I’ve been living with ED carriers for 25 years ( yes it’s a big anniversary coming up) and in that time I’ve learned that one of the biggest problems my brood is dry, cracked and sore skin.
My husband particularly has hands and feet that are really dry and the skin is super thick. Before we knew of the condition the joke in the family was that the men….
‘…have feet only a cheese board would be proud of!’
But the uncomfortable, thick, cracked skin is on the heels and balls of the feet can be uncomfortable and frankly a cause for embarrassment.
Of course it gets worse at different times of the year.. winter dries in the cold and skin gets chapped and sore… summer brings sun burn and dehydration.
So what can we use to help it?
You can spend a fortune finding the right product but I have found them… it’s easy, cheap and so affective it’s almost magic!
There’s so many products on the market but I’ve realised you can get so much more for your money and make creams and potions that are so so much better, if you do it yourself.
I’ve always been interested in making my own body products from natural and organic ingredients. So much so that I’ve built up a massive menu of recipes over the years and I have become a bit of an expert. I’ve even been teaching others how to create their bespoke potions at Glastonbury and other festivals for over a decade as well As runing private classes from my studio and at other venues.
I don’t sell my products, its not what I want to do, but I have a steady stream of family and friends with various skin and hair problems who I make things for. For me it’s about sharing the knowledge and telling people how easy it is it find the perfect solution for so many skin problems.
I was asked last week what I would recommend for ED carriers and their skin problems .. so I wrote this to share my advice… I hope it helps not just those with Ed but those with any skin conditions and those without any at all… we all need a bit of pampering .
So it’s very simple… I have two basic ingredients and you can use household ingredients to adapt them! All quick and easy and you don’t need any special ingredients or kit. You can make things in seconds and without loads of mess.
Here’s my top tips and basic easy ideas for helping!
This is the best stuff ever!!!! Buy a lump of cocoa butter from Amazon (or similar). It comes in a big block which can be broken up into smaller bits or melted and poured into tins.
It’s all you need!
Use it as a ultra moisturising balm, face cream, lip balm, hair conditioner, dab it on a cut to stop it bleeding and stop dirt getting inside, use it to polish your table or lubricate your saw.. the uses are endless… its naturally antibacterial and frankly it’s quite magical!
The best thing is you don’t have to prepare it.. I generally break it into a few good sized lumps.. about three/four inches across.. it’s not an exact science and it’s doesn’t brake in perfect squares it’s just a glorious big old lump of goodness.
You can store it in a little sandwich bag or just keep it on the side (unless you live somewhere super hot or it’s on a sunny window-ledge) it won’t melt into a puddle. .
As it has a low-ish melting point all you have to do is rub the block in your hands to dispense it. It starts melting straight away but only the bits your are touching softens, not the whole block. This means you only get the right amount and you don’t use too much.
It spreads a long way and is silky to the touch, so soft and smooth.. and it smells divine!
It’s pure solid cocoa butter so it does the job better than anything on the market.. you might buy creams with cocoa butter for the shops but take a look at the ingredients , often there’s only 5% of actual cocoa butter in it, the rest is wax, water, glycerine and alcohol.. as well as preservatives and perfume.. non of which are necessary.. here you have 100% natural moisturising heaven! You obviously don’t need to use too much and it will last for ever!!! (It doesn’t go off either)
(The manufacturers know how brilliant this stuff it and they know if they put too much in their products it will last you for ages and you’l never need to buy it again!)
Use it on your skin or lips, rub it straight onto legs and arms.. get your partner to rub one of the pointy bits into your muscles for a soothing massage… it’s just so very lovely.
It kind of creates a lovely barrier on your skin too, not oily but more of a balm type feel.. and it sinks into your skins so gently.. you feel the goodness and soothing nature of it straight away.
It’s a fantastic moisturising balm that works on everything especially eczema and very dry and sore areas where it not only moisturises but cleanses and protects too!
Making Cocoa butter in to creams/ lotions
If you want to create something a bit more prescriptive or create a more creamy texture, just shave a bit into a bowl (I use a cheese grater) and microwave (checking every few seconds like when you melt chocolate ) add a few drops of essential oils an
d some olive oil (about a quarter oil 3/4 cocoa butter but it’s not a problem if you use more or less) and pour into a tin/container. Let it cool and solidify . You will have something that is softer more cream like (but not liquid) that you can use as a whole load of stuff.
Essential Oils to Try…
- Eucalyptus or tea tree oils for acne, burns or sores
- Lemon or grapefruit oils for greasy skin or itchy patches .. it’s also very cooling.
- Lavender or camomile for painful, sore or irritated skin.
If you pour your mix into a tin or pot and seal it, it will last years and years.
Scrubs/masks for super dry and sore skin!
To remove dead skin and to get a super strenth rescue moisturising soft treatment You can add brown sugar or salt to the above recipe (don’t use salt on your face or on sore bits of skin.. brown sugar is much softer and gentle.. sat is great for tougher skin on your feet/ knees/elbows) this make a face or body scrub with added moisture and softness .
To do this create the mix as instructed above then add the salt/sugar after you’ve added the olive oil, stir before poring into a container.
Just a couple of teaspoons will do.. you dont want it to be all scrub, its a more gentle scrub than a rough rub!
Use a small amount ,scrub your skin gently and sit back letting it sit on your skin for as long as you want, rinse off the salt/sugar with warm water and pat dry with a soft towel.. the oils remain on your skin and you will feel soft and dewy! It really feels like you’ve been to an expensive spa yet it cost less than £2!
It really soothes your itching and sore skin patches too… especially if you use camomile or lavender oils.
I keep a pot by the sink and in the shower so the gang can reach it any time and integrate it into their routine.
The quick power fix for the hooves and paws!
This is the ultimate for a quick and very powerful fix very dry hands and feet!
Just mix olive oil and salt/sugar together and rub into the skin, (tea tree or citrus oils are lovely and refreshing too but you could just add lemon juice if you don’t have any.. but it’s not necessary) rub your hands together like you are washing them or give your feet a vigorous rub with it… Rinse and pat dry.
It’s so powerful and also removes every single big of dirt and grime making sure you don’t get any sores.
Use brown sugar if you have any cuts or open sores.. it won’t kill you but it will sting!
I’ve never found any product that works better!
Do it daily if you need to.. it won’t do any harm to your skin.
Soothing and cooling and feels so luxurious afterwards! It costs pence too!
Aloe Vera for cooling and soothing
The other ingredient I have in the house all the time is Aloe Vera Gel.
We probably all buy this as after sun cream or for soothing itchy skin so we are familiar with it.
Again often it’s mixed with other stuff to water it down.. but you can buy 100% aloe Vera Gel on line and it’s glorious!!!
A ‘small’ 1Kg bucket full of the stuff cost about £7.99 and because you get so much you can slather it on its very lovely.
Use it to simply to cool down skin or to simply sooth itchy, sore or dry patches. It’s simple and easy and won’t do anything to you that can cause harm.
Great for scratches, eczema, cuts, and any other dryness even in intimate areas too.
It’s so simple and easy.. again I decant into little pots and leave in the kids rooms and bathroom.
They even take little pots of aloe gel to school with them in the summer or when we are travelling.. it’s just very useful.. especially in the warmer weather to be able to dip their finger in and put on their wrists for instant cooling. Adding lemon oil gives a refreshing feel too… keep it in the fridge for extra cooling!
I use this on the long haul flights to bring the swelling in my old lady feet down.
You can buy different sized tins and pots from Amazon too, from lip balm size to bigger pots .. it makes everything look and feel so special too having cool little pots everywhere and its so handy to be able to keep topping it up from the bucket each day.
Just as a final note you can use cocoa butter as an anti wrinkle balm.. (something I know ED carriers often have under their eyes).
For this trick you need melt and pour the cocoa butter into latex moulds or ice cube trays. (You may have some cupcake moulds in the baking cupboard already.. square or round both work well.)
When they are set hard you remove from the mould and they are ready to use with no added ingredients.
To use. Smooth the bar of butter firmly over the wrinkled area and hold for a few moments, holding the wrinkly bits flat. Do this a few times and you can see the difference immediately. Skins is lifted and smoother instantly, the balm holds the wrinkles open so you have the lift and smoothing. you can use this on any of your wrinkly bits.
Although it only last a few hours it’s a little trick and can be used under make up to give you a quick fix.
Have a go!
So that’s it.. I have tons of recipes and I’m happy to help you if you want something specific.. but this is something you can developer yourself too. Its great fun to experiment and you can try using shea Butter, mango butter and many other butters and waxes too… but I will always return to Cocoa butter,
The best thing about using organic and natural products is that you can’t go wrong.. you won’t damage your skin and you can ‘ruin’ the product.. just play around with it.
I’ll do another piece at a later time with other ideas and ingredients to try.
But for now.. you need cocoa butter and aloe Vera gel and the whole family will be sorted for the summer 🙂
Enjoy making potions and enjoy your daily homemade spa sessions!!!
Note; it’s worth checking if any of the essential oils I mentioned may contradict with any of your conditions such as pregnancy and asthma. The ones I mentioned are generally pretty safe but do check to be sure.
Cocoa butter can be bought here
Aloe Vera here
Essential oils here