I’m sharing this decadent Chocolate Hazelnut Emulsified Body Butter formulation to celebrate World Nutella Day, which falls on February 5. It’s definitely the sort of holiday I can get behind 🤤 This formulation is a Bee Better update to a 2014’s Chocolate Hazelnut Body Lotion; it’s softer, richer, includes more of the star ingredients, and features a vegan collagen alternative to help moisturize and rejuvenate the skin. Swoon!
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The biggest difference between this 2022 Chocolate Hazelnut Emulsified Body Butter and the 2014 version is the emulsifier; I’m using the oh-so-wonderful Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate. The 2014 version used Ritamulse SCG (also known as Emulsimulse + ECOMulse), which is a lovely emulsifier, but unlike Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate, it thickens our emulsions. The larger the oil phase, the more emulsifier you need—and the thicker your end product gets. Since Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate doesn’t thicken our emulsions, it leaves us able to choose how our emulsions are thickened. I took the opportunity to use more cocoa butter than the original formulation included (plus a bit of cetearyl alcohol) and create a softer, scoopy-er end product that’s still rich and decadent.
We get the chocolate part of this formulation from some highly fragrant Baraka cocoa butter (gifted) and a wee big of cocoa absolute. The result is an utterly mouthwatering cocoa scent. Our hazelnutty goodness comes from some ultralight hazelnut oil. I used a cold-pressed cosmetic grade hazelnut oil that doesn’t smell like much of anything, but you could try a food grade toasted hazelnut oil if you want a nutty scent to your Chocolate Hazelnut Emulsified Body Butter! Hazelnut oil is said to help tighten the skin, and I love how light and non-greasy it is.
I had some fun with the cool down phase and included a new-to-me vegan collagen alternative from Voyaguer (gifted) called Natra CollaV. It’s a blend of hydrolyzed proteins and amino acids that has been blended to mimic animal collagen—neat! Voyaguer says “Natra CollaV fortifies the skin barrier for maximum protection and improves skin moisturization; smoothing & rejuvenating for younger looking skin.” If you don’t have it, feel free to use a hydrolyzed protein or two instead.
A bit of dark brown mica gives this formulation its chocolatey appearance. It’s not enough to leave dark streaks on your skin unless you use a ton—I did end up with some dark areas after repeatedly applying the body butter to my forearms for the video. You can leave the mica out if you want; just replace it with more water. I don’t recommend using more than I did.
Making this Chocolate Hazelnut Emulsified Body Butter is nice and easy—heat, blend, stir, and then resist the urge to lick the spatula 🤣 Let’s dive in!
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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
- Hazelnut Oil in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Cocoa Butter in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Cetearyl Alcohol in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Xanthan Gum in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Liquid Germall Plus in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Tocopherol (Vitamin E) in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Coloured Mica in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Other emulsified body butter formulations:
- How long will ______ last? What is its shelf life?
- A Guide to Carrier Oil Substitutions
- A Quick Guide to Cetearyl Alcohol & Liquid Oil Ratios
- A Quick Guide to Cocoa Butter & Liquid Oil Ratios
Chocolate Hazelnut Emulsified Body Butter
Heated water phase
59.8g | 59.8% distilled water
5g | 5% vegetable glycerine (USA / Canada)
2g | 2% panthenol powder (vitamin B5) (USA / Canada)
Heated oil phase
3g | 3% Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate (USA / Canada / UK & EU / Australia)
13g | 13% hazelnut oil (USA / Canada)
8g | 8% cocoa butter (USA / Canada)
3g | 3% cetearyl alcohol (USA / Canada)
0.2g | 0.2% xanthan gum
Cool down phase
0.5g | 0.5% Liquid Germall Plus™ (USA / Canada)
g | 4% Natra CollaV
0.2g | 0.2% cocoa absolute (USA / Canada)
0.3g | 0.3% Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada)
1g | 1% chocolately mica
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 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 emulsion doesn’t whirl up and spray everywhere. Blend for about a minute before switching to hand stirring. You’ll need to be fairly diligent with the stirring at first, but once the mixture has thickened up a bit and is uniform you can switch to stirring occasionally. Once the outside of the glass measuring cup is just warm to the touch (40°C or cooler, if you have a thermometer) we’re ready to proceed.
Now 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 emulsified body butter on that scale without blowing it out. So—grab a smaller dish. Add a scoop or two of emulsified body butter, 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 parent batch of emulsified body butter. 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 to use a wide-mouthed jar or tub for this formulation. I used this one for the blog post and this one in the video; both gifted from YellowBee.
To use, smooth the body butter over your skin. Enjoy—and do not eat 😝
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this formulation 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 can try Propanediol 1,3 instead of vegetable glycerin.
- You can replace the Panthenol (Vitamin B5) with more glycerin.
- Do not substitute the Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate; it is essential to the formulation. If you don’t have it, make the 2014 version instead.
- You can substitute another lightweight oil like sweet almond, walnut oil, grapeseed oil, or sunflower seed instead of the hazelnut oil. I think a nut oil is the best choice for the theme, but you can easily use something else.
- I don’t recommend swapping out the cocoa butter as it’s key to the theme.
- You could try cetyl alcohol instead of cetearyl alcohol.
- You can replace the xanthan gum with a different gum/gelling ingredient (Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polyacrylate crosspolymer-6 (Sepimax ZEN)). You can also replace it with more distilled water.
- If you’re like to use a different preservative, please review this FAQ and this chart.
- You can replace the Natra CollaV with a hydrolyzed protein (oat, rice, baobab, quinoa).
- If you’d like to incorporate a different essential oil, please read this.
- If you’d like to use a fragrance oil instead of the essential oil, please read this. There are lots of lovely chocolate-y ones to choose!
- You can drop the mica and replace it with more water. I don’t recommend using more mica than 1% as you’ll start to stray into “leaving dark streaks on your skin and clothes” territory.
The containers, glycerin, and Liquid Germall™ Plus were gifted by YellowBee.
The cocoa butter was gifted by Baraka Shea Butter. Links to Baraka Shea Butter are affiliate links.
The Natra CollaV was gifted by Voyageur Soap & Candle.
The Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate was gifted by Mystic Moments.
Links to Amazon are affiliate links.
Curious if anyone has made this without using the xanthan gum and how it came out. Wondering how this contributes to the texture of the lotion as I find it usually adds a sticky, stringy texture even in really small amounts.
Hi Marie, made the Chocolate Hazelnut emulsified body butter and it is lovely! I did make a couple of substitutions – used food grade roasted hazelnut oil, baobab hydrolyzed protein in place of the Natra CollaV, and Chocolate Ganache fragrance oil from Bramble Berry in place of the cocoa absolute. It smells so yummy! I applied it this morning and I can still faintly smell it this evening.