Mango Avocado Balmy Salve

2 Tablespoons Tapioca Powder

Other great skin-loving essential oils that would be incredible in this recipe too: Helischyrum, Frankincense, Jasmine, Rose, Neroli

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And you’ll have LOTS of leftovers for more balmy fun!

ONE: This recipe is designed by weight so have your handy dandy scale ready to weigh.  Weigh out the Cocoa Butter and Avocado Butter. Melt in the microwave on 30 second bursts and stir in between bursts. Remember to choose a glass container that is almost all the way full with solid materials because empty glass containers are prone to cracking or exploding in the microwave.
TWO: In a separate, smaller container, weigh out the Tamanu Oil and Jojoba Oil. Heat this oil up in the microwave for 30 seconds. Are the Tamanu Oil grains melted? Stir well. If they’re not fully melted, put the mixture in the microwave for another 30 seconds. And don’t forget the little waxy-like grains at the bottom of your Tamanu Oil bottle. I like to rinse my bottle out with the hot oil to get all the components of the Tamanu Oil.
Tamanu Oil has a very earthy smell and slightly grainy texture. It smells sort of like a nutty, musky dirt. It’s not unpleasant but it is surprising if you’ve never smelled it before.

THREE: Weigh out the Mango Butter. Put this directly into your mixer. Drizzle the melted oils and butters over the solid oil. Immediately turn the mixer onto low (much higher than that and you’ll find yourself with oil splatters all over your kitchen and yourself!). Let the warm oils slowly and gently melt the Mango Butter. This helps with the ‘Mango Butter chunks’ that you sometimes see with balms.
FOUR (optional): I really like a balm that soaks in quickly and doesn’t feel massively oily on my skin. Tapioca Powder is a modified tapioca starch that has been designed to be free-flowing and non-clumping. It is unique because to is aluminum free and because it has been modified with a silicone. It is velvety smooth and imparts a soft after-feel to the skin. Add 2 Tablespoons of Tapioca Powder to your heated warm oils a bit at a time. If you add it too quickly, POOF! Tapioca Powder everywhere!
FIVE: Whip, whip, whip until the butter is turning slightly cloudy (signifying that it is starting to set up). Add the essential oil mixture of your choice. I’ve chosen the ones in this recipe specifically to help me in bouncing back from my labor and stretched-out belly. They are extra skin-loving but you can use any essential oil or fragrance oil you’d like. Just keep the mixture to 3 grams or else it turns into a strong smelling perfume balm!
SIX: Pour into clean containers of your choice. I used Bramble Berry’s Candle Tins and tried a few lotion bar containers (woot! woot! they worked great!). Allow to sit overnight. Mixture takes several hours to harden so don’t panic if it doesn’t seem to be setting up quickly.
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  1. starla mcdaniel says

    I love your site and tips! I seen a lot of questions on how to make balms and lotions,and ” what to do to avoid separation” well I have been trying my hand at making herbal muscle balms and cancer healing lotions.
    I have found that if you meld all your oils and butters with your basic foundation,(not your scented essential oils)in a double boiler until you see a slight bubbling about a inch into your mixture, then put it in a mixing bowl and mix until it is creamy, (if lotions) and slightly stiff for your balms, not only do you get a Great body whipped lotion but your balms will never separate. Hope this helps someone! :-)

    • says

      Good morning, Starla!

      I’m so glad you’ve found a way of making salves that work for you. We also like using the tempering method when we are using Cocoa Butter (like in this recipe). Thanks for the comment!

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  2. Debi Boutell says

    When I click on the “buy it Now” button, I just get a message that says “your cart is empty”?

    • says

      Thanks for catching that for us, Debi! It looks like it might have been a little wonky because we recently upgraded Bramble Berry’s website. It is now up and running and you should be able to add that right to your cart. =)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  3. Allison says

    I can’t wait to try this out! I just have one quick question; can I use a hand mixer instead?
    Thanks so much!

    • says

      You will just adore this recipe, Allison! And, the best part is that you can totally use a hand mixer for this recipe. You may have to put a little more elbow grease into getting it to blend, but I use a hand mixer for almost all of my recipes and this one turned out just great with mine. I hope this helps. Let us know how yours turns out! If you get any pictures, we’d love to see how it turned out. You can share them with us on Bramble Berry’s Facebook page:

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  4. says

    Hi Monamur!

    If you can’t find Tapioca Powder, the next best substitute would be corn starch. It works really well and won’t clump up your whipped body butters. =)

    -Becky with Bramble Berry

  5. Monamur says

    Hi, I am very new in soap and lotion making, but very interested in it. I wish to make body butters -such as whipped body butter – but I cant find the ingredients in my country…

  6. Christina says

    Would this make a good massage candle or is the final product too soft? I love using massage candles. I light them before taking a bath and then use the warm melted oils on my skin when I get out the tub.


  7. says

    Great recipe! Rather than using Dry Flo, could you use Tapioca Starch from the store or Corn Starch? I’m not able to get Dry Flo this very moment.

    • Anne-Marie says

      Yes – either would work but I’d prefer Corn Starch over Tapioca Starch if it were me and my recipe.

  8. Shenika says

    Hi I’am a newbie and find handmade body products very interesting. My problem is I tried this recipe and the balm did not set up. It’s been a whole day and it’s still liquidy. What could I have possibly done wrong? I also tried putting them in the fridge, no improvements. Help what can I do?

    • says

      Hi Shenika,

      Silly question, but did you use avocado butter (solid at room temp)? I’m wondering if one of the ingredients might have been wrong and the first one that jumps out at me as a possibility for confusion is avocado oil versus avocado butter.

      Second question, did you weigh everything or did you do it by volume? Volume versus weight might also be a culprit. =)

      • Shenika says

        I used Avocado Butter and melted it in the microwave with the Cocoa Butter. I also did everything by weight. The only difference is I used Apricot Kernel Oil versus the Tamanu.

        • says

          The Tamanu Oil has a really thick consistency which is why you’re probably getting a thinner consistency with the Apricot Kernel Oil. Try adding more Avocado Butter to thicken it up.

          Let us know how it goes =)

          Courtney with Bramble Berry

  9. geeta says

    Hello, i came across this recipe when googling for beeswax-less skin balm. I tried the recipe, the only substitute i did was shea butter for avocado butter. I didn’t have any AB so i thought shea might be a good substitute as both are soft butters.

    …….. The problem is that my balm did not set ………. at all ………. its pretty much liquid oils ……….. Any help on what i should do now ………. reheat ? add more cocoa butter ? …….. i’m not sure what to do and i would hate for so many butters and oils to go waste

    • Anne-Marie says

      Did you try putting the Balm in the fridge after you made it? If you haven’t, try that now. It could be just a temperature thing =) Keep me posted!

      • geeta says

        Thank You …. Yes, i did have this brain wave later on and it set nicely in the fridge. i think i panicked when it did not set even after half a day. You were right when you said that it takes a long time to set.

        Thank you for this wonderful recipe. Mine is more like a soft thick butter rather than a balm but i love it. It spreads beautifully and is absorbed instantly even without adding dry-flo. I have tried other whipped butter recipes but nothing feels as luxurious as this. I have horribly dry hands that even the famed l’occitane hand cream doesn’t help. I applied this butter and keep touching my hand to cheek. They are so soft !

        Eeks! i can’t stop gushing. Just one more question – my butter is grainy. I didn’t use dry-flo. I heated everything on a double boiler, everything seemed fine, no chunks. So what do you think makes a balm grainy ? Is it a temperature thing ? Or a quality one ?

        • Anne-Marie says

          It could be the cocoa butter – next time, toss the entire thing in the fridge immediately after making it and this should hopefully solve it. Cocoa butter can be persnickity in recipes sometimes. =)

  10. Marlona says

    What would you use this product for? It sounds great, but I’m not sure what to use It on/for?

    • says

      Balms are great for really dry skin. Use it on your elbows, hands and feet. It will make your skin soft and silky. I got to try this particular recipe and I loved it!

      Courtney from Bramble Berry

  11. says

    Hi Bev,

    Great minds think alike – I made soap for all of our nurses =)

    This recipe is too soft, as is, for molds.

    Tamanu Oil is an earthy smell but can be overscented. It provides a bit of a ‘base’ note (sort of like Patchouli does in blends). It is so good for skin that I love to use it when I can.

    You could harden this recipe up for mold usage with the addition of beeswax. So, something like:

    6 oz. Cocoa Butter
    7 oz. Avocado Butter
    7 oz. Mango Butter
    3 oz. Jojoba Oil
    2 oz. Tamanu Oil
    3 oz. Beeswax
    2 Tablespoons Tapioca Starch Powder

    This is just a guess so I would keep those spoons in the freezer when you make this up so that you can quickly test the recipe and make sure it’s that harder consistency that will work in molds. You may have to freeze the product to get it out but don’t worry about that. You want to get the product out but it needs to be soft enough to spread on the skin.

    Thank you for being a long term Bramble Berry customer =)))

    • Bev says

      Thank you! Will they “melt” inside the tin at room temperature though do you think? Would I be better off with a normal body bar recipe? I want something really good for hands and feet in the winter. Would this recipe be better than say one with shea and cocoa butter?

      • says

        I don’t think it will melt at room temperature and it would probably have the same consistency with shea butter…a little harder with cocoa butter.

        Courtney from Bramble Berry

    • Bev says

      Oh and I forgot to ask, how much mica would I add to the recipe you gave me to add a little shimmer without messing up the bar? Thanks for all your help!!

      • says

        A little goes a long way. If you want a little shimmer I would start with 1/4 teaspoon and go from there (for the recipe above).

        Courtney from Bramble Berry

  12. Bev says

    I have a couple of questions –
    1) Would this work in molds? Or would you recommend a different recipe for use in a mold? I’m not sure how soft it is even though it looks like it isn’t a lotion.

    2) Is the smell of the Tamanu oil still present when finished? I’m wondering if it would mix well with any scent or not?

    I am wanting to make some “molded” lotion bars to store in tins and am looking for the perfect recipe for those. I can’t afford to experiment so I’m trying to find out as much as I can and make the right choices.

    I’ve been purchasing from Brambleberry for 9 years – ever since my daughter was born too early (28 weeks) and we had to stay in the NICU for several weeks. I made lotion sticks to give to all the nurses who took care of her. Your quality is always exceptional!

    • says

      We do whip the recipe in the above but I’m thinking you mean “whip without melting”? If that’s what you mean, the cocoa butter will not whip because it is so hard and has such a high melt point. I hope this answers your question.

  13. Margo says

    The recipes calls for these EO: 3 grams of Essential oil: Carrot Seed, Clary Sage, Ylang Ylang, Geranium , Hungarian Lavender. Is that 3 grams of each one?
    Thanks, can’t wait to try it.

    • says

      You’ll add 3 grams total to the balm and you can make any combination that you want. Adding more than 3 grams will give you a really strong smelling perfume balm (see step 5).

      Have fun with the recipe!

      Courtney from Bramble Berry

  14. Joanne says

    Hi Anne-Marie,

    I made this wonderful Balm and I absolutely LOVE IT!
    Love the smell of the Tamanu Oil & will definitely be purchasing more.
    This is my 1st time making balm and I’m not sure what the end result should be when it comes to the TEXTURE of the final product?? Mine came out VERY GRAINY & was wondering if there was something else I should have done to make it come out smooth?
    It does melt almost immediately upon contact with the skin & does absorb into the skin very quickly & feels great, not to mention the wonderful SMELL.
    Also, when rereading the directions, over & over, I realize that instead of pouring the melted oils over the Mango Butter, I also melted the Mango butter with all the oils, then added the scent & Tapioca Starch Powder and blended with a hand mixer (blended really well),then poured into tins. Any suggestions would be helpful – OR, is it suppose to be grainy to the touch? Thank you, Joanne
    Cliff Island Soapworks!! Congratulations of the birth of your beautiful SON!!!

    • says

      The grainy feeling is probably the Tapioca Starch Powder. But once you get it on the skin you can’t tell, right? The Tapioca Starch Powder makes the consistency a little less greasy.

      OR the grainy feeling could also be the mango butter. It will do that if heated too hot (just the nature of the butter). For this reason, we poured the warm oils over the mango butter to slowly melt it.

      Let me know how it works =)

      Courtney from Bramble Berry

  15. Nublu says


    I tried this recipe and i dont know how hard it should be but i think that mine is too hard. And also there are pieces so it doesnt feel good on skin in my opinion. Is it because maybe i didnt let the mango butter melt completely? Instead of tamanu oil i used olive oil. Is it okey?

    Thanks a lot :)

    • says

      Salves and balms are a little bit harder in general and your recipe should be just fine with the olive oil (although Tamanu is an incredible oil). If you didn’t melt the mango butter all the way, then that’s probably what the chunks are. It might also be the consistency of the Tapioca Starch Powder, which you can eliminate from the recipe (which helps it to be a little less greasy).

      I hope this helps!

      Courtney from BB

  16. Razan says

    Thank you for your help,
    Bramble berry has so many fragrance oils that look delicious
    I might give it a try by mixing some of them with essential oils ..
    again love what you do, keep up the good work :)

    • Anne-Marie says

      Definitely – you can happily mix essential oils and fragrance oils to create new and exciting combinations. We would love to have your business at Bramble Berry =)

  17. Razan says

    I would like to know how safe fragrance oils are on skin and hair (if used in balms, lotions and conditioners)?
    And would it make a difference if used normal corn starch instead of Tapioca Starch Powder?
    Thank you so much for your blog, its very useful and fun :)

    • Anne-Marie says

      Hi Razan,

      Thanks for your note. Fragrance Oils are generally not used at 100% and instead have usage rates, generally below 5% for lotions, soaps, balms, conditioners, and more. Make sure that you are using a skin safe fragrance though. Candle fragrances and potpourri fragrances definitely are not skin safe. For more information on fragrances, here’s an article I wrote on how they are made:

      Yes, you’ll notice a difference between normal Corn Starch and Tapioca Starch Powder. Tapioca Starch Powder seems to absorb more – probably because it’s ground so much more finely than regular Corn Starch.

  18. says

    I finally made this and halved the recipe. I used Coffee Butter and shea butter in place of the Avocado and Mango Butter. Also used Macademia Nut Oil and Hempseed oil for the Jojoba and Tamanu oil and added an extra ounce of Macademia nut oil for a softer consistency. As the coffee butter has a nice scent I left it unscented. It’s wonderful and sinks right in.

    • Anne-Marie says

      It sounds LUSCIOUS! And I so love Hempseed oil (unfiltered, green, and gooey is even better IMO). You did good =)

      • Michelle says


        Thanks, I used Hemp oil for the first time in soap and loved it. I love how the balm feels like it’s not going to sink in and then the Tapioca Starch Powder helps it absorb into my skin.

        • Anne-Marie says

          The Tapioca Starch Powder is seriously a miracle worker, IMO. I use it in the bulk of my oily oily balms and I think it really helps.

    • Anne-Marie says

      The Shelf Life of the entire recipe is the shelf life of your shortest product. Assuming you’re using fresh oils, this will last a minimum of 9 months (though I’d assume closer to 12 – 14 months – even longer if you use Vitamin E and ROE – great antioxidants).

  19. says

    I just made this recipe and it was so easy to make. I filled four candle tins and eight push up containers.

    I must have mixed the oils too vigorously or for too long because I have bubbles in the final product. I also used undeodorized cocoa butter, could that have contributed to a more yellow color than the white in the pictures?

    I added peppermint essential oil to the balm that went in the push up tubes for a minty foot balm.

    I have used both regular corn starch and DryFlo. The DryFlo is so much better. No greasy feeling with this balm at all.

    • Anne-Marie says

      Bubbles in the final product = pouring thick enough to suspend the bubbles so yes, maybe just a wee bit too long for mixing but bubbles aren’t the end of the world (thankfully). Undeoderized might have contributed to a slightly different color but different color is fine so long as it works great =)

      I agree, the Tapioca Starch is awesome. It really takes the grease away.

  20. Anne-Marie says

    I really think the Tapioca Starch helps to make the entire balm sink in quickly without a lot of oily “ick” feel but it’s still an oil so definitely let it sink in for a bit before you try to read a book or something you don’t want fingerprints on! =)

  21. Anne-Marie says

    Tapioca Starch is optional for sure. I use it because it helps to absorb some of the oil from the recipe and makes the entire thing just sink into skin a bit better in my opinion.

    Tamanu Oil would be similar to Jojoba Oil or Apricot Kernel. I love love love Tamanu though so on your next oils order, grab some just for you to use!

    Yes, Shea is a typo. I was doing the blog post the night before at like 11 p.m. and I guess I was very tired. But I’ve got it fixed now =)

  22. Jamie says

    Hi, thanks for the reply. Now, how do you go about dividing 2 ounces by 10? When making the smaller test batch, is there a way to measure using teaspoons, etc. rather than weighing the ingredients? Please advise.

  23. Anne-Marie says

    It’s not on the docket for this season but I’ll definitely add it to our fun ideas list.

  24. Anne-Marie says

    It’s such a small amount so I don’t see it affecting the scent too much but if you really are wanting to avoid it, I’d go with Kukui Nut or Evening Primrose Oil (if you have some) or Jojoba Oil.

  25. Anne-Marie says

    I love Tamanu Oil too! And if it even works 1/10th as good as advertised, my belly will stay stretch-mark free for the last month of pregnancy. =)

  26. Anne-Marie says

    It is SO awesome on my skin. I really am diggin’ the no-beeswax-balm part because it is just so absorbable (is that a word??) =)

  27. Anne-Marie says

    I have used at least 2 ounces in the last week and LOVE it. It has such a different feel than the other whipped butters I’ve posted to the blog – it just melts into almost a straight oil so it really absorbs in well.

  28. Jamie says

    Anne-Marie, Could you please tell me how to break down the recipe so that it is only enough to fill 2 lotion bar containers? (I want to try it out first before making such a big recipe.) Thanks so much!

  29. Splurgesisters says

    Oh I can’t wait to make this. I had asked you awhile back when you made the last body butter recipe if it was greasy and you mentioned Tapioca Starch Powder. This looks like it’s the perfect consistency. Thanks :)

  30. Jan @ Power Of Three Creations says

    Hi Anne-Marie…
    Not a fan of the smell of Tamanu, suggestions for different oil choice? Maybe Kukui Nut? or Avocado Oil (Fallbrook is actually called the “Avocado Capital” LOL) And what if I only have cornstarch not dryflo?
    Love and Light

  31. Sarah :) says

    Great recipe! What is the Tapioca Starch Powder for? Is a necessity? Also I don’t have Tamanu oil, but I do Sunflower, Almond, Apricot Kernel, or more Jojoba, any suggestions on what my be a good replacement? Thanks so much! Oh and one last thing, your recipe keeps mentioning shea butter? Is that a typo?

  32. Donna Maria Coles Johnson says

    I love tamanu. I’ve heard the smell described in many ways. It has always reminds me of the aroma of wet nuts — you know, the kind they put over ice cream. Not that I have any personal experience with wet nuts and ice cream, mind you. I’ve just smelled them before. :)

  33. Anne-Marie says

    Fixed Buy It Now button. Thanks Eagle Eyes! And Typo’ed on the Shea Butter. I wrote this up last night around 11 p.m. and obviously was just super tired! =) LOL!

  34. Lyn Wallan-Smith says

    This looks and sounds totally delish and what a cool idea being able to buy all one needs in a click…………Love it…………Love Bramble Berry :0)

  35. Dennise says

    Hm…Step 3. Shea butter was never listed in the ingredients. Also when I clicked “Buy Now” I got avocado oil instead of avocado butter.

  36. Dennise says

    Oh my gosh I need to make this! My boyfriend’s man hands have been so dry lately and even cracking. It’s terrible.

    Just ordered all the ingredients (plus some other things). Can’t wait.