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how to make an herbal body butter

How to Make an Herbal Body Butter: Summertime Sun Butter

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I’m an herbal skincare aficionado who loves the summer sun and loves the heat. I always do my best to protect the health of my skin, and over the years I have found that one of my favorite ways to keep my skin healthy, protected, and moisturized is to use a body butter. Here’s my herbal body butter recipe to support healthy, nourished skin all throughout the sunny summer months.

Born and raised in Northern California, my memories of summer were of misty mornings with fog blanketing the bay. By the late afternoon the sun would burn off the fog, filling the air with the aromas of California Bay and Eucalyptus. However, even with the mid-afternoon sun, the first couple months of summer never felt warm enough for me.

Growing up, I always thought of myself as a lizard, cold-blooded and craving the warmth of the sun to heat my skin and internal body. My mom’s parents are from Cuba, and we are a sun-worshiping, heat-loving family. Every year I look forward to when I can warm my cold blood during the summer months, spending as much time as possible in the sun, ideally by a body of water.

Herbal body butters are deeply nourishing for the skin.


Herbal Body Butter: Sun Butter Recipe

Supplies Needed

  • Double boiler
  • Beaker or cup
  • Potholder
  • Whisk or Immersion Blender
  • Spatula
  • Paper towels
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Jars

Ingredients

  • Shea Butter – 6 tablespoons
  • Mango Butter – 4 tablespoons
  • Kokum Butter – 1 teaspoon
  • Jojoba Oil infused with Rose, Chamomile, and Calendula flowers** – ¼ cup
  • Rosehip Seed Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Need herbs? Visit Mountain Rose Herbs.

** For this recipe, I love to infuse my oil to enhance the benefits of this Sun Butter.  You can infuse your jojoba oil with the herbs I’ve listed above. To learn how to make your own infused oil, follow the simple recipe here. Once you’ve made your infused oil, you can follow the directions below.

This post is sponsored by our friends at Mountain Rose Herbs.

  1. Measure out all your butters into the same pot
  2. Measure your oils into a beaker or cup 
  1. On a medium-low heat melt your butters until they are fully liquid
  2. Once your butters have melted, turn off the heat and remove your pot from the stove and place on a potholder
  3. Slowly add you oils while whisking the ingredients together
  4. Add in about 20 drops of essential oils (optional). For sun care I love lavender, blue chamomile, rose and carrot seed
  1. As your butter starts to cool it will begin to thicken. One trick is to pop it in the freezer to help it cool faster, but don’t let it get too hard (about 5-10 minutes)
  2. To give it a whipped texture, once it is solid at room temperature, use a whisk or immersion blender (the ideal choice) to whip it
  3. Clean your jar and lid with rubbing alcohol to ensure they are sterilized, once they are dry use a spoon or spatula to scoop into jars

Note: because there is no water in this formula, I am not as concerned about preservation — however, I always sterilize my tools with 70% rubbing alcohol before I begin making any skincare recipe.

Yield: 9 oz

Using a DIY herbal body butter is an easy way to moisturize your skin.


The benefits of these herbal body butter ingredients

Shea Butter

Shea Butter is rich in nourishing vitamins such as Vitamin A and E, which are supportive to our skin during and post sun exposure. Its emollient properties leave the skin feeling softened and moisturized.

Mango Butter

Mango Butter has skin supportive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties while also having a slightly sweet scent that makes it a lovely addition to skincare recipes.

Kokum Butter

Kokum Butter is a new ingredient I have been experimenting with lately and it can help to thicken a recipe. It is also considered a “dry” butter, meaning it absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving a greasy residue.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba Oil supports our skin’s barrier due to its similar chemical structure. This is important during the summer months because a healthy skin barrier helps to keep our skin hydrated.

Rosehip Seed Oil

Rosehip Seed Oil is gentle enough for nearly any skin type and is loved for its fatty acid and vitamin profile, which supports cellular regeneration.

There are so many herbs you can use in your own herbal body butter. Some of our favorites include rose petals, chamomile, and calendula.


Rose Petals

Rose petals are high in antioxidants that help to protect our skin. They also have emollient properties, which means they soften and soothe, helping our skin to feel silky and hydrated.

Chamomile Flowers

Chamomile flowers are rich in flavonoids, which support the body’s response to inflammation. The aroma also has soothing effects on the nervous system, aiding in a sense of calm and relaxation.

Calendula Flowers

Calendula flowers are known for their wound healing powers. Its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties support the healing process of the epithelial (skin) tissue. Calendula is a favorite among herbalists and skincare enthusiasts!

You can easily add an herbal body butter to your own self care routine.


How to Use an Herbal Body Butter

Now that you have whipped up your herbal Sun Butter, here are some of my favorite ways to use it during the summer months –

  • Before applying my sunscreen, I first apply my Sun Butter all over my body and   face (always test a patch first if you have sensitive skin) as my first layer of protection.
  • If I am going to be on a boat or it is a windy day, I reapply this body butter as it helps against transdermal water loss, which means it can support your skin against dehydration or becoming wind-chapped.
  • After having a day out in the sun, whether I’ve been at the river or in my garden, I use the Sun Butter to help nourish and rejuvenate my skin.

Why I Love Herbal Body Butters

What I love about body butters is that they can be so versatile, they are easy to make at home with everyday kitchen tools, the ingredients are accessible, and I can toss a jar in my river bag for before and after summer sun care.

Isabella DeCredico

Written by Isabella DeCredico

Isabella is an Herbalist, Medicine Maker, gardener, and plant lover. She has a diverse background working in Herbalism from growing and managing medicinal gardens, managing herbal laboratories, herbal skincare product manufacturing, and product formulation. Currently she is Co-Teaching Medicine Making for the California School of Herbal Studies and is an Herbalist and Co-Creator with Earth Allies. For her, herbalism supports us in connecting back to our ancestors, to the earth, and to our creative expression. Her desire is to help inspire and connect others to the simple and daily ways of connecting with plants and ourselves.

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