If you want to make a completely natural body butter, free of any synthetic ingredients, but don’t love the high density texture (ok, greasy) feeling that it can have on your skin, there are two easy options to help with this.
Option 1 – add arrowroot powder
Option 2 – add clay
Both options work well in absorbing some of the extra fats in your butter and oil body butters, also called an anhydrous formulation, and will still give you all the nutrients and moisture your skin wants and loves.
My favorite general ratio is to add 2 teaspoons of either arrowroot powder or clay to every 4 oz of body butter. However, these powders need to be added at different steps in your formulating process based on how they function in a formulation.
This is a very fine thickening agent used mostly in cooking, where it is added to a butter or oil and dissolved. It is also known as arrowroot flour or arrowroot starch, and it is extracted from the root of a tropical plant known as Maranta arundinacea.
Since this powder is oil soluble, you need to add this ingredient to your melted butters and oils, then cool them and whip them as per your recipe.
Cornstarch or Cream of Tartar work similarly and can be used as a substitute for Arrowroot Powder.
Clay is also a very fine powder derived from rocks, but it will not dissolve into any solution, it will only disperse. For this reason, clay is added to your whipping step once the butters and oils in your formula have been melted then solidified in the fridge. Whipping instead of just stirring it in will ensure that the clay particles disperse more uniformly throughout your body butter.
I used Rhassoul Clay as my choice as I had it available. This clay is quarry mined from deep beneath the Atlas Mountains in Eastern Morocco. It is a very versatile clay that is normally used in face masks.
Other clays that can be used are: French Clay or White Clay.
Will My Body Butters be Gritty?
Not at all! Arrowroot Powder will completely dissolve and works like magic in giving a drier feel to your body butter. No trace will be visible on your skin.
Clay, because of its very fine particle size, will not be felt on your skin, however depending on the color of your clay, you may see tiny specs of it in your jar – but usually not on your skin.
Which One is Better?
The formulation containing clay feels drier and absorbs into your skin. Adding a little clay to body butters also helps prevent them from hardening up as they usually do 24 hours after whipping them. The only downside is that if you want to use this ingredient in a body butter that you will give away or sell, the tiny particles being visible in your body butter may be a turn off for some.
The formula with added arrowroot powder is not as dry, but you could either add more than I have in my recipe, or you can just live with it and enjoy it 🙂 For gifting or resale purposes, adding arrowroot powder is the most common method, but again, it’s all up to you!
I hope these are useful tips for making your body butter less greasy. Please comment below with any feedback or questions you may have!