Stories from Skin-Care Tips

Try This 3-Ingredient DIY Body Butter for Smooth-Feeling Skin

Mary Grace Garis

Mary Grace GarisJune 3, 2020

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Photo: Getty/Guido Mieth

I’m scraping at the bottom of two vintage Victoria’s Secret body butters, and I’m not proud. I haven’t invested in anything super luxuriating since self-quarantining began, and my skin is crying for some hydration. Now may very well be when I play cosmetic chemist and concoct a DIY body butter to slather from head to toe.

Believe me when I say, I wouldn’t recommend this beauty venture if it wasn’t almost amazingly simple. Despite what a million Pinterest pins have told me, it’s not really easy to DIY many fan-favorite beauty products. For every egg white mask that’s as simple as making your morning smoothie or rosewater recipe that’s essentially repurposing an old bouquet (water included), there’s a multitude of “simple DIY” projects that require many steps and have a low pay-off. I’m just not going to DIY a shampoo bar, friends. That sounds like it’s going to take all day.

“Body butter is basically a denser, more concentrated lotion for the skin,” says Paula Simpson, beauty and nutrition expert and author of Good Bacteria for Healthy Skin; Nurturing Your Skin Microbiome for Clear and Luminous Skin. “It’s ultra-moisturizing and nourishing properties make it a go to for dry, chapped or cracked skin. With the right ingredients it may also work effectively to minimize the appearance of stretch marks and scars.” Intrigued? Well, below Simpson outlines just how you can make your very own custom, DIY body butter.

How to make a make a DIY body butter in 6 simple steps

Ingredients: Makes 3/4 cups of body butter

  • 3/4 cup of oil
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup of shea or cocoa butter
  • 15 drops of essential oil

Tools you need to make body butter

  • A double boiler 
  • A stand or hand mixer
  • Clean glass jars with twist lids 

There are a lot of different ways to make body butter, but it really relies on a three-ingredient formula,  Simpson tells me. Generally speaking, you want a combination of an oil, a butter, and some essential oil to add some extra oomph to your mixture. 

To get more specific. Simpson tells me the the most compatible staple ingredients for a good body butter include either organic solid virgin coconut oil ($10) or essential almond oil ($13), and either shea butter ($6) or cocoa butter ($8). As for essential oils, it’s pretty much whatever scent or scents sound the most appealing.

Need a few recommendations? Some essential oils that work well with body butters include peppermint, bergamot, rosewood, geranium, essential orange, lavender, eucalyptus, grapefruit, patchouli, frankincense, and rosemary.

“These base ingredients provide the foundation for the body butter consistency and offer nourishing and ultra-hydrating properties for the skin,” says Simpson. “Essential oils can calm or stimulate the senses with their aromatherapy benefits, and offer antioxidant, microbial balancing, circulatory or soothing effects for the skin.”

When you’ve rounded up the whole gang, you just follow the appropriate steps.

1. Melt ingredients together

Simpson advises that you use either a double boiler or metal bowl placed on top of gently boiling water, this will keep you from accidentally burning your ingredients.

2. Remove from heat

“Once ingredients have melted together, remove and let cool for about 30 minutes,” Simpson says.

3. Transfer to mixer bowl

Or you can use a hand mixer and simply keep it in original metal bowl, the point is that we’re about to get to churning in a minute. 

4. Add essential oils to mixture

You can use one type of essential oil or combine two to three for the scent you prefer,” says Simpson.

5. Gently whip your concoction

Go at it until it gets to an airy, rich buttery texture.

6. Transfer mixture into sterilized clean glass jars

Simpson recommends that you find glass jars with twist lids, preferably dark amber or frosted to protect and extend their shelf life.

How to store body butter

When you’ve twisted the cap on your glass jar, it’s important to not just leave it prey to a steamy, scorching apartment. Remember, the core ingredients of this are probably hardened coconut oil and a type of butter. And what do those ingredients famously do? Oh, that’s right, melt into a pure liquid from the months of June to August. While that isn’t necessarily what will happen to your body butter, temperature and placement are important considerations.

“The purity and freshness of the ingredients provides a fresh concentrated product over mass-produced products, but the formula will denature more quickly,” says Simpson. “So it’s important to store in clean sealed jars in a cool, dry place.”

That’s all it takes to create a joyful little container of body butter that’s all your own. Want to get real cute with it? Put a label on it and name your signature blend. Your body butter should stay fresh and at premium quality for about a month. And when that month is up, well, why not experiment again? After all, it’s easy enough.

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