Summers in the North are intense.
During the solstice, when the sun is at its highest, we receive 17 hours of bright sunlight a day. The skies above remain glowing for even longer. The morning light and accompanying birdsong usher through my window and blinds in the hour of 4:00 am, and the last rays from the setting sun provide just enough light to grant me time spent outdoors with a good book until almost midnight. Where else in the world could you pull weeds in your garden or read a book outside until such hours? We in the North have the ultimate gift - (extra) time - and every moment of it feels like pure, stolen magic. So while the rest of the world is blanketed in darkness and sleeping soundly, here in the North - we got things to do.
The desire to accomplish "all the things" before the change of the season and the inevitable first snowflakes, leaves us gardening enthusiasts burning the proverbial candle at both ends. The season of perpetual darkness is never far around the corner, and there is still much to do before we say goodbye to the light. For me, during this season of go-go-go, any self-care rituals beyond a much-needed-yet-very-quick shower at the end of a long day (usually shared with three starving kids covered in dirt from head-to-toe) - just ain't happening. It is undeniably safe to say that my typical self-care routine takes backstage to the central performance of our summer lives: spending time getting dirty outside.
My daughter, Saje. Photo credit: https://www.truespiritrevival.com/
It was this exact scenario, on repeat for many days, that recently led my skin to feel somewhat parched and rather neglected, like a potted plant gagging for a drink of water under the hot summer sun. And so it was in this crossroads between needing some serious skincare while simultaneously needing to get out the door for some errands, that I discovered this magical little trick for making my Body Butter get the hell into my skin, fast.
But first, before I divulge my little trick, let's ask a meaningful and relevant question (which I promise will make sense later): what exactly is the difference between body butter and lotion? For the record, I have both and could've easily reached for the latter, more "convenient" one. Let me explain.
Let's start with lotion. You know how we all love it because it lets us moisturize and get on with life fast? It absorbs into the skin like a dream, which is fantastic for today's rushy-rush lifestyle. Convenience aside, the not-so-fantastic thing about lotion (generally speaking) is that it can be pretty toxic.
My "Toxic Face Impression" when reading crazy ingredients on cosmetics!
It's important to understand here that the reason lotion absorbs so quickly into the skin - and the reason it's likely full of questionable ingredients - is because it contains water. Did you know that your lotion contains a whopping 70-80% water, with only 10-25% nourishing oils or butter? (By the way, this is why lotion isn't as effective as body butter when your skin needs some serious lovin'. It's just rather weak.) But I digress.
Back to water. In a nutshell, it's job is to lighten the oils and butter in the formula, which in turn aids faster absorption. But the downside, as I mentioned earlier, is that the addition of water necessitates adding preservatives, most of which are best to avoid. I don't mean to generalize; there are more natural preservative options available these days, and some companies are doing the right thing by researching, testing, and utilizing these natural preservation systems to make quality, safe cosmetics. Still, my experience reading labels over the years at large has taught me that brands who claim to be "natural," "non-toxic," and "clean" are still putting crap in their products despite their clever marketing. Don't be fooled! Look at your products with a critical eye. Do not assume innocence until proven guilty; instead, consider the opposite. Most importantly, take control by reading ingredient labels and research anything you don't understand.
If you are looking to source truly non-toxic skincare products, head this advice: when you see "water" listed as an ingredient in cosmetics you use, understand there must be preservatives, too. Personally speaking, when I see water in a product that I am considering purchasing, my eyes immediately scan the ingredient list to see how the company has chosen to preserve that product. If you want to make healthier, more informed choices, your eyes should be scanning, too!
For a thorough list of preservatives to avoid, click here. For a quick list, here are some common ones to watch out for and avoid:
- Words ending in -parabens
- Ethoxylated ingredients like PPG, PEG, Polysorbate, or words ending in -eth like cetearath, laureth, or steareth.
- Formaldehyde-releasers like Quaternium-15, DMDM Hydantoin, Urea.
- Anything with numbers in it!
We are moving on. Body butter (read: our Body Butter), on the other hand, is one of the best things on Earth for your skin. I know, I know, I'm biased, but hear me out. Made of virtually 100% butter and oils (compared to lotion's wimpy 10-25%), body butter can seriously transform thirsty, dry, environmentally-damaged, lackluster, drab, stressed-out, neglected, eczema-ridden, sensitive, and rough skin into something of beauty: healthier, softer, hydrated, more nourished, glowing, smoother, and even stronger skin can result with dedicated use. No added water means no preservatives are needed, and you end up with a full-bodied yet straightforward natural product that has no fillers, no chemicals, no emulsifiers, no anything except butter, oils, and (optional) essential oils.
If you would like to know more about what makes our body butter so darn good and why you need it in your life, stay tuned for our next blog post. We will get into more details on what exact ingredients we are using and why they are so good for your skin.
Now - although our Body Butter remains a bestseller and has made many happy and loyal fans, I have to admit the downside: it can feel a bit heavy or dare I say, greasy, for some skin types. In other words, it takes longer to absorb into the skin, and when you're in a rush, that's no bueno. So here it is - the quick little trick to make your body butter less greasy and absorb more quickly (that took me almost a decade to learn). #slowlearner
Watch this quick video below from our YouTube channel to see me explain and demo in real life, or simply read on.
Ultimately, with this trick, we can have the best of both worlds: highly nourished skin (without the addition of toxic ingredients) and rapid absorption, by adding a simple component that you may have guessed by now - water.
Listen up, though - DO NOT add water directly into your Body Butter jar because that will introduce bacteria and cause spoilage, which could be harmful to your health. Remember, our Body Butters do not contain preservatives and do not need preservatives as long as water is not introduced directly into the product.
Some ways to perform this little trick:
- run water from your sink faucet and with one hand, apply some water to your body and then apply your Body Butter with your other dry hand
- use a bottle spritzer filled with water and mist your skin
- Apply your Body Butter as soon as you jump out of the bath or shower - don't even towel dry!
- For extra luxury, spritz your skin with our Magic Monster Spray or Flora's Fountain Toners.
Okay, Goddesses, that's all for now. I hope this trick helps! I honestly love your feedback, so please comment below once you have tried this little tip and let me know your thoughts. If you have ideas for future tutorials from me or need help shining light on any confusion you may have in the beauty industry; I would love to know.
Wishing you lots of summer sunshine and green blessings,