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. 

Print Friendly

{ 858 comments… read them below or add one }

Nettie June 14, 2015 at 12:43 pm

I made this today in anticipation of Father’s Day next week. I used cedarwood, tea tree, and lemongrass oils. I placed it into the freezer, but I guess my house is warm (Florida). It didn’t whip. I placed the bowl into the fridge for a few minutes and whipped it again to success! It’s lovely. The recipe made two 12 ounce ball jars plus a small 4 ounce jar. All of the jars are filled to the rim. They smell like Shea Butter, though. I also used the low odor coconut oil.
I’m also wondering about storing it since there aren’t many truly cool places in my home. I will give the extra to my dad and father in law.


Cas June 17, 2015 at 12:23 am

Made this ava used jojoba oil since that’s what I had. Turned out great but then shortly thereafter deflated. I guess it got too earth. What do you do about that? Suggestions? And can you rewhip it?


Susan June 17, 2015 at 10:29 am

You can re-whip. I am not sure what other oils you used so I can’t answer your question about what to do. Can you let me know and I will try to help?


Avery Morrison July 1, 2015 at 5:18 am

Thanks to share this valuable recipe


Renee of Mondo Skincare July 1, 2015 at 8:46 am

Susan, this is a wonderful recipe thanks. I’m always looking for great DIY recipes just like this. If I may add, you did a superb job on your photography. Thanks, Renee.


Danielle August 21, 2015 at 1:58 pm

Hi, Thank you for this recipe… I’ve made it a couple of times. Though in general the coconut oil doesn’t seem to absorb well on my skin so I want to skip it. Is there something else I could add in place of it? I was thinking to add more shea butter but it might be too much. Any ideas or suggestions is appreciated.


jamie parker September 26, 2015 at 1:21 pm

you can use avocado butter instead. it is a softer butter, but whips great and absorbs into skin perfectly


Cristina August 30, 2015 at 11:20 pm

@ Danielle, you could use cocoa butter vs. coconut oil? I have found that cocoa oil absorbs significantly better than coconut oil. Downside is it has a strong cocoa/chocolate smell, which could be off-putting (it is for me).


Leave a Comment

{ 50 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: