Today’s Oat Cardamom Chai Emulsified Body Butter smells just like a warm, sweet chai latte and is a beautiful treat for your skin. Its thick, glossy loveliness is reminiscent of whipped body butter, but you’ll find it’s far lighter—a moisturizing mid-point between body butter and body lotion. Dollop this sweet and spicy Oat Cardamom Chai Emulsified Body Butter into a jar and treat yourself 😍
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I’ve kept the heated water phase very simple; it’s just distilled water and moisturizing vegetable glycerin. There is some soothing colloidal oatmeal in this formulation as well, but I opted to put that in the heated oil phase so it doesn’t transform into gloppy porridge when heated (that’s what happens if you heat it in the water phase).
The oil phase stars sweet almond oil, which seemed fitting for a latte-inspired formulation. If you don’t have it you can very easily substitute a different lightweight carrier oil like apricot kernel oil, safflower oil, or sunflower seed oil. I included a bit of shea butter for some added creaminess, and cetearyl alcohol to thicken. Because our emulsifier, Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate, doesn’t thicken formulations, we need a solid dose of some sort of thickener to ensure this emulsified body butter has a rich, thick consistency. I chose cetearyl alcohol because it contributes a creamy, fluffy richness to our formulations; it’s a lovely middle ground thickener. Not too waxy, not too slippy—it’s just right.
Our scent comes from a new Bramble Berry fragrance oil that is part of their new Cafe Collection—sweet cardamom chai (gifted). All of the fragrances in this collection are lovely, but this one is my favourite. It’s a cardamom-forward chai masala blend, with notes of spicy cinnamon + clove, warm ginger, and sweet vanilla. It’s bright, spicy, warm, sweet, and mouthwatering. I adore chai-inspired scent blends, but the essential oils from chai spices are quite irritating, so their usage rates are quite low. This fragrance oil is safe for usage at up to 10% for body lotions (which would be far too much in my opinion) while cinnamon essential oil is limited to 0.07%. Low usage rates make blending up a fragrant chai product with essential oils challenging (and potentially itchy/sensitizing), making a fragrance oil an appealing alternative.
I’ve also included some Bramble Berry liquid coffee extract (gifted) to turn up the beverage-y vibes of the formulation. This is a clear, unscented extract in a base of Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides. If you don’t have coffee extract but you do have caffeine powder you could definitely use that instead, albeit at a far lower usage rate. I’d use 0.3% caffeine and bump up the water content to make up the remaining 3.7%. If you have a tea extract I think that could be lovely as well!
The finished Oat Cardamom Chai Emulsified Body Butter has a rich, silky consistency that is surprisingly light on the skin; it’s definitely richer than the average lotion, but it’s far lighter than anhydrous body butters. I hope you enjoy this decadent chai-inspired skin treat ❤️ Let’s get making!
Relevant links & further reading
- Vegetable Glycerin in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Sweet Almond Oil in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Shea Butter in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Cetearyl Alcohol in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Colloidal Oatmeal in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Liquid Germall™ Plus in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Tocopherol (Vitamin E) in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Other emulsified body butter formulations:
- A Guide to Carrier Oil Substitutions
- Super Simple Moisturizing Lotion with Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate
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Oat Cardamom Chai Emulsified Body Butter
Heated oil phase
3g | 3% Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate (USA / Canada / UK & EU / Australia)
15g | 15% sweet almond oil (USA / Canada)
4g | 4% unrefined shea butter (USA / Canada)
6g | 6% cetearyl alcohol (USA / Canada)
2g | 2% colloidal oatmeal (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 emulsion, starting with short bursts so the still-very-liquid lotion doesn’t whirl up and spray everywhere. Blend for about two minutes, until the emulsion has started to thicken, and then switch to hand stirring. Stir briefly every five minutes or so until the beaker/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 ingredients. 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 lotion 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 jar or tub for this formulation as it’s far too thick to pump; I used a low-profile 100mL (3.3fl oz) plastic jar with a screw-top lid from YellowBee (gifted).
Use as you’d use any body butter or lotion. Enjoy!
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this emulsified body butter 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 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 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 try 5% Propanediol 1,3 and another 5% water as an alternative to glycerin.
- You MUST use Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate.
- You can substitute another lightweight oil like grapeseed or sunflower seed instead of sweet almond oil.
- You can use refined or unrefined shea butter; mango butter or murumuru butter would make good alternatives.
- You could also use 1% more cetearyl alcohol and 3% more sweet almond oil as a shea butter alternative.
- You could try a blend of cetyl alcohol and stearic acid to replace the cetearyl alcohol.
- I don’t recommend substituting the colloidal oatmeal.
- If you’re like to use a different preservative, please review this FAQ and this chart.
- You could try a different liquid extract instead of coffee extract.
- You can use a different fragrance oil, just make sure it’s safe for leave-on use at 0.3%.
- If you’d like to incorporate an essential oil, please read this.
The Liquid Germall™ Plus and low-profile jar were gifted by YellowBee.
The Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate was gifted by Mystic Moments.
The fragrance oil, printed bandana (photo prop), and coffee extract were gifted by Brambleberry.
Links to Amazon and Baraka Shea Butter are affiliate links.