What Is Body Butter?
Body butter is a super-rich and thick moisturizer designed to be used on the body. They contain a higher percentage of water than lotions and several oils such as cocoa butter or shea butter that provide emollient properties for softening skin. Body butter may also include other ingredients like glycerin, aloe vera, vitamin E, and more!
How Do Body Butters Differ from Lotions?
While lotions are generally lighter in texture than butter, they often contain fewer oils. This is why some people feel that body butter can be better for skin health because it may provide a deeper level of moisture. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that lotions are more convenient to apply after a shower because they get absorbed quickly. At the same time, body butter may leave your skin feeling oily if you don’t pat it dry.
When Should You Use Body Butters?
Body butter can be used year-round. However, there is a bit of extra hydration benefit during winters. You can use them after a shower, but they are also great to layer under a thicker moisturizer if the temperatures drop and skin starts feeling dry!
DIY Body Butter Recipes
Here are some of our favorite recipes that you can easily make at home with lovely scents or ingredients that can be found around the house:
1. Cinnamon Vanilla Body Butter
- 15g Cocoa Butter (0.5 oz) (can also use shea)
- 20 drops of Vanilla Essential Oil or preferred scent (try our organic lavender!)
- 40ml oils (1.3 oz), can be Olive/Almond/Jojoba, etc. We prefer a mix of a few different oils.
- Optional: 20 drops of Cinnamon Essential Oil
- Put the cocoa butter/ shea butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt for 30 seconds at a time until completely melted. We recommend using a double boiler to melt the butter. However, if you are in a hurry or don’t have access to it, you can go ahead and microwave it.
- Once melted, turn off the stove. Combine oils (this is best done by pouring them slowly into another bowl while whisking) and add essential oil(s). At this point, you can also add cinnamon oil if you would like a wonderful autumn scent!
- Mix everything and pour into a jar or container. This recipe yields approximately 100ml of body butter, enough for around two months, depending on how often it is used. We recommend storing the butter in a cool place, like your fridge or a cool, dark cupboard.
- You can also make larger quantities of this recipe and pour it into an empty lotion container, making them perfect gifts.
2. Tropical Body Butter
This body butter smells like a tropical vacation!
- 100ml Olive Oil (3 oz) (or any other carrier oils you like to use)
- 15g Cocoa Butter (0.5 oz)(can also use shea)
- 20 drops of Coconut Essential Oil *optional*
- Follow the same steps as above.
- Coconut oil has a rich, nutty scent that will turn this body butter into something tropical and extraordinary! Suppose you don’t have essential coconut oil. In that case, you can either replace it with vanilla or another scented oil of your choice.
3. Honey Vanilla Body Butter
Honey and Vanilla are a classic combination, and this body butter is sure to make your skin feel extra yummy. Honey is also a humectant, so it is great for locking in moisture.
- 40g Shea or Cocoa Butter (around one ounce), You can also use a mix of the butter if you like!
- 15g Coconut Oil
- 20 drops of Vanilla Essential Oil
- 15g Honey (0.45 oz) or a couple of teaspoons if you have a drippy consistency in mind!
- Optional: Add some beeswax for extra hold and texture; around 0.75oz will be enough for this recipe. If using beeswax, make sure to heat it first and then add to the oils.
- Optional: A few drops of your favorite colorant (we like using beetroot powder or spinach for natural coloring)
- Melt shea/cocoa butter and coconut oil together in a double boiler on low heat until melted.
- Remove from the stovetop, and mix in desired essential oil(s) and colorant.
- Add the honey at the end and blend it in.
4. Vanilla Bean Body Butter
This body butter is great to use when you need something a little thicker and creamier. Using 100% shea butter in this recipe would make for an incredibly rich moisturizer that might be too thick for some people, but feel free to experiment with different ratios, depending on your skin type.
- 1 cup raw Cocoa Butter 1/2 cup Sweet Almond Oil 1/2 cup Coconut Oil
- 1 Vanilla Bean
- Heat the cocoa butter and coconut oil in a double boiler until melted. Remove from heat, add in the ground vanilla bean, cover for about 15 minutes to let the flavors infuse, and mix in the almond oil.
- Keep it in the freezer until the oils solidify, and then whip the body butter with a hand mixer until light, fluffy and smooth. Store in an airtight container or jar.
- You can also add different essential oils based on your preference; lavender is great if you have trouble sleeping! Rosemary has mood-boosting properties that may help improve your mood when you’re feeling low.
5. Whipped Coconut Oil Body Butter
This body butter is a great alternative if you are looking for something that feels lighter and absorbs more quickly into the skin.
- 1 cup Coconut Oil
- 1 teaspoon Vitamin E Oil (optional)
Your Favorite Essential Oil- A few drops of your chosen essential oil per tablespoon of coconut oil is a good rule of thumb.
- In a bowl, whip the coconut oil until light and fluffy.
- Mix in the desired amount of essential oils and vitamin E, then transfer into jars or containers for storage.
6. Whipped Peppermint Body Butter
This whipped moisturizer has a cooling, refreshing effect that is both energizing and relaxing at the same time! The peppermint essential oil also makes it great to use in the morning when you need an extra boost of energy.
- 1 cup Shea Butter or Cocoa Butter
- 25 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
- Optional: Add some beeswax for extra hold and texture; around 0.75oz will be enough for this recipe. If using beeswax, make sure you heat it first and then add it to the oils.
- Melt the shea/cocoa butter in a double boiler until melted.
- Remove from heat, add the desired amount of essential peppermint oil and transfer to jars or containers for storage.
7. Honey Almond Body Butter
This body butter is great for when you need something light and nourishing. It gets absorbed quickly into the skin without leaving an oily residue behind! The honey will also help to keep your skin soft, smooth, and hydrated.
- 1 cup almond oil
- 1/3rd cup coconut oil
- 1/5 cup raw honey (around a couple of teaspoons if you have a drippy consistency in mind!
- A few drops of your favorite essential oil; we recommend lavender or lemon for a relaxing effect in the evening and peppermint if you want something more refreshing in the morning.
- Melt coconut oil and almond oil in a double boiler on low heat until melted. Remove from heat and transfer to another bowl. Let the oil mixture cool until it starts to solidify, usually for about an hour at normal room temperature.
- Once cooled, whip with a hand mixer or by hand until light and fluffy (about 15 minutes). Add in the desired amount of essential oils and honey and whisk/mix together well! Transfer to jars or containers for storage.
- This body butter is great to use after the shower, especially if you want something that will lock in the moisture and leave your skin feeling silky smooth throughout the day! It can be a bit hard to spread on dry areas of your skin, so we recommend applying it while you’re still damp after stepping out of the shower.
Making your own body butter and other moisturizing products is a wonderful way to experiment with new scents. Get creative and try something you’ve always wanted to make! It’s also fairly easy once you know what you are doing. We recommend starting small by making one recipe at a time until it becomes second nature.
How To Choose Body Butters For Different Skin Conditions?
If you have problematic skin that is dry and/or gets chapped quickly, body butter with cocoa butter is a great solution. Cocoa butter has properties that allow it to penetrate deeper into the outer layer of the skin while locking in moisture simultaneously. This makes them ideal for people who suffer from eczema or any other conditions that cause the skin to be dry and itchy.
If you have skin prone to breakouts, body butter with shea butter and/or coconut oil can be a great addition to your morning or night-time regimens. Shea butter has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce redness and swelling while also penetrating deep into the upper layers of the epidermis!
Coconut oil is also great for reducing inflammation and redness and nourishing the skin to keep it hydrated.
For recent stretch marks or the ones still in the early stages, body butter with cocoa butter can be an incredible addition! Cocoa butter has properties that allow it to penetrate deep into the upper layer of the epidermis, which can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks over time.
Suppose you are looking to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy or existing stretch marks that are still fresh. In that case, body butter with shea butter and/or cocoa butter is a great option! Shea butter has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce redness and swelling while also allowing it to penetrate deep into the upper layers of the epidermis.
Stretch marks that are already a little deeper can also benefit from shea butter. Cocoa butter is great at reducing the appearance of stretch marks over time.
If you have skin that has lost its elasticity and firmness due to age or weight loss, body butter made with shea butter is a great choice. Shea butter has anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease the pain of sore, stiff, or tired muscles while also nourishing your skin to keep it hydrated and looking healthy.
Shea Butter is one of the most emollient plant butter known to man. It is great for dry, cracked skin and works well with other ingredients due to its thick consistency.
Shelf Life For Homemade Body Butters
If stored in a dry, cool place, body butter should last up to three months.
If stored in a somewhat warm place, body butters can melt because of their oils.
If this happens, place the container in the refrigerator to harden it up. Make sure that it is properly sealed so that no water gets into the mixture. If you have kids at home, it is best to keep the body butter in a safe place out of their reach.
Lotions are different from body butter because they contain water-based ingredients instead of oils. This makes lotions lighter and less moisturizing than body butter, which is why it’s important to have both in your skincare routine!
Should You Use a Lotion, Moisturizer, or Body Butter?
That all depends on your preference. Lotions are light and not greasy at all, moisturizers can be a bit too heavy for some people, but they get absorbed quickly into the skin. Body butter is known to have a thicker consistency that stays longer compared to lotions or moisturizers. It also has heavier ingredients which provide maximum moisturizing benefits.
How to Use a Body Butter in Your Skin Care Routine?
Body butter can be used in place of lotion or as a moisturizer after you cleanse and tone your skin. Take some body butter onto your hands and rub them together before applying it to the desired area of your face, neck, and even décolleté.
You should always apply any skincare product to damp skin because that is when the product will be most effective.
Pour some body butter into your hands and then use them to massage it onto your neck gently, face (avoiding contact with eyes), and décolleté in circular motions for about one minute. This process allows the butters time to penetrate deep within your pores so that you get maximum moisturizing benefits.
If your skin feels tight or dry after cleansing, use body butter to give yourself an extra boost of moisture.
Considerations Before Using Body Butter
It is important to check ingredients and make sure that you are not allergic to any.
Do a patch test to determine if you have any sensitivities or allergies. Apply a small amount of body butter to your forearm and wait for 24 hours before using it on the rest of your body.
If, after waiting for a total of 24 hours, there are no signs of redness, irritation, or itching, then congratulations! You can use that combination without worrying about an allergic reaction.
If you do have an allergic reaction, stop using the body butter immediately!
If your skin becomes irritated after using body butter, try mixing it with some coconut oil before applying it next time, or stop usage altogether if irritation persists. You can always get in touch with an esthetician for more help and guidance with creating your body butter.