I simply adore this product. It's the best moisturizer I've ever used, and I've gotten rave reviews from all sorts of people with all different skin types, including some people with major skin problems.
A little bit of this product goes a long way. I slather myself in it regularly and apply it to my hands a lot, and a 4 oz. jar will last me well over a month. It goes on slightly greasy at first, but it absorbs into the skin readily, and has more staying power than any moisturizer I've ever used. My skin feels baby soft for a long time after I use it. During the winter when my hands get very dry, I only need to apply this three or four times a day, versus a high quality natural lotion three or four times an hour.
For an extra treat, coat your feet with it a bit more thickly than normal and cover them with cotton socks before going to bed. Your feet will be super soft in the morning.
I make this product with both mango and shea butter, and I like the combination of the two. You could use just one or the other if you prefer. You may also use different oils, though be sure that you use non-greasy ones. For an extra pampering product, or one with extended medicinal benefits, use an herb infused oil (as described in my herbal salve recipe) instead of plain oil. Any or all of the herbs mentioned there would be good ones to use, or use your favorite skin care herbs.
This is very easy to make, you just have to bear in mind that you cannot heat the mango or shea butter too much, or they will seize up and form grains (stearine grains). Just melt it barely enough to get the oils mixed in.
1 lb. Mango Butter
1 lb. Shea Butter
1/3 cup sweet almond oil
1/3 cup avocado oil
1/3 cup apricot kernel oil
3 tablespoons jojoba oil
1 - 3 teaspoons vitamin E
1 teaspoon lanolin
5 - 10 drops grapefruit seed extract (GSE)
about 5 teaspoons essential oils, depending upon the strength of the oils you choose
Note: my favorite current blend for this product is 2 tsp. lavender, 1.5 tsp. cedarwood, 1.5 tsp. rosewood, 1 tsp. bergamot and 3-10 drops oakmoss or vetiver
Dice your mango butter and shea butter into roughly 1 - 2" chunks. Place them into a microwave safe bowl and heat them at about 70% heat for a couple of minutes, stir, then heat at 30 second increments, stirring between each heating, until your butters are somewhat softened but not melted. It is very important that you don't overheat the butters. You will notice a bit of melting around the edges of the bowl, but your chunks should be slightly softened solids. These butters melt at body temperature, so it doesn't take much to get them softened.
Once your butters are sufficiently softened, place into a food processor (I've heard a mixer works too, but I've never tried this) with your room temperature oils, and puree until very smooth, stirring by hand between pulses once or twice to move the large chunks from the top down toward the blade. I usually puree for several minutes. If you begin pureeing and find that your butters weren't sufficiently softened, dump what you can from the food processor bowl into your microwave bowl and heat again, but be cautious not to overheat, especially now that your chunks are smaller.
Once your butters and oils are mixed into a smooth cream, add your vitamin E, lanolin and essential oils. Continue to mix well, possibly stirring the top of the mixture by hand again, until your oils are well mixed into the cream.
Spoon into glass jars while still soft. The cream will set up to a soft salve texture. If your cream starts to set while you are trying to jar it, you can heat it gently, but it's best if you can avoid this by working quickly. I package my body butter into 4 oz. baby food jars, and I get about 12 jars worth from this size of a batch.
A note on supplies used:
I buy many of my ingredients for this product from Brambleberry.com. They're local for me, so I haven't investigated other suppliers much. I recommend getting oils locally, simply because of shipping charges. Most of them can be purchased at a natural food store, and if you have a local soap making supply store, they'd probably have most if not all of these ingredients.