Once I discovered cupuaçu butter, it quickly rose to the top of my favourite butters list—especially when it comes to using it neat. While other butters like shea can leave your skin sticky and greasy, cupuaçu is amazingly smooth and silky, sinking into the skin far faster than you’d expect from such a thick butter. It leaves my skin deeply moisturized and happy, and since it absorbs in a flash, I don’t have to avoid hand shakes or handling paper afterwards. So, with autumn around the corner (boo), I thought I’d adapt it into a lotion so I can enjoy its awesomeness in another form.
Cupuaçu butter is pressed from the seeds of the cupuaçu tree, which is native to Brazil. It’s high capacity for water absorption, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties make it a fantastic moisturizer, and a wonderful base for a lotion.
Cupuaçu is related to cocoa, which explains the slight hints of cocoa-y scent you’ll detect in the unrefined version of the butter. I’ve often described the scent of the unrefined butter as a blend of cocoa butter (USA / Canada) and sour milk, and while the scent dissipates quickly on the skin, not everyone is a fan. That’s probably why New Directions has swapped out the unrefined version for a refined, deodorized version in their store.
The final lotion is just lovely. It’s thick yet light, and delivers a fantastic moisturizing punch. The addition of soothing, healing allantoin (USA / Canada) and moisturizing silk helps kick the lotion up another notch.
Cupuaçu & Cardamom Lotion
7g | 0.25oz emulsimulse/ritamulse (or other complete emulsifying wax—not beeswax!)
2g | 0.07oz candelilla wax
16g | 0.56oz cupuaçu butter
72g | 2.5oz water
3g | 0.1oz vegetable glycerine (USA / Canada)
1/4 tsp allantoin (USA / Canada) (optional)
1/4 tsp silk (optional)
5 drops lavender essential oil
5 drops roman chamomile essential oil
2 drops cardamom essential oil
Broad spectrum preservative of choice (why?)
Weigh out the emulsifying wax, candelilla wax, and cupuaçu butter in a small saucepan and melt over medium heat.
While the waxes and butter is melting, combine the water, vegetable glycerine (USA / Canada), allantoin (USA / Canada), and silk in a small glass measuring cup and gently warm.
Once the oils have melted, add the water mixture. Heat through to ensure everything is melted before removing the pan from the heat. Whisk the mixture as it cools—it will thicken into a nice white cream (the thickening may take a few days if you are using a different emulsifying wax from emulimulse/ritamulse).
Whisk in the essential oils and preservative, and decant the mixture to a 120mL/4oz pump-top bottle.
If you don’t have any candelilla wax you can eliminate it and use 18g (0.63oz) of capuacu butter instead—the result will be a slightly thinner lotion.
New to lotion making? Watch my basic lotion how to video!
regarding the preservatives, have you tried Liquid Leucidal? (available at SaffireBlue)
Hi Hilda! I haven’t yet, but I have heard good things 🙂
Hi! May I know is there another names for candellila wax
cupuacu butter, coz I can’t it out.
Thanks a lot
Hi Agnes! The Latin for candellila wax is Euphorbia Cerifera and cupuacu butter is Theobroma grandiflorum. Hope that helps!
Can I use beeswax in place of candellila wax?
You can, but you will have to use a bit more beeswax as it is weaker than candellila, and the textures are different. I’ve done some experiments with them here and here—I’d recommend checking them out to see how they are different 🙂
Hi, I am wondering if BTMS50 or BTMS25 could be substituted for the emulsimulse and which would be the best, in your opinion? Thank you for your input. I love your blog!
Hi Eunice! I haven’t experimented with either ingredient, but from my reading the 50 would be the best choice. There’s a great blog on it here 🙂
I so love all of your recipes and am doing my best to select a few (not very easy) to order the ingredients and jars that I need. Oh, who am I kidding, I want it all. So this one happened to end up on my never ending list. I was wondering if the jar you use here is a 4 oz jar (this oz and stuff is making me confused, I like that you are using normal(!!!) measuring units but when it comes to ordering from the US NDA site I have to go oz and stuff.
Hi Christina! This is a 2oz (60mL) jar. If you’re planning on storing your lotions in jars like this, please, PLEASE get yourself a preservative—they spoil so very quickly out in the open like this, especially with dirty fingers going into the jar. I forgot with this one and never transferred it to a pump top bottle, and it didn’t even last 2 weeks before sprouting a rainbow of mould. Sigh.
Hi Marie, I am a new member here and good to find your blog. Recently I am searching for information about aromatherapy EO. Could you have something about that to share ? Thanks !
Hi Anita! I don’t read much about aromatherapy, and why I do I tend to just Google it and peruse a few different results from whatever floats to the surface 🙂
I love all your recipes and I love reading your blog also. My question is can I use another butter (cupuacu)? I want to make your lotion.
Hi Carol! If you don’t have the ingredients for this lotion, why not take a look at some of my other lotions? I have lots of recipes 🙂
I was wondering if you could substitute comfrey root powder for the allantoin? I tried looking up information on comfrey, but could not find one that answered this question. I know allantoin is in comfrey root, but I didn’t know if it would have the same result when added to make lotions.
Hi Michelle! It’s definitely worth trying, though I am afraid I cannot give you much guidance on the amount to try. I would highly recommend that you add a preservative, though, as I find added herbs cause lotion to spoil extra fast.
Can you tell me where you purchase silk protein powder?
Hi Robin! Both my main suppliers sell silk, just scroll up to the big box above the comments section 🙂
Oh boy, do I need to use a preservative for all the lotions and creams? I have finally received the Jasmine oil, the last ingredient I ordered. I got some of the cupuacu butter, sweet almond oil, argan oil, magnesium flakes and coconut oil. For therapeutic oils I got ylang ylang, Clarey Sage, Bergamot, Sweet Orange and the Jasmine. I was going to make a magnesium lotion and use the Jasmine and Clarey Sage to scent it. Do I need to have one of the waxes to stabilize it and a preservative as well?
I chat about preservatives in the FAQ 🙂 You will need emulsifying wax, not just any ol’ wax as well.
I eventually caught that. LOL I have since devoured all the FAQ’s and I’m organized to try my first oil based lotion/body butter tomorrow. I can’t wait.
I have loved reading all your recipes and I can’t wait to try them all. I’m so glad I found your blog. You have really inspired me. I’ve gone through your list of the basic things to have and I’ve ordered a few more items I didn’t have like the shea butter and cocoa butter and of course the emulsefying wax. I decided to go with the kaolin clay rather than the green clay, since I don’t really have break out problems but rather those unsightly brown spots. Thanks again, Marie for such a great blog.
🙂 I just re-vamped my FAQ section, so feel free to request any Q’s that aren’t up there as well!
Thanks so much for reading, supporting, and DIYing with me 🙂
I see “silk” and was wondering if it’s silk peptide or silk protein powder… OR are these the same thing? I have silk peptide. Any help is appreciated, thanks!
I wrote an FAQ on this 🙂
Rock on and thank you!
This is a good one!! All that beautiful cupuacu butter and the scent makes for a great lotion.
Make this, Ladies! And any gentlemen out there. Mmmmmmmm mmmmmmmm.
Thanks, Cristie! 😀
Hi, Marie: Would your recipe work with a raw cupuacu or does the butter need to be refined? Thanks. Collee.
It will work with raw, but the scent of raw will definitely come through in the end product, which you may or may not love 😉