“Decadent, smooth and rich.”
This Christmas I am, once again, attempting to make (almost) all of my Christmas gifts. A great gift to give is something that can be used up. All natural body products are not cheap, but they can be very economical and fun to make.
I have not ventured down the homemade lotion road yet for one very good (in my opinion) reason. Quite simply, lotions are made from an emulsion of oils and water. Water, including rose water, distilled water and even aloe vera products, is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, and if you want an all natural lotion with no preservative in it, then you need to be VERY careful when making them. Or, keep them in the fridge.
There are natural ingredients that contain antibacterial qualities, but it isn’t easy to gauge how well they work, and how long they will extend the shelf life of your product. Some companies use products such as grapefruit seed extract as “natural” preservatives, but when studied further, grapefruit seed extract is NOT a natural product and does contain synthetic ingredients, including parabens etc. Vitamin E oil can help increase the shelf life, but it is not a preservative and certainly cannot be a guarantee of a bacteria-free product. Rosemary oil extract is another all natural product that contains antibacterial properties but once again, is not strong enough to guarantee a bacteria-free product. Some people use Borax, but I am not convinced of its safety and so I don’t use it in my laundry, much less my cosmetics.
Body butters are oil-based and contain no water-based ingredients. They are a mixture of oils and butters. They are very hydrating, but they tend to be greasy. I have been searching for a way to make oil-based butters smooth and light. I have finally come across a simple way of dealing with butters: you whip them. Like whipping cream. This makes them soft, light, and less oily since there is air whipped into the product. You can add any essential oil you like, and the overall appearance, texture and hydration is decadent. The final product feels and looks like whipped cream. I was very tempted to eat mine…
One thing to keep in mind with whipped butters, however, is that they are really only an oil and they will “melt” back into their oil state IF the temperature at which they melt is reached. For example, a coconut oil-based whipped butter will melt at 78F or 24C (depending on what temperature your oil melts at. Different coconut oils have different melting points). Other butters may have a slightly higher melting point. If your house gets higher than that melting point, or you keep it in a steamy bathroom, or on top of the dishwasher (which I did) it will melt back into an oil and you will have to re-whip it. You can keep it in the fridge if you are worried about the temperature.
I have found this “cream” to be very effective as an eye cream, and as a hand and body lotion. I don’t usually use night creams, but I think it would be great for that too. I do use it as a day cream on my face but some would probably find it too heavy for this. I don’t add essential oils to this recipe because the fragrance of the cocoa butter is enough to satisfy my fragrance requirements! With a mild and delicious cocoa fragrance, it isn’t necessary to add extra fragrance, but you certainly can if you like. Do not use citrus essential oils in body products since they are photo-toxic when exposed to sunshine. I am not a huge fan of the smell of coconut oil and so I choose the coconut oil that is fragrance-free.
Is this product non-greasy? No. It doesn’t contain alcohol or any other ingredients that “dry it out”. But it is much less greasy than heavy, pure body butter, and it will depend on the butters and oils you use (some are less greasy than others).
Over the next few weeks I will be playing with different ingredients, including kokum and mango butter, two butters which are less oily than cocoa butter and coconut oil. I have shea butter which is extremely hydrating, and I will also be experimenting with infusing herbal extracts such as calendula, chamomile, green tea and lavender, into some of these oils to make whipped butter recipes that provide soothing, calming and anti-aging properties. Subscribe to be updated regularly or “like” us on facebook so you know when these new recipes are available.
- Electric mixer and stainless steel bowl
- Small pot
- Pyrex measuring cup
- Whisk or fork
- Storage jar and lid
- In a small pot or double boiler, over low heat, melt 2 oz. of cocoa butter.
- Add and melt 6 oz. of coconut oil.
- Once oils are melted but NOT boiling, immediately remove from heat, pour into mixing bowl and refrigerate.
- Once your mixture looks slightly opaque, remove from fridge and whip. I use a stand mixer which makes the process go a lot faster. It will get creamy quickly, but won’t whip immediately.
- Once it is creamy put it back in the fridge for another 5 minutes or so and whip again.
- Once it starts to whip like whipping cream, you know you have it. If it doesn’t, put it back in the fridge for a few more minutes and try again. It could take up to 10 minutes of solid whipping to turn it into whipped butter. It will get quite “stiff” and feel like chocolate mousse if you whip it long enough.
- Once it starts to form soft peaks you can add your essential oil (if desired) and you are done!
- Spoon it into jars and put lids on.
- Store in a cool location.
- If you are looking for a good source to purchase body product ingredients check out Mountain Rose Herbs. Exceptional quality, certified organic ingredients.
- Cocoa butter helps increase or maintain skin elasticity and is very hydrating.
- Coconut oil is, among many other things, rich in antioxidants and contains natural microbial and antibacterial properties making it a great oil choice for body products.
- A little goes a long way. Use a small amount!