I've been a big fan of the Body Shop's Body Butter and it has been for a long time a staple birthday/valentine/christmas-stocking present from my husband. The fragrances are so yummy and I just love the feeling of lathering it on. The packaging and design of the labels is also attractive and it seems to convey a message of natural and wholesome beauty. But in looking more closely at what's listed on the label I realise that I can't actually identify half of the ingredients. What on earth is Cyclopentasiloxane or PEG-100 Stearate? And Yellow 5 just doesn't sound like something I really want to put on my skin. No worries though since there's a simple and quick way to make a similar body butter at home using all natural ingredients.
All the ingredients in this recipe are great for your skin:
Shea butter is a moisturising and healing oil that closely emulates the oils that your own skin produces. It is also great for skin that is prone to eczema and blemishes and can help soothe and repair skin which has been damaged by burns, scars and stretch marks.
Cocoa butter is also great for stretch marks but is used generally as a very effective moisturiser. On top of this, it also contains Cocoa Mass Polyphenol (CMP) which studies have shown could help ease conditions related to over-active immune systems, such as Psoriasis.
The liquid oils in the recipe help to keep the body butter creamy and soft. Though each of the oils I've listed below are wonderful for the skin in their own unique ways, as a group they are very light moisturisers and are easily absorbed by the skin.
Honey not only adds a subtle fragrance to your body butter but it also helps retain moisture when applied to the skin. It also has anti-microbial properties and can be effective in the treatment of burns and abrasions.
Vitamin E oil is used for two purposes in this recipe. The first reason is that it's a natural anti-oxidant and able to preserve your body butter without using harsh chemicals. It is also very easily absorbed by the skin and it beneficial for protecting you from free radicals and UV radiation. It is also anti-aging and can help with fine lines, wrinkles and sun spots.
Honey Body Butter
50g Shea Butter
25g Cocoa Butter
35g Liquid oil - such as Grapeseed, Sweet Almond, Apricot Kernal, Olive or whatever you like.
1 tsp Honey
1/2 tsp Vitamin E oil
1/4 tsp Essential oil or Fragrance (optional)
1. The first step is to measure all of your ingredients, except the Vitamin E oil and fragrance, if you are using it, into a heat-proof bowl.
2. Since the Shea and Cocoa butters are solid at room temperature you'll need to heat the oils up until they melt. Shea butter is a very sensitive oil that should not be heated up to a high temperature or be subjected to direct heat, such as in a pan. The best way to melt your oils then will be on the stove-top and by using a double boiler method. If you don't have double-boiler pans don't worry, because all you need to do is float your heat proof container in a pan of hot water. The heat of the water will warm up your bowl and thus melt the oils.
3. Once the oils are completely melted, stir it well and place the bowl of oil into the freezer for five minutes. Then take the bowl out, add your vitamin E oil and optional fragrance and then beat the oils for a few minutes by hand or better yet, with an electric whisk. Afterwards, put the oil back in the freezer.
4. After five more minutes, whisk it again - you will notice that the oil at the edges of the bowl is beginning to congeal. Take a spatula and clean the sides and edges of the bowl, pushing the congealed oil down into the liquid oil. Now put the bowl back into the freezer.
5. Five minutes on and you can now take the bowl out of the freezer for the last time. Whisk the oil until it is all an opaque creamy white and then pour it into your container. You can use recycled lotion or butter tubs or even a small tupperware container. The body butter can take up to 24 hours to become more solid but I find that waiting as little as half an hour is generally enough. And there you have it, homemade body butter :)