This silky, indulgent Raspberry Mint No-Melt Summer Body Butter has all the luxurious loveliness you want in a body butter, but it’s much lighter—making it perfect for summer skincare! It is an emulsified body butter, so it’s not only faster absorbing than anhydrous body butters thanks to its water content, but it also won’t melt in hot temperatures ☀️ Let’s dive in!
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I’m very excited about the emulsifier I’ve used in this formulation; PolyAquol™-2W. It’s a new-to-me natural emulsifying wax that creates the most decadent, silky, sensorially stunning lotions and creams. A big thank you to Skin Chakra for introducing (and gifting) this ingredient to me! As of this writing it isn’t very widely available (I’ve linked the places I’ve found it in the Humblebee & Me DIY Encyclopedia entry on it), so if you don’t have it, you can use a different self-thickening emulsifying wax instead. I think Ritamulse SCG would be my top choice, but I’ve detailed other options in both the Substitutions list at the end of this post and the Encyclopedia entry on PolyAquol™-2W. It’s not a make-or-break ingredient, but it is really lovely, and if you can get it easily I think it’s worth it!
After the emulsifier, our oil phase is pretty simple. It’s mostly ultra-light raspberry seed oil with a wee bit of cetyl alcohol for a slippy, silky, rich-yet-light viscosity boost. If you don’t have raspberry seed oil you could definitely use a different lightweight liquid oil your skin loves. I think something fruity, like cranberry seed oil, apricot kernel oil, or cherry kernel oil would all be lovely choices and would keep the fruit-mint theme of the original 😄
This formulation gets all of its body-buttery goodness from the emulsifier—which creates very decadent textures—and a bit of hydroxyethylcellulose—which boosts viscosity without increasing the richness of the finished product. If you wanted to add some butter to the formulation for extra buttery loveliness, you can definitely do that. I would recommend mango butter or cupuaçu butter as lighter, summery options. I’d trade 3–5% of the raspberry seed oil for a butter of your choice, including the butter in the heated oil phase and carrying on as usual.
The minty part of this formulation comes from half a percent of a beautiful spearmint essential oil from Seeley Farms in the USA. This essential oil was a gift from Simply Ingredients, and I’ve been very impressed with it. It smells much more robust and well-rounded than other spearmint essential oils I have tried; it’s almost like there’s a bit of vanilla or a hint of cocoa in the essential oil! As of June 2022 this essential oil is not on the Simply Ingredients website yet, but hopefully it will be soon! In the meantime, please use your favourite spearmint essential oil. You could also use a mint hydrosol instead of an essential oil; simply replace about 30% of the distilled water with your minty hydrosol, and add the 0.5% from the essential oil onto the distilled water.
Once it’s done, this emulsion is perfectly suited for a wide-mouthed jar or tub. It’s very thick, scoopable, and decadent—swoon!
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Relevant links & further reading
- Propanediol 1,3 in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Hydroxyethylcellulose in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- PolyAquol™-2W in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Raspberry Seed Oil in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Cetyl Alcohol in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Tocopherol (Vitamin E) in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- pH meter in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- pH measurement in cosmetic lab: why we dilute samples? from Skin Chakra
- How to adjust the pH of your cosmetic products from Skin Chakra
- Why do you create a 10% dilution of a formulation before measuring the pH?
- Can I use a different preservative than the one you’ve used? in the Humblebee & Me FAQ
- Can I use a different essential oil (or essential oil blend) than what is called for in a recipe? in the Humblebee & Me FAQ
- Preservatives + Shelf Life in the Humblebee & Me FAQ
- More emulsified body butter formulations:
- More summer formulations:
Raspberry Mint No-Melt Summer Body Butter
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 lotion, starting with short bursts so the still-very-liquid lotion doesn’t whirl up and spray everywhere. Blend for about a minute before switching to hand stirring. You’ll need to be fairly diligent with the stirring at first, but once the mixture has thickened up a bit and is uniform you can switch to stirring occasionally. Once the outside of the glass measuring cup is just warm to the touch (40°C or cooler, if you have a thermometer) we’re ready to proceed.
Now 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 lotion, 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 lotion. Doing it this way minimizes the amount of cool down ingredients lost to the secondary container.
To test and adjust the pH: create a 10% dilution by weighing 2g product and 18g distilled water into a small bowl or beaker and whisk to combine (wondering why we create a dilution to check the pH?). Check the pH with your pH meter. Depending on the shape of your bowl/beaker you may need to tilt it in order to fully submerge the sensor on your pH meter. The pH be around 4.5. If it is lower than 4.25 you’ll want to raise it; if it’s higher than 6, you’ll want to lower it. Please read this article from Skin Chakra to learn more about pH adjusting.
Once the cool down phase has been incorporated, all that’s left to do is package it up! You’ll want to use a jar or tub; I used a white jar from YellowBee (gifted). Use this as you’d use and body lotion. Enjoy!
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this cream 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 formulation, 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 formulation will make 120g.
- 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.
- The dye is optional; replace it with more water if you don’t want to use it.
- You can use glycerin instead of propanediol 1,3. Don’t use Sodium Lactate or anything else electrolyte rich as this will impact the viscosity.
- You could replace the hydroxyethylcellulose with Polyacrylate crosspolymer-6 (Sepimax ZEN) or Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer (Aristoflex AVC). I think soft xanthan gum would work as well, though I’d probably only use 0.2%.
- You can use a different self-thickening emulsifying wax instead of PolyAquol™-2W, though this will impact the consistency. Ritamulse SCG (Emulsimulse, ECOMulse) would probably be my top choice. Emulsifying Wax NF will also work. Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate can work, but you’ll only need half as much—replace the lost half with more cetyl alcohol.
- You can substitute another lightweight oil for the raspberry seed oil. I think Cranberry Seed Oil and Apricot Kernel Oil would both be lovely choices that would keep up the fruity, summer theme!
- I don’t recommend substituting the cetyl alcohol, but if you have to, Cetearyl Alcohol is the best choice.
- If you’re like to use a different preservative, please review this FAQ and this chart.
- If you’d like to incorporate a different essential oil, please read this.
- If you’d like to use a mint hydrosol instead of mint essential oil, replace about 30% of the distilled water with the hydrosol and add the dropped 0.5% from the essential oil to the distilled water.
- If you’d like to use a fragrance oil instead of the essential oil, please read this.
The white screw-top tubs, cetyl alcohol, Optiphen™ Plus and red dye were gifted by YellowBee.
The PolyAquol™-2W was gifted by Skin Chakra.
The hydroxyethylcellulose was gifted by Essential Wholesale.
The raspberry seed oil was gifted by Berry Beautiful.
The spearmint essential oil was gifted by Simply Ingredients.
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