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Shea butter & almond oil cream

Alive food

When we thought of a series of content around the topic ‘alive food’ I didn’t think that the first article I would write about would be something around skincare, but life always has a surprising way to come to you, doesn't it?

And now it makes sense, Ayurveda says to put nothing on your skin that you wouldn’t eat because indeed the skin is eating and what you put on goes way faster in your blood than what you eat through the mouth…


While being pregnant and listening to ‘In utero’, a podcast from France Inter (only available in french) I discovered by listening to Benoist Schaal, director of research of the Center for Taste and Smell (CNRS, France) that not only does the foetus have already a sense of taste but the way he/she tastes the quickest is from whatever enters in contact with your skin as opposed to the food that enters through our mouth.

Such a wonderful way therefore to "cook" the first meals for your baby by massaging yourself and thus nourishing the baby through your skin! Since the beginning of the pregnancy, I have been massaging myself once or twice per day, allowing myself to integrate the fast changes in my body and connect with myself and my baby. I have used the techniques of Abhyanga massage and adapted them to my needs and let myself be guided by my intuition, the same regarding the cream and oil I used. I first bought a very good cream from Pai Skincare, then Weleda but despite an amazing experience with them I started to feel that I wanted to prepare my own oil.

Preparing my own cream

My friend Katrin asked if I had ever used shea butter for massaging myself. I had seen quite some content and articles promoting shea butter during pregnancy and after, but I had a personal not-so-good experience with it, I felt it smelled too strong and I didn’t like the texture. Nevertheless, it made me curious and I wanted to give it another try, adapting it a bit to my needs.

So one morning, I decided to make my own cream with almond oil and shea butter. They are both highly recommended during pregnancy and I felt they could be a nice combination (see the recipe at the end). While I was slowly melting the shea butter in a bain marie, I started feeling deep love and appreciation for the shea butter which was giving me its quality of deep nourishment and for myself for taking the time to make it on my own. I was surprised by how quickly the process went and how nourishing it was. I removed the pot from the fire, added the almond oil, and decided to use a part of it just like that. While massaging myself I felt something different from when I was using other bought products:

A certain aliveness, a deep nourishment that you can only find in fresh food made with love by yourself.

I felt my body being deeply nourished by the mix and could imagine my baby feeling the same.

I realised that the series around the aliveness of food will be way beyond the way of cooking, beyond the food that we pour in our mouth because everything we interact with in a way is food:

What you hear or listen to is food for your ears, what you breathe, food for the nose... and as everything in life they are all interconnected.

When I realized that it made me so grateful for the wonder of life and so deeply connected to what I choose to pour into my life, not based on a sensation of guilt or responsibility but more out of a deep sense of joy and love.

A sense of empowerment

Moreover, this topic of the aliveness of food touched upon another topic which is dear to me: a sense of empowerment. The practicality of our modern life which has so many amazing sides, does also have some downsides such as the feeling of being unable to provide for oneself. We may feel that we need someone else to make a body cream for us, to prepare food for us, to fix something for us... despite the practicality, deep inside us, this can leave us with a feeling of dependency. While making my cream I felt empowered by the fact that I can make my own potion and that I’m able to do the same for friends as well as for my baby to come. It somehow awakened an inner knowing of what is good for me and my baby.

It was another magical discovery of this practice of making my own cream. Maybe this will inspire you too. 

The recipe to make the shea butter & almond oil cream

recipe shea butter almond oil cream

This is the quantity for a week of daily massage:

  • 50g of shea butter

  • 50ml of almond oil

  • A jar that you have previously washed carefully (best is to boil it in water for about 20 minutes and dry with a clean towel).

The steps:

Melt the shea butter in a bain marie.

When melted, remove it from the fire add the almond oil, and mix them.

Pour the liquid into the jar, and wait 30 minutes for it to cool down (or use a part sooner for a massage with warm oil).

Put it in your freezer for 30 minutes.

Then keep it in your fridge if you wish to have a balm or if you live in a warm country otherwise you can leave it in your bathroom.


To get to know more about Abhyanga, we invite you to explore our booklet Body to Heart - The art of self-massage, and the articles in which we share our personal experience of this ancient art of massage.

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