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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{ 783 comments… read them below or add one }

Meshia October 23, 2014 at 7:56 pm

Hi! I will be making this soon :) But was wondering about how much this makes, as I am making it as gifts :)


amy November 8, 2014 at 8:58 pm

Depending on how much you whip it, but l got over 4 cups with my last batch..


amy November 8, 2014 at 8:56 pm

This is the recipe that l use to make body butter, l use jojoba oil instead of almond oil, l think it absorbs better, and l use a little vit. E oil too, and l love lavender and l also make one with sweet orange and lemongrass…smells so good, l am making about 10 for Christmas gifts….


Meghann December 1, 2014 at 10:08 pm

I was wondering if I could use jojoba oil instead because that’s what I have on hand. So, thanks for posting!


Pat November 8, 2014 at 10:28 pm

Hi, my name is Pat and I’ve been making soaps and what-not for quite a few years. Shortcuts, anyone? If you melt Shea Butter don’t take the temp over 150. When Shea gets heated above 175 and it rehardens it will have tiny grains that ruin the feeling. To prevent this, don’t go above 150. If you do, you’ll have to cool the butter rapidly. I process my raw Shea by taking it to 180 and putting it in the fridge. For body butter I keep the temp down. If you get the grainy feeling heat to 175-180 and then cool rapidly. It’ll be smooth and silky again. Now, to do a whipped butter, I melt everything and add the other oils and what-not and whip it in an ice bath. You don’t have to stop and put it in the freezer or outside. Just put ice in the larger bowl with ice and water, your oil mixture in the smaller bowl, and whip it. It takes a while, but it will turn suddenly into what looks like a fluffy white frosting. You have to make sure it doesn’t melt later, either. I had a container fall out of my bag in the car in the summer. It melted and resolidified into what looked like salve and had the grainy feel to it. It still worked, but the texture isn’t nearly as nice feeling.


Sofia November 13, 2014 at 12:57 pm

I’d really like to make this, but am having trouble finding the shea butter locally. The only unrefined shea butter I can find is still pure, but has already been whipped. Any ideas how much of that I should use to equal 1 cup of unwhipped?


Dawn November 13, 2014 at 6:08 pm

How long does one batch last? A week??, longer???? How long is it good for??


Susan November 13, 2014 at 6:34 pm

Mine lasts at least a couple of months. I usually go through it quickly, though.


Kat November 17, 2014 at 10:26 am

So happy to stumble upon this recipe, just in time for winter. Both my husband and I suffer from dry cracking hands in the winter and my 3 yr old gets eczema more often. I plan on using this to treat everyone. I added my son’s Eczema Helper EO blend (by Plant Therapy) and a Tbs of aloe gel just to add that little extra healing element. Can’t wait to try it out! Thank you!!! It really is very simple. This is my 1st time making a homemade body butter. Very excited!


Rhonda November 23, 2014 at 12:07 am

Kat, I think the addition of the aloe gel will significantly decrease the shelf life of the body butter, so use it up quickly.


Susan November 24, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Ronda, you are correct. Aloe gel, water, etc., will cause the products to mould. Cheers!


Laura November 19, 2014 at 9:30 am

I made this the other day and it was so easy! Making another batch today and I was wondering about substituting cocoa butter in place of the shea?


Nicole November 22, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I am going to try this out for Christmas gifts! I followed the link to the shea butter that you used. Did you use yellow or ivory? Also, how many batches can you make with a 16oz shea butter bar?


sarah December 2, 2014 at 7:24 pm

i thought i had essential oil to put in but i was mistaken. can i use candy flavoring oils instead? i have a marshmallow flavored oil from LorAnn oils. Just wondering if anyone might know if it would work? i have had a look on Google but haven’t found anything


robbie December 6, 2014 at 9:32 pm



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