I’m an herbal skincare aficionado who loves the summer sun and loves the heat. I always do my best to protect the health of my skin, and over the years I have found that one of my favorite ways to keep my skin healthy, protected, and moisturized is to use a body butter. Here’s my herbal body butter recipe to support healthy, nourished skin all throughout the sunny summer months.
Born and raised in Northern California, my memories of summer were of misty mornings with fog blanketing the bay. By the late afternoon the sun would burn off the fog, filling the air with the aromas of California Bay and Eucalyptus. However, even with the mid-afternoon sun, the first couple months of summer never felt warm enough for me.
Growing up, I always thought of myself as a lizard, cold-blooded and craving the warmth of the sun to heat my skin and internal body. My mom’s parents are from Cuba, and we are a sun-worshiping, heat-loving family. Every year I look forward to when I can warm my cold blood during the summer months, spending as much time as possible in the sun, ideally by a body of water.
Herbal Body Butter: Sun Butter Recipe
- Double boiler
- Beaker or cup
- Whisk or Immersion Blender
- Paper towels
- Rubbing alcohol
- Shea Butter – 6 tablespoons
- Mango Butter – 4 tablespoons
- Kokum Butter – 1 teaspoon
- Jojoba Oil infused with Rose, Chamomile, and Calendula flowers** – ¼ cup
- Rosehip Seed Oil – 1 tablespoon
** For this recipe, I love to infuse my oil to enhance the benefits of this Sun Butter. You can infuse your jojoba oil with the herbs I’ve listed above. To learn how to make your own infused oil, follow the simple recipe here. Once you’ve made your infused oil, you can follow the directions below.
- Measure out all your butters into the same pot
- Measure your oils into a beaker or cup
- On a medium-low heat melt your butters until they are fully liquid
- Once your butters have melted, turn off the heat and remove your pot from the stove and place on a potholder
- Slowly add you oils while whisking the ingredients together
- Add in about 20 drops of essential oils (optional). For sun care I love lavender, blue chamomile, rose and carrot seed
- As your butter starts to cool it will begin to thicken. One trick is to pop it in the freezer to help it cool faster, but don’t let it get too hard (about 5-10 minutes)
- To give it a whipped texture, once it is solid at room temperature, use a whisk or immersion blender (the ideal choice) to whip it
- Clean your jar and lid with rubbing alcohol to ensure they are sterilized, once they are dry use a spoon or spatula to scoop into jars
Note: because there is no water in this formula, I am not as concerned about preservation — however, I always sterilize my tools with 70% rubbing alcohol before I begin making any skincare recipe.
Yield: 9 oz
The benefits of these herbal body butter ingredients
Shea Butter is rich in nourishing vitamins such as Vitamin A and E, which are supportive to our skin during and post sun exposure. Its emollient properties leave the skin feeling softened and moisturized.
Mango Butter has skin supportive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties while also having a slightly sweet scent that makes it a lovely addition to skincare recipes.
Kokum Butter is a new ingredient I have been experimenting with lately and it can help to thicken a recipe. It is also considered a “dry” butter, meaning it absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving a greasy residue.
Jojoba Oil supports our skin’s barrier due to its similar chemical structure. This is important during the summer months because a healthy skin barrier helps to keep our skin hydrated.
Rosehip Seed Oil
Rosehip Seed Oil is gentle enough for nearly any skin type and is loved for its fatty acid and vitamin profile, which supports cellular regeneration.
Rose petals are high in antioxidants that help to protect our skin. They also have emollient properties, which means they soften and soothe, helping our skin to feel silky and hydrated.
Chamomile flowers are rich in flavonoids, which support the body’s response to inflammation. The aroma also has soothing effects on the nervous system, aiding in a sense of calm and relaxation.
Calendula flowers are known for their wound healing powers. Its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties support the healing process of the epithelial (skin) tissue. Calendula is a favorite among herbalists and skincare enthusiasts!
How to Use an Herbal Body Butter
Now that you have whipped up your herbal Sun Butter, here are some of my favorite ways to use it during the summer months –
- Before applying my sunscreen, I first apply my Sun Butter all over my body and face (always test a patch first if you have sensitive skin) as my first layer of protection.
- If I am going to be on a boat or it is a windy day, I reapply this body butter as it helps against transdermal water loss, which means it can support your skin against dehydration or becoming wind-chapped.
- After having a day out in the sun, whether I’ve been at the river or in my garden, I use the Sun Butter to help nourish and rejuvenate my skin.
Why I Love Herbal Body Butters
What I love about body butters is that they can be so versatile, they are easy to make at home with everyday kitchen tools, the ingredients are accessible, and I can toss a jar in my river bag for before and after summer sun care.
Now I’d love to hear from you…
Have you ever made an herbal body butter?
What are your go-to herbal skincare remedies for summer?
Please share in the comments below.