How to make a simple body butter at home

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The skin care world has been gripped by the wellness wave and more people are now conscious of what they put they put on their body. This is due to the awareness that most of the commonly used chemicals in cosmetics have been proven to be detrimental to one’s health.

That being said, a lot of people prefer to wing it and either use natural and organic oils on their bodies or mixing them up to create a lush body butter. I have been making them too in my kitchen and have discovered a sweet spot in the ratios of ingredients added that gives me a smooth and luxurious product each time.

Here is how I make mine.

What you will need

  • Ugandan shea butter – I prefer to use this shea butter because its softer and more moisturizing then the West African variety. It is also a lot cheaper.
  • Pure virgin coconut oil
  • Beeswax
  • Raw cocoa butter
  • Either lemon, peppermint or ylang ylang essential oil. Each has its unique benefits. I use one essential oil because of its high concentrations and too much of it can burn your skin. You can use an essential oil of your choice as well.
  • 2 sufurias
  • A spatula
  • A handheld electric mixer
  • A measuring jug
  • A glass jar- I prefer glass jars for their aesthetic appeal and they are also much safer to sterilize through boiling
  • A bowl for mixing

Making the magic happen

  1.  Divide the beeswax into small pieces. Keep the beeswax in the freezer overnight to make it easier to break it and use a hammer to break it into smaller pieces. Keep breaking the beeswax until you get a piece that is about 25g. Here I rely on my eyes and guesstimate. LOL. Beeswax solidifies very fast so as soon as you melt it and transfer it into the measuring jar which is a lower temperature, it will quickly turn into a soft solid and make it harder to measure and scrape it out of the jar. That is why I use my eyes to estimate the weight of the size of the block. Put this block of beeswax into the sufuria.
  2.  Prepare a water bath by putting water into a larger sufuria and placing the smaller sufuria which has the beeswax inside it and place it on the cooker at low heat. Let it melt a little before adding the rest of the ingredients. It doesn’t have to melt completely before you add in the rest
  3. Melt the coconut oil and add 200ml into the sufuria
  4. Next, add 100ml of melted shea butter into the mix.
  5. Add 50 ml of  melted cocoa butter. At this point, the beeswax is almost completely melted. Stir the contents to create a homogeneous mixture and to aid the melting of the beeswax by distributing the heat evenly.
  6. Transfer the completely liquid mixture into a plastic bowl. The mixture should fill the bowl quarter way to allow air bubbles to get into the mixture which is what softens the oils and gives you that buttery finish.
  7. Add one to two drops of the essential oil and no more.
  8. Stir the mixture once again and place it in the fridge to cool.
  9. While the liquid cools, place the glass jar and the lid in a bowl of water and bring the water to a boil. Remove jar, Let it cool and dry. Wipe any remaining moisture with a paper towel and not a cloth kitchen towel to avoid getting lint stuck to the sides. Put the glass jar in the fridge.
  10. Put the whisks of the hand held electric mixer in the freezer. Cool whisks help you achieve the smooth texture characteristic of body butters.

The final steps

  • The mixture should cool into a soft solid. You can check the consistency by placing a clean and dry index finger on the surface and gently pressing it. If your finger sinks into the mixture very easily with no resistance, then it is ready to be whipped. If the mixture gives you resistance, put it in a bowl of hot water, Let it melt, almost liquefying and then put it back in the fridge and keep checking until you reach the aforementioned consistency.
  • Take out the whisks from the freezer and attach them to the mixer. I use the moulinex brand of electric mixer on speed 1. This helps me not over whip the butter.
  • Whip the mixture. Use a metal spoon to scrape the parts of the mixture that have hardened on the sides of the bowl and push them into the rest of the mix
  • Whip until stiff peaks form of the surface then stop.
Stiff peaks on the surface of the butter
  • Take the glass jar out of the fridge and once again, wipe the inside to remove any moisture.
  • Using a rubber spatula, transfer the butter into the jar
Rubber spatulas
  • Close the jar and voila, you have a luxurious and sweet smelling body butter that should last you about 3-4 months.

Pro tip

To make the sufuria where you melted your ingredients easier to clean, immediately soak it in water that has boiled so that the beeswax does not stick then before washing it, add cold water until it is lukewarm.

You can buy the oils on fava herb. Coconut oil is available at most supermarkets and beauty shops. Beeswax can be bought from most bee keepers.

 

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