Hand and Nail Butter

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on November 27, 2012
From the WebMD Archives

This formula moisturizes dry hands and nails, chapped lips, rough knees, elbows, and feet.

4 tablespoons almond base oil

2 tablespoons cocoa butter

1 tablespoon anhydrous lanolin

1 tablespoon beeswax (use 1.5 tablespoons if you want a firmer consistency)

50 drops peppermint, carrot seed, rosemary (chemotype verbenon), geranium, lemon, or grapefruit essential oil (or any combination)

Recommended for: everyone, especially those with dry, rough, chapped hands and cuticles

Use: daily or as desired

Prep time: approximately 30 minutes, plus 12 hours to completely set

Blending tools: small whisk or spoon

Store in: plastic or glass jar or tin

Yield: approximately 1/2 cup

In a small saucepan over low heat or in a double boiler, warm all ingredients except the essential oil until the wax and cocoa butter are just melted. Remove from heat and stir a few times to blend. Add the essential oil, stir, and pour into storage container(s).

Lightly cover each container with a paper towel and allow the mixture to cool before capping. Cocoa butter takes a while to set, so leave the product at room temperature for 12 hours before use. The finished formula will have a paste wax consistency.

Note: This formula may harden in cold weather but will soften upon contact with warm skin.

No refrigeration is required, but for maximum freshness and potency, please use within 1 year.

Application tips: Use this on hands and feet as an overnight softening treatment. Wear gloves or socks to seal in moisture and protect sheets.

For a nail and cuticle treatment: Soak clean fingertips in a bowl of warm water for 2 minutes to soften nail and cuticles. Pat dry. Apply a dab of this butter onto the base of each nail and massage in. Using a small piece of cotton flannel, gently push back cuticles, and then lightly buff nails with the cloth. This treatment leaves fingertips soft and smooth.

For shiny nails, apply the butter as for the nail and cuticle treatment, but use a nail buffer instead of the cloth to polish nails gently to a soft sheen.

(Excerpted from Organic Body Care Recipes © by Stephanie Tourles. Used with permission from Storey Publishing.)