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.

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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{ 832 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 :)

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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..

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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….

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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!

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Anna February 5, 2015 at 12:33 pm

I agree, I prefer using jojoba in this recipe instead. My Mom swears by this body butter. It has completely healed her cracked heels :)

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Wendy February 14, 2015 at 10:54 am

that is good to know that it heals cracked heels mine get horrible

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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.

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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?

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Dawn November 13, 2014 at 6:08 pm

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

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Susan November 13, 2014 at 6:34 pm

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

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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!

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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.

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Susan November 24, 2014 at 4:53 pm

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

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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?

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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?

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sabine December 13, 2014 at 12:57 am

there’s 8oz in a cup so you could make two batches if you have 16oz. :)

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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

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Chelsea December 19, 2014 at 5:42 pm

Flavoring oils (vanilla extract, ie) will work. The only thing about EO’s is that they have medicinal qualities and they’re supposed to actually do something. With the extracts I’m finding they’re not as strong as EO’s, but they still give a nice scent. Did you end up trying this out?

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robbie December 6, 2014 at 9:32 pm

Thanks

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Caroline December 12, 2014 at 7:39 am

I’ve just made this body butter and it turned out amazing. But i was wondering… I’m planning on giving it away as a christmas gift. Where should i store it? Its winter over here and all heating is on indoors. Should i put it in the fridge or in a cupboard?

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Kamara December 12, 2014 at 8:27 am

I am happy to run across your blog on Pinterest. I have been wanting to make my own body butter because my skin gets so dry and my daughter has eczema as well. The only question I have is can you use olive oil instead of coconut oil? My daughter is allergic to nuts and I don’t want to make something that may cause her to have a bad reaction.

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Rachel December 12, 2014 at 10:44 pm

I want to replace sweet almond oil with avocado oil. Has anyone tried this or think it would work? I heard it absorbs better and is actually better for your skin. The last thing I like is oily lotions that take forever to absorb!

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Shannon February 21, 2015 at 6:14 pm

My daughter is allergic to tree nuts so I avoid sweet almond oil. I use avocado oil in its place and it works beautifully! I think it absorbs nicely.

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Marika December 13, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Can we add bees wax into it ? i’ll make a test..

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Cg January 20, 2015 at 8:48 am

Hi Marika! I use beeswax and coconut oil in my Body Butter recipe. You may find the end results a bit sticky. If so, add a little cornstarch. Recommended amounts are 1 – 2 teaspoons per ounce of Body Butter. I love this combination.

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bev December 19, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Hi I was wondering instead of using a jar to put this in could you use the travel plastic squeeze lotion type tubes that you can get at walmart? The reason I am asking is I wanted to send some to my sister but was afraid that if I sent it in a jar, (1) it wouldn’t stay fluffy and (2) it may become soft and liquidity. I hope you can help me with this question. Thank you

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Cass December 23, 2014 at 4:48 pm

My whip shea butter gets hard what ami doing wrong.

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Susan December 26, 2014 at 9:18 pm

Hi, Cass, Are you following the recipe?

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Jessica December 23, 2014 at 11:17 pm

I had SO much fun making your recipe!!! Thank you for sharing. I adore your work. Merry Christmas! Much love, magic and gratitude! – Jessica

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Joan December 30, 2014 at 9:25 am

I, too, am interested in knowing if cocoa butter could be substituted for shea butter. Sounds like a wonderful body butter.

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Michelle December 30, 2014 at 3:21 pm

Hi, I pinned this recipe a long time ago, and I want to make some more for my mother-in-law and when I click on the link, the recipe isn’t coming up. I can’t remember the amounts of shea butter, almond oil, and coconut oil. Can someone please help!!!

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Susan December 30, 2014 at 4:19 pm

We are having a issue with the site today. The tech team is working on it.

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Alex January 13, 2015 at 3:08 pm

Great and easy recipe to follow. My skin is loving this stuff! Thanks!

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Tammy Post January 18, 2015 at 1:30 am

Hello,

Can I use a different brand of Almond Oil then the one the link takes me to? I only saw the brand your link takes me to in a 4oz size and I wanted a bigger bottle. Also, the Weck Jars are not available on Amazon. Do you have another recommendation for what other kinds of jars can be used and what size jars should I get?

Thank you!!

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Susan January 20, 2015 at 1:13 pm

Hi, Tammy, You can use any almond oil you wish. Cheers!

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Cass January 25, 2015 at 4:00 am

Hi, I made this for my teenagers and they said it too oil just adding half cup coconut oil , and 1 cup shea, I left out the almond, should I be using much less coconut oil. Thanks

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Judylee January 29, 2015 at 2:35 pm

I could not find these jars either. But… I did use small canning jelly jars, they come with a lid and the lid can be painted and decorated. You could also use any small jelly jars left over from your kids pb&j sandwiches ! Or any small air tight container ( plastic) you just might have to have more on hand because you’ll have to devide it out among many . But they make great gifts. Kudos on the use of natural ingredients instead of harsh chemicals. And I see someone asked the question of olive oil and the answer is yes it can be used, just make sure it is pure because some oils will spoil when mixed with other oils or waters . If you need to use any waters to mix any type of cosmetic item always use distilled water undistilled water will turn rancid.

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Judylee January 29, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Also you can order shea butter from ebay ! I buy it to put it on my heals when they get dry because winter weather kills my skin

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k February 2, 2015 at 1:57 pm

Thanks for this! I have made my own butters with shea and cocoa butters along with almond oil. However, they seem to harden when I put in a jar and allow to stand for a night. Is there a way to make it stay soft or will they always harden since they are solid type oils.

Thanks!
k

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Jessie February 8, 2015 at 2:08 pm

I don’t have a whip utensil for my mixer. Should I whip by hand, or use regular mixer, or a combo?

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Ashley K February 10, 2015 at 5:27 pm

Hello! I made this recipe and it is great! The only problem I have is that the coconut scent still seems a little overpowering even after I add my oils. Any recommendation on how to fix this? Thanks!

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Melody February 16, 2015 at 12:23 am

Use expeller pressed coconut oil..it has no scent. I fry with it too

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Christine February 11, 2015 at 8:34 am

Hi,
I made my own body butter yesterday following the recipe, I wanted to use it today but it was far away to hard, incapacity to use :(
What did I do wrong?
Did somebody experienced that before?
Thanks

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Susan February 13, 2015 at 11:37 am

Did you follow the recipe, exactly? Cheers!

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StacyLV February 15, 2015 at 4:46 am

Thank you for this recipe, I can’t wait to try it. By the way when I tried to print it out using the print-friendly option only the title prints, you may want to check it out! And I agree about the YL oils I would never use anything else!! Thanks again.

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Niecey February 15, 2015 at 7:15 pm

Excellent tips – I’m book marking this page.

Warmest regards,
Niecey

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Karolina February 18, 2015 at 8:47 pm

I’ve made this recipe 3 times, each time mixing and matching solid butters and liquid oils and each time it has turned out awesome!!!! So easy, fun and I love knowing the ingredients in the stuff I slather all over my body! I have eczema, very dry and very sensitive skin and this is the best remedy!

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Stephanie L February 21, 2015 at 1:49 pm

Absolutely love this recipe! Made it for the first time today and made a “spiced macaroon”….vanilla and clove essential oils with coconut, shea and sweet almond oils. Cannot wait to make this for gifts!

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Pam mausar March 6, 2015 at 9:54 am

I made this the other day using the called for ingredients. It hardens after sitting. Doesn’t stay whipped. I wonder if I used the wrong amount. It comes in a 16 ounce package so I used half to get the one cup. Also the Shea butter smell never went away after adding vetiver oil. Around 40 drops. Any idea what I could have done wrong?

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Susan March 6, 2015 at 12:05 pm

A weight measurement is different than a liquid measurement. Cheers!

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Pam Mausar March 6, 2015 at 11:19 am

I’ve had the same problem as several other people here with it hardening or not staying “whipped”. I used the ingredients it called for but I am wondering if I used the wrong amount of the Shea butter. It calls for one cup/8 ounces and I bought it in a 16 ounce package. I used half to equal one cup. Should it have been a cup of melted Shea butter? Any ideas? Maybe I’ll just try it again with half the amount.

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Susan March 6, 2015 at 12:03 pm

The recipe calls for 1 cup melted shea butter. That is a different measurement that 8 oz of shea butter. Also some shea butters are much stronger than others. I hope this helps. Cheers!

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Pam March 6, 2015 at 11:54 pm

Thanks. The recipes didn’t say “melted” Shea butter and I wasn’t smart enough to know! It said “solid” Shea butter so never having used it before, I didn’t know how much it would melt to. As to the smell, I used the brand the recipe called for. All of this being said, I made it again today using a quarter of the pound and it probably was still too much. It does stay whipped but the smell is still there. It’s not bad, it just is not “decadent”! So I guess I’ll try one last time by melting some and adding until I get a cup! Huh

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Susan March 7, 2015 at 12:20 pm

Sorry…that was my fault. It doesn’t meed to be melted, just measured with a measuring cup. A measuring cup measures 8 oz of volume. You were originally measuring 8 oz of weight. There is a difference. This recipe isn’t so persnickety that melted vs solid should make that much difference. My guess is that there is something in the way you are making it that is off. Are you following the directions exactly? You need to be careful not to let it cool too far, but it has to cool. Just look at the pictures. Cheers!

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Shelly March 12, 2015 at 3:16 pm

Love this recipe! I use 100% cocoa butter nightly to keep my hands from chapping–this is the first winter I haven’t had cracked, bleeding hands, due to me finally figuring out some allergy issues and eliminating items from food and skincare items. It’s not convenient, however, to have to melt the cocoa butter every night (and my kids say it looks like I’m practicing some bizarre witchcraft since I heat it in a small bowl over a candle)–so I found your recipe and am thrilled to have a handy jar at the ready now. I substituted cocoa butter for the shea butter and avocado oil for the almond oil. I didn’t add essential oils since my son has very sensitive skin, and I love the smell of cocoa butter anyway, but I did add a few drops of a natural, high quality vitamin E oil after the cocoa butter and coconut oil was melted. Turned out perfectly–thank you for sharing the recipe!

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Susan March 15, 2015 at 7:54 pm

Hi.

I am really loving all the positive comments etc. I anticipate I will have a problem though. I live in a tropical country in South East Asia. So coconut oil where I am, is not solid. (I don’t think any of the oils are liquid except for butters) *sad*

Has anyone tried replacing the solid oils with combination of oil and hardener (beeswax?other stuff?)

I would really love to whip up something.

Thank you girls…

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Jordan March 18, 2015 at 11:33 am

Thank you for this recipe! I tried it yesterday and followed the directions exactly and I, like Cass, found it too oily. Cass, have you tried your adjusted recipe? If so, how did it turn out? I also see that the comments say “melted” instead of “solid” Shea and coconut oil. Could this be it? So do you now melt each separately, measure out the correct amounts, then mix the two together? Lastly, the scent of my Shea butter is a bit strong. Any suggestions? Thank you!

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Anna March 18, 2015 at 1:34 pm

I followed the directions exactly like they are written and shown and I got an amazing body butter! It was perfect. I think maybe people who aren’t getting the desired results are not letting it cool enough? I have made it over 5 times and it works perfectly each time.

It does go on a little oily but absorbs into your skin immediately. It is the best body butter I have ever tried. Thank you Susan!

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Staci March 24, 2015 at 6:23 pm

I made the body body and It worked great. The one thing that bothers me a bit is how oily it is as soon as I put it on my skin. If I use more then a tiny dab I end up with oil in my hand. I heard cornstarch could help with that. Do you recomend this or is there something else I can try?

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Susan March 26, 2015 at 9:55 am

It is oily at first but absorbs very quickly. :-)

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catie April 6, 2015 at 2:03 pm

i am wanting to make my own shea butter body butter with lavender. I found Life-flo pure sheabutter unrefined.. its super thick. could i melt it down some more then put it in the fridge then put some lavender after its whipped?

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Susan April 7, 2015 at 11:48 am

Hi, Catie, I haven’t tried that. My recipe uses a liquid oil to get that whipped lightness. But you could always try! Cheers!

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Melissa April 14, 2015 at 1:52 pm

Does this body butter melt when exposed to higher temps? I’m finding that the one I made with coconut oil starts to liquefy around 74 degrees. It’s no longer attractive once it melts.

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Susan April 19, 2015 at 12:07 pm

I have not had any problems with it melting. But some have. I certainly haven’t seen it liquefy at 74 degrees. :-)

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