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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{ 748 comments… read them below or add one }

Daisy November 21, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Hi I made my first butter with cocoa, shea, mango solid butter with a little bit of wheat germ oil and drops of vitamin e pure. I followed a recipe and it whipped up fine but it is now all rock solid it is also soo greasy I don’t think I could even use on my body. Did I not add enough oil. Any ideas if I can re heat and add anything and why is it so greasy!

Susan November 21, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Did you follow the Rawmazing recipe? And use the proper ratios? It sounds like you used all solid oils. That is why your body butter went back to a solid. As stated above, you need a 75% solid to 25% liquid oil. Coconut oil is considered to be a solid at room temp.

Meghan November 23, 2013 at 6:05 am

I’m so excited I found this recipe! I have just started testing out different recipes to make my own skin/hair products and I was hoping to find the perfect combination so I could make something for my mom for Christmas. This looks perfect and so pretty! I’m especially glad to see it’s not easily perishable, since my mom lives 9 hours away I’d hate to make her something and have it ruined by the time she got home. I just hope mine looks as good as yours! Thank you for the recipe :-)

Sue C November 23, 2013 at 9:55 pm

I used shea butter, coconut butter and grape seed oil is my version, plus some essential oils. I love how it whips up after chilling it in the freezer. My one problem is if the body butter is left in a warm car (found out the hard way) it melts and is no longer whipped. Do you know of any other safe ingredients that can be added to prevent the melting? Thank you! Blessings for a great day!

Sue C November 23, 2013 at 10:03 pm

I used shea butter, coconut butter and grape seed oil is my version, plus some essential oils. I love how it whips up after chilling it in the freezer. My one problem is if the body butter is left in a warm car (found out the hard way) it melts and is no longer whipped. Do you know of any other safe ingredients that can be added to prevent the melting? Thank you! Blessings for a great day

Beth November 23, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Once whipped- and at room temp- will it stay whipped or get real soft?
I mad two batches, one is still cooling and the other is whipped. It whipped easily. While transferring to a jar, I noticed it turning thin as it landed in the container.

Susan November 23, 2013 at 10:21 pm

The best thing is to avoid exposing it to heat. I don’t have a suggestion for heat stabalizating that would be in line with the simplicity and purity of this recipe. :-) I can’t imagine most true body butters would survive a hot car. You can re-chill it and whip it again.

Susan November 23, 2013 at 10:22 pm

If it is thinning, you probably didn’t chill it enough. I have never had that problem with mine. :-)

Beth November 24, 2013 at 11:51 am

I could really use dome advise. Last night I followed very closely especially the freezer for 20 min.
I made 2 batches.
#1 3oz shae butter
6 oz coconut oil
3 oz grape seed oil

#2 6 oz coconut oil
3 oz palmers cocoa butter
3 oz grape seed oil

Both whipped just fine- no problem at all. My KA mixer had peaks on the whisk just like your picture.
Here is my problem:
I divided it into separate containers , as soon as it touches the container it starts to get thin. This morning you can’t tell it was ever whipped. My house temp is 69 degrees right now.

Beth November 24, 2013 at 12:23 pm

So of yours stays whipped maybe i should cut my liquid back to 2 oz. because I even used an digital scale for exact measurements. I left it is the freezer for 20 min. I even had to use a metal spoon to scrape and break up. It was pretty much solid all the way through. I really appreciate your quick timing on your replies. That is so nice of you!!!

Val November 24, 2013 at 7:27 pm

I will attempt this recipe again in Jan/Feb. It is too hot in Florida most months out of the year for this to stay stable as far south as we are. It’s a struggle to keep the house under 80. However, for the few hours it lasted, it looked beautiful. We made a bergamot/cedar. Thank you for sharing!!

Susan November 24, 2013 at 7:47 pm

If it is warm enough for coconut oil to melt, this won’t stay stable. Cheers!

Thressa F November 25, 2013 at 10:48 am

Hi, i made a body butter with coconut oil, cocoa butter, and essential oils…but, it turned to a solid and you have to let it melt in your hand a bit before you can use it…I would love it if mine would stay in the whipped state…
Any suggestions?
Thank you,

Susan November 25, 2013 at 11:13 am

Theressa, You need to use the oil ratios in the recipe. You did not include a liquid oil. Cheers!

Carolan Ivey November 25, 2013 at 11:51 am

A few drops of vitamin E oil acts as a natural preservative. Definitely trying this recipe!

Barbara McKinley November 25, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Hi Susan, thank you for the recipe, I have looked at several and never decided on which one to make, so think this is the one! Can you tell me is it just as safe to store the butter in a plastic jar?

Susan November 25, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Honestly, I wouldn’t use plastic, but I don’t use plastic for storing anything. Cheers!

Tracy November 25, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Susan, thank you so much for sharing this recipe. It sounds so simple and NATURAL, and yummy! I’ll make a trial run of it for myself, then if it works out, guess what gets put on the Christmas gift list? :) I do have a question – I wonder if folks living in warmer climates or who are having trouble with it turning runny could use a bit of beeswax in the mix? I see that used a lot in other lotions/balms as a “stabilizer” for form. Just a suggestion. Thanks again!

Anca M November 25, 2013 at 4:49 pm

If you add some beeswax,the composition will stay stabile…10 procents will be perfect,but you can use less with good results also

Beth November 25, 2013 at 8:51 pm

I just want to share.
So as I stated above I made 2 separate batches.
They whipped easily then seemed to lose whipped texture. Almost thinning. Well about 20 hours later, I melted more solid and then added a batch into the additional solid. Froze and whipped. Bam! Nice and fluffy. Then what the heck? Pure liquid.
The original batch # 2 set up beautifully after 24 hours.
So I guess for me I need to let it sit for 24 hours and never try to remelt it.
Weird. Anyone else try to remelt it? I don’t understand why it didn’t work. But now I have body whip and thin lotion and I had fun along the way. Hanks for sharing the recipe.

pamela November 25, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Thanks for the great recipe.

Didi November 26, 2013 at 2:38 am

I live in South Africa, so not sure where I can get Shea butter- what can I use as a substitute? Any suggestions?

Rita November 26, 2013 at 9:16 am

How much of an essential oil would you add? How many drops?

Jessica November 26, 2013 at 9:43 am

Try using Sal butter & babassu oil. Sal butter is not as gray as Shea butter & babassu oil absorbs very quickly into the skin. I add coconut oil and vitamin e oil, too. Less coconut oil will make it firmer and less”melty”.

Shirley November 26, 2013 at 10:53 am

Can you give me some suggestions on what essential oil combination you have used?

Madison November 26, 2013 at 3:40 pm

For those of you asking about essential oils, it doesn’t really matter what kind or combination you use. It just depends on your preferences. Tea tree oil would be good to add for someone that has psoriasis or eczema, as it has strong anti-microbial properties. Lavender is a nice scent that most people like. Peppermint oil would be nice if you were giving it for a Christmas gift. I would suggest looking up a chart of essential oils and what they are used for. I know Pinterest has a bunch of charts like this. As for how much to add, that is also just a matter of preference. Add a little, stir and then smell. If you want a stronger scent, add more oil 5 drops at a time. I used peppermint oil and put in 20 drops. It smells great!

Outdoors November 26, 2013 at 3:51 pm

I’ve made similar recipes before and while coconut oil is solid it is also very oily when applied. Does this body butter make your skin oily/greasy?

Beth November 27, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Outdoors… It is a little slight initially. But is soaks right in just enough so the skin still has a nice healthy glow but not blinding with shine.

Has anyone out here used Palmers Cocoa butter? I bought it and used it in the batch that didn’t turn out. After looking closely it has mineral oil in it.

Mary November 27, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Are the oil measurement by weight or by volume? Thanks.

Ash November 27, 2013 at 11:28 pm

Didi, you can get Shea butter from an online store called Faithful to Nature, it is based in Cape Town. If you are out of the area, your parcel will be delivered to you by courier. I’ve just placed my order now, want to try out this recipe. Sounds great.

Kachina Grimm November 29, 2013 at 5:10 pm

If you make it too solid, you could pour it into candy molds and make body bars instead of body butter! Those are just as nice to give as presents, you just rub the whole bar on yourself and it melts as you rub it on! If you add a little powder sparkle, it is even prettier!

Veronica November 29, 2013 at 6:00 pm

I use organic cocoa butter and it smells like chocolate! I love it! I have been using my own formula of body butter for the last three years and nothing else. Thank you for this version too.

Lesley December 2, 2013 at 3:53 pm

trying my first batch now! how long does it need to be “whipped”. it’s currently in my kitchen aid on high. :) it’s getting thicker, but not exactly whipped like the photo. it’s been going almost 5 minutes.

Susan December 2, 2013 at 3:59 pm

If you chill it properly, it will whip very quickly. It sounds like you need to re-chill.

Lesley December 2, 2013 at 4:39 pm

that worked perfectly! thanks so much for your quick reply.

Teresa December 2, 2013 at 11:12 pm

To make it less greasy, you might try a teaspoon of pure cornstarch. “like argo or clabber girl”. I just found this recipe tonight so I’ve not tried it out yet. But I’ve seen videos that suggest adding cornstarch for a less greasy feel. Though I do not know if it will affect the fluffy texture of the creme. If anyone tries this recipe with the cornstarch PLEASE let me know how it went.

shaina December 3, 2013 at 12:18 pm

I just attempted my first batch. Fail! I chilled it and tried to whip it and it turned to a solid again and got stuck in my whisk. What did i do wrong?

Susan December 3, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Without being in your kitchen, it is hard for me to know. It is possible that you chilled it too much. Did it look like the photo? Did you use the same ingredients?

Susan December 3, 2013 at 12:29 pm

I have used cornstarch. I didn’t notice much difference.

Shaina December 3, 2013 at 12:30 pm

it was a little more solid than your picture I didn’t use the exact same ingredients because I just wanted to start very basic and see if I was able to do it. I started with 75 percent cocoa butter and 25 percent grapeseed oil. I am trying to re chill as we speak and maybe leave it in for a little less time. Do I have to leave it out for a little while or can I put it right in the freezer after it is melted?

Susan December 3, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Using that much cocoa butter could also be the problem. It is a very hard oil. You can put it in the freezer right away.

Susan December 3, 2013 at 1:05 pm

I would try the actual recipe above. It is easy and it works. :-)

Shaina December 3, 2013 at 1:23 pm

okay I will try that then. after remelting and rechilling I found that I left in for 5 minutes less and it whipped up nicely but putting it in a container its semi harden a little bit and comes out kind of chunky. I guess I’ll have to keep experimenting. Thanks!

Susan December 3, 2013 at 1:27 pm

It is getting harder because you used all coco butter. Think of the difference between coco butter and coconut oil.

hillie December 3, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Just made a batch of this and (as I don’t have a big enough freezer or an outside area) I sat the top of double boiler in a bowl of water with ice cubes in – chilled perfectly :)
Thank you so much for this recipe – it’s fab!

Nha December 3, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Hi, I just made this recipe. Haven’t used it yet but I’m pretty excited. Does ur hand feel stick after rubbing this lotion on? Is that normal ? Thanks for the recipe!

Charlotte December 4, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Hi guys, I’ve looked through the comments but haven’t found an answer how much essential oil you should use. I don’t want to ruin the batch by using too much. Thanks!

Susan December 4, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Essential oils: It is completely up to you. I started with about 10 drops of each and then adjusted until I liked how it smelled. :-)

Genevieve December 4, 2013 at 6:35 pm

This looks awesome! I’m very excited to try :) Thanks for the recipe!

Donna December 4, 2013 at 7:43 pm

I just made this…it is fantastic! Gonna make some more! LOL

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