Now that the days are getting longer and the weather here in London is finally getting warmer, it’s time to swap my long-sleeved jumpers and jeans for t-shirts and shorts! To make sure my neck, arms and legs are ready for summer, I’ve created a lightly whipped body butter that I’ve been slathering all over my body as part of my nighttime skincare regime every night these past few weeks, to help keep my skin nourished and supple.
Using only five base ingredients, this body butter is super easy and relatively quick to make. The two main ingredients – mango butter and avocado oil – are both widely believed to be good for soothing and repairing sun-damaged skin, which means this body butter is also ideal for use as an after-sun moisturiser (but NOT as a sunscreen). Other ingredients include shea butter, a great skin conditioner; wheatgerm oil, an oil with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties; and natural vitamin E, which helps slow down the rate of rancidity in oils.
Being a whipped butter, it doesn’t feel heavy on the skin and is therefore perfect for warmer summer nights: upon contact with (warm) bare skin, the butter melts and absorbs into the skin quickly.
Since this butter is used as part of my summer nighttime regime, I decided to scent it with bergamot and grapefruit essential oils*: for me, the combination of these two refreshing and citrusy oils evokes happy summer memories ?. If you’re using it as after-sun care to sooth sun-damaged skin, however, it’s probably best to keep it au naturale and leave out the essential oils.
*Note: Because citrus oils tend to be phototoxic (enhancing our sensitivity to the sun), the scented version of this body butter is also only suitable for use indoors (or in the evening); do not apply before going out in the sun.
This recipe makes around 60g of whipped body butter.
- 24g mango butter
- 13g shea butter
- 16g avocado oil
- 6g wheatgerm oil
- 6 drops natural vitamin e
Summer-inspired scent (optional)
- 10 drops bergamot (bergapten-free) essential oil^
- 10 drops grapefruit essential oil
^Make sure you get the variety that is Bergaptene/Furanocoumarins-Free (sometimes labelled as “Bergaptene-free” or “FCF”) – this means the chemical causing phototoxicity has been removed.
- Clean and dry your utensils and container(s) before starting.
- Prepare a double boiler by first filling one-third of a small saucepan with boiling water, and leave it on the stove to simmer.
- In a heatproof measuring jug, add in the butters. Carefully lower the jug into the saucepan of hot water. The heat from the water will gradually melt the butter. Make sure the mixture doesn’t overheat and bubble!
- When the butters have melted, turn off the heat. Take the jug out of the saucepan and wipe its base dry with a towel.
- Now pour the oils in the mixture, and gently stir it so everything is mixed. The mixture should resemble a golden liquid.
- Wrap some clingfilm over the jug and set it aside on the worktop. Leave to cool for around 10 minutes.
- The jug should now be a little warm to touch, but the mixture should begin to set. At this point, you can add in the vitamin (and essential oil drops if you wish to scent your body butter).
- Stir to mix everything – the mixture should by now take on a thick, honey-like consistency. Next, wrap some clingfilm over the jug and place it in the fridge to cool for 15 minutes or so.
- Take the jug out from the fridge. Using an electric hand mixer, whisk the mixture for 3 minutes, until the mixture resembles whipped cream and doubles in size.
- Return the jug to the fridge and cool for a further 15 minutes.
- Take it out of the fridge and whisk for another minute or so. The whipped butter should feel a little stiffer after this second round of whisking, but retains the lovely consistency of whipped cream.
- Scoop your butter into your chosen container(s)!