These charming Green & Gold Body Butter Bars star two anti-inflammatory plant oils and one of my favourite soft butters for a beautiful skin-nourishing treat with a silky, non-greasy skin feel. You can make these bars as stand-alone things or package them in push-up tubes if you prefer—it’s up to you!
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The star oil in these Green & Gold Body Butter Bars is deep green unrefined hemp seed oil. Not only does this oil give these bars their lovely green colour, but it’s also rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and anti-inflammatory properties! This is also where the bulk of the scent of these bars comes from—it’s a soft grassy scent that I find quite pleasant. If you want to add any essential oils to this formulation you can add them with the vitamin E, reducing the hemp seed oil or oat oil to make room for them. Just be sure to follow maximum usage rates for the individual oils and the overall formulation 😊
Skin-soothing rich oat oil and richly moisturizing cupuaçu butter complement the hemp seed oil. If you haven’t tried cupuaçu butter yet, I highly recommend it as the skin feel is divine. It’s very smooth and leaves an almost siliconey finish on the skin. I used unrefined cupuaçu butter from Lavida Oils (gifted) for this formulation, and it’s lovely—I think their cupuaçu smells less sour/tangy than other unrefined versions I’ve tried and leans more towards the cocoa-y side of things.
To keep things on the lighter, slippy-er, faster-absorbing side of things, I opted to solidify these bars with fatty thickeners. I’ve used a blend of slippy, satiny cetyl alcohol and rich, creamy stearic acid. If you don’t have both, I think a blend of 30/70 cetearyl alcohol should work as an alternative, though you may need to do a bit of tweaking to get the melting point just right. If you live somewhere quite hot you’ll probably need to use a bit more hardener, reducing the liquid oils to make room. As written, these bars can be made free standing using a silicone mould or can be poured into a push-up/twist-up tube if that’s what you prefer.
The last ingredients are a wee bit of vitamin E to extend the shelf life of the bars, and a tiny sprinkle of (optional) gold mica. The mica is best suited for the standalone/mould approach; simply sprinkle a tiny amount of mica over the bottom of your mould (go ahead and let it be uneven—that looks lovely!) and then pour the liquid bar mixture over that shimmery sprinkle. You’ll be rewarded with a shimmery, irregular topping on the bars that I think looks beautiful. If you’re pouring the bar into a tube, skip the shimmer.
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Relevant links & further reading
- Oat Oil in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Cetyl Alcohol in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Stearic Acid in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Cupuacu Butter in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Hemp Seed Oil in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Tocopherol (Vitamin E) in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Coloured Mica in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- A Guide to Carrier Oil Substitutions
- Preservatives + Shelf Life in the Humblebee & Me FAQ
Green & Gold Body Butter Bars
Gold mica, as needed to decorate (optional)
Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3cm/1″ of water to a bare simmer over low to medium-low heat in a small saucepan.
While the heated phase melts, sprinkle the bottom of your mould (if you’re doing a moulded bar rather than one in a push-up tube) with a wee bit of gold mica. This part is optional, but pretty! I used a silicone honeycomb mold (USA / Canada).
After about 20–30 minutes everything should be completely melted through. Remove the water bath from the heat, remove the measuring cup from the water bath, and dry it off with a dishtowel. Set the measuring cup on a towel or hot pad to insulate it from the counter and stir the mixture with a flexible silicone spatula to combine everything. Slowly add the hemp seed oil, stirring to combine.
Once the mixture has cooled a wee bit, add the vitamin E, stir to combine, and pour the mixture into your mould. Carefully carry the mould to the freezer to set up.
When the bars have frozen solid you can gently unmould them, and that’s it! I do recommend storing/gifting these bars in an appropriately sized tin or jar so the end user has somewhere to keep it between uses. A body butter bar that’s left out on a table or counter tends to pick up lots of hair and lint over time, and that’s kind of gross. I prefer tins over plastic bags as they do a better job of protecting the bar and the bar doesn’t get laminated to a tin in quite the same way as it does with a plastic bag. You could also pour these bars into a push-up stick/tube type package, and then freeze those.
To use, smooth some body butter over bits of skin that need some extra love. Enjoy!
Shelf Life & Storage
Because these body butter bars 100% oil-based, they does not require a broad-spectrum preservative (broad spectrum preservatives ward off microbial growth, and microbes require water to live—no water, no microbes!). Kept reasonably cool and dry, they should last at least a year before any of the oils go rancid. If you notice a bar starts to smell like old nuts or crayons, that’s a sign that the oils have begun to oxidize; chuck it out and make a fresh batch if that happens.
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 30g. How many bars this will make depends entirely on how big the bars are!
- 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 a different rich oil that your skin loves instead of oat oil
- You could try 30/70 cetearyl alcohol instead of the blend of cetyl alcohol and stearic acid I used.
- You can try a different soft butter like Shea Butter or Mango Butter instead of cupuaçu butter, but this will change the melting point and skin feel of the bar and you may need to do some re-development work.
- I don’t recommend swapping out the hemp seed oil as it’s pretty darn integral to the formulation. You could use a different liquid oil, but you’ll be making a fundamentally different formulation.
- If you’d like to incorporate an essential oil, please read this.
The cetyl alcohol, stearic acid, and black tin shown in the video were gifted by YellowBee.
The cupuaçu butter was gifted by Lavida Oils
The hemp seed oil was gifted by Plant’s Power.
The oat oil was gifted by Bramble Berry.
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