For some of us (myself included), the holidays give opportunity to show our creative side in the way of DIY gifts. Before I developed an appreciation for the handmade movement in 2013, I had little interest in DIYing anything. In fact, I liked nothing more than searching online for whatever item I wanted-no matter how obscure- and then plunking my plastic down to purchase. But then I became more frugal…and conscious…and crafty.
There was something empowering about realizing I could-with enough patience and diligence-make almost anything I wanted, the way I wanted. Like a lovingly prepared meal, everyday items such as shampoo or candles, began to take on new meaning and value because I was making them myself. Oddly enough, DIYing also made me a more conscious shopper. Once I knew how to make many of my “must have” items, I began to shop less out of necessity and began purchasing products because I simply loved them and how they enhanced my life. I became more aware of craftsmanship and saw my dollar as a means to support the creatives who were making these items. But you didn’t come here to hear all about my feels for handmade things or indie artists or how DIY projects help us become thoughtful shoppers. You came here because you want to learn how to make kick-ass whipped body butter to gift this holiday.
What’s nice about DIY Whipped Body Butter projects are that they are fairly flexible in terms of their composition. If comprised of natural ingredients (such as this one) all you will need is a mix of butters, oils, and if you’re inclined, a wax to keep it from completely liquefying in high temperatures. It boils down to ratios. If you want a harder more balmy texture, you want to use more butters than oil. If you like a more silky type moisturizer, you will need to do the opposite.
This whipped body butter recipe incorporates coco butter, shea and a blend of oils to make a super smooth and hydrating moisturizer that quickly absorbs into the epidermis. Coco butter is high in fatty acids that create a barrier to lock moisture in the skin and maintain elasticity. It also smells faintly like chocolate, making it a personal favorite. In fact, I prefer it to shea butter for that reason. Yes, Shea is also high in fatty acids, fights free radicals and is anti-inflammatory. However, it has a smell that I’m not super fond of. Note, it’s in no way a bad smell but it vaguely reminds me of almond extract (I know, weird) and that’s a scent I cannot stomach in abundance. For that reason, this recipe contains more coco butter. If you’re a fan of shea or just prefer it to coco butter, you can switch the ingredients or swap out these butters for mango or babassu. I will strongly advise that you do not mess with the recommended amount of coconut oil. Virgin Coconut oil not only smells yummy and is loaded with micronutrients that are great for the body but it also has a melting point of about 76 degrees. It’s pliable, meaning that while it can stay solid, it easily liquefies when coming in contact with your body’s heat. I find that body butters are rather gummy and harder to apply without it.
For fragrance, I tend to favor oriental/gourmand scents. I created a vanilla-spice type blend using essential oils for this recipe, but if you prefer using fragrance oils or making something in a different scent family you absolutely can. Just be cautious when working with any fragrance (synthetic or natural) that you’re unfamiliar with. Remember, whipped body butter melts in high heat, so don’t forget to store somewhere cool until you can gift. If you’re making this way in advance you can also keep in the fridge till it’s time to present to the lucky receiver.
This recipe makes a little more than 8 ounces and I used a wide-mouth mason jar tied with jute string for decoration that I’m always stockpiling from Michaels. However, if you want to try creating your own labels or using different styled bottles, go for it! Here are some cool tutorials I found on everyone’s favorite platform, Youtube.
2/3 cups of coco butter
1/2 cup of virgin coconut oil
2 Tbsp of shea butter (roughly 1 oz)
1 Tbsp of candelilla wax (you can use beeswax pellets if you’re not vegan)
2 Tbsp of apricot kernel oil
1 Tbsp of sweet almond oil
2 tsp of vitamin e
20 drops of vanilla spice fragrance blend (14 drops of vanilla essential oil (EO) + 5 drops of cardamon EO + 2 drops of nutmeg EO + 1 drop of clove)
1. In a double bowler or microwave, melt butters until they are liquid. If using a double boiler method, stick to a low to medium heat.
2. Once butters are melted, add all oils EXCEPT essentials or fragrances. Place mixture into freezer for 20-40 minutes or until solid.
3. Remove from freezer and blend with a hand-mixer for 3 minutes. You will notice the butter beginning to take on a consistency of frosting. Place back into freezer for another 3 minutes before whipping again and adding essential or fragrance blend. Continue to whip until body butter has the appearance of whipped cream. Place in jar and label.
I hope you enjoy making this DIY. Please take a photo of your creation and tag me on Instagram at @theupstateedit. I’d love to share your creation with others and hear what methods or ingredient combos you went for.
Hudson Valley based writer.