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.

TIPS: PLEASE READ!

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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{ 780 comments… read them below or add one }

Ken January 16, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Great article. One question: I see this contains 2 cups of raw materiel. How much volume do you get out of the finished product? 3 cups? 4? It looks like the volume increases significantly during the whipping process.

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Mais K January 19, 2014 at 1:58 pm

I had to melt and filter my raw shea butter. It took forever and I want to avoid that process! Do you think I could soften up the shea butter in the microwave enough to mix in my oils?

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Jennifer January 19, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Great recipe, thank you for sharing. I am a bath and body products crafter/ business owner and have been making a similar body butter for years now. This recipe would work just as well without melting the ingredients first as long as they are room temp. All you need to do is whip them together until you reach your desired consistency. For everyone who doesn’t like the smell of unrefined Shea butter simply use refined Shea. It has all of the same benifitial properties but without the smell. It is often not even processed using chemicals but rather refined and bleached naturally. Cheers, Jennifer

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amalia January 19, 2014 at 6:57 pm

Easy & beautifull recipe, made about half of your measure. Skin is wonderfull! About scent, i put just 3 drops ylang- ylang & 3 red mandarin essential oils, smells great! Use raw shea, coconut and sunflower seed oil. Maybe your essential oils is lower quality, 20 drops is too much for skin.

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crystal January 19, 2014 at 7:58 pm

If you don’t want to waste expensive bottles of essential oils to fragrance you body butter you can use candle fragrance oils instead. Make sure you purchase from a reputable company and that it says it’s safe for your skin. Google is you friend…just search “candle fragrance oils.”

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Angela October 18, 2014 at 3:19 am

Crystal, I respectfully disagree with your recommendation of “candle fragrance oils” in place of higher quality essential oils. True Essential Oils are always recommended for skincare and body use. Candle oils, even of the best quality should be used strictly for candles and potpourri products. It is never a good idea to chance a possible bad reaction especially when these oils are very concentrated and usually quite reactive.

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crystal January 19, 2014 at 8:00 pm

You typically need to double the size of your container to allow for the increase in volume during whipping.

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Dimple January 23, 2014 at 11:33 am

Hi,
Very nice recipe…I am gonna try soon…Can I use kokum butter instead of Shea butter?
If yes should I follow the same ratio?

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Carmen January 24, 2014 at 4:04 pm

I’d been looking for a general rule for making a body butter and found your blog. Using the above explanation (3 parts hard oil to one part liquid) I made a coconut and grapeseed oil body butter. It turned out wonderfully. Thank you!

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Carolyn January 26, 2014 at 10:26 am

This recipe is fantastic! I’ve made it a few times now, at first with shea butter and then with cocoa butter, and it comes out so nice. I also gave some to my mom, who suffers from psoriasis, and it’s completely cleared up her skin. Thank you for posting this.

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Jessica Browning January 26, 2014 at 11:40 am

Loving all the reviews so far!!, I am hopping this turns out well. I subbed for almond oil for sunflower seed oil, and added tangerine essential oil and also added some rose hip see oil for healing, as well as 2 capsules of vitamin e oil! should be a great healing body butter! My coworkers and I are trying to find something amazing, we are a bunch of hair dressers and as you can imagine with our hands in so much water how chapped they get! Thank you for sharing this recipe! hope it goes well.

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Dianna January 26, 2014 at 10:42 pm

Can you add anything to it that will give you the look of a tan?

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Katherine January 27, 2014 at 11:25 pm

Could you use cocoa butter instead of shea butter? I have some organic unrefined cocoa butter at home.

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Joana January 29, 2014 at 11:03 am

Great ideas on this website! One general question for this and other softer lotions. Can it be stored in a plastic container, or that will go bad fast?
Thanks

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Susan January 29, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Hi, Joanna, Honestly, I can’t comment on other lotions, I have no experience with them. But I do not keep this in plastic because I don’t really keep anything in plastic. And there is a chance that the oils might interact with chemicals in the plastic. That includes food. Cheers!

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leslie January 29, 2014 at 10:19 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! Just made my first batch tonight and am thrilled with the results! I will be making this again in the future and trying different scents to really make it mine!

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christy January 30, 2014 at 7:23 pm

I haven’t ventured to make a homemade skin product yet, but have read that you can whip shea butter or coconut oil to soften and make them silky. My question for you is, why do you melt yours first? Thank you for the recipe!

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Susan January 30, 2014 at 7:50 pm

I melt them because they combine beautifully and make a stunning body butter. :-)

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Mark February 1, 2014 at 3:22 am

Hey there, Also Minnesotan :) (Uptown). I’ve been making shea butter moisturizers for quite awhile now and wanted to make everything easier for you. You don’t have to heat and cool any of the ingredients. That actually was something I experimented on and on with, with only moderate success, for over a year. Throw everything in a food processor and blitz it till creamy. If you blitz it for too long (you know, to make it nice and fluffy), it’ll heat it a little too warm, and when it’s finally settled, cooled, and jarred for a day, it hardens again. Womp womp. So, whip it! Whip it good!

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Diane January February 2, 2014 at 12:12 pm

For those who do not want to heat shea butter, a Kitchen-Aid works beautifully. Using a whisk attachment, butter can be left to whip while other things are getting done. Scrape the sides of the bowl down periodically to incorporate any lumps or unwhipped butter and continue whipping your butter until it is light and airy. This is virtually an effortless butter, and you don’t have to wait for the butter to cool down to incorporate essential/fragrance oils. It gives your butter a lighter-than-air texture, which melts almost instantly.

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Susan February 2, 2014 at 12:37 pm

It’s interesting…I have done it both ways and still prefer melting and cooling. I guess it’s an individual thing. Cheers!

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G February 3, 2014 at 11:24 pm

Thanks for this. I tried it and it came out great, so decadent. Thanks again.

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Megan February 5, 2014 at 8:14 pm

Sadly mine never got solid. I followed this recipe to a T. The only thing i did different was my oils. i still did a 75% solid to 25% liquid but its been in the freezer for 20 mins now and its not setting. Is there a difference between raw and refined shea butter? That is the only thing i can think of. Or the oils i used. I did 8oz shea butter, 4oz coconut oil for my solids then 2oz almond oil 1 1/2 oz of grape seed oil and 1/2 oz of Argan oil for my liquid oils plus my essentials which were like 1%.

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Susan February 6, 2014 at 12:24 pm

You probably just needed to leave it in the freezer for a bit more. :-)

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rini February 6, 2014 at 4:02 am

hello,
I made whipped shea like this, the result was good, however after storing it, it became like rock again, so hard that i need to scrap it with spoon. Any advice so that my butter stays creamy? Thanks in advance.

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rini February 6, 2014 at 5:07 am

how to prevent the whipped shea from becoming hard again?

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Susan February 6, 2014 at 12:04 pm

If you follow the recipe exactly, that should never happen. What did you use for your ingredients? :-)

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Chris February 7, 2014 at 12:15 am

This looks wonderful, and can’t wait to try making some! Just a thought for Rini and Megan — some essential oils react differently with the carrier oils. Perhaps you used one that solidified the butter, or caused it not to set? You may need to experiment a bit with your ratios, or make sure to use essential oils that don’t cause a reaction. Check internet for more research, and good luck! Have fun!

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Therese M February 7, 2014 at 1:34 am

I made this tonight and am absolutely delighted! One thing I did differently – by accident – was to put the almond oil in at the same time as the shea butter and coconut oil rather than adding it after the first two ingredients were melted and cooled. It still worked fine. I put the mixture in the freezer for about 15 minutes and then started whipping it. It didn’t set up so I returned it to the freezer for another 5 minutes or so. Success! I’m really, really pleased with the result. Makes my skin very soft but isn’t greasy. I used rosemary, peppermint essential oil, and coconut essential oil.

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Susan February 7, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Sounds like a wonderful combination, Therese!

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Kathy February 8, 2014 at 12:26 pm

This stuff is amazing. I made the first batch for Christmas present to save some money. Everyone loved it and they are demanding more…. it came out perfectly, the extreme cold is good for chilling it on the porch. Thanks for this recipe!

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Connie S February 9, 2014 at 9:32 am

Hi, I made mine for a Christmas present for my two daughters and grandaughter and had enough left over for myself. Body butter came out perfect. When it came to figuring out the 25 to 75 ratio I was stumped for a while. Been a long time since school! :)

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Robbi February 9, 2014 at 4:19 pm

I am making this now and have to admit it smells horrid! I am assuming its because I am new to the raw shea and essential oils – but will it smell like something I will want to use after whipping??

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Susan February 9, 2014 at 7:03 pm

Robbi, Sure!

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Susan February 9, 2014 at 7:04 pm

If it smells horrid, you probably have bad shea butter. They do go rancid. I would return it.

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Shannon February 10, 2014 at 6:27 pm

I made this today and it is fantastic!!!! I used lemon and rosemary essential oils. Will be making more tomorrow as valentine’s gifts.

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Carolern77 February 14, 2014 at 9:55 pm

Oh my gosh, I love my body butter. I followed your recipe to the T and it came out wonderful. I already had coconut oil in my kitchen and pure raw shea body in my bathroom. I use that stuff daily. I had to buy some sweet almond oil and essential oils. I used calendula and a chai body oil made from essential oils and it smells yummy. I’m putting it on my hands before I can even get it in the jars. I can’t stop smelling myself. Thanks for a great recipe. Do you have anything for lip balm?

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Susan February 17, 2014 at 3:21 pm

No lip balm yet but a book coming soon!

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Bonnie February 15, 2014 at 12:08 am

Where do you buy raw Shea butter at?

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Susan February 17, 2014 at 3:14 pm

There is a link in the recipe. Cheers!

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Kelley February 15, 2014 at 11:43 am

This looks awesome!

Question: does the coconut oil give the body butter a coconut scent? I have never made anything with coconut oil, so I’m curious about the smell of it.

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Edie February 16, 2014 at 3:23 pm

I have made whipped body butter- but straight in the blender.

If you have a Vitamix or other high powered blender, this is very easy. Break up your shea butter or cocoa butter and spoon out the coconut oil into the blender. If yoou remember, get some vitamin e oil caplets and break them into there- they will act as a preservative. Add your oil (I use avocado oil) and your scents (I used rose extract, a few drops of jasmine and vanilla extract) and then blend- first on low, then up to up 7. Let it go for a few minutes, then place into clean, sterilized jars. I store mine in the fridge, and before using I stir it a bit with a spoon I use expressly for this purpose. This is fast and works really great!

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Jen February 17, 2014 at 6:37 pm

question, how do you measure the solid shea butter? does it grate easily? I can’t wait to make this :) Thank you!

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Susan February 19, 2014 at 12:03 pm

The shea butter isn’t super hard so you can pack it into the cup. Alternatively, melt it and them measure. :-)

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Norine February 17, 2014 at 8:56 pm

when you make lotion, you have to let the melted oils like coconut and shea butter, cool to room temperature before you can whip or blend them together. They won’t mix together other wise. It’s like making mayonnaise. I use my food processor and it only takes a few minutes to blend up.

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Susan February 19, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Norine…yes, I agree. That is why the cooling step in the recipe is so important.

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Olivia February 19, 2014 at 6:26 am

Please can you help me :( I whipped up shea butter, cocoa butter and various oils. I also added rose water and now the lot has curdled! Is there any way I can fix it? I don’t want to use any chemicals in ;my creams

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Susan February 19, 2014 at 11:57 am

I think that because you introduced water to a recipe that called for all oil, that caused your problem. Maybe try melting everything again? I honestly am not sure what the fix is for that. Cheers!

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Angela October 25, 2014 at 7:54 pm

Hi Olivia! I am sorry to hear what happened. I’m sure you found a solution by now (October, lol), but I too love the smell of rose and am curious how you fixed your problem, if at all, and if you were unable to remedy the mixture, perhaps if you instead used Rose Essential Oil diluted in a carrier oil… I know that if you are only looking for the aroma of the rose, there is also Rose Absolute which is chemically derived from the flower but has a stronger scent and is a bit less expensive. The only thing I can imagine would counteract the water would be some sort of emulsifier or something with an absorbent quality(?) -perhaps a clay? But then this would not be a body butter… But rather than throwing everything away (after spending all that money!), I would add the whole lot to a soap recipe (with the accurate ratios of course!), -this may give you a little more room for error…

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becky February 20, 2014 at 1:46 am

Olivia-it’s def. because you added water to an all oil mixture. it’s a basic emulsion, so the only way to fix it is to add more water. i would add it VERY slowly while whipping it, it will look worse before it looks better, but it should come back together. also, if you put it in a food processor it will help emulsify it more thoroughly than a kitchen aid. Like Norine said, it’s like making mayonnaise (also an emulsion) good luck!

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becky February 20, 2014 at 1:51 am

olivia- if you want the rose scent next time i would add rose oil and you shouldn’t have that problem

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Aislinn February 21, 2014 at 10:01 am

Have you or anyone tried mixing some Vitamin E in this? :D
Sounds heavenly, but I’d love to extend its shelf of life!
As where I’m from, it’s tropical all year round :D

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Aude February 25, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Amazing recipe! I’ve been making it for a year now. Thanks to you I got into homemade cosmetics, I now make all my creams, deo, etc myself using much more complex technics but this one I will never change! It got me through my pregnancy without a single strectch mark. Thank you!!!

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Christinia Peake February 26, 2014 at 8:12 pm

I cant waut to try to make this. I have been wanting to every since I brought some from a lady at a farmers market. I was like I want to try this because. It would seem to be easy. If you take your time a follow directions. Nice blog and I truly enjoyed this article.

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DEBBIE March 1, 2014 at 4:47 pm

DID YOU MEASURE YOUR INGREDIENTS BY VOLUME OR WIEGHT? WOULD THERE BE A DIFFERENCE IF I MEASURE 8 OUNCES SHEA BUTTER OR 1 CUP SHEA BUTTER? JUST WONDERING IF THAT WAS THE REASON MEGAN HAD TROUBLE WITH THIS RECIPE NOT SETTING UP. JUST A THOUGHT. I WANT TO TRY THIS.

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Susan March 2, 2014 at 5:48 pm

I measured by volume. You can measure by either. Just keep the same ratios.

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Ellie March 1, 2014 at 10:59 pm

I’ve made this and it refuses to stay in “whipped” form..it turns into a liquid…what is wrong?

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Susan March 2, 2014 at 5:47 pm

It probably wasn’t cold enough when you whipped it. And you can’t store it in a warm place. Room temp is fine unless it is too warm. Cheers.

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Kelly March 2, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Is it ok to replace almond oil with essential oils completely? I have terribly itchy skin on my legs and have heard lavender and thyme essential oils are good for this but not sure if a half cup of essential oils is overkill.

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Susan March 2, 2014 at 5:46 pm

A half cup of lavender oil would not only be over-kill, it would be extremely expensive and way too intense. Essential oils are made to be used in small doses. Cheers!

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Candice March 2, 2014 at 11:51 pm

Can you use Grapeseed oil instead of Almond oil?

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Vicki March 3, 2014 at 9:14 pm

So what would happen if it gets to warm while storing? Once my home hits 75+ degrees will it liquify? Made a quarter of the recipe using lavender and tuberose. Looks amazing can’t wait to shower and slap on in this random Texas ice weath.

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Lilly March 4, 2014 at 7:36 pm

I made this recipe and weighed all of my ingredients. As long as you have the correct percentages it should work. I froze my mixture until it was almost solid then used a spatula to scrape my bowl and whipped it in my Kitchenaid. Came out perfectly. At room temperature my mixture is a solid but easy to scoop with a small wooden spatula.

I had to use a lot of essential oil to cover the strong Shea butter scent but once whipped the Shea scent diminished a lot. A little goes a very long way so use sparingly or you will feel like an oil slick until it soaks in.

Thank you for sharing this recipe.

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The best antibacterial bar soap March 5, 2014 at 10:20 am

That looks lovely…. I always use essential oils used to prevent skin infectionsa as they are very good at healing properties..

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rickelle March 5, 2014 at 3:49 pm

I was just wondering if i could substitute coco butter instead of coconut oil

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fifiet March 9, 2014 at 8:04 pm

Can i change sheashea butter with beewax? Thx

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Susan March 15, 2014 at 11:24 am

I have no idea if it will work with beeswax. That is a wax, not an oil and the recipe was formulated for oils.

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Michelle March 15, 2014 at 12:50 am

Just made this recipe tonight, however, it looks whipped and has great texture. As I touch the butter, it melts and turns oily, so oily I look like a shiny oil slick. Do you have any suggestions on what to change next time? I used shea butter, coconut oil and almond oil, added a little vit e oil with sweet orange and lavender essential oils. Thank you.

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Susan March 15, 2014 at 11:24 am

It is a little oily. It is a butter, not a lotion. But…if you read through the comments, it absorbs very quickly and leaves your skin feeling wonderful.

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