A lot of customers have been asking for simpler DIY recipes where they can try their hand at making a DIY project. But without all the “crazy” ingredients I like to use.
Now, I don’t have a problem posting recipes like this, but I do need to be clear. I am not a fan of them. I find balms and balm bars to be way too heavy. I prefer my water based butters and lotions and my preservatives! Now that that is out of the way… let’s begin!
This recipe has only a few ingredients, and if you have been trying your own DIY recipes, you probably already have them all. Cocoa butter, shea butter (can sub for mango butter or coconut oil), sweet almond oil, vitamin E and some fragrance oil or essential oils. You melt everything down, stir a lot, then pour. Wait a couple hours and YAY! You’re done!
Cocoa butter and shea butter have a lot of skin benefits, and I love cocoa butter over shea butter. It has a dry touch finish, so the skin absorbs it quickly leaving your skin feeling non-greasy. Shea leaves behind a greasy feel. Some prefer cocoa over shea and other prefer shea over cocoa. It is a personal preference really. And it smells of chocolate. On cocoa butter….
It is noteworthy that is has been shown that cocoa has great potential not only for the treatments of skin diseases, but also for their prevention. In particular, antioxidants found in cocoa protect the skin from the inside by neutralizing oxidative stress, a major factor of dermal structure deterioration and premature skin aging.
Many say, “use cocoa butter for stretch marks”, but there have been some studies that say it’s not all it is cracked up to be. But it is well documented that both cocoa butter and shea butter are good for dry and itchy skin!
Can you tell I am VERY biased when it comes to cocoa butter vs shea butter? Don’t get me wrong, shea is nice and suits my limited needs just fine, but I’m a cocoa butter lover at heart. Have I mentioned cocoa butter just smells like chocolate!!!
We are using cocoa butter in this recipe because it is a hard and brittle fat. Shea butter is softer and will melt too easily on contact with the skin so we are using cocoa butter to prevent the bar from becoming a glob of melted goo in your hand. I’ve also decided to use sweet almond oil as I’ve a jug of it in the back room that needs to be used. If I were making this bar for me, I’d use something like camellia oil, apricot oil or macadamia nut oil as they sink in faster and leave a dry touch finish which I prefer. Feel free to substitute any liquid carrier oil though.
I’ve decided to use Vitamin E in this recipe to help prevent extend the shelf life of the bar. It is a personal choice to use essential oils or fragrance oils or a possible combination of both.
On the back of my hand, the whisked one felt more lush and even. The one from the fridge, was granular and unpleasant for a body butter. I want the grains in my cleansing oils. Not in a lotion bar!
- This is an ANHYDROUS product. A no water product. This means you can ONLY use oil soluble ingredients. Think of your essential oils. You try adding them to a spray bottle filled with water right? They float to the top. In this type of recipe, adding in water soluble ingredients results in the same type of situation. A gross blob of mess. Glycerine is a water soluble ingredient. So adding glycerine to this type of recipe won’t work.
- If you heat your butter too hot, it can result in crystals forming in your final product in a few weeks.
- Using unrefined shea butter can result in a gross smokey smelling product.
- If you flash cool your final product, it can result in crystallization occurring.
- If you leave your product to cool in room temperature conditions, it can result in crystallization occurring.
- This is best used the moment you turn off your shower or step out of the bath before toweling dry. This will help lock in the water already on your skin.
- Be sure to allow it to properly air dry between uses.
- If making a large amount, this can be stored in a Ziplock bag until one of your fats you used expires (say your almond oil expires in four months, this product would expire in four months even if the rest of the fats have another year on their best before dates).
- Place your cocoa butter and shea butter into a heat proof Pyrex measuring cup or a Beaker.
- Place your Beaker into a double boiler and make sure your water is at a barely there simmer.
- Allow your butters to melt. Once everything is melted, immediately remove from the double boiler and place on a hot pad on your countertop.
- Stir. Continue to stir every five minutes until the butters turn slightly opaque (this can take a while!).
- Add in your Vitamin E and essential oils or fragrance oil.
- Stir well, and continue stirring until the butters thicken up slightly.
- Pour into your mold and allow to cool over night.
- Unmould and enjoy!
This recipe makes 50g, which is the size of a small silicone muffin mould. Mine smells delightfully of chocolate oranges! I even brought it to work to share with one of my coworkers!