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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{ 746 comments… read them below or add one }

Teresa December 4, 2013 at 9:00 pm

You say let cool for 30 mins but in the tips you say 20mins. which is it?

Susan December 4, 2013 at 9:05 pm

There are two steps that you are referring to. The first one is to let it cool for 30 minutes after you melt the ingredients. The chilling step is 20 or so minutes. So Both. :-)

Teresa December 4, 2013 at 10:29 pm

My first batch is taking forever to solidify. My shea butter is unrefined organic shea butter. My coconut oil is unrefined organic extra virgin. what did I do wrong?

Susan December 4, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Did you let it cool…and then put it in the freezer? Are you talking about the whipping stage or the cooling stage?

Teresa December 4, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Okay finished first batch ever. It got frothy like expected but when it melts when on you it’s like you put on crisco. Is it really supposed to be that greasy? I even put two heeping half teaspoons of cornstarch so it made it kinda thick but still frothy. I didn’t follow the recipe exact I put 1/3 almond rather than 1/2 cup. You would think it I used too much oil. I did put some on my hands and arms you can feel it but I don’t quite feel like a greased monkey. At least not nearly as bad as just using coconut oil alone.

Teresa December 4, 2013 at 11:47 pm

No I put it straight into the freezer. When you say cool, perhaps you should distinguish cool as in setting it out before you put it in the freezer.

Teresa December 4, 2013 at 11:54 pm

I say that because some may not know you mean cooling by setting it out and cooling it by sticking it in the freezer. It feels good as it absorbs. I guess I’m not use to body butter. Do you have a recipe just for lotion? I’ve been using coconut oil straight. I just wanted to have it in a lotion/cream so that I can wear it during the day without staining my clothes.

Susan December 5, 2013 at 12:06 am

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.

Two distinct steps.

Teresa December 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Susan, sorry if I came across as being a bit thick. I am VERY new to this… What brands of shea butter do you recommend ? The one I bought at Whole Foods was a Fair Trade one. It was unscented and does not smell good. I bought it thinking the essential oil would fix that. Can organic unrefined shea butter go bad?

Mrs G December 7, 2013 at 10:52 am

Great recipe!
I just made it and it feels very nice on my skin! I halved the recipe and it worked just fine.

@ teresa: shea butter has its own distinct scent. Essential oils will not cover it. Personally I don’t mind it. However, if you don’t like it, then you should purchase deodorized shea butter. It’s refined in order to remove the smell.

Michelle noel December 7, 2013 at 1:36 pm

I made this today, thank you so much for the recipe!

Alex December 8, 2013 at 7:13 pm


I’m really excited to try this! Is there a difference between almond oil and sweet almond oil, and which did you use? I’ve seen sweet almond oil but have never seen plain almond oil and don’t know where I would get that.

Terry December 10, 2013 at 3:44 am

Just made this Beautiful Body Butter! Magnificent!!! It feels wonderful on my skin!!! Will have to make more for Christmas gifts for my daughters and friends!! Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

Selina December 10, 2013 at 9:47 am

Do you know where I can get esesential oils at? and which do I use sweet almond oil or do they sale just almond oil?

Selina December 10, 2013 at 9:48 am

Do you know where I can get essential oils at? and which do I use sweet almond oil or do they sale just almond oil?

Donna December 10, 2013 at 1:25 pm

I just made this (2nd batch) and forgot to let it cool 30 min. before adding the almond oil and essential oils. How will this effect my butter? The first batch I made is amazing!

Stephanie December 11, 2013 at 12:52 am

Hi. I am wondering what you would suggest using if I did not want to use the coconut oil (I may be sensitive/allergic to coconut)?

Karla December 11, 2013 at 2:58 am

I used a similar recipe recently (with magnesium oil, coconut oil, and cocoa butter) and had a heck of a time getting it “butterize.” Chilling is very important.

You used 1 cup shea butter, 1/2 cup coconut oil, and 1/2 cup almond oil, but your notes say used 75% solid to 25% liquid. Your recipe is really 50/50 in Texas, where the coconut oil is liquid about 9 months of the year. I bought some twisting dispensers like you would use for deodorant and I’m going to put my body butter in that since it’s hard. Then it can melt on my skin as I apply it. When the weather warms back up, I’ll have to keep it in the fridge, though.

Edel December 11, 2013 at 5:07 am

@ Selena and Alex – almond oil and sweet almond oil are the same thing. Or so I was told when looking for it. I’m looking for something for my dad’s skin because his skin is so fragile and dry. This sounds like a good option.

diane clifford December 11, 2013 at 8:16 am

What can I substitute for coconut oil? I am allergic. Thanks.

Sunny December 11, 2013 at 10:42 am

I`m very new at this, also. I accidentally bought coconut butter instead of coconut oil.. Will that work?

Cynthia December 11, 2013 at 10:48 am

Is there a substitute for Shea Butter? I think I’m allergic to Shea Butter, whenever I use a lotion with shea butter in it I have a reaction.

sherry December 11, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Just ordered the shea butter. Can’t wait to make it!

Susan December 11, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Just stick with the ratios, 75% solid to 25% liquid. Solid can be mango butter, coco butter, etc. Each butter will have it’s own characteristics and may change the consistency of the final product.

Susan December 11, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Karla, the melting point of coconut oil is 97 to 104 degrees. Unless you are keeping the oil in a hot place, it shouldn’t be liquid for 9 months out of the year. I made this through out hot summers in California and as long as the coconut oil was kept in a cool place, I never had a problem. Cheers!

Patricia December 11, 2013 at 2:37 pm

I made my first batch of whipped body butter and I just love the stuff and will be making this for gifts

Dawn December 11, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Hi Susan

Thankyou so much for this recipe!…ive just made my own toothpaste and lip balms and they r amazing! ….so cant wait to try this!…..but like the others which almond oil do i use and does it have to be cold pressed? thanks xx

Corinne December 12, 2013 at 12:38 am

Hello Susan, where do you purchase the butter and oils?

Susan December 12, 2013 at 1:27 am

Please see the above post. There are links to all the oils. Cheers!

@vinniebasile December 12, 2013 at 7:31 am

To the people reporting bumps or a poor skin reaction, please consider:
1) Coconut oil does not have an indefinite shelf life; perhaps you were unlucky to use a jar that was processed some year(s) ago and your particular jar has gone rancid. Rancid coconut oil can be drying and possibly leading to a rash for those with the most sensitive skin. This is why it’s important to know what you’re buying and to buy from trusted sources.
2) If you have an allergy to latex, Shea butter may not be the best solid butter option to use, as there are some compounds in it that mildly resemble the compounds in latex. For me, I know my skin is sensitive to enzymes in mangoes, so I choose another butter that works for me.

The true beauty of making your own skin care products is:
You get to customize and choose the raw materials that both
a) work best for your particular skin type and
b) meet the recipe’s formula standard (in this case, 75% solid to 25% liquid oils—which, btw, can be figured out by weight as well as volume measurements).
Your skin and body will thank you if you test each carrier oil/butter on a patch of skin to see if you have a bad or good reaction before committing to using them in a whole batch.

Also, read as many pages of comments as you have patience for, as you’ll get to learn from others’ mistakes! ;-)

Susan, you definitely have earned a ‘most patient blogger’ badge with this comment section ;-)

Jennifer December 12, 2013 at 10:00 am

Mine turned out beautifully!!! Thank you for sharing the recipe! Only I switched it up a little (the artist in me). I used half shea butter and half cocao butter, and instead of almond oil I added 1/2 and 1/2 of jojoba and olive oil! Although I put a capful of sweet almond in there ;) Mine smells yummy with some peru basalm and a little cinnamon leaf essential oil too. Thank you soooo much for sharing this recipe! Love it!!!!

R December 12, 2013 at 11:43 am

Virgin coconut oil has a melting point of 76 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees C). I can testify that in the spring, summer and fall months coconut oil is a liquid in Texas, even if kept in the pantry. However, hydrogenating the oil will increase it’s melting point.

V Jane December 13, 2013 at 3:05 am

I live in South Texas where it is extremely hot in the summer months & I buy Organic Coconut oil & it does not turn to liquid unless I leave it outside. I keep mine in my pantry and it’s solid like Lard!
Thanks for the recipe Susan, I will be using my Young Living Essential Oils to make this! Cheers!

Terrie Ann December 13, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Can you get the same results using an emulsion hand blender?

G December 14, 2013 at 7:27 pm

I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfect. I used about 20 drops of orange essential oil and the scent is very light and pleasant, I will use more next time foe a stronger scent. But very excited at this lovely recipe.
Thank you so much!!!!! Giving this to all the girls in my family. It is so easy to make I might even include a couple of neighbors. I ordered Shea butter through amazon and bought everything else out my co-op.

Ayla @eatsimply December 15, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Love recipes that are simple ratios! Thank you. I’ve been purchasing shea butter products from whole foods and locally at farmers markets but customizing the scent is appealing to me. I also think I have just enough time to try a batch and then make for holiday presents if I like it. Glad I stumbled on your blog…off to check out your food recipes :)

Barbara December 18, 2013 at 8:29 am

I loved this but just a little information about the coconut oil melting point. Most of us are most likely using 76°melting point coconut oil. It is what is most readily available. I too have an issue with it melting in the summer. I store mine in the basement. Thank you for the blog and the time you put in it for others, Barbara

krista December 18, 2013 at 8:41 pm

how many drops are everyone using of essential oils per batch? i just used 30 and it still smells only like shea butter which is fine…. but i am just wondering how much oil is the norm to get a fairly decent scent? Love this recipe otherwise!

krista December 18, 2013 at 8:43 pm

also … can i add more EO while whipping if it doesnt have enough scent?

Jessica December 18, 2013 at 8:51 pm

I made a batch of this a couple months ago and love it! I decided to make some to give as gifts and this time it is not the same consistency. It looks like whipped cream instead of body butter and I’m afraid that it will just melt right in the jar. Maybe I rushed the chilling step? Has anyone tried to refreeze it after they have whipped it? Or should I just ‘re-melt it, cool, freeze and who again? I don’t want t throw it away because I made a triple batch. Any help would be great!!

krista December 18, 2013 at 9:14 pm

last question! lol can i add more oils and re-whip?

Sue Granger December 19, 2013 at 5:49 pm

I find using a little beeswax helps it stay solid, keeps it from being so runny in warmer weather.

Sharon Jackson December 20, 2013 at 2:39 pm

OH NO. I did not read the instructions properly, I melted the coconut and shea and added the almond oil right away. It is cooling outside right now. I hope I have not wasted $30 worth of oils!!

Laurabeth December 22, 2013 at 1:18 am

I just made 3 batches. I got all the ingredients at whole foods. Raw unrefined Shea butter (16oz) yes! I made 3 batches. I used 1/2. Cup Shea 1/2 cup coconut oil heated low in a saucepan just until melted. Poured into both glass and plastic containers. Didn’t make a difference in the end. Allowed to cool for 40 minutes (I stuck my finger in it to make sure it was barely warm) added the 1/2 cup almond oil to each batch. Placed in the freezer for 40 minutes. Microwaved for 20 seconds. Blended with a cheap Walmart hand mixer for about a minute and rubbed it all over myself as I packaged it into 4- 8oz mason jars. Merry Christmas to 4 lucky people!

Side note: (My boyfriend thought it was icing and my cat though it was edible so monitoring the kitchen is a must!)

eryn December 22, 2013 at 1:37 am

I use similar ingredients but I don’t melt anything…I just blend or all together and it comes out fine

Ann December 23, 2013 at 8:56 am

Mei mei, you used 50%/50% liquid/solid in stead of 25%/75%
I used 12 oils and butters: 75% solid (unraff shea, coconut and a little bit of cocoa), 25% liquid (olive, argan, jojoba, vit e, ricin, …) It is AMAZING. I made a few times coconut body butter. It whipped up nicely but became hard, so i had to break of a chunk of cream each time. this butter has the texture of commercial day cream
I used 20 drops lavender and 20drops peppermint. i read that blend masks the awfull shea smell. I hesistated since i dislike lavender but in combination with mint it loses its grandmotherish smell and gets a kick. I love it. I like fresh smells but since citrus oils are better not applied on the face (where sun gets) this is a nice alternative. No shea smell was left. I used 50% of unrafined shea, just like the recipe indicaates.

DawnandLo December 23, 2013 at 11:59 am

Just made 3 batches of this last night. It’s soooo nice. My super dry skin thanks you and so will everyone on my Christmas list. Also, it really does soak in nicer if you do put it on when you’re still warm and wet out of the shower.

DawnandLo December 23, 2013 at 12:03 pm

One more thing, I’m with Joyce on the scent of Shea Butter. Not a fan really. How much esscential oil to help mask or make the smell more pleasant?

ruari December 24, 2013 at 11:05 am

I just made my first batch and followed the resipe exactly. It whipped up just fine and looked just how body butter is supposed to look. But when I put it on it melted right back into oil form and was really greasy. Is that how it’s supposed to be? I was hoping it would be a little more creamy.

Jessica December 24, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Can I use olive oil instead of almond oil?

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