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Body butter question

Posted by alison_27 (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 26, 09 at 14:53

Wow, Gardenweb really has everything! I'm so glad to find this forum and I hope you all will answer this question for me. :)

Last year I bought some whipped body butter from an Etsy seller. When it arrived, at first I was dismayed that it was quite firm and not creamy at all -- I had to dig into it like a balm and melt a pea-sized amount in my hands each time I used it. But the consistency has grown on me, and now I'm almost out. Unfortunately the seller has since gone out of business, and everyone else seems to sell the creamier products with water and emulsifiers in them. Now, making my own skin care products has long appealed to me so I thought maybe I would start by recreating this butter. But I want to make sure I'm doing it right!

What I know about the product I have is that it is "whipped body butter", that it's "60% unrefined shea butter with cocoa butter and mango butter", and the ingredients list is basically shea butter, cocoa butter, almond oil, mango butter, soybean oil, corn starch, vitamin E.

So I figure that I can just acquire the butters and oils I desire, melt them in a double boiler, whip them with an electric mixer as they cool, and decant into jars while they're still a bit soft. Does that sound right? I'm not sure why the corn starch, but I think it's the source of the "grit" in my butter so I plan to skip it. I guess my biggest question is, what proportion of butters to oils should I use?

Thank you for any input!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Body butter question

Hi! What you want to do sounds fine. Hope these tips will help:

Hold your cocoa & shea butters at low heat for 20 minutes or so before adding them to your mix. When the proportions of those two particular oils are high, the mix is invariably gritty when it cools down & settles, so this might actually be your "grit"-- it's a common problem & you will know what it is if it happens.

Another way to avoid it is to NOT heat any of your oils but simply beat the crap out the mix with an electric mixer. This can take a LONG time to work out all the lumps,but in my opinion actually yields a better butter.

The consistency of your butter will depend on your ratio of hard oils (cocoa, mango, shea) to soft (liquid) oils (like almond, soybean, etc). It's up to you to decide which consistency you like but I would recommend going sparingly on the soft ones-- a little goes a long way. Before you start, try each oil individually on your skin first to see how it absorbs on you & if you like the way it feels. Don't be impressed with the latest fad oils (like shea)-- each person's skin is different & you should use only the ones YOU like.

Remember that the butter will "settle" & may actually be firmer several days after you've made it than it was when you first put it in the jar.

Cornstarch is used to help the oils have a "dry" feel. Personally, I haven't found it to work well & don't like the idea of messing up my beautiful & expensive oils with it.

Vitamin E helps preserve the mix. Rosemary EXTRACT will work as well to extend the shelf life.

Emulsifiers are used when oils & waters are mixed. You don't need them when mixing just oils.

Good luck.

RE: Body butter question

Sorry to be so late coming back to thank you! This was extremely helpful and I've bookmarked your post to hopefully use soon. :)

RE: Body butter question

Hi everyone,

Sharing your tips and information about body butter is an interesting article to read. Thanks for sharing.

RE: Body butter question


Were you successful with your attempt at the body butter? Sounds as if you received something more like a solid lotion than a whipped butter.

RE: Body butter question

I've found that cocoa butter makes whipped body butters too hard - especially once it settles. If you liked that firmness, then definitely put cocoa butter in it when you do it! Oh - hello - I just saw how old this post is. Wow.

Well at any rate - in case there's some cyber junky out there reading this ;) - I prefer combining shea and mango butters w/ some very light, non-greasy oils (nothing heavy like avocado, much as I love avocado in soap!) such as apricot kernel, grapeseed, sweet almond and kukui. When I used to make body butter I'd nuke the butters and oils together in a big bowl, then I'd blend them together using a hand-mixer, then I'd put them in the freezer for just a few minutes - until the surface started to firm up a bit - after which I'd mix again and then nuke again and then mix again and so on, back and forth until I got a really super light, whipped, fluffy mixture. By the time it settled it wasn't hard, but was no longer quite "fluffy." It was like the super nice stuff you buy in the fancy stores! Rich and creamy and smooth and silky with just a little fluffy whippedness.

I also used to use a product called Dry-flo which is basically modified or extra sifted cornstarch I think. I was told it worked well and it seemed to as long as you don't put in too much. Its purpose is to take away that heavy greasy feeling that's often found in body butters, without taking away the moisturizing feeling...and it also helps the body butter just sort of glide on in a silky way - hard to explain. Secret is to not overdo it. The company used to send away free samples which were a huge amount - way more than most people need unless they're seriously pro. They may still give away samples?

Hey one more thing: the most fun, "marshmallowy" white plastic containers are the double-walled, low-profile ones, 4-oz. Just google it. 8-oz. is too much if you're making natural body butter without a bunch of preservatives and 2 oz. isn't enough. 4 oz. just looks and feels right.

RE: Body butter question

Hi Theresse! I actually had this topic set to email me responses, and as it turns out I still haven't made body butter! But your post is very informative and now I really want to try it. :) Thanks!

RE: Body butter question

Hi alison - if you're even reading this - I don't get emails either and just read your response to my response! Hee hee isn't this silly? Anyway, have you made it yet? I haven't either. It's been years. Would love to get back into it...

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