The recipe she shared said you could use any type of oil, so I used castor oil since I’d heard it was good to help the skin shrink back after weight loss.
I vacillated at the store between almond butter and cocoa butter. Both seemed to focus on the same things, and I’d read that both were good to meet my goals. In the end I chose the cocoa butter.
My fragrance? Lavender. I had double reasons for this choice. It helps the skin return to elasticity after weight loss AND I LOVE the scent.
Things started well. I melted my almond butter and stirred in the other ingredients, delighting in the fragrance wafting toward me. I used a lot of lavender, thinking it was good for my skin and smelled heavenly. Plus the cocoa scent was stronger than I expected and needed a lot of balancing. I pulled the pan off the heat and waited. And waited. And grew impatient.
This was probably my fatal error. I decided to help cool time by placing my pan into the refrigerator. This may have worked if I’d not forgotten it at this point and left it there until it was not only cool, but completely hard. I transferred it to a bowl for the whipping stage.
At this point I . . . uh . . . burned out the gears on our hand mixer. My husband was not happy because it’s the tool he uses for our Saturday morning whole wheat pancakes, but I never liked that mixer in the first place, so while I didn’t want to make things harder for him, I do NOT grieve that wimpy little mixer! The body butter never did whip up like whipped cream, and with the mixer’s gears getting stripped, I gave up.
When it hardened it was like . . . well, butter that’s been in the refrigerator and doesn’t spread well. I used it for a few days, but found it difficult to manage
I wrote Marie and asked her if her body butter was that hard. She said it should be like spreadable butter, not hard butter and suggested I melt it all down and begin again, adding a little more oil.
On my second attempt I just put the jar of body butter into the microwave. Much easier. Much less mess. I don’t know why sometimes I’m a stove snob. The glass jar also cooled more quickly than the reinforced steel pan. I added more castor oil and a bit more glycerin. Then came the tell-tale moment. Would it whip? I used my heavy duty mixer. I like to think I would have been smart enough to do so even if the little hand mixer hadn’t had its gears stripped, but one can’t be sure. The results in a word? BEAUTIFUL
The whipped body butter now filled two jars instead of one.
I am lovin’ my homemade body butter. My skin feels much softer and I *think* I’m seeing some improvement in that whole sagging issue. I do believe being more faithful to the tummy video my daughter shared with me is also part of getting on the road to success.
The following is a guest post from my friend Marie Keats from “across the pond” in Southampton. We meet blogging because we have both fallen in love with walking! (Only she makes me look like an amateur!) Marie’s posts about her long walks have inspired me time and again to get outside and experience life one sidewalk at a time!
After Marie commented on my Stretchy Skin post about making her own body butter, I asked her to teach us how. This post is the result. I’m excited about trying it! I make my own laundry soap, and love it, so why not this? It’s a less expensive way to luxury (and firming up that skin!). I’m considering using castor oil and lavender in this recipe since I read it is good to help firm up skin. I have applied it directly on my loose skin since I did that research, but putting it in body butter would be much more pleasant!
Because I have eczema I’ve been using body butter for years and some time ago, probably around the first time I got made redundant, I got annoyed at how much the stuff cost, especially as I use tons of it. A lot of Googling came up with lots of different methods to make it at home and, as it seemed quite simple, I thought I’d have a go. Since then I’ve made so many batches I’ve lost count and I’ve tweaked the recipe over and over to get it just how I like it. About a year ago I shared it on my blog but my friend Paula in America was interested and wanted to share it with the readers of her blog so I thought it could stand a revisit.
My basic recipe is very simple, just four ingredients plus some jars to put it in. Some of the recipes I first looked at also used beeswax which would add more nutrients but would also make the butter more solid. Maybe that’s something I will experiment with at a later date but this method has served me very well over the years.
The ingredients are surprisingly cheap. My shea butter, glycerine and essential oils come from Mystic Moments, a local company that can also be found on eBay. They are based in Hampshire not too far from me but they do ship overseas. There are also masses of different suppliers on eBay so it’s worth shopping around but check out the feedback ratings before you buy.
This should make enough to fill two 200g (6.8oz) jars.
150g (5.3oz) Shea butter or cocoa butter (I prefer Shea butter)
100ml (3.4oz) olive oil (you can use any oil, almond oil is meant to be very good, but I’ve always got olive oil in the kitchen so that’s what I use)
30ml (or 2 tablespoon) glycerine (you can get this on eBay or from a good chemist)
Essential oils (make sure you use essential oils rather than perfume oils or you could have allergy problems. I buy 50 ml bottles that last for ages and most are just £5 or so. I’ve built up quite a collection over the years and they keep forever.)
Jars to put it in (I have some little kilner type jars that were once Body Shop body butter jars but any clean jar with a lid will do.
Using kitchen scales and a measuring jug if your scales don’t weigh liquids, measure out your Shea butter and olive oil then add the glycerine. I find it easiest to use a measuring spoon for this as it’s a bit like treacle. None of the quantities have to be exact so don’t get too obsessive about the weights and if you need conversion tableshere is a good website that will do the hard work for you.
Melt the Shea butter. I melt mine in a big glass bowl in the microwave but you can use a saucepan if you like, just make sure you wash it well afterwards though! Give it all a good stir to mix it all up really well.
Choose your essential oil. You can use a single oil or a combination, whatever you have or what takes your fancy. Add the oil a couple of drops at a time until you get the strength of smell you want. I find between ten and twenty drops does the trick depending on the oil I’m using. Less is more here as you can add but you can’t subtract and you don’t want it too overpowering.
Stir it all really well then leave to cool. Go and have a cup of coffee or something, actually go and have several because this bit takes ages. When it’s cool but not completely set get your whisk out. You’ll know when it’s ready because it will have changed from a clear liquid to a creamy colour but it will still be the consistency of soft butter when you dip your finger in. I have an old electric whisk I keep specifically for body butter but you can use your normal kitchen whisk just make sure you wash the beaters really well afterwards!
Whisk the body butter up. Use a slow setting at first to avoid it splashing everywhere (voice of experience speaking here!). Once it is really creamy leave it for a while to set further (about ten minutes or so). Now it will have gone even paler than when you stopped whisking and will have begun to harden. Give it another good whisk and you’re ready to transfer into your jars.
The body butter will bulk up when it’s whisked, a bit like double cream. It looks good enough to eat but don’t be tempted, it won’t taste good! It will set a little more once it’s in the jars so don’t worry if it seems a bit too thin at this stage.
Now all you have to do is wash everything up (I normally wash everything I’m going to use for food twice just to be safe although none of the ingredients are toxic) then you can start slathering it on! I do this while I’m still wet from the shower as it keeps the moisture in and my skin feels silky smooth and smells lovely.
It really is that simple. Easier than making a cake plus it saves loads of money on shop bought body butter and you can use your favourite scents. Some of my favourite combinations are orange and musk, lime and black pepper and ginger and cinnamon but it’s fun coming up with new combinations.
If you’d like a smoother, silkier body then body butter is certainly the way to go. If you’d like a fitter, slimmer more toned body to go with that silky skin I may have just the thing for you too. Motivation is the main factor in getting fitter and slimmer and I know from bitter experience that it can be hard to come by. Thing is I have a plan to help with that. At the moment I’m working out all the details but keep an eye out on my blog over the next few days and all will be revealed very soon…