Last Christmas I was gifted a body butter by a well-known handmade company. And I was absolutely blown away by just how fluffy this stuff was. I’m talking chocolate mousse, whipped cream or puffy cloud fluffy. It was that amazing.
Sure I had been making my own whipped body butters for a while and they came out fine – somewhat light, somewhat spreadable – but they never had that level of fluffy airiness. So I went back to the drawing board to examine my recipe and technique.
First I changed up the ingredients – mainly, I ditched the coconut oil. Coconut oil is great and all, but for my specific goal (remember: mousse consistency) it was simply too heavy and weighing down my precious air bubbles.
Next I had to shake up my technique. What had I been doing so far?
Well, throw everything in a heat safe container, melt it over low heat, stick it back in the fridge until almost solid, and whip it up. That was it. After an extensive internet search and some experimenting I settled on this new and improved method: I melt the shea butter over low heat and let it cool down to room temperature (I don’t know why, but this seems to make the whipping part easier) I then whip only the shea butter and slowly, little by little add the melted cocoa butter and oil. I am not sure why this gives me a better result but it does.
Shea butter is one of the greasier butters, but I wanted to use it in this recipe because of some of it’s skin benefits (namely: good for eczema). To offset the grease factor I use tapioca starch which seems to do the trick. I imagine cornstarch would work too.
I like to start with melting my shea butter first on very low heat and then putting it in the fridge. This seems a little counter intuitive – why the extra work? I find that getting the body butter to a nice fluffy consistency depends heavily on temperature similar to when you make whipped cream. It’s easier to get the cream to a whipped state when it’s nice and cool. Putting the she butter in the fridge allows for the container to be cool enough and the shea butter to be still soft enough, so that I have more success getting it to a mousse consistency. This is especially useful when you’re doing this in a hot climate. You might even want to put your container in an ice bath while you’re working.
Caution: Shea butter has a pretty low melting point (around 90-100 Degrees Fahrenheit) which means that in the hot summer months it’s best to keep your body butter out of extreme temperatures, like in a hot car or in a package at someones front door. Otherwise your lovely body butter will melt and turn into a sad gloppy puddle 🙁
Let’s get started:
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you will I earn a commission if you decide to click through and make a purchase.
Note: I have modified the instructions slightly from the original post to accommodate crafters that live in warmer climates as well.
For around 24 oz of finished product (6 x 4 oz jars):
- 8 oz shea butter
- 3 oz cocoa butter
- 2 oz hemp seed oil (you could use any “dry” oil here: argan, rosehip, apricot kernel, jojoba, etc.)
- 2 tsp tapioca starch (cornstarch or arrowroot powder)
- 1 tsp purple Brazilian clay (optional for color)
- 15-20 drops lavender essential oil
- Double boiler or two pots (one bigger filled with water, one smaller to fit in it) or
- Microwave safe container
- Hand mixer or stand mixer
- Airtight containers for packaging (like these ones)
- Meassure out your shea butter
- In a double boiler on very low heat melt the shea butter
- Put the shea butter in the fridge until it’s almost solid again except for the middle, that should still be soft
- Start whipping the shea butter with a stand or hand mixer until it appears white and fluffy, this can take a while
- In a heat proof container mix your cocoa butter and hemp oil
- Heat in microwave using 20 second bursts or in double boiler until cocoa butter is all melted (Caution: container will be very hot at that point)
- Let cocoa butter mixture cool down to room temperature, then add your tapioca starch and essential oil
- Little by little add your melted cocoa butter mixture, thoroughly whipping with a mixer after each addition. You really want to add as little as possible each time, if you add too much at once you could end up with a puddle.
- Add the clay
- Mix until well incorporated
- Set your body butter aside until it has reached room temperature (it will get even fluffier as it rests)
- Using a spoon or a piping bag transfer into an air tight container
What’s your go to method for making super fluffy body butter?
Until next time. Happy Tinkering!