This post is sponsored by my friends at Mountain Rose Herbs. This year I’m so thrilled to be partnering with Mountain Rose as their brand ambassador – bringing you some magical botanical creations every month from from my brain overflowing with potions and recipes using their ethical botanical, culinary and topical products that I’ve loved using for years. We’ve got quite a line up of creations coming this year, beginning with one of my favorite tried and true, simple nourishing body oil formulas.
In my herbal recipe journals, I have a handful to quick, go-to formulas that I can whip up in just a few minutes, usually with ingredients I always have on hand or hanging around my kitchen. Everything from “cold coming on” tea formulas to quick digestive remedies to herbal body care products…it’s often just what I happened upon creating by accident that worked really well and has since become a staple herbal item in my seasonal rotation. This simple nourishing body oil is one of those super easy recipes that takes minutes to pull together and works beautifully during those last few dry months of winter when my skin needs it most. I posted last year about my gotu kola & neem infused cuticle salve (because my poor rough cold hands in winter!) and this body oil recipe is sort of like that magical moisturizing salve but for the whole body when it feels extra dried out. Also, easier application, because oils are super sexy and luxurious.
As a skinny mini cold an dry vata individual, I’ve found that sesame oil is my favorite topical oil for both my skin an my hair in the winter. It’s gentle and nourishing and moisturizing and seems to just soak into my skin effortlessly and lasts for hours and hours. I love to use this unrefined variety of sesame oil from Mountain Rose Herbs because it has a sweet and very subtle nutty aroma that makes my body oil creations smell nurturing and full, and the texture and skin feel is smooth and luscious (bonus – I also cook with this too!). In the winter time, I like to mix this with a take on my classic calendula oil by simply adding in some apricot kernel oil and dried calendula flowers (but you can use fresh flowers in the summer time!) for a perfectly balanced, simple and easy to throw together body oil. Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is my herb of choice for skin health, usually, for it’s calming and soothing quality that balances sensitive or reactive skin. When my skin gets really cold and dry, it also gets red and itchy (read, “inflamed and irritated”) and calendula is the ideal balance to cool and soothe this kind of reaction and infuses BEAUTIFULLY in subtle apricot kernel seed oil.
I prefer to make this in small batches in the winter months, mainly because I like to also add a bit of organic unrefined coconut oil for extra extra moisturizing power. Coconut oil is amazingly complex yet still simple. In my body care products, it acts as a supportive and protective layer to my skin to hold in moisture even after it’s all absorbed in so I don’t have to keep re-applying and re-applying like I would with a body lotion. A little bit goes a long way with good quality coconut oil. Coconut oil is highly sensitive to temperature variation, and in colder months it has a tendency to solidify if your space is cooler and can affect the consistency of the oil if not kept warm. Hence, smaller batches I go through very, very quickly and leaves less time for this to happen. If it does (which is not uncommon – my house is almost 100 years old and kiiiiiiinda chilly in winter time), I just place my bottle of nourishing body oil in a warm water bath for about 10 minutes and it’s all melted and jiving together again….and the feel of warm body oil on my skin after a bath is…..insanely amazing.
To make this body oil, I keep it kind of dummy proof and not terribly complicated. I often use a 4 ounce bottle, stuff it with a few calendula flower, fill halfway with sesame oil and halfway with apricot kernel seed oil and top it off with coconut oil. Done. If you’re a measure-y kind of person, then use a scant 2 ounces of each oil with 1 tbsp of coconut oil and that’s basically it. Don’t overcomplicate complicity.