You know how sometimes you see a recipe and think… oh yeah, that sounds nice… but never actually make it. Please don’t do that with this one. This homemade body butter is pure gold – and honestly – I think you’re going to love what it does for your skin! Don’t worry, Hong Kong – I’ll tell you where to find all the ingredients you’ll need to make it!
A body butter is made by combining solid oils and butters with liquid oils. It can be shea butter, mango butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, sesame oil… from what I’ve read, basically you can make your body butter with any combination, as long as the proportions are 75% solid, 25% oil. I chose to work with cocoa butter and coconut oil as my solid, and sweet almond oil as my liquid. Solid coconut oil? That’s the tropics for you! In this region we encounter coconut oil in liquid form, but it hardens easily when it’s cool (below 24 Celcius).
Coconut Oil is a top favorite of mine. Always use a virgin cold-pressed oil, organic is best, to ensure that all of the nutrients and beneficial properties are intact. Coconut oil’s antioxidant properties protect the skin from free radical damage and because it’s so full of essential fatty acids, it also helps to build and strengthen skin-cell structures. This keeps the skin’s connective tissues strong and supple, which helps to prevent sagging and wrinkles. My skin loves it and I love that it’s easily absorbed.
Sweet Almond Oil is an emollient – in that it smoothes and softens skin more than hydrates it. It’s full of vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant and great skin protector and healer. I also love that it’s easily absorbed into the skin without leaving a greasy residue. With this recipe I wanted to use light oils, otherwise it may be a bit much. On a side note – vitamin E is such a great antioxidant that it’s used as a preservative in many natural skincare recipes – so if you have vitamin E at home, a few drops in your skincare recipes helps to keep them longer.
Cocoa Butter comes from the cacao bean. It has a distinct nutty, chocolate scent – so yes, you will smell… delicious! When I use it on my skin, my 5 year old notices right away! Cocoa butter is a rich emollient, it leaves your skin buttery soft. It contains fatty acids which help to retain moisture and build elasticity and also has properties which can help ease dermatitis or rashes. And did I mention it smells like chocolate! Just like your oils, you want to choose a raw, cold-pressed butter – free of chemicals that are used in bleaching and refining.
Let’s start making our Homemade Body Butter!
Cocoa Butter is solid, so you’ll need to melt it down in a bain-marie, a hot water bath. Depending on where you live, and if it’s cold, your coconut oil may be hard too. Melt them gently until completely liquid, before you mix in any other oils.
Once the butter is melted and is well mixed and combined with all of the oils you’ll need to then harden it in the freezer for about 20 minutes. If it’s too soft, it won’t whip up! If it’s too hard, it won’t whip up. Don’t worry about it now. Freeze it until it’s a semi-solid mush, you’ll know when it’s ready!
Now, I want to tell you something up front so that you’re not weirded out when you use it. This body butter is unusual in that it melts onto your skin the instant you apply it – like butter on a hot pan. Honestly, I found it to be a bit strange. The recipes that I had read don’t tell you this, so when I first used it, I thought it was greasy and that I wouldn’t like it. But then, something magical happened – my skin soaked it all in – and instead of feeling greasy, it felt velvety soft! My skin is seriously thanking me and has promised to glow and never wrinkle, if I use this everyday. I’ve happily accepted.
Homemade Body Butter Recipe
(adapted from Wellness Mama)
- 1 cup cocoa butter
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup sweet almond oil
- In a bain-marie, melt down your hard butters and oils until fully liquid
- In a bowl, blend together the melted butters with all of the oils and set in the freezer to harden, about 20 minutes.
- Once the mixture is solid again, but not too hard, whip it up using an electronic whisk, a food processor with a whisk attachment, a handheld whisk and a bit of elbow grease or your kitchen-aide (lucky!) until you have created fluffy white clouds
- Spoon it into a clean jar or container. It will keep for months.
- Slather it on!
p.s. I’m going to re-work the batch using only 75% cocoa butter and 25% coconut oil to see if I like it even more. With this batch, I used coconut oil as part of my 75% hard oil and mixed in sweet almond oil too – but because of where I live, it may be too hot to consider coconut oil “hard” Does that make sense? It may be the reason why my butter feels a bit greasy at first, and even though I love love love how it feels after, I’ll play with the recipe to make it work better for me. If it’s cold where you live – this recipe is probably fine as it is. This richness of this recipe makes it a great night-time lotion for me. I’m telling you this because it’s always important to play with recipes to make it work for you – and just like cooking, the more you practise and work with your ingredients – the more you understand how they work and how to best use them.