Have you ever looked at the back of one of your hand lotions? Were you aware that there is an ingredients list, just like there is an ingredients list for food? The skin is the largest organ of the body, and just like you have to watch what you put in your body, it is just as important to watch what you put on your body. It can even be argued that it is more important to watch what you put on your skin than in your body! That is because anything put on the skin bypasses the digestive system and goes directly into your bloodstream. (1), (2)
The average woman today puts over 500 synthetic chemicals on her body every day without knowing it. This can be in the form of lotions, deodorants, make-up, shampoos, conditioners, and more. Many store bought lotions for everyone including women, men, babies, and children, are filled with heavy metals and carcinogenic substances. The scariest part is that some of these products are even labeled “pure”, or better yet, “all-natural.” Yikes! (3)
Have you ever visited the Environmental Working Group’s website “Skin Deep?” That is my favorite go-to place to check up on all the many products I keep in my home. I did a quick search for ideas on products labeled “natural” that were anything but natural. Sadly I came up with a children’s face sunscreen that was coined “all-natural” and yet high on the toxic list of products to avoid. (4)
How sad that this product is not only misrepresented as a natural choice, but it is for children, no less, and to use on their faces as protection from the sun! I can’t find one good thing about that combination. Highest on the concern for this product was the use of the ingredients “BHT” as well as “DIMETHICONE.” Both of these substances are known to cause cancer as well as organ system toxicity. So sad! (5)
Well, now that I have given you the bad news, let me encourage your hearts with a super easy and affordable DIY homemade hand cream. This cream can be made in bigger batches and used all over the body. I personally love to keep it handy for my hands at all times. I will share that before I began using pure, real ingredients on my hands, they used to crack and bleed constantly from about October through March or April each year. My family has gotten me so many creams, lotions, and potions throughout the years and nothing has worked. I even went to the dermatologist (back before I was more holistically minded), looking for a solution, and the prescription cream she gave me only aggravated the problem and made it worse. I am thankful to report that after switching to the following recipe, I am crack and pain free… going into the first week of December!
So what are the key ingredients here? Well, all are equally beneficial in my opinion, but the base of this cream consists of raw shea butter, unrefined coconut oil, cold-pressed olive oil… and nothing else! I also add a few drops of essential oils to give it a lovely smell, as well as some more skin benefits.
Before I give the recipe, lets take a few moments to look at the benefits each of these ingredients contains. Stated directly from the product description on the Radiant Life website, shea butter “is a thick lotion made from the kernel of a fruit that grows wild in West Africa. The shea "pits" are high in key vitamins and polyphenols that are beneficial to the hair and skin. The kernels used in this butter are harvested using traditional methods and blended in a way that preserves the integrity of these precious nutrients, leaving them fully intact when they get to you.” It is important to make sure your shea butter is 100% raw and unrefined for maximum benefit and nutrients as the shea butter linked above that Radiant Life carries is.
Coconut oil has been known to treat a variety of skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and other skin infections. The saturated fat in coconut oil helps to sooth inflammation and calms other skin ailments. As always it is so important to make sure your coconut is unrefined, and sourced from organic coconuts. (5),(6)
Lastly, I have olive oil in my recipe, as olive oil is just super moisturizing for the driest of skin. It is so gentle that it can even be used on babies to heal cradle cap.
Nourishing Geranium Hand Cream
- Half a cup of raw shea butter
- A quarter cup of coconut oil (solid)
- A quarter cup of olive oil
- 8 drops Geranium essential oil
- 6 drops Frankincense essential oil
- 1 drop Helichrysum essential oil
Combine all ingredients except the essential oils in a glass jar and place it in boiling water. You can also use a double broiler instead of a glass jar, if you have one. Stir constantly until all the ingredients are melted and stirred together. Take mixture off the heat and let it cool for about 30 minutes. While still slightly warm, add the drops of essential oils. (Note: you do not have to use essential oils, or the particular ones I listed. Those are just my favorites for skin!) Set entire mixture aside to chill for about another hour, or until oils begin to solidify. Once that is achieved, whip mixture for about ten to fifteen minutes, until a butter-like consistency is formed.
This butter can be stored in any type of jar, though I prefer an airtight glass jar if I have a clean one on hand. Remember that coconut oil liquefies if it gets warm, so I prefer to keep my hand cream in the refrigerator, especially in the summers!