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How to make a whipped body butter

Mar 7, 2022 | Body care, Formulations

I never was  very into whipped body butter or to be precise any butter on my skin as I did not like the feeling afterwards. 

However, I now know that everything depends on the formulation and body butter does not have to be greasy – it can be fluffy in texture and very light on the skin with a nice slippy glide when spreading on the skin. So, how about making a whipped body butter?

How to make a whipped body butter

1. What’s a whipped body butter?

Well, people call a body butter several things, though there is actually no universal definition of what exactly body butter is. If you went shopping for a body butter from different places, you will see different types of ingredients used in those products.

The first type is an anhydrous product which primarily is made of cosmetics butters such as shea butter, cocoa butter and different cosmetic oils. Another type of body butter is a very rich thick lotion that is made of combining water and butters/oils together. Both of these versions can be whipped, so and that is why they are called: whipped body butters.

Here we will talk more about an anhydrous body butters and how to make one of your own.

2. BASIC WHIPPED BODY BUTTER FORMULA

So, the very basic whipped body butter formula is this:

40-70% Butter

0.5-1% Vitamin E

29%—59.5% Carrier oil

You can always add scent to your formulations such as essential oils or a fragrance oil, but keep the scent up to 1% as this amount is usually more than enough.

Whipped-body butter-on-spatula
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3. What butters can BE USED in body butter formula?

Any cosmetic butter such as a shea, mango cocoa, tucuma, kokum, sal, cupuacu, murumuru, illipe. You can also try ‘pseudo’ butters as well such as avocado, almond, aloe and others. If you want to know if the butter is a true butter or a pseudo butter, you should look to the INCI name.

When the INCI name states only one ingredient, it will be a true butter, when the INCI states several things e.g. shea butter and avocado oil – it is a blend of those two ingredients and it is a ‘pseudo’ butter. Though I haven’t tried any of those pseudo butters myself, but I have heard that it is easier to avoid graininess with them.

Some other posts that might be interesting to read:

4. WHAT OILS CAN BE USED?

You can choose one of the butter in your formula or use several of them.

For the oil part you can use any oil, but I would suggest using a rather cheap, fast absorbing oil. You can also use several different oils, but the simpler the recipe, the easier to determine which ingredient gives certain qualities to the whole product.

5. WHY WE USE VITAMIN E?

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that slows the rate of oil and butter oxidation so your end product can be used for a longer period of time.

6. Basic whipped shea butter recipe

65% Shea butter

34.5% Macadamia nut oil

0.5% Vitamin E

melted-ingredients

7. MAKING CHANGES TO THE FORMULA

The recipe above makes a greasy body butter so to make it more luxurious and non-greasy we can add other ingredients such as:

  • Starch – corn, arrowroot, tapioca, rice. We use it from 5-15% of the formulation.
  • Wax – candelilla, rice, carnauba, sunflower. Typically we use that at 1-5%.
  • Thickeners – cetyl alcohol, stearic acid, behenyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol. We use this at 5-15%
  • Lightweight esters – IPM (isopropyl myristate), capric/caprylic triglycerides, coco caprylate, squalane, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, coco caprylate, dicaprylyl carbonate. We can use the ingredients at 5-25% (depending on the ingredient)
  • Oil soluble extracts – usually low percentage, but depends on the ingredient.

7.1. Why do we add starch?

We use this to make our body butter less greasy, more fast absorbing, having a matte, dry finish. It just feels more luxurious on the skin. For example shea butter is very greasy but if you want to have it in your formula for the benefits of the butter, you should use starch to make the whole butter less greasy without ditching shea butter.

7.2. Why do we add wax or other thickeners?

As we are creating a whipped body butter made only of anhydrous ingredients, we need to keep in mind the temperature the final product will be held at.

If you live in a hotter environment, the butter has to be firmer and made of higher melting point ingredients, so it won’t melt in a jar. However, if you live in a colder environment, you can use more of lower melting point ingredients and still have a nice body butter.

Weighing-ingredients-2

7.3. WHY DO WE ADD LIGHTWEIGHT ESTERS?

These ingredients are super light and they offer a more dry feeling to the whole formulation. Additionally they make the body butter to absorb quicker into the skin and have a lovely feeling.

8. COLD PROCESS METHOD FOR A WHIPPED BODY BUTTER

This is actually suitable for soft butters such as shea butter. I haven’t tried this method with other soft butters, but it will be an interesting idea to do. But the idea is that we don’t melt any of the ingredients which saves us time and energy.

So, as the shea butter is soft we firstly mash the butter into smaller chunks with a beater or a fork and then start to whip the butter. After it is smooth and uniform we can slowly add other ingredients of the recipe such as oils, starch, esters, vitamin E and fragrance. We whip the formula until it is smooth, uniform and has this marshmallow consistency.

9. HEATING METHOD

Start by heating butters and oils in a water bath. When everything has melted through take the beaker out of the water bath, give a nice stir and place it in the fridge or a freezer. Keep the beaker there for 5-10 minutes – the mixture has to solid, but with a gooey center. 

Or you can place the beaker in a cold water bath – stir and cool it down till 45°C and add the cool down phase ingredients. The rest of the procedure is the same.

Take the beaker out of the fridge and whip the mixture until it is smooth, then add the rest of cool down phase ingredients – vitamin E, fragrance, starch and whip again until the consistency is nice. Place the beaker in the fridge for ~5 minutes and whip again. Repeat this step until you get a nice fluffy consistency. Finally leave the body butter for 20 minutes at room temperature and whip it again for the last time.

We should observe how the whipped body butter behaves after several days, so we know that the formula is good and does not need any other tweaking.

Heating-ingredients-in-a-water-bath

10. Final formula

I am not a fan of the basic shea butter formulation as the body butter is too greasy for me. So, I have made a lot of changes to this basic formula which results in a non greasy whipped body butter.

Phase A

20 g | 40 % Cocoa butter

10 g | 20 % Macadamia nut oil

12 g | 24 % Capric/Caprylic triglycerides

2.5 g | 5 % Cetyl alcohol

Phase B

5 g | 10 % Tapioca starch

0.25 g | 0.5 % Vitamin E

0.25 g | 0.5 % Hazelnut fragrance oil

Whipped-body butter

11. Process

1. Weight all phase A ingredients and melt them in a water bath.
2. Once everything has melted – get it out of water bath, stir a bit, then place it in a cold water bath.
3. When the oils reach 45ºC/113°F add phase B and gently stir it. Once the mixture in even, start whipping and whip for a minute.
4. Place the beaker in a fridge and wait for ~5 minutes. Then get it out and whip again.
5. Redo step 4 until you get a nice, creamy, whipped consistency.
6. Put your body butter into a container.

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In the photos above you can see added cool down phase into the melted butters. After that the bowl was placed in a fridge and you can see in the second photo how it looked after cooling. In the photos below you can see a cool transition of consistency to a final body butter texture which I absolutely love.

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12. Making substitutions and considerations

As this body butter was made when the temperature was 24°C/75°F in the room the texture will differ depending on the temperature at your room.

Please don’t leave this body butter in the direct sunlight as it will melt and you will get a liquid afterwards.

If you want a softer butter:

  • use oil instead of cetyl alcohol
  • use less cocoa butter or use a soft butter like mango butter

If you want a harder butter:

  • use more cocoa butter in exchange of oil
  • add a bit of wax instead of oil
  • use more cetyl alcohol or use cetearyl alcohol/behenyl alcohol

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