Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Luxury of Time

There's nothing like that feeling of freedom at the start of a four-day weekend when you have no obligations, or close to none. 

In all fairness, I have a January 2nd deadline for class samples, but I'm not worried. All but one are complete, and I've made a start on the last one, and already finished the instructions, mostly, so I'm feeling pretty smug.
 And this before I worked out, so most definitely, Smug-R-I.

Then there was a little experiment over which I've been obsessing for a few weeks now.
Body butter.

It's not as though there's rationing or shortages or low inventory on a global or even a personal scale, but I've been pretty focused, surfing for ingredients, poring over recipes of all sorts, and with this glorious stretch of time ahead of me, I indulged my obsession for less than half an hour and have fluffy, white body butter.

I'd say it's more of a winter cream than a summer cream because I'm afraid that the coconut oil, a solid at room temperature but liquid at skin temperature would probably melt in a warm car or house, but for a first attempt (now that the weather is more congruent to the actual season than to the one months past) I'm quite happy.

It's a light cream that melts on contact, leaving a very slightly oily film that penetrates within ten minutes or so and leaves skin on the silky side.

This all started about fifteen years ago when my middle brother got married and we went to Australia for the first time.

I was at a mall with someone who has been my friend since we were ten years old, and I didn't want to buy Ozzie tourist crap, but I did want something genuinely Australian, and as we were in the beauty products area of the local department store, she recommended a salt scrub for the shower.

Best recommendation ever.

Every time I went to Australia, or my parents visited me here, I'd ensure that my stocks were replenished. It smelled fabulous, it was just the right amount of scrubbiness, and it left a light film on the skin that softened and moisturized.

You know how it is when you have a perfect, favourite thing that you buy from time to time? Like salad dressing, salt scrub, chocolate? And then they discontinue or change it?


The last jar was simply nasty. Barely scrubby, weird gel-like stuff that left the skin slimy but not moisturized and smelled of dollar store lotions.

I looked into making my own, even though I'd never bought another product with more of a resemblance to my beloved Natio Spa than a five-yar-old's crayon drawing bears to the Mona Lisa. I even tried it. Twice. I had success commensurate with that of the child with crayons at the Louvre.

It wasn't a dismal failure, but it as certainly less than satisfying. I couldn't get the texture right: it was too heavy, greasy, oily, and I was pretty sure I wanted an emulsion rather than simply an oil and sugar mix as suggested by all sorts of DIY sites, but I couldn't find much information regarding emulsions in scrubs, though there was plenty in the realm of lotions and body butters.

Hence the body butter.

I may have to look into more exotic ingredients not available at my usual grocery stores, like shea butter or cocoa butter or emulsifying wax, but for a first attempt, coconut oil, olive oil, vitamin E oil, jojoba oil, aloe vera gel and rose water aren't half bad.

No comments: