We’re continuing our Almond Oat theme today with this perfect-for-autumn Almond Oat Emulsified Body Butter ❤️ Silky almond oil and rich shea butter star in the oil phase, with moisturizing and soothing oaty goodness from colloidal oatmeal and hydrolyzed oat protein. This emulsified body butter is a happy medium between lighter emulsions, like lotions and creams, and heavier anhydrous products like body butters and balms. It’s perfect for the darker, cooler days that are setting in here in Calgary. Let’s get emulsified!
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The almondy part of this Almond Oat formulation is sweet almond oil; a fairly substantial 10%! If you don’t have it (or you’re looking to make a nut-free formulation), you can easily swap it for a different carrier oil like apricot kernel oil, safflower oil, sunflower seed oil, or grapeseed oil. The other star ingredient in our oil phase is rich and creamy shea butter. I used unrefined shea butter, but you can definitely use refined shea butter if that’s what you have.
I thickened this Almond Oat Emulsified Body Butter with a blend of stearic acid and cetyl alcohol. I have used cetearyl alcohol in similar formulations in the past year and have often said you could swap it for a blend of cetyl and stearic if you didn’t have it; this time I’m doing the opposite! I think an equal parts blend is a wee bit less slippy than cetearyl alcohol—2% stearic acid & 4% cetyl alcohol would probably be closer to the feel of cetearyl alcohol. Anywho, I like it at 3% + 3%, but if you want to make a slightly slippier version you could use cetearyl alcohol for the full 6% or make the swap to 2% stearic acid & 4% cetyl alcohol.
The oaty part of the theme comes from two ingredients; soothing colloidal oatmeal and moisturizing hydrolyzed oat protein. I’ve put the colloidal oatmeal in the heated oil phase as it tends to turn into a sludgy porridge if heated with the heated oil phase. You definitely can put it in the water phase if you want to, but I find it’s a bit less messy to put it in the oil phase.
Our emulsifier is the wonderfully versatile Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate; because it doesn’t thicken and emulsify (like Polawax and other similar emulsifiers do), we can control thickening separately. This is awesome for all kinds of projects, but in this formulation, it’s what allows us to have a fairly large oil phase while keeping the emulsion to a spreadable cream consistency. You can’t use a thickening emulsifying wax instead of Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate for this formulation; learn more with the Humblebee & Me DIY Encyclopedia entry on it!
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Relevant links & further reading
- Vegetable Glycerin in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Panthenol (Vitamin B5) in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Sweet Almond Oil in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Shea Butter in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Stearic Acid in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Cetyl Alcohol in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Colloidal Oatmeal in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Liquid Germall Plus in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Hydrolyzed Oat Protein in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Tocopherol (Vitamin E) in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Super Simple Moisturizing Lotion with Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate
- How much essential oil can I add to this recipe?
- Preservatives + Shelf Life in the Humblebee & Me FAQ
- More Almond Oat formulations:
Almond Oat Emulsified Body Butter
Heated oil phase
3g | 3% Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate (USA / Canada / UK & EU / Australia)
10g | 10% sweet almond oil (USA / Canada)
7g | 7% unrefined shea butter (USA / Canada)
3g | 3% stearic acid (USA / Canada / UK)
3g | 3% cetyl alcohol (USA / Canada)
2.5g | 2.5% colloidal oatmeal (USA / Canada)
Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3cm/1″ of water to a bare simmer over low to medium-low heat in a wide, flat-bottomed sauté pan.
Weigh the heated water phase into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup or glass beaker. Weigh the entire lot (measuring cup + ingredients) and note that weight for use later. Weigh the heated oil phase into a second heat-resistant glass measuring cup. Place both measuring cups in your prepared water bath to melt everything through.
After about 20–30 minutes the oil part should be completely melted (though the colloidal oatmeal won’t melt—don’t worry about that!) and the water part should be thoroughly dissolved. Remove the water bath from the heat and weigh the water phase. Add enough hot distilled water to the heated water phase to bring the weight back up to what it was before heating, and then pour the water part into the oil part. Stir with a flexible silicone spatula to incorporate.
Grab your immersion blender and begin blending the lotion, starting with short bursts so the still-very-liquid lotion doesn’t whirl up and spray everywhere. Blend for about a minute and then switch to occasional hand-stirring until the outside of the glass measuring cup is barely warm to the touch and the lotion is thick and creamy.
When the lotion is cool it’s time to incorporate our cool down ingredients. Because cool down ingredients are typically present at very low amounts you’ll need to use an accurate scale—preferably one accurate to 0.01g. As these more accurate scales tend to have fairly low (100–200g) maximum weights you won’t be able to put the entire batch of lotion on that scale without blowing it out. So—grab a smaller dish. Add a scoop or two of lotion, and then weigh the cool down ingredients into that, using the more accurate scale. Stir to thoroughly incorporate, and then stir all of that back into the master batch of lotion. Doing it this way minimizes the amount of cool down ingredients lost to the secondary container.
Once the cool down phase has been incorporated, all that’s left to do is package it up! You’ll want a wide-mouthed tub or jar for this formulation as it’s very thick. I used a 100mL (3.3fl oz) frosted plastic jar with a screw-top lid from YellowBee (gifted).
Use as you’d use any body lotion or body butter. Enjoy!
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this emulsified body butter contains water, you must include a broad-spectrum preservative to ward off microbial growth. This is non-optional. Even with a preservative, this project may eventually spoil as our kitchens are not sterile laboratories, so in the event you notice any change in colour, scent, or texture, chuck it out and make a fresh batch.
As always, be aware that making substitutions will change the final product. While these swaps won’t break the recipe, you will get a different final product than I did.
- As I’ve provided this formulation in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using a simple spreadsheet as I’ve explained in this post. As written in grams this recipe will make 100g.
- To learn more about the ingredients used in this formulation, including why they’re included and what you can substitute them with, please visit the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia. It doesn’t have everything in it yet, but there’s lots of good information there! If I have not given a specific substitution suggestion in this list please look up the ingredient in the encyclopedia before asking.
- You could try 5% Propanediol 1,3 and another 5% water as an alternative to glycerin.
- You MUST use Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate. A thickening emulsifying wax like Polawax, Emulsifying Wax NF, or Olivem 1000 will not work.
- You can substitute another lightweight oil like grapeseed or sunflower seed instead of sweet almond oil.
- You can use refined or unrefined shea butter; mango butter or murumuru butter would make good alternatives.
- You can try Cetearyl Alcohol to replace the blend of cetyl alcohol and stearic acid.
- I don’t recommend substituting the colloidal oatmeal.
- If you’re like to use a different preservative, please review this FAQ and this chart.
- You can replace hydrolyzed oats with a different hydrolyzed protein (rice, baobab, quinoa).
- If you’d like to incorporate an essential oil, please read this.
The plastic tub and almond oil were gifted by YellowBee.
The shea butter was gifted by Baraka Shea Butter. Links to Baraka Shea Butter are affiliate links.
The Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate was gifted by Mystic Moments.