When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Homemade Natural Body Butter

Winter is out in full force around here this week.  We've been alternating between freezing cold temperatures with severe wind chill and milder days with large snowfall accumulations; today we're under a blizzard warning as the temperatures plummet once again and blustery winds arrive to blow the still-falling snow all around. (The boys were hoping for a snow day to extend their holidays a little bit longer, but alas, it was not to be, so I sent them off to school very well bundled up this morning!)  All of this harsh winter weather can wreak havoc on our skin, and I find both myself and the boys in need of some powerful and soothing moisturizers this time of year.  Over the Christmas holidays, I used some of the free time we had to experiment with something I've wanted to try for a long time:  making my own rich natural body butters.

There are recipes all over the internet for making lovely looking creams and lotions at home without the use of harsh chemicals. I found the guidelines at Rawmazing to be very helpful.  Susan suggests using a ratio of 3/4 solid oils to 1/4 liquid oils to produce the best results, so I gathered up some supplies at a local health food store to add to what we already had at home (Will had fun smelling all of the essential oils with me and choosing some that we should experiment with!) and he and I set happily to work together in our kitchen one afternoon.  The body butters we made were simple to create, have a wonderful texture and natural scent, and leave our skin feeling soft and nourished.  I'll share what we used in the butters we made; feel free to experiment with your own combinations of oils to create ones you'll love!

Homemade Natural Body Butter

1/4 cup cocoa butter
1/4 cup shea butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup sweet almond oil
100% pure tangerine essential oil (I used this one)

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the solid cocoa butter, shea butter, and coconut oil together, stirring occasionally.  Once all of the oils are melted together, remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool for about 15 minutes.

Stir in the almond oil, and add the tangerine essential oil a few drops at a time, stirring in between additions, until you achieve a scent that you like.  (I started with 5 drops, then added 1-2 drops more at a time.)

Place the oil mixture in the freezer (or, if it's as cold outside where you are as it is here, you can simply set the bowl outside!) for about 15 or 20 minutes, or until it is partially set.  (Keep checking on it every so often, so that it doesn't freeze completely.)

Once the mixture looks about like this:

whip it with an electric hand mixer and watch a lovely, creamy body butter appear before your eyes!

Scoop the finished body butter into a glass jar with a lid, and store it some place where it's not exposed to heat that will melt it.  (We filled a 250ml mason jar with this recipe.)

We all love this homemade body butter!  The cocoa butter in it has a wonderful dark chocolatey scent of its own, and adding the tangerine essential oil to the mixture made it smell like a real treat.  Will also had his heart set on a lemon scented version, so we made a second batch of body butter, omitting the cocoa butter, and using 1/2 cup of shea butter instead, along with the coconut and almond oils.  The end result was a lovely mix of fresh lemon and coconut scents.

A little bit of these rich body butters goes a long way, so a small jar should last quite some time.  We're looking forward to experimenting with some other versions once our first ones run out!  It's nice to have a simple little project like this that is fun to do with the boys and that results in something wonderful and safe to use on our dry winter skin.

Looking for some other healthy homemade treats for your skin this winter?  You might also enjoy these simple sugar scrubs (which I also make and use regularly).


  1. love it! this would be great to make for a bday party activity.

    1. Great idea! That sounds like so much fun, Katia -- I bet the kids would love making it (and taking home a jar of great smelling stuff afterwards)! :)