The first time I made my own body butter, I seriously couldn’t believe how easy it was. In fact, every time I make it I’m amazed at how simple the process is and how few ingredients it takes to create a luscious, moisturizing, all-natural body lotion at home.
Not only is the DIY process incredibly simple, this body butter is waaay healthier for you because it contains just a few simple, whole ingredients: shea butter, coconut oil, grapeseed oil (or almond oil) and essential oils. Pretty straightforward list of ingredients, eh?
This particular recipe uses orange essential oil and cinnamon sticks that I use to infuse the mixture, as well as some Thieves essential oil from Young Living oils for some extra spice. But you can use any essential oil(s) you like depending on the scent and therapeutic qualities you’re going for.
Just note that you should always do your research when it comes to using essential oils. Make sure that the oils you are using are safe to put on your skin and do not overdo the amount of essential oils you put in as they can be quite potent, especially in large quantities.
So that’s all the good stuff that is on the list of ingredients. Do you notice what’s not on the list? Aside from all sorts of fancy chemicals and preservatives, there is one key ingredient missing that is found in the vast majority of store-bought lotions: water.
Pick up almost any store-bought lotion or body butter and take a look at the list of ingredients. More than likely, water (or “aqua”) will be somewhere near the top of the list if not at the very top. Now, on the surface this seems pretty safe and natural. What could be more natural than water, right?
What most consumers don’t know, however, is that any product that contains water is susceptible to mold. So in order to combat any mold that might grow on lotions containing water, preservatives are added to extend the shelf life of the product. Of course, preservatives are something you probably want to avoid if you’re looking for an all-natural product. And you absolutely should be striving for all-natural products if you are considering slathering them on your skin!
Our skin is the largest organ on our bodies after all, and our pores suck up everything that we put on our skin. So if you’re concerned about eating organic, all-natural foods, you should definitely be concerned about using all-natural body products as well!
The beauty of this homemade body butter is that, since it only contains healthy oils and no water, it requires no preservatives to keep it from spoiling on the shelf. Plus, the oils are super beneficial for your skin to boot, so you can rest assured that you truly are nourishing your body with this lotion.
Now, I don’t know the exact shelf life of this body butter as it has never sat on my shelf for more than about 3 months before I’ve used it all up, but if you keep it in a cool, dark place (like in a cupboard), it should last at least 3 months and probably much longer. It is possible that the oils could go rancid if left for way too long, but trust me, you will almost certainly use it up before you have to worry about that!
If you want to be extra safe, you can store this lotion in the fridge. Just be careful nobody mistakes it for yummy icing or whipped cream! Although the ingredients are safe for consumption, so no worries aside from it leaving a bad taste in your mouth;)
Keep in mind that, because it is made of oil and doesn’t contain any added ingredients, it is susceptible to melting if left out in the heat (just as coconut oil turns from a solid into a liquid when heated). So do try to keep it at room temperature or lower if possible.
This body butter also makes a fantastic gift and can be whipped up (pun intended) at almost the last minute if needed. I made this batch as a gift for a friend’s 30th birthday and packaged it with some homemade bath salts, homemade sugar scrub and a homemade soy candle. Not only is it an all-natural, homemade gift made with love and given from the heart, it is also inexpensive to make at home and rivals some of the best, most expensive body lotions on the market when it comes to quality!
So the next time you need a quick, easy and inexpensive gift for anyone in your life (yes, I have made this for the men in my life too… I call it “Bro Butter”;), look no further than this recipe for homemade body butter. And remember, you can use whatever essential oils you like if you would prefer a different scent, but be sure to do your research first when choosing which oils to use.
- ½ cup Shea Butter
- ¼ cup Coconut Oil
- ¼ cup Grapeseed Oil (or Almond Oil
- 10-15 drops Orange essential oil
- 5-10 drops Thieves essential oil
- 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
- Melt the shea butter, coconut oil and grapeseed oil in a saucepan or double boiler over medium heat.
- Add essential oils and cinnamon stick if using, and stir to mix well. Let simmer on low for 5-10 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and discard.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl and place in fridge to let cool. Allow mixture to cool completely until the oils solidify (I usually leave mine in the fridge overnight... You can place it in the freezer to cool quicker, but be sure to set a timer so you don't forget about it and let it freeze!)
- Once mixture is completely cooled, use a hand beater to whip the mixture.
- Spoon into a clean Mason jar and seal with a lid (you can reuse an old lid for this).
- Add a nice label and tie a piece of twine around the lid to dress it up and you've got a beautiful homemade gift (for yourself or someone else!)