If only you could have seen the mess I made while making up this homemade body butter/moisturizing cream. And not because it’s difficult, but because I am an idiot. So when I share this recipe with you, do as I say and not as I do, OK? I promise you will love this stuff and you might love even more that it’s all natural, homemade and money-saving*. With other moisturizers, I felt like I needed to apply and reapply constantly, especially on my hands which get pretty roughed up from jewelry making and gardening. Not this stuff! If I might toot my own horn, this cream will leave your skin feeling moisturized for hours, but not greasy. My picky husband and even pickier teenage daughter raved about it (I know, right?) and I just basked in the glow of success, primly keeping to myself all the silly mistakes which I’ll share with you so you don’t make them, too (just look for the asterisk* and scroll down to the end for my tips). This recipe makes a lightly honey-scented (nope, you won’t smell the olive oil), very rich, very emollient moisturizing cream with the consistency of whipped butter. I found most of my ingredients at Mountain Rose Herbs but I’m sure a health-food store would also carry these. This is my first attempt at creating a moisturizing cream recipe from scratch and I hope you like it!
RECIPE FOR HOMEMADE MOISTURIZING CREAM/BODY BUTTER
(makes about 24 ounces**)
1 cup herbal-infused distilled water
1/2 cup beeswax
1/2 cup sweet almond oil
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon grapefruit seed extract (a natural preservative)
1 teaspoon evening primrose oil
1/4 teaspoon cosmetic-grade borax
essential oil (optional–I skipped this)
Step 1: Gather your botanicals to make an herbal infusion. This is totally optional to add herbs to your water first, but the distilled water part is a necessary ingredient. Steeping the herbs made our house smell fantastic, and I found it gave my body butter a light, herbal scent in the finished product. I poured about 2-3 cups of water into a saucepan, added lavender, rosemary, calendula and rosehips, and steeped on low heat for about 15-20 minutes or until it looked like dark tea. Use a cheesecloth to remove the herbs from your infusion leaving just 1 cup of the liquid behind. NEXT, ADD YOUR BORAX AND MAKE SURE IT IS DISSOLVED COMPLETELY IN THE WATER.***
Step 2: While your herbs are steeping, in another large**** saucepot, slowly melt your beeswax skimming any dirt or dust particles that may rise to the surface so it’s completely clear. Turn off heat.
Step 3: Add the remaining oils in with your melted beeswax and stir in gently using a wire whisk.
Step 4: While whisking, slowly add your herbal infusion (water) to your oils and begin blending. See further blending instructions below.
Step 5: Whip the oils and water into submission. You may want to switch to an electric hand mixer at this point because you will be mixing for a while. (The photo was taken before I came to my senses and plugged in the mixer.) To break it down for you, you want to start mixing at the lowest speed, blending and scraping sides of pot. As the cream thickens, continue to increase the speed while always scraping sides of the bowl. This would be a good time to add your essential oils if you choose to. I skipped this step because I didn’t want a heavy scent. After about 20 minutes my body butter started to have the consistency of mousse which was when I glopped it into the storage containers I had clean and waiting.*****
Step 6/Cleanup: Your body butter will initially look like mousse but will firm up as it cools to have the consistency of whipped butter or cookie dough. Leave the lids off of the storage containers until it has completely cooled and perhaps consider putting the jars you are not using into the fridge to extend their shelf life. When cleaning up, I recommend wiping down surfaces first with a paper towel to get as much of the oils off of the utensils and saucepots before washing.******
Homemade moisturizing body butter: Looks & smells almost good enough to eat!
This body butter will go a long way as a little dab is all you need. I find it’s best to scoop some out and then let the heat of your body warm the oils so that it melts right into your skin. You can probably make this recipe less thick, if that’s your cup of tea, by dialing back the beeswax. If you do, I’d love to hear how it works out!
* Money-saving is a relative term because I’m not sure what you spend on moisturizers. Personally, I prefer the all-natural products which are great but usually more expensive. Although the initial expense of purchasing oils and such was a chunk of change, there is enough for many batches so making this myself will definitely save us money in the long run.
** In hindsight, I should have made much less as it’s going to take us a long while to go through 32 ounces. Maybe you could halve the recipe, or get in on this with a friend and share the costs of the materials?
*** I FORGOT MY BORAX! Borax is necessary to help prevent the oils and water from separating in the finished product. Our body butter is still perfectly fine to use, but is a bit messy and may not have as long a shelf life.
**** My saucepot wasn’t large enough so when I started mixing, well, you can probably guess what happened. (Mess the first.)
***** I recommend using small, wide-mouth containers for storage. It will make it easier to spoon your body-butter, which will have a mousse-like consistency at this point, without spilling everywhere. (Mess the second.)
****** A good grease-cutter dishwashing soap will help clean your utensils, but best to wipe everything down first so you don’t leave clumps of body butter in your sink. (Mess the third.)