It's made of shea, olive oil & cacao butter and it's super nice

I have dry legs, but I don't do store-bought creams. In fact, I haven't bought a tub of moisturising cream in three years. I hate the thought of rubbing something into my skin that I wouldn't eat. And I wouldn't eat those tubs of cream. That's for sure. Enter my 100% natural and edible body balm. This stuff is the shiz. Good for all those dry bits nothing else will work on.

Shea butter:
Try to find the unrefined stuff. I bought mine from a healthfood store. Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nut of the African Shea Tree. It contains mostly stearic and oleic acid, which you'll notice are common ingredients in moisturising creams. Why not use the unrefined source? It's loaded with Vitamin A and is excellent for healing skin injuries. It absorbs rapidly into skin and binds water very well, which means it does a really good job of what it's meant to do... moisturise. On it's own, unrefined shea butter doesn't spread too easily, it's quite thick and pastey and takes a bit of coercing. Which is why I blended it with olive oil.

Olive oil:
Has a long history in skincare, dating back to the Egyptians. It contains high amounts of squalene, a lipid also produced by our own cells. In my balm, it helps to soften the shea butter so that it spreads easily. Again, buy cold-pressed extra virgin oil - you don't want to consume the refined stuff.

Cacao butter:
I added cacao butter later in the process, when I discovered that my mix of shea butter and olive oil produced a sludge more than a balm. Mixing in cacao butter gives the perfect balm consistency, not too soft not too hard. Cacao butter is the oil extracted from cacao seeds (and the main ingredient in white chocolate). It contains plenty of vitamin E to soften the skin, and stearic acid which helps with skin repair. It's a little pricey, but most worthy as it doubles as a healthy alternative to butter in cake recipes and homemade chocolate. And the smell... just go smell it. 

Lavender & Jasmine essential oils:
I added these for an aromatherapy boost. They both work to relax. They're totally optional, or you can add whichever essential oils you like.


You'll need:

Small saucepan
Small bowl to sit over saucepan
Standard size glass specimen jar (from healthfood shops or pharmacies; or you can use an old jam jar)
50g Shea butter
3 tsp (15ml) Olive oil
approx 30g Cacao butter
30 drops essential oil (optional, I used 15 drops lavender 15 drops jasmine)

How to make it:

Place the shea butter, olive oil and cacao butter in a small bowl and sit over a saucepan of simmering water, bain-marie style.

Gently heat the butters and oil until melted. Remove from heat, whisk in the essential oils (if using) and pour into glass storage jar.

Allow to set overnight (I was impatient so I stuck mine in the fridge to set for a few hours).

Keep at room temperature.


  1. Sounds great! I recently made a hand balm with unrefined shea butter, argan oil and essential oils from lavender and vanilla. It's my special winter treatment :)

  2. This looks great! Where do you buy cacao butter from?

    1. From the health food store... it's delicious stuff!

    2. Oh, thank you! I will definitely check it out. Looking forward to making this, it sounds divine! I was thinking it would make a lovely gift too, in a little mason jar with some natural twine tied around it. Thanks for the great ideas, Maria!

  3. This looks amazing! As always, thanks Maria.x

  4. Also, I am wondering what you think of glycerine (the natural plant based variety) as an ingredient in home made moisturiser? Thanks.

    1. Sure, it's great for your skin - it traps water so it keeps skin moisturised and it helps to keep skin looking smooth. It's naturally produced during the soap-making process.. I'd definitely stick to plant-based glycerin, the synthetic stuff is made from petrochemical derivatives. One thing to be aware of though is that some vegetable glycerin is derived from palm oil, and given the issues surrounding palm oil production (deforestation etc), it's best to avoid that type if you can. Coconut oil, rapeseed oil and other plant oils are also used to produce vegetable glycerin, so try to find out the source of the glycerin if you can. Best of luck!

    2. Thanks so much for this extra info Maria. You make an important point about avoiding glycerin from palm oil. Much appreciated!

  5. YES. This is exactly what I've been looking for. Ingredients ordered, can't wait. LOVE YOUR SITE Maria!
    Thank you!

  6. Hi Maria - is cacao butter the same as cocoa butter? I have some which I purchased recently from an online soap supplies shop. I'd prefer to use that up if it's the same thing, rather than buying another lot. Thanks!

  7. It's the same, I think (not 100%) that the only difference is how it's extracted - cacao butter is extracted from the raw beans. Will be fine to use in place of cacao!

  8. Made this yesterday Maria - AMAZING!!! Thank you! Even my partner commented on my legs! :)



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