For a change I have something other than books and movies to write about. Ever since I stopped being able to write opinionated posts (other than on the books I’d read or the movies I’d seen) I thought I was never gonna be able to write about anything else. But this DIY body butter business is one of the most fun things I’ve done in a while and I’m dying to share my Indian version.
When I say Indian version, the process and ingredients essentially remain the same, but it helps to know what is available in India, how readily one can get the ingredients and how well they respond to atmospheric conditions here. This is something I was looking for online when I first decided to try out the recipe, but either I didn’t look hard enough or there really weren’t any Indian recipes available online. So anyway, lets get to it.
First, the ingredients.
But before that, a thought. The idea behind trying to do my own body butter, more than it just being a fun project – which it really really was (and all I want to do is manufacture more!), was essentially to be able to create for myself a chemical free and as organic / natural as possible a product that would be useful and economical. While it feels very lush and indulgent to think about using virgin / organic / cold pressed butters and oils, I wasn’t in the mood to break the bank either – and I am happy to report that I didn’t.
When I finished making the butter, it was almost 200 ml in volume. I used an old Bodyshop body butter jar to store my butter and realized it was a perfect fit. So imagine spending over a 1000 bucks on the same body butter, and its not even half as natural as what you can make for yourself! I don’t know how we’re not putting these cosmetic brands out of business already!!
Ok so back to the ingredients.
- Coconut Oil – I did a bit of research on Amazon.in and Ebay.in and finally chose a 500ml bottle of Max Care Virgin Coconut Oil for INR 280. I’m very happy with it.
- Shea Butter – This was a find! The only place I saw an affordable 100% natural cosmetic grade shea butter option was on Ebay.in by Green Junction. I paid INR 340 for a 100 gram jar.
- Vitamin E Capsules – These are easily available online and my 100 capsule jar came for INR 340. The only detail I missed was that I assumed all Vit E capsules came in oil form, whereas mine came with fine granule filled capsules. At first I was confused if I could use these at all. But I checked online and some other people had the same question, and it works perfectly well too.
- Jojoba Oil – I used one from Soulflower because I already had some lying around, but you can use almond oil or olive oil as well – both of which are kitchen commons in Indian homes.
- Essential Oil – I used Lavender, it was a first for me and it goes very well with the coconut. But you could use any scent of your choice and these are available in abundance online. I got mine for INR 195.
Total cost of ingredients – INR 1155
With the proportions I used, you can easily make enough to last you a season (200 ml) – and the coconut oil and shea butter have enough to see at least another 4 to 5 200ml batches, while the other ingredients wont need a refill for several batches. You do the math 🙂
Ok so, very very basic process. There is no fixed proportion to this, so just go by what looks right to you. Here’s what I did.
Step 1 – Scoop out a measure of the coconut oil and shea butter in a glass bowl. These were almost equal measures but I kept the shea a tad lesser than the coconut. I used a serving ladle for size – the rough equivalent for 1/4 of a cup.
Step 2 – Melt the oil and butter in a double boiler to completely combine. Dont over boil the oil, just enough to melt and blend.
Step 3 – Set the bowl aside to cool. Add granules from two Vit E capsules at this point, so they can dissolve while the oil is warm. Also add a tablespoon of Jojoba Oil and stir.
Once its cool enough, stick it in the fridge. Now, I imagined that it would take about 5 minutes for it to set, considering it was the month of November, but it takes at least 20 minutes for it to solidify and reach a semi hard consistency that is perfect for whipping.
Step 4 – Don’t be impatient like I was, just let it sit for 20 minutes in the fridge, undisturbed, and it will be ready at the right consistency. Before you start whipping, sprinkle 15-20 drops of your essential oil. If you like the smell of coconut as much as I do, don’t over do the oil.
Step 5 – Whip for about 10 t 15 minutes – you will see it turns fluffy and white. Collect the butter to the center of the bowl with a spatula a few times to make sure all the butter is whipped. In my kitchen, the temperatures were a little warm, so I put the bowl in the fridge for 30 seconds and whipped again. The more you whip the more air you get into the butter, the softer and lighter it gets. Honestly, I did not want to stop, but at this point your body butter is as ready as can be.
Tip – don’t worry if your butter gets a bit dense and hard in the Indian winter. That’s natural at temperatures below 15 degrees. The moment it makes contact with your skin it will melt and be ready for use.
Step 6 – Stop whipping and start scooping into that jar and enjoy that glee in your heart 😀
To store: Re-use / re-cycle an old cream jar, especially if its plastic. I’m always afraid of chucking these intact, that they might get picked up and refilled with adulterated products and resold as originals. Or they’ll add to the already huge plastic waste in the environment. So ironically, I reused my Bodyshop olive body butter jar – which I loved, but I love this MORE!!
Oh so much more, I cannot stop smelling my hands.
And finally, treat those feet to some serious coconut love and wrap them in warm mitts!
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. I think the Lavender is getting me trippy!!