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Graceful negotiation for the signs of aging

Now, take your vitamins – OR wear them!

All of this talk about body butter! I’ve always used it, especially in the winter. I am always surprised that more people are not making their own versus spending *and I gasp…upwards of $38 for a very small spa quality butter. Spa quality, meaning luxurious feel and sometimes even an amazing smell, but still full of industrial chemicals. At About Face, we believe that quality doesn’t mean expensive and our proof is in our butters. We make a batch,  it sells out in minutes. Container sizes got all personal and competitive in the last few weeks with clients asking for larger jars to take home. As those jars waited “in-spa” ready to be picked up, clients would ask – how does she get a larger jar than me? Oh, how I love you all.  

 body butter

You should have my basic recipe by now. If you do not, use the search bar to find the recipe posted to this blog in the past. Let’s be clear, I want my own family to have skin that is soft, not-dry, scar free and beautiful – but, I also want it to be healthy and have no chemicals added to their bodies. So, here’s the “why” of making (or purchasing inexpensively at About Face) body butter.

1. First and foremost – very important! Everything you put on your skin is absorbed into your body. In most cases, ingredients pass through your liver within 20 minutes.  Using natural body butter recipes means you’re feeding your body vitamins and healthy oils every time you slide some on.
Body butters are rich in essential Omega 3 fats. Omega’s  moisturize your skin and do an over the top awesome job of helping to calm inflammation. (pay attention lymphatic folks, autoimmune disorder folks – ie – MS, Fibromyalgia, Psoriasis sufferers, etc).  Body butters also have high levels of antioxidants such as Vitamin C, E and A, which help reduce age-related skin damage.  Ready for this? Feed your skin good nutrients, keep the skin from unnecessary stretching due to inflammation and aging – plus have fabulous skin? Yes, please.

So, I knew I needed to make these, but how did I select and perfect the recipes? Trial, error and research – that’s how.  A disclaimer here, I grew up watching in the kitchen of my grandmother, Jennie Shaw Roberts. Gram Roberts was not only one of the most influential people in my life, she raised her siblings, her children – and even 4 grandchildren, as her own. Many of these years, she didn’t actually have enough (The Great Depression was real, folks).  Oh, baking or canning day when I was little! Gram always wore an apron – that we would “sneak” to untie. Every time we snuck, she’d exclaim – “oh dear me suds, how did my apron come untied” as we rolled away in fits of laughter.  Jennie rarely measured anything. Her written recipes (in her own handwriting) are some of my most favored treasures. The problem is – what is a tiche? A pinch? Is my pinch or tiche bigger than hers? Why can’t I get soft molasses cookies to look and taste like hers? Which version was my favorite? (her recipes have subscripts – such as, “these are the ones Uncle Bob likes”).  What in the world did she do to white frosting to make it so fluffy and not taste sweet like frosting? All of this to say, naturally, I rarely measure with exactness – anything. Fair warning! But here’s how I start:

Pick a base. Here are my top 3.

There are several bases that you can use in your body butter recipes – and they all have their own special properties.

1. Shea Butter (aka Karite Butter) is rich in essential fatty acids as well as antioxidant vitamins A and E – crucial for improving skin elasticity and fighting free radical damage. This base alone provides an estimated spf of 8, because it is rich in cinnamic acid – therefore, protecting the skin from UV rays. Remember, UV rays come from all sorts of things -not just sun exposure. Here are some other properties of Shea Butter.

  • Helps reduce wrinkles by moisturizing the skin and boosting cell regeneration and circulation. Read that one more time before you ask for body contouring services (that in my opinion, the technology just isn’t quite “there” yet – but it’s coming!)
  • Heals burns, sores, scars, eczema, psoriasis, dandruff and stretch marks.

Unrefined Shea butter keeps all its natural vitamins, but has a strong smell that some do not like. It disappears within minutes of applying to your skin. You can also buy refined shea butter (which doesn’t smell,) although the refining process reduces the vitamins. Go for the unrefined – and get your vitamins! Shea butter is not the best choice for clients with true nut or latex allergies. 

My favorite of all that I have tested in the past, comes from www.bettersheabutter.com (visit the site, learn more and order yours if you’re trying this at home).  “Like” their facebook page, by clicking here. Why do I like their product better? Well, for starters – it’s consistently good quality. Before finding better shea butter, I had routine experiences of receiving badly discolored (and once – even moldy!) shea butter.  Even better, they have offered a discount code for all About Face clients/blog readers! When you are checking out, place  “BSB15OFF” in the discount code section. We all love a good discount! You may order Better Shea Butter directly by clicking the Amazon.com Widget link below.

// Amazon.com Widgets

bettershea

source: better shea butter, facebook cover image.

Mango butter. Mango butter is obtained from the kernels of the mango tree. It possesses a high content of stearic acid, making it similar to cocoa butter. Mango butter is a great emollient and also provides protection against the sun. It will also prevent drying of the skin and formation of wrinkles. Mango butter reduces degeneration of skin cells and restores elasticity. Mango butter’s hardness makes it a great butter for stick formulations such as lip balm and lotion bars. It can be used “as is” to provide relief from the dryness of eczema and psoriasis.

mango

  • A relatively hard butter that is very hard to use on it’s own (have to combine with oils). It does apply and disperse evenly onto the skin once it’s warmed up in your hands.
  • Recommended for wrinkle reduction.  You will notice the disappearance of fine line wrinkles after 4 to 6 weeks of daily use.
  • Protects against UV radiation.

Soothing and moisturizing. Great for healing eczema, rashes, bug bites, sunburn, frostbite, cracked skin, stretch marks, prickly heat (and probably more that I haven’t tried it on yet)

Cocoa Butter. This oil is a hard solid at room temperature, making the term “butter” a bit confusing. It is an edible vegetable fat that is obtained from cocoa beans, and it has a very mild chocolatey aroma. Cocoa Butter is one of the most stable fats and also contains natural antioxidants. It is reputed to provide a barrier that helps retain and restore the moisture in your skin – therefore, if you don’t already have dry skin – this is the one to prevent getting it.  This butter is different than our other butters like Mango, which are soft to the touch. If you hold a piece of solid Cocoa Butter against your skin, it will start to melt in the way a chocolate bar does, but stays solid at room temperature. Because of these properties, I prefer working with pellets.

CocoaButter_OIL5_Main_A

  • Reduces symptoms of dermatitis and asthma by slowing the production of immuno globulin IgE (which aggravates skin problems and asthma)
  • Places a protective barrier between your skin and it’s environment. This is quite helpful since most of my clients live in Middle Tennessee and their ancestors lived in Europe! This butter is especially good for sun and wind damage (skiers, skydivers!)
  • Research shows that massage preparations using cocoa butter help relieve stress, boost immunity and prevent certain cancers

Helps reduce wrinkles and stretch marks by moisturizing the skin and boosting cell regeneration and circulation to the area.

After choosing the base from the three above, choose your oils at a 1:1 ratio. This means, if you use 8 oz of Shea, mango or cocoa butter, use a TOTAL of 8 oz of the other oils to match. I use vitamin e, Coconut and Grape seed oil from Epicurean Olive Oil a shoppe with current location of Murfreesboro, TN – and more locations to come in the future! (click here to learn more and/or to purchase)grape seed oil

After that – it’s all about what essential oils you’d like to add to your base body butter. I always use Melaleuca in every body butter, then add the oils for conditions I’d like to treat, or based on seasonal skin care needs. Mix the 1:1 ratio of base plus oils together, chill them out (place in fridge if you are not very patient, like me) and then add your essential oil choices. (do not add essential oils when base mixture is hot/warm. Cooking essential oils, reduces their efficacy – and that’s the whole point). Next, whip it. As in – until it’s white and fluffy and looks like whipped frosting. Store in air tight glass jars.

You may order essential oils by clicking here. Please register as a wellness advocate – even if for your own personal use. You will receive a great discount AND get a free product of the month just by ordering products for your own personal use (called the LRP). Even if you do nothing with it as a business, I highly recommend this as Essential Oils can be “top heavy” – meaning you have to pay for 250 drops of essential oils – and may only need 20 for a recipe. They’ll last a long time, but you will find as you navigate your way to cleaner, healthier living – you just have to have them all!

If the link above does not work for you or your web browser type, click here to order Better Shea Butter!

100% Unrefined Organic Shea Butter – FREE Body Butter Recipes eBook – Best Organic African Grade A Ivory – Safe for any age and skin type, non-comedogenic – Rich in Vitamins A, E and F – Use on Acne, Eczema, Stretch Marks, Rashes – Use As Belly Butter To Keep Mommy’s Skin Soft And Supple – Essential Ingredient for DIY Body Butters, Lotions, Lotion Bars, Soaps and Other Natural Skincare Recipes – Color: IVORY – 1LB (16oz)

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12 days of Christmas

 12days2

I’ve always wondered why the 12 days of Christmas are discussed and executed prior to 12/25, and I guess it’s easy to see it’s about the “selling” of Christmas. I’ve never been able to sort this out in my mind and allow myself to participate until this year.

For those of you wondering – The origin (and counting of the Twelve Days of Christmas) is complicated.  It becomes complicated because of the differences in calendars, church traditions, and ways to observe this holy day in various cultures. In the Western church, Epiphany is usually celebrated as the time the Wise Men or Magi arrived to present gifts to the young Jesus (Matt. 2:1-12). Traditionally there were three Magi, probably from the fact of three gifts, even though the biblical narrative never says how many Magi came.  In some cultures, especially Hispanic and Latin American culture, January 6th is observed as Three Kings Day, or simply the Day of the Kings (Span: la Fiesta de Reyes, el Dia de los Tres Reyes, or el Dia de los Reyes Magos; Dutch: Driekoningendag).  Even though December 25th is celebrated as Christmas in these cultures, January 6th is often the day for giving gifts. In some places it is traditional to give Christmas gifts for each of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Since Eastern Orthodox traditions use a different religious calendar, they celebrate Christmas on January 7th and observe Epiphany or Theophany on January 19th. See how complicated different calendars can make it?

nativity

It is my belief that Christmas begins on the evening of December 25th with the following day considered the First Day of Christmas (December 26th). Therefore, the twelve days of Christmas begin on December 26 and include (and end) on Epiphany -January 6th. So what does this have to do with skin? You are about to find out!

As many of you exchange gifts on 12/25, we’ve put our heads together and come up with a solution of how you can be a part of About Face’s 12 days of Christmas fun celebration! It’s really quite simple, but we’ll give you an example of how it can work.

We are encouraging those who would love a gift of great skin this year to send this post to your Secret Santa’s. Tell them you would love a gift certificate from About Face and provide them with our contact information. We will take care of the gift certificate (available to be loaded to current clients account, and/or printed and gifted). That seems pretty routine, right? But this is where it get’s to be even more fun – and their gift can multiply!

Starting 12/26 – About Face will post the 12 days of Christmas specials that will end on 1/6. We will list the regular retail value, the sale price for that day – AND the even further reduced price for gift certificate recipients for gift cards sold from 12/11-12/13/14.

For example: 12/26 we post a dermagenesis special. (Laser genesis plus dermaplane). Regular retail value $130. 1st days of Christmas sale price – $100. Gift card holders – $50! (*we are not saying this is actually the first day special, this is just an example). We also heard that the one day the special may be a customized body butter every month for a year – delivered to the gift receiver’s door!

We hope you’ll have as much fun as we do celebrating the 12 days of Christmas starting 12/26 and ending 1/6/15! Before you ask, yes – you may buy yourself a gift certificate.

Email requests to: thatwoodardgirl12@gmail.com, call or text 615.796.1915. Merry Christmas!

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