We are enmeshed in the winter season, which means one thing: dry skin. Sometimes it seems like it no matter how much we moisturize, our hands become chapped after being outside for five minutes without gloves. And with the craziness of the holiday season, moisturization is the last thing on our minds as we battle the stress of ensuring the dinners go well, the kids are always entertained, and managing all of the 101 thing that come up unexpectedly.
Why not take a few minutes of self-care to relieve stress and dry skin at the same time? This body butter is filled with natural moisturizing ingredients and stress-relieving essential oils of your choosing.
Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has been touted for its benefits when consumed, but it’s also healthy when applied to skin in the following ways:
- It has antimicrobial properties to fight infections like acne, cellulitis, folliculitis, and athlete’s foot.
- It can reduce inflammation, possibly alleviating symptoms of skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis. (The studies proving this are limited but show great potential to the effects of coconut oil.)
- It can help treat acne.
- It can moisturize dry skin, and thereby help heal scars, block out bacteria, and maintain overall skin health.
- It may promote wound healing by increasing levels of collagen and improving antioxidant status.
- It may work as a natural sunscreen. A study found that coconut oil can block out about 20% of UV radiation. 
It’s important to note that coconut oil can block pores for those with naturally oily skin, so it’s not recommended for facial use for some people. It would still be beneficial to use coconut oil as a body moisturizer.
Benefits of Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter is the fat derived from cocoa beans, and is present in many lotions, creams, and lip balms. Its topical benefits include:
It may reduce inflammation, protect the skin from sun damage, and moisturize the skin. Some people have found it relieves dryness from skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis (although more evidence is needed to prove its potency.)
Some claim cocoa butter can prevent stretch marks and reverse the effects of aging, but more research is needed to confirm these claims. Either way, cocoa butter is a safe ingredient that is unlikely to cause a negative reaction for most people. 
Benefits of Magnesium Oil
Magnesium oil is a bit of a misnomer since it made of a mixture of magnesium chloride flakes and water, and is not technically an oil. Magnesium chloride is a form of the nutrient that is easily absorbed into the skin.
Magnesium is vital for a healthy body in many ways including:
- Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels
- Regulating nerve and muscle function
- Keeping blood pressure levels optimum
- Creating and support protein, bone, and DNA health
- Supporting healthy pregnancy and lactation
It’s mostly consumed in foods like leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes, and in the form of oral supplementation. Most studies that found benefits of magnesium were focused on foods and supplements, and there is little research done on topical magnesium products. 
However, one study from the Journal of Integrative Medicine found that magnesium chloride may help reduce symptoms of fibromyalgia by spraying it on their arms and legs twice a day for one month. The study is small, consisting of 24 patients, yet all had significant improvements at the end of the trial.  Another single blind pilot study with 25 patients tested the effects of magnesium cream versus a placebo for two weeks. There was a slight increase of magnesium in the group that used the cream, but the statistically significant improvement was with those in the non-athletes group. 
Larger and longer studies are needed to confirm the benefits of topical magnesium application, so those who have a magnesium deficiency are recommended to discuss oral supplementation with their health care practitioners.
Calming Magnesium Body Butter
To make the most of the calming effects of this body butter, rub some on your hands and feet before bed to allow its sweet scent to lull you to sleep.
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup cocoa butter
- 1/4 cup liquid carrier oil (like fractionated coconut oil, olive oil, or avocado oil)
- 1/4 cup magnesium oil
- 10–15 drops of essential oils (like lavender, jasmine, and frankincense)
- In a double boiler, melt the coconut oil and cocoa butter over medium heat.
- When both of the oils are melted, add the liquid carrier oil and magnesium oil.
- Stir the oils until they’re combined, and allow them to cool.
- Once the oils are cooled and have hardened, whip the oils together into a body butter with a blender or hand mixer.
- Add the essential oils and continue to whip until the body butter is light and fluffy.
- Store the body butter in airtight container for up to six months.
- Rachael Link, MS, RD. Is Coconut Oil Good for Your Skin? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/coconut-oil-and-skin#section9 April 9, 2017
- Radava R. Korać and Kapil M. Khambholja. Potential of herbs in skin protection from ultraviolet radiation. Pharmacognosy Review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3263051/ December 2011
- Cynthia Cobb, APRN. What are the benefits of cocoa butter? Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325227.php#nutrition May 21, 2019
- Corey Whelan. Magnesium Oil. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/magnesium-oil-benefits#forms
- Engen DJ. Effects of transdermal magnesium chloride on quality of life for patients with fibromyalgia: a feasibility study. Journal of Integrative Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26343101 September 15, 2015
- Andrea Rosanoff. Effect of transdermal magnesium cream on serum and urinary magnesium levels in humans: A pilot study. PLOS One. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5389641/ April 12, 2017
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