For those who want body butter the question boils down to — should I buy it or should I make it? (Although this hesitance seems reserved for small/indie body butter brands. Because The Body Shop and Lush Cosmetics are selling millions of dollars worth of body butter and no one hesitates to buy from them… 🤔)
But aaaanywhoo… Let’s dive into it.
A lot of indie/small brands make body butters that, unlike big bodycare brands, don’t contain water, emulsifiers or texture enhancers. Because the ingredient list is straight forward (butter, oil, essential oil and/or fragrance) and the necessary ingredients can be found on Amazon, many people are tempted to just buy the ingredients and make their own.
And sometimes that makes sense! But I think it depends on how much time you have, and how naturally crafty you are. Say you are browsing Pinterest and you see a beautiful rainbow cake. If you’re the type to say, “Oh totally! I can replicate that!” Then yeh, you can probably make your own bodycare products and do a good job with it.
But if you don’t have an artisinal bone in your body, it might be better to just buy.
When it comes to making your own body butter, here are some things to consider.
To get a body butter that is deeply moisturizing but still fluffy, soft and absorbent you MUST ratio the oil/butter/essential oil correctly. The biggest complaints people have about homemade (and even some store-bought!) body butter is that it is too hard or too greasy. And I can see why. When I browse body butter recipes online I’m like…
Oftentimes the ratios are way off, leading to a disappointing final texture.
When I see the suggested whipping times on body butter recipes, most of which don’t exceed 15 minutes, I’m like.
Not only do whipping times differ depending on the base mixture (shea butter whips differently than cocoa butter, which whips differently than mango butter etc) but our SHORTEST whipping time is one hour. That’s the shortest. Some of our mixtures whip for up to 3 hours to get the texture and volume we want. So to see recipes recommending 5 or 15 minutes of whipping… Again, it’s understandable why so many people are dissatisfied with the texture of homemade mixes.
Whipping butter is a messy affair. We’ve been doing it 7 years so we know! I would say we spend a good 1.5 hours total daily JUST washing down our equipment and utensils! And this is in addition to a weekly deep clean to sanitize our surfaces. If you are mess-averse, it might be best to outsource this.
The Bottom Line
I see whipped butter as popcorn, bread or ice cream. These are things you can make at home, and that aren’t really that hard to make. While some people love the fun and challenge of making these things from scratch, others can’t be bothered or want to spend their time on something else. This is why you see shelves full of bread, popcorn and ice cream at the grocery store.
If you want to make your own body butter there are hundreds of recipes online (although, as mentioned, a lot of them are suss so choose wisely 😬.) But if that sounds exhausting, there’s no shame in buying your body butter! In most cases you will be supporting a black and/or woman-owned business, and getting a quality product that lasts a long time.