A thick and nourishing honey body butter that you can make with a few ingredients, including cocoa butter, honey, and chamomile essential oil
This is a simple natural skin care recipe that you can make in less than half an hour and with simple and natural ingredients. Honey body butter combines the conditioning properties of cocoa butter and shea butter with the repairing and hydrating properties of raw honey. Gently melted together with sweet almond oil, and scented with skin-soothing chamomile essential oil, it’s simple and nourishing skincare that you can easily make yourself.
Follow the instructions below to make a single pot for yourself, or several to give to friends and family. If you don’t have all of the ingredients or wish to use others, there’s also guidance on how to customize body butter recipes.
Using this Honey Body Butter
The honey body butter that this recipe makes is firm yet creamy and melts on contact with your skin. Though I don’t recommend it for your face, it’s wonderful massaged elsewhere on your body from legs, arms, to knees. It spreads on like butter, and leaves your skin feeling moist and conditioned. This is a luxurious homemade body butter for keeping your body’s skin hydrated and supple. It also adds a radiant glow, thanks to those wholesome butters and oil.
The honey in the recipe is a full teaspoon and on your body, it feels great. Honey is a natural humectant, meaning it draws moisture from the air to itself. In that way, it helps to moisturize your skin, but on the palms of your hands, it may feel slightly tacky. If you’d like to make conditioning oil-based skin care for hands, you could use my Herbal Healing Salve recipe.
Honey Body Butter Ingredients
There aren’t many ingredients in this recipe but I want to go through the reasons that I chose them. Shea butter is a conditioning oil that closely emulates your skin’s own sebum. It is also great for skin that is prone to eczema and can help soothe and repair skin that has been damaged by burns, scars, and stretch marks.
Cocoa butter is used for many of the same reasons as shea butter but it also gives a delicious chocolatey scent. That aroma is one of the reasons that I use it in this lip balm recipe. Cocoa butter also contains Cocoa Mass Polyphenol (CMP) which studies have shown could help ease conditions related to overactive immune systems, such as Psoriasis.
Used on their own, these two butters would create a very hard skincare product. That’s why we mix a liquid oil into the recipe, to soften the consistency up. Sweet almond oil is my favorite carrier oil but you could use another if you wish. Although completely optional, you could even macerate skin-healing oils into your carrier oil. Calendula is a fabulous skin healing herb, as is chamomile, which is why chamomile essential oil is in this recipe. The sweet almond oil that I used is infused with comfrey leaves as per these instructions.
Benefits of Honey for Skin
As a beekeeper, I may be a bit biased on the benefits of honey. I extract it from the comb every year and I use it in everything from greek yogurt to handmade soap. The evidence for honey’s health and healing properties are vast, though. It’s used as an alternative treatment to heal wounds, in some cancer therapies, and is well-known as a gentle throat soother. Honey is an important ingredient in medicine, food, and beauty as these fifty different recipes show.
In skincare, honey is used because it can heal wounds and skin abrasions, such as those caused by eczema and acne breakouts. It’s also a substance that can attract moisture from the air to your skin. This makes honey useful in skincare recipes aiming to replenish moisture and suppleness to the skin from head to toe.
How to make Honey Body Butter
Though the instructions for making honey body butter are simple, I’d like to explain the process a little better. Overheating oils can oxidize them, speeding up rancidification, and it can also change their texture and flavor. If you overheat oils infused with delicate herbs, such as the comfrey-infused sweet almond oil that I’m using, then beneficial properties may be lost. To avoid overheating, we gently melt our ingredients together using a double-boiler, or bain-marie.
Both simply refer to a pan or bowl that’s set inside another dish of hot water. This method indirectly heats the ingredients, melting them at a lower and more even temperature. You don’t have to buy a special device to do this in your own kitchen — simply find two saucepans that fit one inside the other. The photos in the recipe below will show you my set-up.
The other thing to keep in mind is that essential oils, raw honey, and herbal oils should be added at as low a temperature as possible. Doing this preserves the scent and integrity of each.
Handmade Honey Body Butter Recipe
- Two stainless steel pans, one being smaller than the other (or a double boiler)
- Clean, dry, and sterilized containers. Can be tins or glass jars
- Measure the shea butter and cocoa butter into a small saucepan. Float this saucepan in another pan filled with simmering water to melt.
- Once the oils have fully melted, place the pan on a potholder and pour in the sweet almond oil and honey. Gently whisk together. If you notice the oils solidifying, place the pan back in the pan of water until fully melted again.
- Next, wipe off any moisture from the pan of oils, then place it in the freezer for five minutes.
- After five minutes have passed, take the pan out of the freezer, add the essential oil, if you’re using it, and whisk together well. Place the pan back in the freezer for five more minutes.
- Ten minutes in the freezer should have cooled the mixture to a consistency where there’s a thin solid skin on the surface. Underneath this skin, it should still be a little liquidy. Whisk it all together a final time, and you’ll have a beautifully scented and creamy honey body butter that’s easy to scoop out into a container. Work quickly, though, because it will quickly set solid.
- Scoop the honey body butter out of the pan and into your desired container. It could be a recycled jam jar, a pretty vintage pot, or a cosmetics tin like I’m using. The important thing is that it’s clean, sterilized, and perfectly dry.
- The body butter’s final consistency is like dairy butter that you’ve taken out of the fridge and has softened a little. It’s firm but easily scooped up. This honey body butter has a shelf-life that’s determined by the shelf lives of any of the ingredients that you used. Check the back of all of the bottles and the closest date is your shelf life. However, once you begin using it and getting your fingers in it, make sure that you use it all up within six months.
Customize this Honey Body Butter Recipe
One of the easiest types of natural skincare that you can make is oil-based salves, body balms, and body butters. The basic instructions for making them are simply measuring and melting the ingredients together. When they cool, they solidify into varying consistencies, depending on the ratio of hard to liquid oils. Also, because they don’t contain water, you don’t need to use preservatives, and you can customize them to your heart’s desire.
I’ve already mentioned that this recipe could be a little sticky on your hands, but if you use a little less honey then it won’t be. Want the body butter a little thicker? Use more of the harder oils. Want it to be softer and more ointment-like? Use a higher percentage of liquid oil. Making body butter isn’t a complex chemical process like soapmaking, which means that you can have a little more creative license.
You can use another light liquid carrier oil in place of the sweet almond oil if you wish, including grapeseed, apricot kernel, olive, and sunflower oil. You could alternatively use mango butter, sustainable palm oil, tallow, or lard for the shea butter. The cocoa butter is a hard and brittle oil and gives this body butter its thickness. There’s no direct substitute in that exact amount if you want to maintain the final consistency. You could replace it with a much smaller amount of beeswax or soy wax.
More Honey and Skincare Inspiration
- Chamomile skin lotion recipe
- Cocoa mint cracked heel balm recipe
- Carrot seed and rose body butter recipe