Natural Recipe: Homemade Body Butter

Sunday, March 09, 2014

natural recipe homemade shea and coconut oil body butter

This past winter has been especially bad for my skin -- my legs have been dry, dry, dry, and I can't figure out if it's a lack of moisture or something else that's causing it. In any case, I've been desperately trying to ail my winter itch and try to prevent any scarring from the bumps that my scratching has caused, and I've fallen pretty short with the products I had lying around: Kiehl's Creme de Corps and The Body Shop's body butter (in the Honeymania scent).

The Kiehl's Creme de Corps performed better than the Body Shop body butter, but neither were able to really sustain a level of hydration that kept my legs from itching within several hours of applying them. After I finished the Creme de Corps, I decided to try my hand at making my own body butter. I chose to add rosehip seed oil to the mix because I was afraid of scarring, and rosehip seed oil helps rejuvenate and replenish skin, and is said to be able to help prevent scarring.

Turns out, this is probably the best cream I've ever used. I actually find it much easier to spread than The Body Shop's body butters, or at least the Honeymania ones. I've made the body butter twice -- once with jojoba alone as the carrier oil, and once with a mixture of jojoba and rosehip seed oil. The jojoba mixture I found to be a little greasier, and the jojoba-rosehip mixture more velvety. This is one seriously luxurious body butter that goes on like a butter, meaning it turns to oil immediately upon contact with skin, but it absorbs so well. And it is completely without unnatural ingredients!

natural recipe homemade shea and coconut oil body butter

The following recipe makes a small portion -- about two weeks' worth. Because this a natural recipe, I prefer making smaller batches in case it goes bad. If you have a larger family or want to make a larger batch for whatever reason, just multiply this recipe by 2 or 3, and double the cooling time.

In terms of which carrier oils to use, jojoba oil is always a good choice because it mimics the skin's natural oils, and is so easily absorbed. Sweet almond oil is usually a popular choice as well. If you'd like to use a mix of oils like I did below, that's fine too -- just make sure that no matter what combination you use, you never surpass 2 tablespoons or the equivalent of the amount of shea butter you're using for the body butter.

Homemade Shea Butter and Coconut Oil Body Butter

Yields: About one cup
Total time: About 45-60 minutes, including inactive time

2 tablespoons of shea butter
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
1-2 tablespoons of carrier oil (I used 1/2 tbsp of jojoba, 1/2 tbsp of rosehip seed oil)
Vitamin E, an antioxidant which will keep your oils from oxidizing as quickly
5-10 drops of essential oils for scent and other purposes (I chose lavender and palmarosa, which are both especially good for repairing and soothing skin)

In a glass container, dump in the shea butter, coconut oil and carrier oils. Create a double boiler by filling a pot large enough to hold your glass container 1/3rd to 1/2 full of water. Place the glass container into the pot of water, making sure that no water spills into the glass container. Heat the pot over medium-to-high heat until the shea butter, coconut oil and carrier oils melt, and mix well. Remove from heat and add 2-3 drops of Vitamin E, if using. Mix well. Lastly, add your essential oils and mix well.

Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature and transfer to the refrigerator. Chill for 30 minutes, or until the mixture begins to harden. Remove from the refrigerator and use a hand mixer to whip the mixture to a consistency you are happy with. (Mine resembles butter, but if you keep mixing, you can achieve a fluffier texture.) This can take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes.

Place in a jar and return to refrigerator to set for 10-15 minutes. If your home is particularly hot or you are using this in the summertime, you may want to store it in the fridge to prolong its longevity and retain its fluffiness.

Enjoy, and let me know if you have any questions or if you've tried other combinations! Here's my how-to video ...

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