I love making homemade Christmas presents each year whether it be a food item or beauty item. Last year I made a brown sugar scrub for the shower & this year, after perusing Pinterest, I decided to try a homemade body butter.
The ingredients involved are very simplistic: Raw/pure cocoa butter, coconut oil & essential oil of your choice. I keep a handful of essential oils on hand, but thought that vanilla would pair well since the cocoa butter has a natural chocolate scent. For this gift, I had to buy the cocoa butter ($8) & the vanilla essential oil ($6); we already had the coconut oil on hand. Mike keeps a dish of coconut oil in his bathroom drawer & melts it in a few inches of warm water in the sink while he showers. He uses it on his skin & hair which he feels has helped a lot. Mike used to have very irritated/red, flaky skin on his face which is gone since he's using the coconut oil. Anyway, if you were buying the coconut oil at your local grocery store, you'd end up paying a total of about $22 for the three above items since coconut oil ranges about $8.
Hack up a cup of cocoa butter & a cup of coconut oil with a knife & melt in a pan on medium-low heat which takes about five or so minutes.
The cocoa butter I bought has an extremely strong chocolate scent which smells really yummy. We keep our coconut oil in the fridge, so it really firms up. If you keep it at room temp, it's solid, but much smoother.
Pour your melted ingredients into a bowl & put it into the fridge for a couple of hours to set. If you keep it in the fridge too long, it'll be hard to blend, so just pop it in the microwave for 10-15 second increments to re-soften but not melt.
Add essential oil of your liking, but really, I don't even think this is a necessary step since the cocoa butter itself is so scented. I added a good 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla oil until I felt it was to the scent I liked.
I don't have one of those fancy-smanchy KitchenAid mixers...
(Although I desperately want this one!), but my hand mixer worked just fine (though see Q&A below). Blend until the mixture gets very light & fluffy & place into mason jars of your choice.
I chose 4oz, wide mouth jars since a little body butter goes a long way. I'll eventually decorate the jar with a bow for Christmas, but haven't gotten around to doing that just yet. We're at the time of year where there simply aren't enough hours in the day! I used the recipe from this website, if you want to reference. Here are some questions I had when looking at the site:
1) How much will this make? For me, this filled 2 1/2 4oz jars to make a total of about 10-11oz. The website I referenced said they got 3, 16oz jars out of the same recipe I followed! I'm not sure if it was the fancy schmancy KitchenAid mixer that made the difference, but that's about a 37oz difference which is so hard to believe. I whipped that sucker for 10 minutes with my handheld!
2) How many times can you make this recipe with the ingredients purchased? I'll be able to do it one more time with the amount of cocoa butter I ordered. I have a lot of essential oil & coconut oil leftover though.
3) Will the body butter stay this fluffy or will the oils begin to separate? This depends on the temperature of the room it's stored. If it's in a room that runs hot, it's possible that it may separate or change consistency.
4) How does it feel applied to the skin? There's no denying that it definitely has an oily feel because of the coconut oil. I plan to keep mine in my bedside table & apply it before bed. My skin definitely looked moist & healthy after I applied it & it's much less greasy & has absorbed since I put it on an hour ago. Living in Florida, I question how much I'll need it, so a little will go a long way. Obviously if you're from a colder climate, it'll be used much more often.
5) How long will this keep? The source I referenced said she's had hers for over a year & it's still good.
6) Would you make this again? I was disappointed with the small quantity my recipe made since I expected around 3, 16oz jars. Other than that, I love that it's all natural with limited ingredients & I think it really will be affective in combating dry skin. You can make a good 6, 4oz jars for gifts for under $30 which is very inexpensive compared to store bought body butters. My verdict is to make this for gifts but double the recipe to get more out of your time spent making it.