About The Ingredients
This recipe is pretty flexible in terms of ingredients, so you can probably use at least a few things you already have on hand. Just make sure to use high quality butters and cold-pressed oils to ensure that your body butter stays fresh for as long as possible.
You can also help prevent early oxidation (rancidity) by adding an antioxidant such as vitamin E if you’d like. I’ve included instructions for doing that in recipe, but almost never do it personally. Because I’m using high-quality ingredients, I know my body butter will stay fresh for at least several months and that’s more than enough time for me to use up a batch.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the ingredients in this recipe:
Antioxidant rich butters derived from cocoa beans and shea tree nuts form the foundation of this recipe. They nourish skin while also helping to seal in moisture. Although sometimes used interchangeably, they do have their own “personalities” and yield different body butter qualities:
Cocoa butter is a hard butter derived from cocoa beans. It smells a little like chocolate and is on the firm side, which adds a luxurious thickness to the body butter. It tends to yield a very dense butter if used solo in a recipe, so I prefer to blend it with another butter for a lighter whipped texture and easier absorption. When mixed with peppermint essential oil it smells faintly of peppermint white chocolate.
Shea butter is a softer, more pliable butter that is derived from the nuts of the African shea tree (karité tree). It’s naturally rich in vitamin E and is considered a good choice for all skin types. It absorbs quickly without leaving a behind a greasy feeling, making it one of my favorite butters to use in DIY products.
In addition to our butters we’ll be using two types of oil – one that’s solid at room temperature (coconut oil) and one that’s liquid at room temperature.
Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids such as linoleic acid (which helps skin retain moisture) and lauric acid (which has a beneficial effect on collagen production).
Any liquid oil – In addition to coconut oil, you’ll also be using a liquid oil of your choice. Some of my favorites are olive oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, and apricot oil.
If you’d like, you can infuse your liquid oil with a skin-nourishing herb to amplify its beneficial properties. I’ve put together tutorials for a few of my favorites, including:
Calendula oil – Calendula petals are rich in compounds that nourish, hydrate, and support skin healing, which is why they’re often used in skincare products. Click here to learn how to make calendula oil it or buy it here.
Dandelion oil – These sunny yellow flowers are full of anti-inflammatory antioxidants, polyphenols, flavonoids and minerals that support and protect your cells, soothe skin irritations and nourish dry skin. For example, one study found that both dandelion flower and leaf extracts protect against UVB-related photoaging and senescence (aging at the cellular level). Click here for my step-by-step tutorial.
Comfrey oil – Sometimes called knitbone or All Heal, comfrey is often recommended for moisturizing skin, easing tight muscles, and soothing sprains, bruises, and swelling. Here’s how to make it into a skin-nourishing oil or salve.
The arrowroot powder in this recipe diminishes the oily finish associated with other homemade body butters. If you don’t have it on hand, tapioca starch or non-GMO cornstarch are good alternatives.
Although totally optional, essential oils are a great addition to this recipe. My personal favorites to use are:
Lavender (Lavandula augustifolia) – Calming and helpful for soothing irritated or dry skin.
Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) – Refreshing, helpful for muscle relaxation. Also smells like mint chocolate when blended with cocoa butter.
Tip for Applying Body Butter
The best time to apply body butter is right after a bath or shower when your skin is moist and your pores are open.
Start with a little to see how much your skin is ready to absorb, then increase the amount used if needed.
How To Make Whipped Body Butter
¼ cup grated organic cocoa butter
¼ cup unrefined shea butter
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup liquid oil (olive oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, apricot oil, etc.)
2 tsp arrowroot powder (can substitute tapioca starch or non-GMO cornstarch)
1 tsp naturally derived vitamin E (optional)
15-30 drops lavender, frankincense, or peppermint essential oil (optional)
Step 1: Measure
Measure the cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil and liquid oil and add them to a stainless steel pot or bowl.
Step 2: Melt
Using a double boiler or a pot of boiling water with a smaller pot or stainless steel bowl fitted inside, melt cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil and liquid oil together over medium heat.
Step 3: Freeze
When the oils are completely liquid, remove them from heat and place the bowl/pot in the freezer to firm up. Make sure to use a stainless steel vessel that can handle the transition from hot to cold.
When the mixture is hardened enough that you can press your finger in it and make an imprint, remove it from freezer.
Step 4: Whip
Add the essential oils (if using), and vitamin E (if using) to the bowl.
Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, start whipping the mixture on the slowest setting and gradually increase the speed as the mixture softens. Whip until it transitions from yellow to white, then lower the mixer speed back down and whip a little more to make it extra fluffy.
Once the body butter is light and fluffy, add the arrowroot powder and whip again to mix it in.
Store in an airtight glass jar and keep out of direct sunlight, which promotes oxidation and may cause the homemade body butter to melt if it heats up too much.
Store in an airtight glass jar and keep out of direct sunlight, which promotes oxidation and may cause the homemade body butter to melt if it heats up too muc