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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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