Grapeseed oil contains a high amount of linoleic acid, a type of omega-6 fatty acid. (Safflower oil, my first love, also contains this fatty acid!) Linoleic acid has many health benefits when taken internally (e.g., decreases LDL cholesterol), but what is not discussed as much are its benefits externally. When applied to the skin, this fatty acid can help combat dryness by providing protection against moisture loss (1). Additionally it has demonstrated a potential to effectively reduce the size of blackheads and whiteheads (2).
It's that time of year again to mix another body butter! In my original batch, I used unrefined shea butter with safflower oil. Since then, I've experimented with a couple more substances and mixtures to get a feel for what my skin likes. Here's my latest mix that I use on my elbows, knees, ankles, and lips. Enjoy!
grapeseed oil (high in linoleic acid, odorless)
unrefined shea butter (high in vitamins A, E; softening)
aloe vera gel (99% organic, moisturizing)
vegetable glycerin (humectant)
Melting the shea butter
Perform the following if your shea butter is too firm to mix and/or contains impurities. Heat the unrefined shea butter over the stove until melted. Stir continuously. Use low to medium heat. Should be melted in less than 5 minutes.
Filtering the shea butter
If necessary, filter the melted butter through a napkin to remove any impurities. (This depends on how unrefined the shea butter is and from where you purchase it.)
All mixed up
Allow the melted filtered butter to partially solidify at room temperature. Then mix in the grapeseed oil, glycerin, and aloe. Allow the mixture to harden overnight. The next morning, it is ready to use! (Roughly estimated portions: about 4oz of shea butter, 2oz of grapeseed oil, several tablespoons of glycerin and aloe. May adjust to achieve your desired consistency.)
SOURCES & MORE READS ON LINOLEIC ACID:
BODY FAT REDUCTION
FOUND IN THE SKIN
BARRIER AGAINST WATER LOSS
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Grapeseed Oil, Linoleic acid, and Body Butter Mix