This guide covers the 3 best butters for DIY beauty and skincare recipes, including benefits, uses, and tips. I’ll explain why you need to consider adding butters to your natural skincare routine. I’ll also share 7 easy homemade skincare recipes you can make with body butters.
Body butters are one of the best ways to nourish your skin as well as many other uses such as massage, make-up removal, hair care, and more. They are usually derived from a plant, seed, bean, kernel, or nut and can be applied alone as an intense moisturizer or as a carrier with essential oils.
They don’t contain water, preservatives, or synthetic perfumes which means they are ideal for dry or sensitive skin. You may already be familiar with some body butters, such as cocoa butter. These are popular ingredients used in body lotions that you’ll see in bath and body stores.
Body butters are often solid at room temperature, due to their fatty acids, but some are more solid than others with consistency varying from play dough soft to solid-like Parmesan cheese. As you can imagine, they help to give lotions and creams a thicker consistency making them a must-have when switching to homemade skincare products.
Similar to carrier oils, butters melt on the skin, absorb quickly, and are amazingly hydrating. They go hand in hand with essential oils to help your skin reap their many benefits. However, carrier oils alone are typically a liquid, so if you want to get a cream-like consistency for your favorite DIY beauty products it’s essential you understand the best body butters to use and how to use them.
There are at least a dozen butters that you can use to make lotions and creams, but I’ll focus on just three as they are the easiest to work with and the easiest to source and find in stores and online.
3 Best Butters for Beauty and Skin Care
1. Shea Butter
Shea butter is one of my favorite butters to work with. It’s derived from the nuts of the shea tree, grown in Africa. As it is high in vitamins A, E and F, it is incredibly moisturizing on the skin. It also contains essential fatty acids that help to combat dry skin.
This makes it an excellent choice in products such as DIY beard balm and homemade lotion bars as it soothes and nourishes even sensitive skin types. The consistency of shea butter is similar to play dough – it’s not too soft, but it’s not too hard making it the perfect consistency to use to make a lotion or cream.
When used on its own it’s one of my go-to remedies for cracked heals but when combined with essential oils and a few other ingredients Shea butter can be used for so many natural skincare products from natural deodorant to homemade body butter.
Did you know shea butter actually has a natural SPF factor (of around 6)? This means it is a great butter to use when making DIY sunscreen. Unlike store-bought sunscreens, it forms a natural barrier to keep in moisture so it is ideal for applying before or after sun exposure to avoid your skin going dry.
It also helps to boost collagen production and diminish the signs of aging – perfect for the face or a DIY eye cream.
2. Mango Butter
Mango butter is derived from the seeds of the mango tree. It’s high in vitamins A, C, and E, along with antioxidants to nourish skin. Mango butter has a softer consistency than shea butter, so typically beeswax needs to be added to it to create a thicker lotion or cream. It’s great to use as a body lotion or butter for the body as it is said to restore skin flexibility and reduce the rate at which skin cells degenerate.
As it is intensely moisturizing, mango butter is an excellent choice for using in a DIY lip balm or add a little to your conditioner for hair in need of a moisture boost.
3. Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter can be used interchangeably with shea butter as they have similar properties and benefits. As cocoa butter is derived from the cacao bean like chocolate, it literally smells like chocolate. As you can imagine, it’s wonderful to use in a chocolate peppermint lip balm or cocoa mint body butter.
Not only does it smell amazing, it’s high in vitamin E and antioxidants making it one of the best butters for beauty and skincare DIY recipes. The consistency is hard, almost like a block of Parmesan cheese, and it’s got a yellowish hue in color. Due to its hard consistency it may need to be melted before adding to DIY beauty recipes, for example homemade body butter.
It works really well for dry skin – or skin that needs a healing boost from scars or stretch marks. This is due being rich in vitamins A, E and stearic acid. I find cocoa butter to be too heavy for the face, and prefer to use it for the body, especially hands and feet.
When creating your own natural beauty products, it is important to consider shelf life. Unlike store-bought products, they don’t contain preservatives so they won’t last as long as traditional beauty products. However, as butters are comprised of fatty acids and don’t contain water they have a long shelf life.
As a general guide, here’s the shelf life for these popular butter butters:
- Shea butter: 1-2 years
- Mango butter: 1-2 years
- Cocoa butter: 2-5 years
It is best to label and date all natural beauty products to ensure you use them before expiration. Throw out any butters that go rancid. You will be able to tell as they will have an off-odor, and become cloudy.
If you plan to keep your butters for a long time, keep them stored in airtight glass jars or containers. Light can actually affect the shelf life so make sure the area is dark and cool to avoid melting.
Tips for Choosing Body Butters for Skin care
If you are unsure what type of butter to use, consider these tips:
- Scent – Some natural butters do have an odor. While cocoa butter smells heavenly like chocolate and shea butter has a mild nutty scent, other butters such as bacuri can have a more earthy smell. When choosing a butter for DIY beauty or skincare recipe, the scent may impact your end product so take this into consideration before you begin.
- Consistency – Generally, lighter butters will be absorbed quickly by the skin and won’t leave an oily residue. This type of butter is ideal for hair care or oily-prone skin. Then, heavier butters with a thicker consistency tend to be more moisturizing and are ideal for dry skin, cracked heals or lip balm.
- Quality – When choosing the best butters for beauty and skin care, it’s best to source organic, unrefined butters. Refined shea butter for example is an ivory color as all impurities have been removed. Unrefined (or raw) shea butter is more natural so will appear more yellow.
I’d also recommend cold-pressed butters, which means that heat and solvents weren’t used in extraction. These kinds of butters are usually more expensive, however, it’s well worth a little extra expense for higher quality ingredients as this will ensure the best DIY beauty products.
7 Skin Care Recipes with Body Butters
Here’s a round of the best skin care and beauty recipes at Don’t Mess with Mama you can make with body butters:
- Homemade Whipped Body Butter
- DIY Lip Balm for $0.24 a Tube
- Chocolate Peppermint Lip Balm Recipe
- DIY Sunscreen
- Balm for Cracked Heels
- DIY Beard Balm
- Homemade Lotion Bars
More Posts You Might Like
- DIY Eyelash Growth Serum
- 12 Best Essential Oils for Beauty and Skincare
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- Ultimate Guide to Detox Baths
Did you try these butters for beauty and skin care? Comment below to let me know how it went. You can also FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to see what other fun things I’m getting up to.
Check out my book Natural Beauty Made Simple. It comes with 45 homemade skincare recipes with a set of printable labels and gift tags. You can download it instantly to your phone, computer or e-reader, so it’s portable and can go with you anywhere!
- Make your own organic beauty and skin care products for less than $25 a month!
- Learn simple techniques to make your own skincare – without the fuss of complicated recipes or hard-to-find ingredients
- Get tried-and-true recipes that work to nourish the skin and make it look more radiant than ever before
- Create beautiful gifts for friends and family with the printable labels and gift tags I’ve included with this book
Take a peek at what’s inside Natural Beauty Made Simple.
FREE DIY Beauty Book
Get glowing skin and learn how to make your own DIY beauty products with simple ingredients from your kitchen. Plus, get my 7-day essential oils course to get gorgeous skin from the inside out.