How To Make A Body Butter Using 5 Ingredients

We recognise that not everyone can or wants to adopt a stance to use “natural” or “organic” products exclusively. Here at Earthly Q, we will always use organic and naturally derived ingredients in our products. But, we also want to offer comprehensive and affordable alternatives to the Queens and Qings out there who might not be our customers (yet!) but are an essential part of our community. 

This blog post provides simple instructions and a detailed guide on how you can make a body butter using readily available household items and save a few bucks during those tough financial periods.

This is not about how most of us used petroleum jelly not just as a moisture sealant in the harsh winter months, nor how some of us layered it on our skin like a piece of clothing. It is inspired by how prevalent the use of this product has been in South African households (only because we don’t grow shea or cocoa plants like West and East African countries do). 

Inspiration

Affordability is a huge factor in why a lot of individuals may not be able to invest in organic and natural ingredients. When the going gets tough, even something as simple as petroleum jelly can be inaccessible. As affordable and as prevalent as the use of petroleum jelly is in many South African homes, even that can be hard to fit into your budget in the economy of Cup-Cake and Friends. Besides the economic and financial challenges, if you are a family of 6 or more, a tub of petroleum jelly can go by quickly and eat up a chunk of money that could be used elsewhere. 

Inspiration

Affordability is a huge factor in why a lot of individuals may not be able to invest in organic and natural ingredients. When the going gets tough, even something as simple as petroleum jelly can be inaccessible. As affordable and as prevalent as the use of petroleum jelly is in many South African homes, even that can be hard to fit into your budget in the economy of Cup-Cake and Friends. Besides the economic and financial challenges, if you are a family of 6 or more, a tub of petroleum jelly can go by quickly and eat up a chunk of money that could be used elsewhere. 

From floor polish to body butter

Our aversion to synthetic ingredients is not because we WANT to be different. However, commercial/retail personal care product brands have intentionally disregarded the health implications of using certain ingredients (such as paraffin) that are intended for the black or African customer base.

This recipe is inspired by the red (or green) wax floor polish that characterised our childhoods and family homes. Some of us have clear memories of our mothers stirring candles into large tin cans sitting over the amber of the burning fire. In the early 2000s (and maybe even today) mixing candles, paraffin and ready-made floor wax polish was one of the ways to save some money. Quite frankly, the texture and consistency of commercial floor polish and vaseline are similar; this is because they are both occlusives and both contain paraffin.

We’ve used nature (because we cannot help ourselves) as an inspiration for this recipe and the polish-making recipe from our childhood. If you’re a fan of homemade skincare and love knowing exactly what’s going into your products, this DIY body butter recipe is a great experiment! It’s made using a simple blend of oils and a touch of essential oil for fragrance. Let’s dive into how you can create this delightful body butter and why it might become your new favourite skincare staple.

Ingredients

You don’t have to use all the ingredients on this list, if you have a candle, one or more oils, corn starch, and an essential oil are all we need. We have selected 4 different oils for their properties because we have a lot of oils at our disposal and want to take advantage of the different properties of the oils.

    • 1 candle broken into pieces or grated (beeswax or soy-based, preferably unscented)
    • 1/2 cup olive oil (optional)
    • 1/2 cup coconut oil (optional)
    • 1/4 cup castor oil
    • 1/4 cup sunflower seed oil (optional)
    • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (for a smoother texture)
    • 10-15 drops of lavender essential oil or your favourite essential oil

How to

    1. Prepare: Set up a double boiler. You can add cool or cold water to a pot and place an empty glass bowl in the centre of the pot. Place the pieces of the candle in the empty glass bowl. Place the pot (with bowl and water) on a stove and set on medium heat. Keep on the stove candle and stir until the candle is melted. You can also use a microwave to melt the wax in 1-minute intervals
    1. Measure and add oils: Once the candle wax is melted, remove it from the heat and microwave. Add the olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, and sunflower seed oil. Stir until everything is well combined and melted.
    2. Incorporate corn starch: While the candles and oil mixture is still warm, slowly add the corn starch while continuously stirring using a whisk. This helps to give the body butter a smoother, less greasy texture.
    3. Cool and whip: Let the mixture cool down to room temperature. Once it starts to solidify, you can also use a hand mixer to whip it until it becomes light and fluffy.
    4. Store: Transfer your whipped body butter into a clean jar and store it in a cool, dry place.

Making It Even More Nourishing

For an extra boost of nourishment, consider adding:

  • Shea Butter: For added moisture and healing properties.
  • Jojoba Oil: Mimics the skin’s natural oils, making it great for balancing.
  • Vitamin E Oil: Acts as a natural preservative and adds antioxidant benefits.

The Origins and Benefits of This Recipe

Unlike commercial products that often contain petroleum-based ingredients, this homemade body butter uses a candle as well as natural or plant-based oils that are rich in nutrients. There may be some paraffin in the candle but it should not be too harsh on your skin considering it is used with other natural oils. Here’s why you’ll love it:

    • Nourishing: If you use moisturising oils that are packed with vitamins and essential fatty acids, the body butter will deeply nourish and hydrate the skin.

    • Protective: Creates a natural barrier to lock in moisture and protect against environmental damage.

    • Customizable: You can tweak the recipe to suit your skin’s needs, making it more hydrating or adding different essential oils for varied benefits.

While petroleum jelly is an excellent occlusive that protects your skin, it doesn’t provide the same nourishment or skin benefits as this homemade body butter. Petroleum jelly locks in moisture but doesn’t add any hydration or nutrients to the skin. In contrast, this body butter offers:

    • Deep moisture and protection: Thanks to the combination of olive oil, coconut oil, and castor oil, which penetrates the skin and moisturises it. The waxes from the candle protect your skin.

    • Nutrient-rich: Sunflower seed oil and castor oil are packed with vitamins and antioxidants that promote healthy skin.

    • Natural healing: Lavender essential oil adds healing properties that are not present in the carrier oils.

How to Use Your Body Butter

    • Daily Moisturizer: Apply a small amount to your skin after showering or bathing to lock in moisture.

    • Overnight Treatment: Use a thicker layer on particularly dry areas (like elbows or feet) and cover with socks or gloves for overnight treatment.

    • Massage Oil: Warm the butter by rubbing it between your hands and use it as a luxurious massage oil.

Cautions

    • Patch Test: Always perform a patch test before using new products to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction.

    • Essential Oils: Be cautious with essential oils as they can be potent. Do not exceed recommended amounts.

    • Storage: Keep your body butter in a cool, dry place to prevent it from melting. If it does melt, just re-whip it to restore its texture.

Creating your body butter is not only satisfying but can also save you some money and will help ensure you’re using safe, natural ingredients on your skin. This recipe provides deep hydration and protection, making it a fantastic alternative to commercial petroleum jelly. Enjoy the process, and your skin will thank you!

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