Homemade Body Butter Recipe

by Susan on January 17, 2012


*Because of the popularity of this recipe on pinterest, I am getting many, many questions that are more suited for an expert. This is a raw food site, this was my first attempt at body butter, it worked better than I could have hoped for and if you make this recipe as stated, it will work great for you too!! I am sorry but I can’t answer the technical questions. Cheers!*

I made my first batch of body butter today. I think my life has changed forever. Delightful, decadent and easy, I have wanted to try making it for a long time. I was convinced that it would be difficult and not work the way I wanted. Boy, was I wrong. 

I love creamy body butters. Living in a climate that gets quite cold and dry in the winter, they are a must in my house. But two things have always bothered me. They can be quite expensive and also, full of ingredients that are less than desirable for your skin and health. 

We often forget that our skin is the largest organ on our body and absorbs what we put on it. If you are using lotions and body butters with chemicals in them (fragrances, preservatives, color additives, etc.) be aware that your skin absorbs the chemicals, too. Not exactly desirable. I often just use almond oil on my skin after a shower but sometimes I want something a little more decadent. Body butters, made with pure oils and essential oils for fragrance are just the thing. 

I called my friend Jen Vertanen, who writes the blog, “The Wholehearted Life”, knowing that she has spent years playing with recipes for home made soaps and lotions and asked her opinion on ingredients. She told me to use 75% solid to 25% liquid oil. Sounded easy enough.

I measured out shea butter (I use this shea butter: organic raw shea butter and coconut oil for the solid, and melted them in my home-made double boiler. (If you don’t have a double boiler, make sure there is space for the steam to escape and you are using heat proof glass.)

I wanted to use rosemary as one of my scents. I didn’t have any rosemary essential oil so I added fresh rosemary as the oils were cooling. I also stirred in the almond oil at this point. Once the oil was cool, I strained out the rosemary, added peppermint (just a few drops, it is strong) and sweet orange essential oils and tried to whip the butter as instructed in other body recipes that I had researched. Nothing happened. I was about to give up and just let the oil harden when I had an idea.

I placed the oil mixture outside (it’s cold…it’s Minnesota) and let it partially set up. At that point, I tried whipping it again in the kitchen aid mixer and, success! A beautiful body butter, so simple to make, smelling delicious and with a texture that was like clouds of silk.

IF YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE WITH YOUR BODY BUTTER WHIPPING: you probably rushed this step. It needs to be cooled significantly….like in the picture.

I have to admit, I am pretty excited at how easy it is to make. I used sweet orange, lemon and lavender in my second batch. Heavenly. You can just use the basic recipe and add your favorite essential oils. Just make sure they are skin friendly!

A few people have asked about jars. I use these: Weck jars

Don’t want to make your own? We highly recommend Just the Goods!



Body Butter

Makes 2 1/2 to 3 cups whipped butter.

1. Melt shea butter and coconut oil in the top of a double boiler. Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes. 

2. Stir in almond oil and essential oils of your choosing.*

3, Place oil mixture in freezer or outside to chill.

4. Wait until oils start to partially solidify (see photo) then whip until a butter-like consistency is achieved. 

4. Place in clean, glass jar and enjoy! A little goes a long way.

*Not all essential oils are skin friendly or child friendly. Please do your research before adding.


1. You can use what ever oils you wish, just make sure you keep the ratio 75% solid to 25% liquid. SO IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO ANY OF THE ABOVE LISTED OILS, JUST REPLACE THEM WITH AN OIL THAT YOU ARE NOT ALLERGIC TO. Just make sure you replace a solid for a solid and a liquid for a liquid. 

2. The chilling step is crucial. If you don’t chill it properly, it won’t whip or stay whipped. About 20 minutes in the freezer usually does the trick for this batch. Make sure you scrape down the sides before mixing.

3. Since this recipe does not contain any water, it will not mould. You should keep in a cool place but it does not have to be refrigerated. 

4. I do not know the exact shelf life but I know it will keep at least a few months, plus. 

5. The body butter melts as it goes on and gets a little oily but absorbs beautifully, quickly and leaves your skin very soft.

6. You can order the shea butter here: Raw Shea Butter

     You can order the coconut oil here: Coconut Oil

     You can order the almond oil here:  Almond Oil

     You can order the Weck Jars here:  Weck Jars

Alternatively, coconut oil and almond oil are quite easy to locate at your local coop, Whole Foods or health food store. 

7. This recipe has been tested many times. If you don’t follow the recipe, you will not get the same results. 

8. Many people ask for exact amounts of essential oils. I start with at least 20 drops of what ever oil I want to use and just increase slowly until I am happy with how it smells. So…be free! Use your own creativity here. 

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{ 751 comments… read them below or add one }

Theresa September 14, 2013 at 7:44 am

Where do you buy sandalwood Essential oil?? For those of you who used the sandalwood oil… I fond some and it’s pretty expensive!!

Jan September 29, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Made this recipe several months ago and have been receiving requests for refills. My second batch is cooling now.
Thanks for sharing, we all love this!

Veronica October 9, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Just made my third batch. This time i added 1/4 cup cocoa butter and used hemp oil instead of almond oil. Lovely. Thank you for the recipe.

Tracy October 10, 2013 at 4:23 pm

I have tried everything and can’t get this to whip. Not sure what I did wrong or am doing wrong, but I am getting a little frustrated. I have tried to whip this is my stand mixer and my blender and neither works. Help please!! I really want this to work for me!!

Susan October 10, 2013 at 4:25 pm

If it isn’t whipping, you probably didn’t chill it enough. It is an essential step. Cheers!

Kim October 13, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Thank you so much for the detailed recipe! I just finished mine and it turned out beautiful! I used 1/2 walnut oil and 1/2 jojoba oil instead of almond oil because I didn’t have almond oil. I used tangerine, lavender, and lemon essential oils. My husband said it smelled like bread dough. I lost my sense of smell in an accident so have to rely on his nose. So bummed!! I added more lemon and he said it now smells like dough with lemon in it. I want to cry. It would be awesome if anyone would send me the exact amount of each oil (drops) you used for your batch maybe that is a way I can get a nice smelling batch without a nose. THANK YOU for sharing this!!

Kristina October 13, 2013 at 5:30 pm


I was wondering how many drops of the essential oil? I wanted to use rose, but I’m afraid to over do it..

Also would this recipe work well as a hair mask?

Divine October 14, 2013 at 8:10 pm

I am so thrilled I found your recipe! Thank you for sharing. I just ordered everything on Amazon. I can’t wait to try it!

Kari October 16, 2013 at 12:26 pm

What happens if I am a big dummy and added the almond oil before heating, does that ruin the whole recipe?

Susan October 16, 2013 at 1:11 pm

No, it should be fine. Cheers!

Jennifer October 16, 2013 at 5:09 pm

I just finished my first batch and it whipped up beautifully. Your directions were very easy to follow. Thanks for sharing!!

Alecia October 21, 2013 at 8:46 am

Don’t worry! I made a recipe that yielded 3 cups and added about 30 drops of essential oils total. AND, I added them in the whipping process so I could smell them over the shea and mango butters. I used 10 drops of cassia and 20 drops of peppermint. It worked out great (I smell mainly cassia!)

I do have a question: what is a good replacer for the coconut oil? I’m finding it a little oily since it’s such a fatty oil. I’m thinking of just increasing the shea a tad and using fractioned coconut oil.

Cathy October 24, 2013 at 8:47 am

I am crazy allergic to. Shea, would coco butter work?????

Susan October 24, 2013 at 11:57 am

Sure, just keep the ratios and follow the directions. Cheers!

Ella October 25, 2013 at 11:48 am

Hi! I was just wondering how much the oils cost?

Susan October 25, 2013 at 11:54 am

Cost: It would completely depend on where you order them from. Cheers!

Jenna October 31, 2013 at 12:05 am

What is the shelf-life of this recipe?

Ashley November 2, 2013 at 11:19 am

Thank you for the amazing recipe…..we are loving our new experiences. Our butter is a bit too oily though…..are we doing anything wrong? ……can anyone tell me if they found the same problem?

Susan November 2, 2013 at 11:50 am

It goes on a little oily but absorbs quickly. I often put it on my wet skin right after a shower and towel it off. That is actually my favorite way to use it. You didn’t do anything wrong…just give it a minute to soak in.

kiyla November 4, 2013 at 11:12 am

I love whipped Shea butter I use it in my hair as a moisturizer its very great, I have African American kinky hair by the way. But other than melting it and whipping it, I whip it in its solid form but it all turns out the same.

Sabrina November 5, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Thank you for sharing! I’m cooling my first batch right now, great thanks again.

SueC November 6, 2013 at 9:56 pm

I love this body butter recipe! I find it goes on “oily” but quickly absorbs. Some hints I have found that work for me: I place my mixing bowl in the freezer while I am melting my shea butter and coconut oil. By doing this I shorten the time it takes to cool my mixture so I can “whip it”. I also chose not to add any fragrance when making up my body butter. By doing this I can make one batch but have a different fragrance daily. If you are new to essential oils, be careful when adding essential oils in small amounts of body butter as some essential oils can be irritating to the skin.

Stephanie November 10, 2013 at 11:48 am

Could I substitute the shea butter for mango butter?

Susan November 10, 2013 at 12:03 pm

I am confused, the recipe calls for shea butter…Do you mean mango butter for shea? As long as you keep the solids to liquids in the right proportion, you should be fine. Cheers!

Jayshree November 13, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Hi Susan

Cant wait to try the recipe. The link you have goes to a different vendor on amazon than Halaeveryday. Which is the authentic one? You know how amazon is – both have great and some bad reviews. Thanks for your help. Trying to make this before the holidays.

Jesscia November 14, 2013 at 5:09 am

Hi, I just made body butter for the first time yesterday and it did not turn out well. I used a recipe from a different site so it is slightly different from yours. It used two solids as well (cocoa and shea), but it also uses grapeseed, apricot, and vitamin e oil along with a fragrance oil. The steps are the same as what you did. I know where I messed up, I’m just unsure if I can correct it. I allowed it to sit too long and it turned completely into a solid form. My question for you, or anyone else reading this, is can I reheat it can start over? Thanks for any suggestions… and FYI, next time I attempt to make body butter, I will use your recipe! :)

Karina November 14, 2013 at 10:31 am

Thanks for this recipe. :-) My first atemp and it worked. Now I have some friends who will be very happy and I will try out a lot of different essentials oils and just enjoy. :-)

Judy November 15, 2013 at 11:13 pm

The “organic”, raw shea butter is not listed as organic on the amazon website.

Crystal November 15, 2013 at 11:57 pm

Thanks for this recipe. I will be making my first small amount tomorrow after work and I’m so scared. But, I was wondering did this recipe ended up being a thick mixture?

Susan November 16, 2013 at 12:04 am

It is as you see in the photos. Yes, if you follow the directions, and use this recipe, it is thick. Cheers!

Susan November 16, 2013 at 12:04 am

Please try again..

Rzar November 16, 2013 at 3:32 am

I could really use this recipe..my feet were injured and these oils will help tremendously. Thank you!

Joyce Harrell November 16, 2013 at 3:44 am

I’ve made body butter recently using Shea butter and I find the odor of Shea to be overpowering and not so nice. The essential oils don’t even seem to cover the smell. Any thoughts on that?

Isabel November 16, 2013 at 5:05 am

Hi im interested to know, if i swapped it round and did 1 cup of coconut oil and 1/2 cup shea butter and the rest the same as recipe.. would it still whip or is the shea butter the key for whipping. cheers.

Stacie November 16, 2013 at 7:50 am

If I wanted to add some cocoa butter, say 1/4 cup, how much of the other items would I need to keep the correct ratio? Sorry, having a hard time figuring it out!!

Betsy November 16, 2013 at 11:08 am

Hi Susan! Love the body butter recipe. It came out perfect! Thank you!

Note: I know feedback is important so I just have let you (and I rarely ever post comments) how much I enjoy your website. It is outstanding, inspiring and my favorite. You are so good at following up on comments! Thank you for all your time you spend on recipes of all kinds and sharing your tips and trials along the way. I also appreciate that you use ingredients that are easily found. Your pictures are always beautifully done and very helpful. I purchased your Rawmazing book quite awhile ago at B&N before ever discovering your website and love it. I can’t wait to obtain the rest of your books too. Thank you for doing what you do!

zivile November 16, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Thanks, it came out amazing !!!! I made with Jasmin oil, delish.

Susan November 16, 2013 at 8:50 pm

You should keep the ratios 3/4 solid oil to 1/4 liquid. Cheers!

Susan November 16, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Isabel…you are using two solid oils so it might not have the same softer consistency.

Susan November 16, 2013 at 8:51 pm

You might try a different shea butter. Some do not smell good. I have put in a new link for Amazon but they do switch things up at times.

Susan November 16, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Jessica…if you had problems, I would contact the person who posted the recipe on the other site (the one you used) and ask them…. Cheers!

Leatherflower November 16, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Kim, it probably smells like dough due to the walnut oil, I say yummy smell :)

Donna November 17, 2013 at 1:53 pm

I have played with shea butter for two weeks now and came across this recipe. I am impatient and had a hard time waiting on the solidifying process, but it was so well worth it. I added my essential oils that help with my psoriasis and the result is absolutely great. My skin is clearing up with no chemicals, or prescriptions. And people are asking me to make shea body butter to meet their skin needs. What a lifesaver this is sure to be in my home for all sorts of things. I plan to make a batch for my dad for arthritis, and my father in law to help with diabetes circulatory issues. And someone has challenged me to make them an antiwrinkle cream. I think I can do that. Thank you for a wonderful recipe that met my expectation of body butter. I came across your site when searching for shea butter recipes and certainly intend to check out other great finds on here.

Bonnie November 17, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Donna, what essential oisl did you use for your psoriasis, please?

Yoana November 19, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Hi Susan,

Just to confirm- you measure the coconut oil and shea butter before you melt them, correct?

Thanks! I’m impatient to try this!


Susan November 19, 2013 at 8:48 pm

I roughly measure before I melt so I know how much to melt and then measure after it is melted. Unless your oils are soft enough to pack into the cup. It won’t make a ton of difference. Cheers!

adei November 20, 2013 at 12:04 am

Hi just had well kinda a silly question, will extract ex. Black Cherry be ok? Or does it have to be only oils?

Susan November 20, 2013 at 12:13 pm

I would be careful with anything that isn’t oil based. It will cause your body butter to develop mold. Cheer!

Shawana November 20, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Hi there!

I was thinking of adding glycerin to this recipe, and was wondering if you have tried this before.

If so, should I substitute some of the oil for the glycerine to adhere to the solid to liquid ratio?

Thanks! =-)

Susan November 20, 2013 at 2:52 pm

I have not tried glycerin. :-)

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