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 ❤️
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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 ❤️
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Cocoa Coconut Emulsified Body Butter
Heated water phase
44.75g | 44.75% distilled water
5g | 5% vegetable glycerine (USA / Canada)
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)
Cool down phase
0.5g | 0.5% Liquid Germall Plus™ (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.
The jar was gifted by YellowBee. The cocoa butter and coconut oil were gifted by Baraka Shea Butter. The Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate gifted by Mystic Moments.
Thank you for producing such fantastic content!
Regarding this recipe you share with us, I understand from your post that subbing the Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate to Emulsifying Wax NF could potentially end up creating a whole oilier more skiddy product.
So to make an effective butter, do you think I should reduce the amounts of cocoa butter and coconut to make room for the Emulsifying Wax NF?
Thanks for the advice!
Hello! If you can’t get the emulsifier I used, this formulation is the closest thing I have with a more typical ewax. Happy making!
This sounds beautiful. How does this hold up after some time? I live in the Caribbean and wondering if this will hold well or would I need to add xanthan gum.
It should be fine—I suspect it will do better for you and your warm climate than it has through the Canadian winter 🙂 Happy making!
Also have this question! I only have Polawax and would like to use it up before ordering a diff product !
Hi, if I wanted to add a fragrance/ essential oil would I reduce the water by the % I wanted to add?
Yup! You can read this FAQ for more info 🙂
They are so SO different—I’m really serious when I state in the blog post and the video that you cannot make this formulation without this exact emulsifier. I highly recommend having both Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate and Polawax on hand—for a good analogy, saying you want to finish your polawax before ordering Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate is kind of like saying you want to finish all your blueberries before buying carrots 🙂 Similar things, sure, but not interchangeable and having both around is a good thing!
the Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate, can i substitute it for Silk Emulsifying wax? i cant find yours in my region and i would love to have this body butter.
Hello! As per the blog post, you need this emulsifier to make this project. If you can’t get it, this formulation is the closest thing I have with a more typical ewax. Happy making!
Ohhhhhh…. nice! I love working with oodles of cocoa butter in my winter emulsified body butters!!!!!
Hilarious when I first went on about it I was told that that much cocoa butter in my body butters wouldn’t be stable! Gotta give it a go and try olivem1000… and use a dry touch butter… feels like water on your skin!!!!
I’m still hoarding the one you gave me back in 2018 ❤️ It’s amazing!
I found Lotionpro 165 which appear to be the same as Glyceryl Stereate but I also found this information and got scare.
This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. Please refer to Section 15 of the SDS for the most current information.
Is it really safe to use it?
Araceli, what you are seeing is a Proposition 65 warning and you’ll see it on what feels like basically everything sold in California. I wouldn’t worry too much about it. You can find more information here:
If you have concerns about a specific ingredient, you can look it up and find more information.
I am looking to try this recipe with shea butter instead. Is there a reason you chose cocoa butter? Or should i just experiment with it?
For a food analogy, that’s a bit like asking “why did you choose peanut butter for a PB&J sandwich” 🙂 You certainly COULD use a different butter (in the sandwich or this formulation), but that ingredient is pretty integral to the theme of the thing you’re making! I have made several things using lots of shea and this emulsifier and they have been loooooovely ❤️ Happy making!
It is safe; the chemical in question is a very well known potential contaminant and is very carefully monitored and controlled in the world of cosmetic ingredients 🙂
Hi Marie! I made this two days ago… the day of it was rich and creamy and luxurious… two days later it’s the consistency of a regular body butter… totally bummed! Is it supposed to stay thick liquid? What did I do wrong? I did swap out the coconut oil for mango butter as I generally find it less greasy
I would suspect your swap as the problem—mango butter has a much higher melting point and a very different skin feel than coconut oil 🙂
Dammit! I thought I had this emulsifier, but it’s actually Glyceryl Stearate & Potassium Stearate (from New Directions Australia). It calls itself a self-emulsifying wax, but I’m thinking that won’t be the same thing, right? Do you think it would work?
Actually I went to New Directions’ website and I can see they sell both, and how they are different. I nearly bought the other one but it was more expensive! Might grab a small amount with my next order.
Definitely do! 😀
Update! Found it quite cheaply at Trulux (a great lesser-known site for my Aussie friends), so will be whipping this up today to send to my mum.
Hooray! ❤️ And thanks for the tip on the supplier, I’ve added them to my list!
It won’t create the same end product, you Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate 🙂
I have pleasure in becoming your patreon!
My cream has 50% oils and 5% Shea butter and about 25% aloe Vera gel. The problem I have is that the oil is separating from the cream when it is warm. How can I resolve this problem?
I’ll reply to your message on Patreon 🙂
Hello again Marie,
I am sooo in love with this formula and the discovering of this emulsifier… I really really hope you continue formulating with it and show us other wonderful projects using Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate. I bought it with the name of Arlacel.
Many thanks and many greetings to you!!!
I definitely will be sharing tons of stuff using this emulsifier in the future! I’ve already got something set for early next month 😀 Thanks for DIYing with me, and happy making 🙂
Guess who just realized they have been using Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate in all the formulas that call for Glyceryl Stearate SE? (Spoiler, it’s me)
At least I think so?
Ha, whoops! That page is down right now, but if your products typically ended up much thinner than mine, then yeah, that’s probably right 🙂
Well, this is getting me closer to replicating the Maestro’s Beard Butter recipe I sent you! At least you’re using the same primary emulsifiers in this recipe. Was the recipe I sent you an inspiration for this body butter? 🙂 Well, either way, thanks for sharing another recipe, especially one that may help me in my quest to create something similar to the above mentioned beard butter for my bearded man!!
It wasn’t at all—I was thinking more of emulsified body butters from The Body Shop 🙂 Thanks for DIYing with me, and happy making!
hi sweet lady,
what ph should i target with this recipe pls
No need to target any pH; it is all good when made as written.
Hello. Can I substitute vegetable glycerin with Sodium lactate?
That should work 🙂
Marie – this butter is the bomb! The best recipe I ever used! I made this version plus another and added peppermint essential oil for a chocolate mint scent. Amazing! It’s everything you said it would be and more…….
HOORAY! I am SO thrilled to hear that you are loving it ❤️ Thanks for DIYing with me, and happy making 🙂
Hi, I looooove your work.
I live in Mexico and I found the Glyceryl Stearate and PEG-100 Stearate sold separetedly.
Can I just buy the two ofthe them and mix them? At what ratio?
Maybe? The Humblebee & Me DIY Encyclopedia (https://www.humblebeeandme.com/diy-encyclopedia/) entry discusses ratios 🙂 Happy making!
Can I add sugar to this recipe to make a sugar scrub?
No; the sugar will dissolve in the water. Please search my site for the many many sugar scrub formulations I have shared 🙂
First off, I LOVE your site and all your posts Marie – you are so helpful and fun! Second, like a lot of people I’m sure I purchased this emuslifier for this formula and WOW. LOVE. I substituted the butters for cupuacu, mango and Kokum but there is a totally different feel with this emulsifier. So glad you introduced it and I look forward to more suggestions from you!! Thanks so much
Hooray! I’m so glad you are loving it ❤️ It will definitely be making more appearances in 2021!
Would you be able to tell me which scale you are using in the pictures? It looks more like the ones I’ve used in school and I would like to purchase one. Thank you!
Please refer to the “Precision Scale” entry in the Humblebee & Me DIY Encyclopedia for details 🙂
Thanks again for all you wonderful formulations, Marie.
I made this today, changed things up a bit to make a beautiful, rich, non-greasy body butter. I didn’t have the recommended emulsifier, But really liked the idea of a rich Sheanut body butter~ So I used 6%BTMS-25 for a soft powdery feel ( I usually use Polawax) and reduced the Cetyl Alcohol to 3%. I used Shea butter instead of cocoa butter at 22%, 15% Coconut oil ~ I added 2%Cromoist Hydrolized oatmeal, 2.5%Propendiol 1.3 instead of Veg Glycerine and added 3% Luxglide, used Geogard instead of Liquid Germal Plus. I used sweet orange for scent and .5%Seabuckthorn for color.
At first it felt greasy and then after it soaked into my skin, it felt completely non-greasy with a soft powdery feel. For all that Sheabutter I used, it’s amazing how light this body butter is. I thought it would turn out greasy.
It’s not the same product as yours but it sure turned out amazing.
I’m so thrilled you created something you love ❤️ Thanks for DIYing with me, and happy making 🙂
I’m desperate to make this product, but am having a heck of a time finding the Glyceryl Stearate and PEG-100 Stearate in New Zealand! I don’t particularly want to order from Australia as shipping from there is taking 1-3 months at the moment, but I will if I need to.
Here is what I’m able to source in New Zealand:
Glycerol Monostearate – Self Emulsifying (SE)
My question is, are either of these products close to what I need, or could I just add another emulsifier in to make up for the PEG-100 part haha?
Thanks so much, love your recipes!!!
Nope, neither will work—I really wasn’t kidding when I said it HAS to be Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate 🙂 You could try the “just add another emulsifier in to make up for the PEG-100 part” thing, but you’d be on your own there. Fingers crossed shipping doesn’t take too long!
I don’t have Cetyl Alcohol… please help me with a substitute and how much? I’m really interested in making this! TIA
This is addressed in the substitutions list right here in the post 🙂
Hello I wanted to know if I can use this recipe but leave out the water phase. I really do not want to add water will add the preservatives any suggestion
Hey! So, that’s like trying to make roast beef without the beef. The entire formulation is structured around the inclusion of water. Eliminating it will fundamentally and irreversibly change absolutely everything. There is no way to make “this” without water—if you drop the water, you aren’t making anything even remotely close to “this” anymore. Perhaps check out this formulation as an alternative? It’s not the same at all, but it stands on its own 🙂
I am seeing you the link for purchasing the wax etc you used is from the Uk and I’m presuming that you can’t get it in Canada?
Thanks again for all the info, an amazing blog and you tube channel. I am learning so much from you and am so thankful I found your blog and channel!
Thank you again!
Hi Tracy! Read the formulation—there is a “Canada” link right next to the emulsifier 😉 Happy making!
Okay, so, this is the first thing I’ve made using this emulsifier and I gotta be honest, I was a little skeptical due to the large percentage of cocoa butter…I even planned on adding some IPM to counteract the expected greasiness but figured I should make it “as-is” first..and whoa!! I am totally blown away at how quickly this butter sinks into my skin and none of the greasy feeling I expected!! This emulsifier definitely lives up to everything I’ve read about it and I can’t wait to try it in some of my other formulas in place of other emulsifiers. Thanks Marie for always sharing great formulas and inspiring me to continue on my skincare-making journey!
YAY! I am so thrilled you’re loving it and were pleasantly surprised 🙂 The “naked-ness” of this emulsifier is truly remarkable when you’re used to something like Polawax! Have fun with your continued experiments and happy making.
Hi! If I wanted to make this emulsified butter but wanted it to be a tad more oily when it first makes contact with the skin (but then absorbs quickly) , what would you recommend?
I’d shift the fat balance more towards coconut oil 🙂 Happy making!
Hi! I have done this several times now and i LOVE it!! such a great idea, love the smell, the feel, everything!
My only question is whether anyone had issues with it going a little hard (almost glue-like, but not sticky!) after a while. I used the exact recipe, only replaced the preservative (used cosgard, as that is what i had) and kept it in a closed jar at all times.
I’m also having the same issue. I made mine exactly as written and the first week it was lovely and soft, but now has gone a bit hard (about the consistency of play-dough). Still absorbs really well, still feels amazing on my skin, just getting it out of the container is a different experience.
I have a question that I hope won’t be too time consuming for you. I want to find your most slippy, rich and decadent emulsified body butter in your list of formulations. This will be for a friend who is undergoing chemo. I have made some, but not all of your formulations, so I don’t feel qualified to identify the most soothing body butter for someone who has sore skin much of the time. I’ve got my eye on your Cocoa Coconut Emulsified body butter, as well as your Shealoe butter. So I guess what I’m really asking is, do you think you could identify a few of your formulations that you feel would apply really easily, with no drag on the skin and provide a good amount of moisture? I don’t expect you to go to a lot of trouble for this. But if something stands out in your memory as being really great for sore skin, that’s good enough for me! Thank you so much! I really appreciate your hard work for the benefit of all of us. 🙂 Lisa
I’d choose this one 🙂 https://www.humblebeeandme.com/soothing-facial-lotion/
which oil would you recommend next to cocoa butter instead of coconut oil ?
What sounds good to you? What do you have? Use that 🙂
Hey Marie, you’re fast becoming my favourite formulator! Plus, you’re a fellow Canadian! (I’m in Nova Scotia) Question about this recipe: I made the 100g version and it came out gorgeous – no greasy residue at all and I was really pleased. But today I made 6 x 100 g jars and it turned out quite greasy! My arms were oily for quite a long time after I applied the product. The only thing that was different was the coconut oil: the first time, I used Nutriva refined organic coconut oil, and for the larger batch I used Baraka traditional virgin coconut oil. That’s all I can think of that was different … any ideas? And how can I avoid the greasy afterfeel in the future? I really don’t like that in a body butter. Thank you!
Is it possible to sub the water portion for rose hydrosol, by chance? also, could i add aloe juice to this mixture? I know it would chance the scent a little bit, but I’m curious to try it all out for deeper hydration
Thank you so much!
Hello! Would it be possible to increase the ratio of glycerine in the formula? Maybe even doubling or tripling the amount of glycerine in the water phase (substituted for the water, obviously)? I’m hoping for as rich of an emulsified butter as I can. My skin also reacts very well to glycerine and I’d like to switch to an emulsified lotion rather than dipping my fingers into coconut oil that doesn’t contain a preservative. Also would it affect the preparation if I substituted the distilled water for a hydrosol? Thank you so much for providing this wealth of information! Have a good day 🙂
I’m wanting to make a coffee emulsified butter. Do you think soaking coffee beans in the coconut oil during the heated phase would work?
I hade this recipe today for the first time and followed the direcitons exactly. The end product smells divine, and has a wonderfully thick consistency. However, am finding that skin feel is a bit greasy, and takes quite a bit of time to absorb. A bit different than store bought Body Shop Body butters. Can you explain? Did I do something wrong? (We did not make any subsittutions, even with Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate).
Thanks so much!
Hello and thank you for all the great content!
i have a question related to an anhydrous whipped butter that i would like to make more resitant to higher temperatures. Can you please recomend me an emulsifier – or more, cause i cant really get most ingredients you use in my country 🙁
Hi! Why do you want an emulsifier for an anhydrous product? Emulsifiers are for combining oil and water; if there’s no water (and it isn’t a cleanser, and it doesn’t sound like this is), there’s no reason at all to include an emulsifier.
For temperature resistance, please read this 🙂
I made this today exactly as written. It was my first body butter of any kind and I love it. Your formulas are always so easy to follow and I always love the end product. I can see much more of this butter in my future. Thank you.