If you love The Body Shop’s body butters, you are going to love this Cocoa Coconut Emulsified Body Butter! Fragrant coconut oil and cocoa butter star, making up a full 40% of this formulation. This Cocoa Coconut Emulsified Body Butter has much of the richness of a body butter but applies more like a lotion, with a far lighter skin feel and far more thermal stability (this Cocoa Coconut Emulsified Body Butter won’t liquefy on a warm day!). I had a ton of fun developing and testing this formulation (it’s hard work covering oneself in dessert-scented decadence, but I’ve managed 😂), and I hope you love it as much as I do ❤️
Want to watch this project instead of reading it?
The mouthwatering scent of this emulsified body butter comes from two of our star ingredients—cocoa butter and virgin coconut oil. The ones I’ve used are both from Baraka Shea Butter, and yum. The coconut oil, in particular, is fabulous; it’s their “traditional” coconut oil, which is produced differently from regular cold-pressed virgin coconut oil. Some roasting and heating are involved, giving the finished coconut oil the most divine roasted, rich scent, and it’s wonderful. Combine it with the cocoa butter and you’ve got some serious drool-inducing goodness.
The other star ingredient in this Cocoa Coconut Emulsified Body Butter is our emulsifier; Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate. This super-cool ingredient goes by a lot of different names, so I highly recommend checking out the Humblebee & Me DIY Encyclopedia entry on it to learn more—I linked to several places to purchase it in different countries as well. This emulsifier is an absolute must for this formulation—it’s actually the same one The Body Shop uses in their emulsified body butters! You need this emulsifier to make this project.
Our emulsifier makes it possible to have a far larger oil phase than would usually be pleasant in a lotion—larger oil phases need larger amounts of emulsifier, and with thickening emulsifying waxes like Polawax that makes for an ultra-thick, potentially skiddy end product. The naked-ness of Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate means this emulsified body butter is much more like cocoa butter and coconut oil that have just been diluted with some water—a bit lighter, with some added hydration, but not much else. It’s lovely, and the naked-ness of this emulsifier really opens up a whole new world of emulsified possibilities! Please read the Humblebee & Me DIY Encyclopedia post on it; I’ve gone into a lot more detail there.
After those key three ingredients, there’s not much else going on here. I’ve rounded off the oil phase with a bit of cetyl alcohol, which both thickens and adds its slippy, silky goodness to the end product. The water phase is very simple—just water and glycerin—and our preservative is the only ingredient in the cool down phase. This Cocoa Coconut Emulsified Body Butter comes together just like a lotion, so if you’ve made a few lotions in the past you won’t have any trouble here. The finished product is incredibly silky and creamy, and I think you’ll fall in love ❤️
Want to watch this project instead of reading it?
Cocoa Coconut Emulsified Body Butter
Heated oil phase
4.75g | 4.75% Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate (USA / Canada / UK & EU / Australia)
25g | 25% cocoa butter (USA / Canada)
15g | 15% traditional virgin coconut oil (USA / Canada)
5g | 5% cetyl alcohol(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 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 emulsified body butter, starting with short bursts so the still-very-liquid mixture doesn’t whirl up and spray everywhere. Blend for about a minute, leave to cool for ten, blend for another minute or two, and repeat this blend-cool-blend cycle until the outside of the glass measuring cup is barely warm to the touch and the emulsified body butter is thick and creamy.
When the emulsified body butter is cool it’s time to incorporate our cool down phase. 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 master 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 tub or jar for this; I used this one from YellowBee. Use as you would any lotion or body butter. Enjoy!
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this product 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 recipe 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 use propanediol 1,3 instead of vegetable glycerin.
- I do not recommend substituting the Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate, cocoa butter, or coconut oil.
- Using different butters or oils will still work, but will create a very different end product—the cocoa butter and coconut oil are 40% of the product!
- You need this emulsifier. If you don’t have it and don’t want to/can’t purchase it, you will be in re-development territory.
- You can try replacing the cetyl alcohol with more of either the cocoa butter or coconut oil; this will make for a less viscous end product.
- If you’re like to use a different preservative, please review this FAQ and this chart.
- If you’d like to incorporate an essential oil or fragrance oil, please read this.