Simplicity excites me. I love when something simple works really well, like a perfectly sharpened knife slicing through tomatoes, a fried egg sliding off a well seasoned skillet or fresh fruit drizzled with homemade yoghurt.
Yup, it doesn’t take much to excite me. This DIY body butter is one of those delightfully simple things that just works really well. I have some trips coming up and this will definitely be in my travel kit, along with my green tea and apple cider vinegar toner/ face wash and my homemade deodorant options (recipe coming soon). Who knew that I would become one of THOSE people with only homemade goodies in my cosmetics bag (oh, and suncreen and mascara).
This simple body butter is the ultimate multi-tasker. It’s a great face wash to remove make up, if you like a cleansing balm style face wash (the instructions are in this cleansing balm post). It also can be used as a face moisturiser, eye cream, lip balm and all over body butter.
Now, I realise a lot of you guys are worried about the greasy feeling factor with body butters, but don’t worry I have the solution for you and I’ll get to that in a minute. Although, I confess I love the silkiness of body butter, because I can feel all the lovely nourishment doing so much good stuff.
The quickly absorbed lotion is lovely, but I’ve come to equate it to the nourishment equivalent of fast food. It goes in quickly, but doesn’t really satisfy us so we need more and more. I was a serious addict of the lotion.
What is a lotion?
Basically, a lotion is water mixed with oil or oil and wax. It’s then pumped with preservatives (because you need to add them to anything with water), emulsifiers (to make sure the water and oils stay friends) and various other things to make it feel light and silky. Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill for something we’ve all been doing for eons – putting oils and waxes on our body to keep the largest organ healthy.
The funny thing is there is an elegant solution to making your own lotion with this body butter (or anything similar). Vigorously rub the body butter between your two wet hands or apply the body butter to damp skin and just like magic you’ve made an instant lotion right there on your skin. Look at you and your new found skill of lotion emulsifier…
If I’m moisturising my face, I’ll leave it damp with water or toner (especially this apple cider vinegar toner – I call this the salad dressing combo…) then moisturise with a teeny amount of the body butter. Similarly, I apply the butter all over my body straight after showering and drying off. I keep a tub by the sink and after washing my hands or washing up I rub a blob of it on my hands while they’re still wet (shaken, not dried) and usually rub the cream up my arms as well.
The other trick is you only need to use about a 1/4 of the amount that you’re used to using for a commercial lotion.
How to reduce the greasy feeling
Making the body butter
If you don’t have a digital scale 12 grams or 0.4 oz is about 1 tablespoon of finely grated cocoa butter squished into the spoon and the same for beeswax.
Check out this post on sterilising equipment if you haven’t already.
As always, test the finished product on a discrete spot before using in case you have an allergy and don’t use the ingredients if you have a food allergy either. It’s really not worth persisting if you do, there are so many other ways to make this base recipe. Just let me know in the comments below and we can work out a good alternative.
I can’t really tell you how long this will last, but to give you an idea – if this was made in laboratory conditions and left unopened it would last two years. However, it’s difficult to recreate that at home, so I generally make small batches and aim to use it within 3-6 months. The advantage of this approach is you’re using the product when the ingredients are freshest and most effective.
- 12g/0.4 oz cocoa butter (about 1 tablespoon finely grated and squished into spoon)
- 12g/ 0.4oz beeswax (about 1 tablespoon finely grated and squished into spoon)
- 60ml/2 fl oz sunflower or grape seed oil
- 10 drops lavender, geranium or lemon essential oil (optional)
- Sterile jar about 125 ml/4.2 fl oz or larger
- Melt cocoa butter and beeswax in a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl sitting over boiling water.
- Warm the sunflower or grape seed oil for a few seconds in the microwave or by sitting a cup of it in a bowl of hot water.
- Pour the warmed oil into the cocoa and beeswax mixture and whisk together.
- Take off the heat.
- Whisk in essential oil, if using.
- Pour into a sterile jar and cool with the lid off (this mix can take four hours to set so don’t be alarmed).
- Label with date and ingredients.
- Apply to damp skin for best results.