You might think I’m crazy…but I’ve just begun planning this year’s holiday gifts. In August. Before my kids are even back in school. I know what you’re thinking…it’s not even Halloween yet! Stores used to wait until Thanksgiving to start with holiday promotions and decorations, now they start after Halloween…and here I am pushing back before Labor Day. Why would I do that?
The idea started this past week when my family and I were vacationing in Orlando and saw entire stores with holiday Disney and Universal Studios character themes. But those aren’t the gifts I’m now starting to plan–I’m planning my handmade skincare holiday gifts–and homemade body butter is my favorite gift to give.
Why is homemade body butter such a great gift?
1. Everyone loves body butter! I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t absolutely love body butter. Years ago when I worked at The Body Shop (before I knew about the dangers of toxic chemicals in skincare), our most popular item was body butter. The majority of my sales were of body butter and the majority of my non-sales time was spent unpacking and restocking tubs of body butter. They came in every type of flavor and in different textures. There was truly a body butter for every skin type and every preference.
2. Most people need more moisture in the winter. Body butters are very rich, soothing, and nourishing to the skin. They also help to protect the skin and seal in moisture, preventing dry, chapped skin and dehydration that can occur from harsh weather and over-dry air from indoor heating systems.
3. Body butter is really easy to make! Body butters can be made either as anhydrous (oil-based, containing no water) products which don’t require any preservatives and only use a few simple ingredients. Of course there are more complex emulsions that you can make if you prefer a product containing water (which would?require a preservative), but it’s not necessary.
4. Body butter?is inexpensive to make–although stores like The Body Shop who specialize in body butters wouldn’t want you to know that! While the price of individual ingredients and raw materials can vary, it’s very possible to make a gorgeous, decadent body butter on a budget.
5. Body butter ingredients and supplies are easy to find. One of the biggest misconceptions about skincare ingredients is that they have to be ordered from some mysterious magical skincare store or that you have to be a chemist, herbalist, or other kind of “-ist” to purchase them. While certain ingredients need to be ordered from specialty suppliers, most ingredients and supplies needed to make great body butter can be found at a health food store near you, or a common website like Amazon.com or Mountain Rose Herbs.
- 4 oz (120 ml/g) shea butter
- 1 oz (30 ml/g) coconut oil
- 1 oz (30 ml/g) jojoba oil
- 12 drops cypress essential oil
- 8 drops cinnamon essential oil
- 9 drops wild orange essential oil
- 7 drops vanilla essential oil–OR–3 ml of pure vanilla extract
- 6 ml antioxidant: Vitamin E oil–or–rosemary antioxidant
- One 6 oz jam, mason, or apothecary jar with lid–the ones with the airtight clamp and rubber seals work great for this.
- Double boiler or double boiler insert and saucepan
- Measuring cup(s)
- Medium mixing bowl filled with ice water
- Optional: hand mixer
- Heat your shea butter over a simmering double boiler until melted completely.
- Remove from heat and add your coconut oil (it will melt immediately once it comes into contact with the melted shea butter) and jojoba oil. Gently whisk together until they are blended.
- Put your double boiler insert?into the ice bath, being careful not to splash any water into your mixture. Gently whisk until the mixture begins to turn opaque. Add your essential oils/extract/and antioxidant while stirring.
- Optional: use your hand mixer to whip the mixture gently to give it?a souffl?-like texture.
- Allow to cool to room temperature and transfer your body butter to your jar using the spatula to avoid wasting product. Close your jar immediately.
- Make a pretty label for your jar–this can be as elaborate or as simple as you want, but make sure you write the date on the label. You can also tie some ribbon, raffia, or other decoration around the lid to make it look festive.
Isn’t that lovely? My skin can’t live without this stuff. By the way, the essential oil blend above is one I chose for it’s festive aroma, but you can change it up any way you like. Just be sure not to exceed 36 drops total for this recipe.
Want to learn how to make more great, customized handmade skincare products like this?
I offer a 6-week online course called Create Your Skincare? which teaches you how to design your own customized, complete skincare regimen using natural, safe ingredients and my proven formulas. It also teaches you how to tweak the formulas, choose ingredients appropriate for your skin type, and truly make the products your own.
Plus, the course comes with a bonus holiday gift guide to give you even more fantastic gift ideas your friends and family will love! Learn more and enroll HERE.