isolated in cancerous tumors today for the body has no idea how to break these substances down. Yes, I read labels or make products I can't find to fit this way of being. All you need are some very basic kitchen skills.
So here's one solution that works in our house. One quality I love about massaging this Shea Butter Plus into my moist skin after bathing is that it's not greasy at all. After a few minutes the skin drinks this deep into the lower layers of our protective barrier and you are left with a silky soft skin texture. The Rosemary is an anciently rooted skin healer meaning we have known for a long time that it will soothe chapped irritated areas, protect open areas from opportunistic microbes looking for an easy ride into our bodies, and strengthen the barrier structure of our skin so it can repair and do as it's designed to do by staying intact and protecting our inner landscape.
Shea butter comes from a nut from the African Shea Tree and is an off- white or ivory-colored fat extracted from the nut of this tree (Vitellaria paradoxa). It’s highly revered globally as a skin protectant and healer which began with the people who are profoundly fortunate to live among these trees. Shea butter is honored among drummers and dancers for protecting the integrity of overworked and overexposed skin. When blended into this butter, this can be massaged all over the body. This works for wherever you need it from tired, sore drummer-gardener-farmer-stonelayer-baker-worker hands, to massaging as a hair pomade into the scalp and hair, to massaging on tired feet from long hours of walking and working, to chapped cheeks from too much cold or wind or saltwater swimming skin.
Here's to nourishing your skin.... xo-Jen
Shea Butter Plus
4 tablespoon rosemary infused olive oil
3 tablespoon shea butter
1 tablespoon beeswax
1 tablespoon cocoa butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil
30 drops lavender essential oil - or any essential oil you love (this is optional - this salve can stay unscented too if you prefer that by just leaving this out).
1. Make your rosemary infused olive oil. Easy - warm fresh rosemary from the healthfood store or your garden in a double boiler with gentle boiling water underneath. Add 4 tablespoons of fresh leaves to 1/2 cup of olive oil and warm, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 hours. You can chop up the leaves too and this will allow the medicine to come out more quickly. Carefully strain and pour into a glass container, label with the date, and store in cool shaded area. You will have enough for a two batches of this recipe now.
2. Wipe out your double boiler and re-set on the stove with a pan of simmering water underneath and add all your ingredients to the pan and warm until all is just melted.
3. Pour into a wide mouth jar and allow to cool. Make a funky personal label and enjoy! Yield 5oz. which is enough for one winter.
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Jennifer Costa, Herbalist, Teacher, BS, RN, CST, and Founder of ElderMoon School of Herbs & Earth Medicine