If you’re a fan of Lush’s cult cuticle balm Lemony Flutter, you may have discovered that some tubs of it are smooth as butter, while other tubs contain gritty sand-sized particles. Why is this?
As you might expect, Lush doesn’t intentionally make gritty Lemony Flutter. Unfortunately, it’s what happens outside their factory that causes grit to ‘grow’ – one of the main ingredients in Lemony Flutter is the excellent emollient (skin softening) ingredient shea butter.
|Second ingredient – it’s not Jess’s fault! It might be Kale’s fault.|
Shea butter is, frankly, a bit of a princess. She melts at 31-45 ºC (89-113 ºF, or the temperature of a hot day, or a handbag or car in the sun on a warm day) and, if you don’t pay her enough attention (stirring her constantly) as she cools, she dries into little round grains – in other words, if it melts during transport, or in your handbag that you left in the car, and you let it cool normally, it will go gritty. Here’s a photo of a little scoop of raw shea butter that I bought for DIY projects that, um, haven’t quite eventuated, next to my grainy Lemony Flutter – you can see how the grains look the same:
Unfortunately, if you want the full dry skin taming effects of the Lemony Flutter, you should be working the shea butter grains into your skin. This can be a bit of a pain, so if you’re sick of the graininess, you can re-combine the shea butter grains, using a bit of heat!
All you need is a heat source (I’m using a microwave, but you can also use a tub of hot water to sit the tub in, or if you’re very careful, a hairdryer), and a stirring implement (toothpick in my case). I would be hesitant to microwave the whole tub of Lemony Flutter, since microwaves heat large objects unevenly and there are lots of natural ingredients that might cook or burn in Lemony Flutter. If you’re doing the whole tub, sit the tub in a bowl of hot water and let it melt from the sides, making sure the water doesn’t leak into the tub (it can make it go off). Otherwise, I would recommend doing what I did – transfer a little bit of LF at a time into a smaller container to de-grittify (it’s more purse-friendly too!).
Here’s a bit of LF I scooped into a clean lip balm jar. To the de-grittifier!
I microwaved the Lemony Flutter until there was a pool of melted stuff in the middle. It doesn’t all need to be liquid for this to work – stirring will warm up the rest. It took about 30 seconds for this little tub. Keep an eye on it!
Now for the elbow grease! Stir the LF until it’s all one smooth consistency. If there are still grains, you can heat it up a little more.
Let it cool, but keep stirring it every few minutes until it’s the texture of room temperature butter. Then you can leave it alone, and it’ll solidify into a smooth, ungrainy paste (if you’re impatient, you can whack a lid on and put it in the fridge or freezer – this will actually make it less likely to grow grains). Success! Check out how smooth it is:
And there you have it – how to restore your Lemony Flutter to its original smooth consistency. Of course, the easiest thing to do is to make sure it doesn’t melt in the first place, but sometimes it happens without you even knowing!