Homemade Whipped Body Butter Recipe
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Here in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve been taking advantage of the last remnants of beautiful days with my daughter before the months of overcast and rain are in full swing. It’s been cold and windy but really dry and sunny. However, for how much fun it’s been, I’ve been acutely aware of dry skin and chapped lips. And what’s worse is I ran out of my homemade lip balm and body butters a few months back. And with this wind, I’ve been really feeling it.
So I spent all this last weekend tweaking my much-loved homemade whipped body butter recipe from last year. I liked the last batch I made but I found it still a little too greasy for my liking. Don’t get me wrong, it worked marvelously for really dry skin but it took forever to absorb and I’d get oil all over my keyboard or whatever else I was working on constantly.
After about two rounds of small batches and 12 remelts later, I think I’ve finally got the best whipped body butter recipe I have made yet. It is light, silky, and a little bit of this body butter goes a long way. It instantly absorbs into the skin leaving your hands, feet, and body dry within minutes with no oily residue. And it works so much better than any store-bought lotion.
The best part of all is this was also the perfect time to start making homemade gifts for the holidays. It is no coincidence that the last time I made body butter was right around this time the previous year. Talk about two birds and one stone, right?
This is probably one of my favorite DIY Christmas gifts to make. Not only is it completely natural with no preservatives or other chemicals but it’s really easy to make and the ingredients are cheap to buy. One half-pint jar (or 3/4 cup) of whipped body butter costs me about $6 to make. And everyone loves to get this as a present. Every year I always receive a ton of compliments and thank yous from friends and family for this gift in particular.
Never made body butter before?
Well, I’m here to show you how simple and fun body butter is to make. And if you stick with me, I’ll give you my favorite recipe at the end so you can try it for yourself. You will never be able to go back to lotions and overpriced luxury creams ever again!
The only tools you need to do this is a pan for water and glass bowl, or a double boiler, and a hand mixer. That’s it! So let’s get started!
Whip It Good – How to Make Whipped Body Butter at Home
“When a problem comes along you must whip it. Before the cream sits out too long you must whip it. When something’s going wrong you must whip it.” – Devo
No wonder Devo had such good skin.
Making any kind of body butter whether whipped or not, is a relatively straightforward process. You just need to melt and mix all your oils, let them sit in the fridge until they go back to a soft solid form, and whip it (if desired). You can leave the last step out entirely and still have a great body butter. However, I prefer to whip mine as it tends to make it lighter, softer, and silkier then unwhipped body butter does.
However, the secret to making a good body butter lies in the types of oils (and butters) and the amounts of these oils you use. You want a body butter to be solid at room temperature but soft enough to easily scoop out what you need. As the name suggests, you also want your percentage of oils that are solid at room temperature (also called butters) to be a bit higher than the liquid oils used. I have found a good balance in my body butters when I use about 70-75% butters and 30-25% liquid oils.
Definitely play around with this to find your perfect balance. I’ve experimented with 60% butter to 40% oil which works as a body butter but it doesn’t whip up well. Alternatively, anything above 80% butter is going to come out very hard once it sets. You’ll be scraping with your fingernail to get anything out.
The next important factor in determining your formula is choosing the types of butters and oils you will be using. What do you want out of your body butter? Are you looking for an “all-purpose” body butter that you can keep at work? Or are you looking for something more intense for extra dry skin? Is this for pregnancy to help with stretch marks?
Not all butters and oils are created equal. Every oil has a different set of characteristics all its own. Some are great for intense moisturizing but usually tend to be heavy and greasy while others are lighter and absorb very quickly but won’t be enough for cracked skin or a growing baby bump. As a rule, butters will be heavier and more intense moisturizers and oils will be lighter and more quickly absorbed.
Except for when I was pregnant, I tend to go on the lighter side for my body butters. I like mine to be heavy enough to get the job done but absorb quickly without leaving a greasy feeling on my skin. This is a bit of a tall order to ask for and most formulas I’ve tried have not quite gotten the balance I’m looking for.
The best butter I have found to achieve this is mango butter. I really like to use mango butter as my primary oil in my body butters because it is a softer solid butter at room temperature, melts instantly on the skin into a light oil, and absorbs very quickly. However, mango butter isn’t as intense a moisturizer as cocoa or shea butter to me but I find these two to be too heavy and greasy. So my way around this is to have my butters 50% mango, 25% shea or cocoa butter, and then the last 25% whatever oil I have on hand or feel like using.
Not sure what oils to use?
There are so many oils and butters out there now that I’d have to write a couple of articles just to cover them all. However, the most common butters to use are mango, shea, cocoa, and coconut oil (I know it is a carrier oil but in the case of making a body butter I group it as a butter because it is solid at room temperature). Likewise, common oils to use and I have found great success with are sweet almond, jojoba, rice bran, avocado, apricot, hemp, grapeseed, sesame, and good old fashion olive oil.
The last thing I want to touch on when it comes to making body butter is essential oils. Almost any essential oil out there will work but just keep in mind that some essential oils are phototoxic so if you plan are being out in the sun a lot with this body butter on, you might want to avoid those as body butter scents. Bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange, mandarin leaf, kumquat, cumin, tangerine, lemongrass, petitgrain, and rue are all known as phototoxic and these should be avoided.
My personal favorites to use in my body butter recipes are lavender, rosemary, geranium, peppermint, litsea, rose, and ylang-ylang. Another really great natural scent if you’ve got the time to infuse your oil is vanilla. Or if you are looking for a more “masculine” scent maybe try sandalwood, patchouli, cypress, black pepper, ginger, vetiver, or another more earthy and woody scent. This really is where personal customization comes in so really have fun with it and experiment!
As I stated before making a body butter is essentially melting butters, mixing them with the oils, and returning the butter back to a solid state. However, the tricky part of this process is how long you leave it in the fridge. You want the mix to solidify in the fridge but not get too hard. The perfect point is to have a soft solid form about the consistency of frosting. You should be able to easily press into it with your finger but there is no liquid still moving around.
Depending on how cold your fridge is and at what temperature you heated your oils, this can take anywhere between 1-2 hours. After the first hour, I periodically check the status of my oils every 15-20 mins.
The last important detail to keep in mind is once you’ve heated everything thoroughly put it in the fridge pretty quickly. I let it sit for a few minutes on the counter to let the bowl cool a little, add my essential oil, cover it in some plastic wrap or lid, and pop in the fridge while still very warm. Just don’t let this process last longer than maybe 5-10 minutes. The sooner you put it in the fridge the better.
The reason for this is cocoa, mango, and shea butter will become grainy in texture when cooled too slowly. Any butter I have left out to cool at room temperature has always come out grainy. It’s still great to use but just won’t have the silky texture.
If this happens, no worries! Just put the bowl back on the burner and start over. It’s a pain I know but it’s worth it in the end.
That’s it! Pretty easy!
Homemade Whipped Body Butter Recipe
- 1 cup Mango Butter
- 1/2 cup Shea Butter
- 1/2 cup Sweet Almond oil
- 30-40 drops essential oil (I used Lavender for this one)
- 10 drops of Vitamin E (optional)
In a double boiler or pan with water and glass bowl, melt your butters over a medium-high heat.
Once fully melted, remove from heat and add sweet almond oil, essential oil, and vitamin E (if desired). Stir to fully incorporate.
In a covered glass bowl, refrigerate for 1-2 hours until body butter is completely solid but yielding to the touch.
With a hand mixer, whip body butter on a medium to high speed until smooth.
Immediately transfer to containers. Will keep for up to a year.
I really hope you give my homemade whipped body butter recipe a try. Not only will you get spoiled by making your own body butters but you might just get hooked enough that you’ll want to try making your own lip balm or other bath and beauty products.
I’ve been making my own body butters, lip balms, bath scrubs, shaving oils, hair treatments, toners, face oils, and even soap for many years now. I can’t even remember the last time I bought any of these from a store. It’s really true once you see and feel the difference you won’t ever want to go back. Plus as an added bonus, you will save yourself a ton of money.
Body butters make such perfect gifts for any occasion whether it’s a holiday, birthday, anniversary, wedding, or baby shower. It has always been a hit every time and it makes family and friends feel pampered for a few months. Little do they know how easy it was.
So what are some of your favorite oils and scents? Or if you could make your perfect blend, what would it be?
I hope you enjoyed my post. If you have any questions or would like to talk with me about your dream body butter recipe, just leave a comment below. I can’t wait to hear from you!
And maybe we can both be making body butters while listening to Devo!