I’m having a hard time deciding if I can give this Sugar Plum Conditioning Body Butter away. I mean… it’s just so nice. I really want to keep it for myself. I really should give it away. I am a one-woman skin care stuff factory and I am not due to need another body butter until sometime in 2026, and yet… it’s just so lovely! Rich and creamy, with a velvety skin feel and a shockingly fast absorption speed. It leaves my skin feeling all kinds of smooth and soft and protected in a way that’s noticeable for hours. It’s just… you should probably just make it and see. And then you can agree with me—I shouldn’t give it away.
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The bulk of this body butter is mango butter. Mango butter is a bit of a unicorn in the world of soft butters; it has a dry finish. There’s a good chance you’re familiar with shea butter, and while you might love how rich and creamy it is, its heavy finish can be a bit off-putting, especially when used in high concentrations. Not mango butter, my loves. Mango butter vanishes into the skin, leaving it soft and supple, but not at all greasy. Mango butter is where it is at if you want to make body butters that don’t make your knickers slide off post-application.
Our conditioning kick comes from the inclusion of some BTMS-50, which is what gives this body butter its almost magical feel. This body butter will leave you skin feeling nothing like other body butters you’ve ever used. The BTMS gives the most stunning, soft, protected feeling that is pure decadence and wonder.
And, of course, we have our plum oil. Our fast-absorbing, marzipan scented, golden plum oil. Our swoon-worthy, utterly amazeballs plum oil. Its soft almond scent blends with vanilla-like benzoin and bright cardamom to create a soft, sweet, posh dessert kind of scent blend. This isn’t tub frosting kind of dessert—it’s expensive European bakery dessert. Swoon.
There is a bit of a trick to keeping this body butter from going mealy and weird on you; first we’ll bring it to trace in an ice bath, and then we’ll finish cooling it in the fridge. This combination of movement and quick cooling works wonders to keep the final product smooth and lovely. If yours ends up going grainy on you, feel free to gently re-melt it in a water bath and try again (I did!). I also recommend giving this really interesting experiment from Skin Chakra a read!
Ok. Enough swooning and rhapsodizing. Let’s make some stunning body butter!
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Sugar Plum Conditioning 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 small saucepan.
While the heated phase melts, prepare an ice bath. Take a bowl that is large enough to accommodate the container the heated phase is melting in, and fill it about halfway with ice cubes and cold water.
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 dish towel. Stir with a flexible silicone spatula to incorporate.
Add the mica to the melted oils and then place the oil phase measuring cup into the ice bath and cool, stirring constantly, for about thirty seconds—until you start to notice some building viscosity. Remove the container from the water bath and add the remaining cool down ingredients. Stir to incorporate.
Continue stirring the mixture in the ice bath until you reach “trace”—the mixture should have enough viscosity that a small amount drizzled over the surface of the mixture leaves a “trace” for an instant. If you’re a soap maker you’ll be familiar with this—we’re looking for a rather light trace. Refer to the video to see it in action! If in doubt, stir and chill a bit longer.
Once you reach trace (this may happen without needing to use the ice bath after adding the full cool down phase) you can now pour the body butter into a 60mL/2oz tin and quickly transfer it to the fridge to set up.
When the butter has fully set up (give it an hour or two), remove it from the fridge to return to room temperature. That’s it! To use, smooth some body butter over bits of skin that need some extra love.
Because this body butter is 100% oil based, it 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, it should last at least a year before any of the oils go rancid. If you notice it 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 recipe in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using this batch calculator from Making Skincare. As written in grams this recipe will make 50g.
- You could use BTMS-25 instead of BTMS-50, though this will result in less conditioning as 25 has half the amount of active conditioning ingredient as 50
- Please don’t substitute the mango butter. You could use a different soft butter (cupuacu would be my next choice), but this will make for a heavier/greasier end product.
- You can try cetearyl alcohol (USA / Canada) instead of cetyl alcohol, but this will give a different feel to the end product.
- You can substitute another lightweight oil like apricot kernel, grapeseed, or sunflower seed instead of sweet almond
- If you don’t have the plum oil (I haven’t found it in Canada yet—I’m sorry!) I think your best alternatives would be apricot kernel oil or cherry kernel oil—oils that are also pressed from the kernels of similar stone fruits. You will lose the marzipan/cherry note; if you aren’t a fan of the scent you might prefer that! Otherwise, you can look for a fragrance oil with a similar scent and incorporate it (I’d start at 0.1–0.2% as it’s a pretty subtle scent). I haven’t found this scent anywhere else in the realm of natural ingredients, sadly.
- You can use a different essential oil blend if you prefer
- The mica is optional; replace it with more liquid oil if you eliminate it.
The plum oil was gifted by Essential Wholesale & Labs.