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A simple body butter recipe using all-natural ingredients and a simple melting and whipping technique. The end product is rich and creamy and feels like whipped butter as you scoop it up. It melts on contact with your skin, leaving it silky-smooth and sweetly scented with a citrusy essential oil blend. Includes a DIY video.
Body butter is an anhydrous (water-free) skincare product that we use to smooth, soften, and condition our skin. It’s similar in ingredients to a body balm recipe but different. One difference is that we usually add an ingredient to make it feel lighter and less oily on our skin. We also whip the ingredients as they cool so that the end product feels like fluffy whipped butter. That makes it a joy to scoop up and massage into our skin! Especially when it feels dry and a bit lackluster.
That’s how my skin tends to feel during autumn and winter, and this year is no different. That’s why I’ve just whipped up a new batch of homemade body butter and am thrilled with its creamy feeling and citrusy scent. Body butter is incredibly easy to make and would help so many at this time of the year. That’s why I’d like to share my recipe with you and take you through making it step by step. In the end, you’ll have a couple of jars worth to enjoy yourself or to give to loved ones. With the holidays coming up, it would make an excellent handmade gift!
Homemade Whipped Body Butter
Many people are familiar with body butter as the Body Shop product. That product range is lovely to use but a bit different from what I will show you how to make. Instead of using synthetic ingredients like Dimethicone (a type of microplastic), I will show you how to make body butter using natural ingredients. Shea butter, coconut oil, cocoa butter, and sweet almond oil for starters. It also includes cornstarch, which helps stop the product from feeling too oily on your skin. Another important ingredient is a natural thickener called cetyl alcohol.
Cetyl alcohol is a natural fatty alcohol that can be made from plant or animal sources. So if you’re vegan, you need to research the product that you end up using. What it does in this recipe is firm up the body butter without creating drag, as beeswax can do. It also makes the body butter feel even more silky. Cetyl alcohol is a common and very safe skincare ingredient, and you may need to order it from a skincare ingredients supplier. You can also order small quantities of vegan cetyl alcohol on Amazon.
Oils & Butters
The bulk of the ingredients we’ll use are solid and liquid oils. The ratio of the oils in this recipe is there to help stop the body butter from melting in warm rooms and to feel light and airy when you’re using the product. The main oil we’re using is shea butter, a thick and conditioning solid oil that holds the body butter up and nourishes your skin like nothing else. Cocoa butter gives firmness and even more conditioning, while coconut oil absorbs quickly into your skin. Too much coconut oil in body butter can lead to them melting too quickly in the container, so there’s just a touch in this recipe.
The other ingredients included are a citrusy essential oil blend of bergamot, orange, and lavender. You don’t have to add them if you don’t wish, but the scent is gorgeous and really uplifting on a gray winter’s day. Another ingredient, vitamin E, is also optional, but it’s there to help keep the oils in the recipe from going rancid too quickly. It’s not a preservative but rather an antioxidant. The best way to have the longest shelf life possible is to use ingredients that have a long shelf life and to keep the body butter stored in a cool place out of direct sunlight.
Whipped Body Butter Recipe
Before I take you through making homemade whipped body butter step by step, let me run you through the basic premise. The point of all the steps is to melt the solid ingredients gently so that you can blend them with ingredients that are liquid (or powder) at room temperature. Then, as the mix begins to cool, you whip it so tiny air bubbles are trapped in the oils.
It’s mainly these air bubbles that will make the body butter feel light and fluffy. The other ingredients add creaminess, silkiness, and homemade skin pampering like you’ve never had. If you’d like to make even more luxurious handmade skincare, here are some other recipes that will be up your street:
Silky Smooth DIY Body Butter Recipe
- Electric mixer or whisk
- 2 Stainless steel pans one being smaller than the other to create a double boiler
- Small Volume Measuring spoons
- 2 Dark glass jars 4 fl. oz/ 120 ml
Cooling phase A
- 46 g Sweet almond oil alternative liquid oils: grapeseed oil, apricot kernel oil, safflower oil, fractionated coconut oil
- 1.3 g Vitamin e oil (optional)
- 0.5 g Bergamot essential oil approx. 1/8 tsp (optional)
- 0.5 g Lavender essential oil approx. 1/8 tsp (optional)
- 0.3 g Orange essential oil approx. 1/16 tsp (optional)
Cooling phase B
- 6 g Cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- Using a kitchen scale, measure the ingredients in the solid oils group into a small stainless steel pan. Measure the Cooling Phase A group into a jar and the cornstarch into a small container.
- Lay your utensils out and have the mixer set up and ready.
Melt the Solid Oils
- The solid oils and cetyl alcohol need to be melted over indirect heat. Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan a third of the way with hot water. Bring it to a simmer, and set the pan of solid oils inside. Stir and allow all the solid oils to fully melt.
- Remove the pan from the heat and set it on a potholder. Allow it to cool for one minute.
Add the Cooling Phase A Ingredients
- Next, pour the Cooling Phase A ingredients into the mixer bowl, or another kitchen bowl if you're using a hand mixer or whisk. This includes the liquid oil, vitamin E oil (optional), and essential oils (optional).
- Pour the melted butters into the bowl now, too, and stir well.
- Refrigerate the bowl until the oils turn opaque and the middle is slightly thick. This takes about thirty minutes.
Whipping the Body Butter
- Sift the cornstarch into the bowl using a sieve. Stir well.
- Ideally, using an electric mixer, whip the mixture for three to five minutes on high. Use the silicone spatula to push the solid oils at the sides of the bowl back into the center. The aim is to create a lot of tiny air bubbles in the mixture, so don't stir them out at any point past this step.
- Put the bowl back in the refrigerator for ten minutes. When you take it out, the mixture should all be white and set enough to not move when tilted. Bring it back to the mixer.
- Whip for three to five minutes longer. The homemade body butter will be creamy, glossy, and white when finished. It reminds me of a very creamy cake icing or even meringue.
Storing Body Butter
- Spoon the body butter into containers* and leave it to set for a full day before using. Store in a cool place and use within a year or six months of opening.