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


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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{ 856 comments… read them below or add one }

Maya March 19, 2014 at 9:11 pm

I made a version of this using beeswax and it worked fine. Use it sparingly, though. Too much will make it harden into a really great pomade. Lol


Christina March 24, 2014 at 7:48 pm

If I’d like to add lavender and vanilla essential oils, how much of each should I use?


Bronwyn March 27, 2014 at 6:36 pm

Hi and thank you I love this body butter.
Have you a recipe for face cream at all?


Ioana March 29, 2014 at 12:28 pm

thank you so much for the recipe! I tried it today and is really great. My skin is very dry and the water where I live is very harsh, but I already see the differece!


Norma April 8, 2014 at 2:08 pm

I would add some vitamin E oil as a preservative.


Kristen April 13, 2014 at 6:11 pm

This is the second time I’ve made this lotion and I LOVE it! It’s easy to make and it lasts forever. The only thing I noticed with mine is after a while it became much harder than it initially was. I could still scoop it out of the container fine, but it wasn’t the nice whipped consistency any more. I’m just curious, would it make a difference if we melt the shea butter and coconut oil and then measure it out?


Faina April 15, 2014 at 11:21 pm

I’ve done this twice. I love it. I love the texture, the fact that it is natural, but I’ve noticed that I often get itchy a few hours after the application. Can anybody figure out why this might be happening?


Savvy September 15, 2014 at 11:08 am

If you are getting itchy, you might be mildly allergic to one of the ingredients. I have never been allergic to anything, but got an injection of medicine recently and the spot of the injection started getting itchy after a while and then I broke out in hives. It wasn’t a serious allergic reaction, but the itchiness could be an allergy.


Alisha April 20, 2014 at 9:16 pm

I made this for a second time. The first time the texture was smooth and silky, this time around a lil oiler. Maybe I should add the 1/2 c. maybe less? I added a total of 50 drops and I could still smell the Shea Butter. Is it my brand? Thanks for sharing though.


Cassie April 20, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Thank you! I followed your directions and it took my freezer 50 minutes to let my oils to look like your picture. Whipped like magic! I love the texture. I’ve split some to go in the fridge and some to stay outside. I would say it smells nutty and I should have put in more essential oils or something better suited for the nuttiness of the melted Shea.


Bert April 28, 2014 at 3:25 pm

I didn’t like the printer friendly button. All I got was the adds and comments no recipe. I did finely manage to stop it after 6 pages of wasting my paper and ink.


Susan April 28, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Hi, Bert,

I am not sure what happened with the printer friendly button. Are you sure it was one from this site? We pay for an ad-free version so there are no ads that should be printed at all. I just tested it and it worked just fine for me. Cheers!


Joanna April 28, 2014 at 9:20 pm

I’m curious what is the point of the double-boiler step? I make my own body butter also – I just put shea butter, coconut oil, castor oil and essential oils in a bowl and whip them with my mixer. It turns out looking just like yours and works fabulous.


Tracy Rowles April 30, 2014 at 5:56 am

I tried this recipe its awesome. I used apricot oil instead of almond scented with bergamont oil and a touch of jasmine oil.


nicole May 1, 2014 at 12:05 pm

I was wondering how many drops of each E.O. you used when you made the orange, lemon, and lavendar scented body butter? Also, if I was to do just one scent, approximately how many drops would I use? I am new to E.O.’s and just looking for some guidance! Thanks!


barbara wheate May 2, 2014 at 7:09 am

Such a simple format 50,25,25…Thank you for sharing. I’m at the ‘freezer stage’ right now after following your recipe. Looking good so far and the smell is delicious, I don’t have the need for essential oils, but I have added one square of 85 percent dark chocolate – Hope it works out ok. My home made Choc ‘n Nut Body Butter!


Ash May 4, 2014 at 12:29 am

Faina, maybe the essential oil you used gave you an allergic reaction? Try another oil.


Sara May 9, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Hi. I’m trying this now, but still,seems greasy. Is that normal, or should I be putting more Shea butter and less coconut and almond oils?


Susan May 9, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Hi, Sara, It is a body butter, not a lotion. It goes on a little oily but assorts very quickly. Cheers!


Sara May 9, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Hi. I’m trying this now, but still seems to greasy. Is that normal, or should I be putting more Shea butter and less coconut and almond oils?


Cathy Brown May 11, 2014 at 11:52 am

Hi – I’m in Canada and couldn’t order the Shea butter you suggested so ordered another pure, raw one. The problem I have is the smell. Real Shea butter has a distinctive odor to it and no matter how much vanilla essential oil I put in, that smell is still there. Does the shea butter you use have that smell. Unfortunately talking to people that make these butters for a living, even they said if there isn’t that distinct smell with the shea butter you are using, it’s not pure, raw.


sara May 12, 2014 at 7:40 am

thanks Susan..
I wasn’t sure if i was doing something wrong or not while making it. this is only the 2nd time i’ve done it, and i’m thinking of body butters from the body shop etc, that were more of a lotion consistency… i was going to try a little bit of wax in my next batch, but if this is normal i’ll just play a little with the mounts of shea butter, coconut oil and almond oil and see if that helps cuts down the greasy-ness.


Veronika May 15, 2014 at 9:52 am

Hello, I made this with pure raw cocoa butter, but my seems to melt in glass quiet quickly . What have I done wrong please? Could that be the cocoa butter? Thanks


Beth May 18, 2014 at 9:06 pm

Well I’ve been making this since November 2013. I still love it!
I got it down to a science now. I know how many oz of each variation and how much each batch cost.
I got the best price of shae butter at Amazon. Best buy for coconut oils at Walmart.
So one more time: thank you for sharing!


Veronika May 19, 2014 at 6:14 am

Hello ? Please what I am doing wrong?


Susan May 20, 2014 at 11:47 am

Did you only use coco butter?


Melissa May 21, 2014 at 8:03 am

I’ve tried this but after a few hours, my body butter hardens and no longer has that fluffy soft feel to it.. Anyone experience the same thing? I can’t find a way for my butters (after being whipped and put in jars) to stay soft. They always harden… HELP!


Susan May 26, 2014 at 11:16 am

Hi, Melissa, It is going to harden a little more than when it is first done but it should still be easily scoop-able. What ingredients are you using? Cheers!


Patty May 22, 2014 at 1:41 am

Anything with out coconut oil? I’m allergic.


Susan May 26, 2014 at 11:13 am

Hi, Patty, If you read the recipe, you will see that any of the oils can be substituted, you just have to make sure you are using a solid (at room temp oil) to substitute for a solid, and a liquid for a liquid. Wonderful question! Have a great day!


donna May 26, 2014 at 6:10 pm

I have used this recipe since November 2013 and made several versions. Always making the body butter – everyone loves it, and my combo of eo’s used in it is clearing my psoriasis. You can always sub mango butter, kokum butter, cocoa butter, any of them – I have a customer that is allergic to coconut oil, so in her customized formula I use mango and shea, and then a liquid oil – grapeseed or sweet almond. She loves it – as far as the distinctive odor of shea, the reason I stick to raw and unrefined is that it has a greater moisturizing power than its refined counterpart that has less odor. Using refined can mean that the product you have made it just a fluffy cream with no real moisturizing power in it, except for the other one or two oils used, so I stick to higher quality and have tried several different online stores before settling on one I really like. Also consider the quality of your eo’s, and understand that some of the scents may get masked, but the quality of the essential oil is intact, even if you don’t smell it strongly or at all. At least the quality of mine is working for me….everyone’s skin is different and requires different treatments…it also has a little something to do with environment, and the list can go on and on – play with it til you get what works best for your needs!


BRIAN May 31, 2014 at 4:25 am

can I use extra virgin olive oil 1/2 cup instead of almond oil?

how long in the fridge? instead of freezer


Susan June 1, 2014 at 11:23 am

That should be fine. Cheers!


Sarah June 2, 2014 at 10:22 pm

Hey so I made the recipe and set it in the fridge for a few hours but when I whipped it it turned out more like lotion. Can I remelt it and do it again?


Ladybug June 4, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Thanks so much for this recipe. Where I live, coconut oil is a liquid at room temp for about 2/3 of the year; in that case, it would be considered a liquid oil for this recipe, correct?


Michelle June 17, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Hi there, great site here. :) I’m going to try to make my own butters and have been doing a ton of online research the past couple of days but there is SOOOO much information it gets confusing! I guess my only question right at this moment is about room temp melting. I’d like to make a body butter and be able to keep it in a jar at room temp without it melting. It sounds like this time of year anything with coconut butter is going to melt? How about the shea? What other butters would keep more solid in temps in the 70’s? Thank you!


Regina W October 7, 2014 at 10:52 am

I live in a part of the country where coconut oil is often liquid. I don’t use it in this recipe because of that. I just replace the solid oils with other ones that I know stay closer to solid in hot weather. Using 1 cup cocoa butter (which is quite solid) and 1/2 cup shea butter, and then 1/2 cup liquid oil (I use almond oil) works fine for me.


Kelli June 18, 2014 at 4:36 pm

Is the cup of solid shea butter a packed cup or loosely filled cup?


Susan June 20, 2014 at 11:32 am

I pack it. But it isn’t going to be that critical. Cheers!


Mark Nelson June 24, 2014 at 3:25 pm

I have neuropathy in my feet, legs, and hands from chemo treatments. Have you or have you heard of any one using this to help with neuropathy.

Which oils should I use?




Mel June 29, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Shea Bliss!
I have just made the first one using shea butter, sweet almond oil and a little vitamin E 70,000iu. It was so easy – only took a couple of minutes to whisk into beautiful glossy cream. No essential oils added because I love the natural aroma of shea butter. I couldnt wait to use it so i took the whisk to the bathroom, wipped off every bit of the cream onto my body and rubbed it in all over. So this first one I named Shea Bliss.My skin was so smooth and I felt so good It is trully heavenly! I reserved the ball for tomorrow morning! This marks the end of buying those expensive, non effective so called organic skin care.
I plan to start making for family and friends – they will wonderful christmas and birthday gift. Thank you for the invaluable recipes and ideas.


angie July 11, 2014 at 6:38 am

Love it


Wendy July 11, 2014 at 9:33 am

If you weigh instead of measure it doesn’t matter if it’s a packed or loose cup of shea butter. Just keep the ratios the same.


Fiona Whelton July 29, 2014 at 3:29 am

A really lovely recipe but just a little cautionary note on the use of essential oils. They are so much more than just a pretty smell and can be very potent if incorrectly used on the skin. Citrus oils eg, orange, lemon and bergamot are highly photosensitive so if you go out in the sun after applying a lotion containing these oils a skin reaction is likely to occur. This might explain the comment above regarding itchiness. By all means add these to your body butter as they smell divine and have a range of therapeutic properties but either apply to parts of the body which won’t be exposed to strong sunlight or apply at night before bed. By morning the oils potency should have dissipated somewhat.


Sarah July 31, 2014 at 3:35 pm

This is for Faina- I haven’t tried this recipe (yet! I will though ’cause it looks awesome!), but I usually make deodorant out of coconut oil, baking soda, and essential oils (lavender and tea tree) and had a similar problem- I would get itchy skin after using it. I think I’m sensitive to the essential oils. Make up a batch with no essential oils and see if you get itchy later. Also, check online to see how much oil you should be adding- essential oils only need a few (literally 2-3) drops max, applying many essential oils in stronger concentrations or directly to your skin can be very irritating.


Alexia August 11, 2014 at 6:39 pm

Hi I am new this but i had always wanted to make my own body butter. Since i had some cocoa butter, olive oil and coconut butter (cream) and coconut oil i decided to experiment. I used 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup of cocoa butter, 1/4 cup of coconut butter(cream) and 1 cup of coconut oil. I let it chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Then i put in the freezer for another 20 minutes thinking this would speed up the process. When i took it out of the freezer it was only partially set but cool. So i decided to go ahead and mix. Everything turned out fine and the mixture turned into what looked like whipped cream. However, it didnt stay that way. As soon as i was done i put the mixture in a container. It began to melt. Withing 10 minutes it returning to a liquid state. I had to refrigerate it to keep it hard. Didnt turn out right after all. Therefore, i will use this recipe when I make this again.


Kenya August 16, 2014 at 7:54 pm

How long does the whipped butter lasts? What do you use as a preservative??


Susan August 21, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Hi, Kenya, I don’t use any preservatives. As long as there isn’t water in the mix, you should be fine for months. Cheers!


Laura August 20, 2014 at 6:31 am

For the past few weeks I have been trying to get rid of all the toxic beauty and cleaning products in my home. I came across your body butter recipe and really appreciated your step by step instructions. Also, the fact that you listed optional butters, cocoa or shea, just as long as the ratio of solid butter to liquid was a certain way. When I first made this I didn’t have Shea butter so I used Cocoa butter, coconut oil and almond oil. It came out beautifully. I couldn’t believe I could make something at home with no chemicals in it and it be better than the expensive butters I buy in the store. I gave some to my Mom and she just loves it. My next batch will be with the Shea butter, because I want to do a Lime coconut scent. Thank you for taking all the guess work out for me. This recipe is my go to body butter recipe. Oh and it is doing wonders for my face as well. =)


Susan August 21, 2014 at 11:55 am

Thank you, Laura!


Amber August 23, 2014 at 6:19 pm

Does it need to be raw shea butter? or could it be refined?


Susan August 24, 2014 at 8:27 pm

Hi, Amber, You can use either. But since this is a raw site, we tend to use raw. Cheers!


Susie August 25, 2014 at 4:28 pm

I’ve made this a few times and I absolutely love it! I just add organic essential oils for scents, my whipping got better my second time around. It does last for a very long time! My boyfriend even loves it. The only problem that I have encountered is that during summer, when I travel the lotion melts because of the warmer temperatures. Once it melts and hardens, it becomes really chunky unfortunately. I’m wondering if I put less of the liquid oils, that maybe it won’t melt as easily? Any tips?


Karen Waimana August 29, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Hi everyone. ….to cool oil mixes before whipping I just stand my bowl in a sink of cokd water as I’m beating it. … reduces temperature superfast to point of emulsion and whipping. …..


Marie August 31, 2014 at 12:52 pm

I’m making some right now, and of course; I added some of my own ideas. Thanks for the measurements.


Rachel R. September 4, 2014 at 9:22 am

You might not want to put lemon essential oil in skin products. It (along with most other essential oils – sweet orange is usually an exception) is phototoxic (makes the skin more sensitive to the sun).


Charlotte, reine des confettis September 10, 2014 at 7:59 am

Amazing!!! I will try it !


Amber September 12, 2014 at 1:34 am

I just made this and it has turned out lovely!!


Sonia September 13, 2014 at 1:22 pm

I made this today and it was a piece of cake! Came out beautifully will be trying to make a body scrub next I’m on a roll lol! Thank you so much for posting this.


Adriana September 17, 2014 at 5:58 pm

Hi, can this be used as a hair conditioner as well?


Nicole October 12, 2014 at 1:53 pm

This is great for frizzy, wild and untamed hair!


Jo October 2, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Hallo, hope you’ re still monitoring this page for further comments, and still giving up your time to answer them 😉
I plan to give this recipe a try, but i’ll do it with butter and oil.
I mean, i’m italian and this is what is in my kitchen ;)))
Cow milk butter and extra virgin oil….
Ok, maybe some mixed seeds oil, the one we sometimes use to fry.
I’ll try with tea spoons, same ratio, so if it smells horrible it won’t be a great loss.
I can maybe clarify, if you use the same verb, the butter to reduce the water amount. Mean that i heat the butter just to have it liquid and the water in it to evaporate.
Do you think it will work?
Great post, i’ll put your blog in my to-read list
Ps 757 comments???? Am i supposed to read all through them????????;)))


Susan October 3, 2014 at 9:56 am

I would NOT recommend using real butter. It is not a skin care ingredient. Shea butter, almond oil, and coconut oil all are good for skin. Cheers!


Jo October 6, 2014 at 6:05 am

Me,again :)
Hallo, susan.
I’m still searching and surfing the net for answers and i found that ghee, real butter from cow milk but “clarified”, which means heated butter to have it lose its water, is used in ayurvedic medical culture. Please check this google link https://www.google.it/search?q=ghee+skin+benefits&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=it&client=safari&norc=1&zx=1412592625269

Thanks for your time


Susan October 6, 2014 at 9:57 am

Hi, Jo,

You are welcome to try what ever you wish for your skin. I have no idea if it will work in this recipe. My guess is that it isn’t going to whip or set properly. Plus, I should state, this blog is vegan, as I am so we do not recommend the use of animal products. Cheers!


Jo October 6, 2014 at 10:42 am

Ops, my fault. I hadn’t yet perused the site so i supposed you were only about raw food…
Have a nice day!

Sherrie October 3, 2014 at 9:31 am

I stumbled on this body butter recipe and would like to try it. Can you tell me what the shelf life is, and does it need to stay in the refrigerator or is it stable enough to leave on bathroom shelf? Also… have you ever tried it with Argan oil instead of Almond or Coconut oil?


Susan October 3, 2014 at 9:55 am

If you make sure no water gets in it, it will keep for months. I keep it in the bathroom cabinet. If it gets too warm, it will liquify. I have not tried it with argan oil. Cheers!


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