Sunday, March 8, 2009

On Body Frostings and the Nature of Oil

(clicking photos in this post will take you to individual listings in our shop)...

We've been offering body frostings in our shop since the second week of November of 2008. 99% of the people who have tried them, have loved them. But occasionally there are some confused reactions on what a body frosting actually is, how it works, and what its for; so this is going to explain all of that.

What is it? What's it for?

First, the name of the product, Body Frosting. Frosting (or Icing as its called where I grew up) is a frothy creamy substance used to cover cakes (a lesser known or realized use of frosting is it keeps your cake from drying out - plain cake dries out much faster than cake with frosting)... our "frosting" is a frothy creamy substance used to keep your skin soft and moisturized. Unlike real frosting however, where you have to use a full 8 or 9 oz jar to cover an itty bitty cake, 1 3oz jar of body frosting is enough to cover your whole body daily for about 2-3 weeks.

I personally use a tea tree & peppermint frosting on my feet daily, and it takes me almost a week to go through a 1/2 ounce jar of me when I say that the phrase "a little dab 'll do ya" is very accurate in the case of our body frostings.

"Why is that, exactly?" You may ask. Well, I'll tell you.

What goes in it?

Well, as I said, a little dab'll do ya - because our body frostings are a pure blend of 100% natural oils and butters, a little bit will go a very long way. The ingredients in our body frostings are very simple. We start with pure refined Shea Butter. Once this is melted down we add in coconut oil, grape seed oil, apricot kernel oil, and vitamin E. The last ingredient we add is a preservative which helps protect the frosting (and You) from harmful bacterial growth.

I've expounded a bit in previous posts about Shea butter, so I will summarize for you for now.

Shea butter (also known as Butyrospermm Parkii Fruit, aka, shea tree nut butter, etc) is the solid oil extracted (typically by expeller pressing) from the nut or fruit of the Shea Tree. It contains high amounts of Vitamin A and is well known for its healing properties for a variety of skin conditions (eczema, dermatitis, dry cracked skin, rashes, blemishes[anyone ever used retin-a the acne cream?], stretch mark healing and prevention, and more). Those people who have latex or nut allergies should *ALWAYS* do a patch test to determine if they will have a reaction to shea butter.

Coconut Oil (Cocos Nucifera Oil) is a solid at room temperature oil that contains high amounts of lauric acid and others which are helpful in maintaining the naturally slightly acidic nature of human skin. It has been shown to help fight certain strains of candida and thrush, and also helps in the breakdown of bacteria which causes the oders in human sweat. Due to its fast absorbtion rate and high fatty acid content, it is an excellent all purpose skin moisturizer. It has a shelf life of about 2 years when stored in its naturally occurring solid form.

Grape Seed Oil (Vitis Vinifera Seed Oil) is a highly touted oil for use on stressed and damaged skin. It is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 acid that helps cells maintain and replenish their membrane structure, leading to less visibility in stretch marks and wrinkles. It tends to be slightly slower at full absorption, making it an excellent carrier oil for essential oils, and providing a protective barrier for skin, while not creating an overly greasy feeling after application. This oil has a shelf life of approximately 1 year.
Apricot Kernel Oil (Prunus Armeniaca kernel Oil) is another lightweight oil that acts similarly to both shea butter and Grape Seed Oil, due to both its high Vitamin A content, and also due to its high content of linoleic (and oleic) acids. It absorbs quickly into the skin and does not leave any oily residue behind once it is completely absorbed. It has the shortest shelf life of all of the oils we use, at only 6 months when stored in a cool dark environment, and is why we recommend using your frostings within 3 months for best freshness.

Vitamin E is added both for its ability to help prevent rancidity in oils, as it is for its benefits to your skin in combination with all of the other oils we use. Vit E is a regulator for Vitamin A - it helps to maintain a healthy balance of Vitamin A within the skin. Due to its antioxident properties, Vitamin E helps protect skin from UV light, and boosts the power of sunscreens when applied at least 20 minutes before going out in the sun. It also helps fight free radicals in the skin which can cause wrinkles, liver spots and skin discolorations.

Lastly, we include a brand of preservative called Germaben IIe. This is made up of the following preservatives: Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben. It is used at approximately .5%-1% of the total weight of all of the other ingredients combined. This combination of preservatives is effective at preventing the growth of bacteria, mold, and fungus and keeps your product fresh through out its shelf life, protecting you from having icky things growing in your body frosting.

So Why use body frosting instead of standard lotion?

Standard lotions and moisturizers contain water, and lots of it. And while this is fine and there is nothing wrong with it, it has the side effect of requiring reapplication quite frequently. Part of the reason standard lotions and creams make your skin feel softer and smoother is that the water in those creams absorbs almost immediately, and swells the cells of your skin, which does temporarily relieve the look and feel of dry, wrinkled skin.

However, water evaporates almost as rapidly as it absorbs, and sooner or later, typically within a few hours, the water will have passed through the cells and you find yourself reapplying the lotion. The great thing about our body frostings is that they actually help to *heal* the skin, not only reducing the look of the fine lines and dryness of your skin cells, but actually aiding them to correct and repair themselves. And while it can't completely reverse the aging process, it can, and does, help your cells to retain their own natural moisture more readily, and thus correct the problem of dry skin with only 1 or 2 applications per day, versus the 5-8 times a day one would typically apply a standard water base mixture.

This is something to consider both for the health of your skin, and your wallet. While our body frostings run about $3 per ounce, versus the more standard $1.50 to $2 per ounce, they are actually less expensive over the long run, because you will use significantly less of them. So its the best of both worlds. You save your skin, and some money, and life doesn't get much better than that!

And always bear in mind, that phrase "a little dab'll do ya"... If you try to apply our frosting the way you are used to applying lotion, you will wind up looking like you've just swum through a river of mineral oil. Go easy on it. Apply a little bit, and if you feel you need more, wait till it absorbs first, and then see how you feel. By all means, use as much as you'd like, just be careful not to overdo it, or you might, as one customer recently put it "glow" after application.


Fashionably Adorned said...

thanks for your great explanation!! your body frostings look good enough to eat, but I won't.. as soon as I am able I will be getting some!!

Heathen's Hearth said...

Yes, please, don't eat them. While all of the butters and oils used in our frostings are actually commonly used in cooking, the essential oils, fragrance oils and preservatives, makes eating them in this form a very bad idea. :-D

Heathen's Hearth said...

Also, please remember to check our shop announcement, as each week we offer 2 scents at 20% off, which is a great deal!

Cat (darklingwoods) said...

mmm looks great! Thank you for all the information!

Mommy Bee said...

I was talking with my husband about this, and he says he thinks it sounds really greasy. What's your take on that? He doesn't like oil-based lotions because he says he ends up feeling greasy all day.
I'm thinking I'd like to try this out in sample've probably got that, huh. I'll have to go look. :)

Heathen's Hearth said...

Once it absorbs completely (after about 2-3 minutes), and assuming you follow the "lil dab'll do ya" law, it does not feel greasy at all.

We do have one ounce samples available in sets of 5 in the shop. If you'd like to work something else out, please feel free to convo us for special pricing.