How to Make One Rapper’s Lemon-Scented Body Oil

In our series My Detox, T asks creative people to share the homemade recipes they count on to cleanse and refresh.

“It’s a cultural thing: All black people know that shea butter and coconut oil are good moisturizers,” says Shayna McHayle, better known as the rapper Junglepussy, as she shows me a bottle of sweet-smelling oil in her sunlit Brooklyn home. McHayle has earned acclaim for her stiletto-sharp lyricism, unfiltered sound and messages of self-love, which often extend to very specific advice about healthy living. For instance, she has rapped about juicing (“and I got the juice / wheatgrass for your cutie, boo”) and delivered a lecture about self-care at Yale, and, last week, she released her third album, “JP3,” which includes the bouncy standout single “Trader Joe.” Accordingly, McHayle is choosy about where she sources her beauty products, which she prefers chemical free. “I actually don’t even buy my coconut oil in America,” she says. “I get it from one of my aunts in Jamaica. Every time she goes, she brings me back coconut oil.”

“Coconut oil and shea butter are good for the elasticity of your skin, and it’s just natural,” McHayle also notes. “It doesn’t irritate me.” She recalls that, when she was a child in East New York, Brooklyn, her mother would make her own coconut oil blend at home. “It has a lot of Omega-3s and fatty acids in it,” she says, “It just makes you look real lush and plump.” For her own hydrating concoction, she mixes in essential oil for a soothing aroma.


Ingredients for Junglepussy’s moisturizing lemongrass body oil include carefully sourced coconut oil, shea butter and lemongrass essential oil.CreditNIcholas Calcott

Moisturizing is one part of a slow, therapeutic daily ritual for McHayle. After showering, she lights candles, puts on a playlist — on a recent day, it’s a mix of Soulja Boy and Janelle Monáe — then whips up a lemongrass body oil in her hands and spreads it on her skin. (She shares the recipe below.) Then, she massages her neck and face with a jade roller, a stone tool used to smooth the appearance of wrinkles and boost collagen production. “I want to keep it all supple,” she says. “I’ve always lived like this. It means taking the time to make sure that you’re feeling good and listening to your body.” That effort also includes stocking up on vegan makeup at the SoHo beauty store Credo, which she calls “the vegan Sephora!”


After mixing the ingredients by hand, McHayle applies the oil generously to her skin, then massages her face and neck with a jade roller.CreditNicholas Calcott

Junglepussy’s Lemongrass Body Oil

· ½ cup shea butter (McHayle sources hers from Petty Butter)

· ¼ cup coconut oil

· 5-10 drops of lemongrass essential oil

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