If the summer heat has got you retreating indoors, why not make it a fun day for you and the kiddos by cooking up your favorite butters and adding an intoxicating scent? It’s fun. It’s easy. It keeps the kids entertained! And for very little money (16 oz of Green Leaf Naturals Shea, Mango or Cocoa Butter, Essential Oils and a Carrier Oil of your choice), you’ll have enough product to make three or four tubs to give away to friends. Or keep them all to yourself!
We'll never tell.
Hint: Make small batches and use within 2 to 3 weeks or store in refrigerator.
Homemade Body Butters: Keep It Simple Sally!
As pricey as butters can run, you’d think the list of ingredients required to make them would be loooooong … but it’s not. We’ve been checking out the labels of several rather pricey ones and many of the ingredients require serious phonics skills as well as Google to help decipher what they are and what they do. When in doubt, try typing in EWG and "name your ingredient". Or Truth In Aging and "name your ingredient" and you’ll get instant information. Many commercial butters contain more than a few synthetic ingredients. Yours, however, will not.
For homemade butters, it’s just 2 to 4 ingredients. You can switch up the ingredients and only use two of them (to save some dough but still get plenty of luscious hydration). Or you can get jazzy with them and add extra ingredients that make them even luscious-er. (That really should be a word, you know.)
Homemade Body Butters Ingredients List
- Green Leaf Naturals Mango, Shea or Cocoa Butter (Bonus: Green Leaf Naturals Coupon!)
- Carrier Oil (could be liquid or nearly-so ... like Coconut Oil, Wheat Germ, Jojoba or Avocado. More choices are listed below.)
- Optional: Essential Oils
Directions: Melt Mango, Shea, Cocoa Butter (singly, or a combination) on medium heat in a double-boiler (2 pans, larger one holds a couple inches of water) to keep the butters from burning. When melted, allow to cool and set. You can speed this up by placing in freezer for ten minutes (but don't let it get hard). Whip with electric hand mixer for two minutes. Add other oils as you’re whipping, including your carrier oil and essential oils for scent. You can put this mixture in the fridge several times and whip again each time to create whipped-cream-like butter.
When you whip your batches, use a '2 to 1 ratio' or a '3 to 1 ratio' of Mango, Shea or Cocoa Butter to carrier oil(s). An example of 2 to 1 ratio would be: ½ cup Green Leaf Naturals Mango, Shea, Cocoa Butter, or some combination, and ¼ cup of carrier oil. You can double and triple the recipes for giveaways. Without preservatives, we tend to err on the side of refrigeration. Plus, it just plain feels better on hot days.
If you want to get more complicated with recipes, try looking up the list of ingredients from some of your favorite commercial butters and mimic them. It’s a lot of fun and we encourage you to try. There’s really no way to mess up, but here’s some helpful information we discovered along the way that we hope will save you time with your own future butter recipes.
Helpful Hints for More Advanced Homemade Butters
1. Start with Mango, Shea or Cocoa Butter as a base.
Any of these are a great starting point and all three are GREAT moisturizers! Period. Although we love Shea, the addition of Mango tends to create a faster 'sinking into skin' feeling. But if you want to reduce acne or other skin irritations, use Shea all by itself. You can also mix and match these in any combo anytime. Or just stick with your personal favorite. It’s up to you!
2. Add a Carrier Oil.
Coconut Oil is our usual go-to and we love it. But for our preference, we’ve observed if you add too much, it can take longer for your skin to absorb. To give you a visual ... when your other half goes to squeeze you, you might just slide right out of his arms. Organic Coconut oil is reasonably priced but to avoid the oily look, add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil rather than the full amount and increase other carrier oils to fill in the gap. Hint: Fractionated coconut oil is liquid at room temperature and some people prefer the feel of it in their butters. You might see it on labels or sold online as Capric Triglyceride, in case you prefer a liquid coconut oil.
Additional Carrier Oils Include: Jojoba, Argan, Merula, Wheat Germ, Avocado (our fave), Camellia Seed, Almond, Sesame, Rosehip Seed (great for the face), Rosewood, Meadowfoam, Kukui Nut, Macadamia Nut, Rice Bran Oil (expensive Japanese creams use this one), Sunflower Seed, Olive Oil or Pumpkin Seed Oil (try adding EO's like clove or cinnamon for the fall). To make yours more like the luxe brands, add a dropperful of Vitamin E to provide additional free radical protection, or Evening Primrose Oil to improve mature skin. Google these oils one at a time to find out what they do and why you should love them. We promise it’s fascinating.
3. Add a Preservative.
If you added distilled water or aloe to create a lotion or cream, you'll need to add a preservative because of the water content. There are (of course) controversies surrounding preservatives, even natural ones, even among naturalists. But suffice it to say that nobody really likes mold or bacteria. Radish Root seems to be a good choice, but evaluate for yourself and decide what you prefer. Also, if you added distilled water or aloe (one of our faves), you’ll also need to add an ingredient that holds water and oil together, aka an emulsifier.
4. Add an Emulsifer.
Ever looked at the ingredients in mayonnaise? Right. Water and oil don’t mix, but add an emulsifier and they'll hang together like peanut butter and jelly. Try using Emulsifying Wax Pastilles or Emulsimulse. It's ECOCERT approved. Some folks recommend straight-up beeswax, but unfortunately that doesn’t cut it all by itself. Adding Borax to the solution will make it a truer emulsifier. Gotta love chemistry, right? Well, we're starting to. A little!
5. Add Essential Oils.
We love essential oils! Not only do they smell great and make us straight-up happy, but many have medicinal benefits as well, which is a win-win. We enjoy the scent of Vanilla Oleoresin because it smells like cake batter, but since tastes vary widely, feel free to experiment and find your own personal scent by mixing and matching EO's. Just be sure to buy quality essential oils. You can often tell by the price. Better quality tends to equal higher prices, but it's nothing crazy. The bottles are small and they'll last you a long time.
Bottom line on Homemade Body Butters? Try a combination of Shea, Mango and Cocoa (or use them one at a time), add a carrier oil (see list above) and a bit of scent and whip. Most of all, get the whole family involved and have some fun! Homemade popcorn afterwards is completely optional. But if you do, you must add lots of butter ... the edible kind.
Buy Green Leaf Naturals Body Butter and use this coupon to save now! Green Leaf Naturals Coupon! In our next blog, we'll post a recipe or two so get to experimenting and practicing so we can whip up something fantastico together!