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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{ 741 comments… read them below or add one }

G February 3, 2014 at 11:24 pm

Thanks for this. I tried it and it came out great, so decadent. Thanks again.

Megan February 5, 2014 at 8:14 pm

Sadly mine never got solid. I followed this recipe to a T. The only thing i did different was my oils. i still did a 75% solid to 25% liquid but its been in the freezer for 20 mins now and its not setting. Is there a difference between raw and refined shea butter? That is the only thing i can think of. Or the oils i used. I did 8oz shea butter, 4oz coconut oil for my solids then 2oz almond oil 1 1/2 oz of grape seed oil and 1/2 oz of Argan oil for my liquid oils plus my essentials which were like 1%.

rini February 6, 2014 at 4:02 am

I made whipped shea like this, the result was good, however after storing it, it became like rock again, so hard that i need to scrap it with spoon. Any advice so that my butter stays creamy? Thanks in advance.

rini February 6, 2014 at 5:07 am

how to prevent the whipped shea from becoming hard again?

Susan February 6, 2014 at 12:04 pm

If you follow the recipe exactly, that should never happen. What did you use for your ingredients? :-)

Susan February 6, 2014 at 12:24 pm

You probably just needed to leave it in the freezer for a bit more. :-)

Chris February 7, 2014 at 12:15 am

This looks wonderful, and can’t wait to try making some! Just a thought for Rini and Megan — some essential oils react differently with the carrier oils. Perhaps you used one that solidified the butter, or caused it not to set? You may need to experiment a bit with your ratios, or make sure to use essential oils that don’t cause a reaction. Check internet for more research, and good luck! Have fun!

Therese M February 7, 2014 at 1:34 am

I made this tonight and am absolutely delighted! One thing I did differently – by accident – was to put the almond oil in at the same time as the shea butter and coconut oil rather than adding it after the first two ingredients were melted and cooled. It still worked fine. I put the mixture in the freezer for about 15 minutes and then started whipping it. It didn’t set up so I returned it to the freezer for another 5 minutes or so. Success! I’m really, really pleased with the result. Makes my skin very soft but isn’t greasy. I used rosemary, peppermint essential oil, and coconut essential oil.

Susan February 7, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Sounds like a wonderful combination, Therese!

Kathy February 8, 2014 at 12:26 pm

This stuff is amazing. I made the first batch for Christmas present to save some money. Everyone loved it and they are demanding more…. it came out perfectly, the extreme cold is good for chilling it on the porch. Thanks for this recipe!

Connie S February 9, 2014 at 9:32 am

Hi, I made mine for a Christmas present for my two daughters and grandaughter and had enough left over for myself. Body butter came out perfect. When it came to figuring out the 25 to 75 ratio I was stumped for a while. Been a long time since school! :)

Robbi February 9, 2014 at 4:19 pm

I am making this now and have to admit it smells horrid! I am assuming its because I am new to the raw shea and essential oils – but will it smell like something I will want to use after whipping??

Susan February 9, 2014 at 7:03 pm

Robbi, Sure!

Susan February 9, 2014 at 7:04 pm

If it smells horrid, you probably have bad shea butter. They do go rancid. I would return it.

Shannon February 10, 2014 at 6:27 pm

I made this today and it is fantastic!!!! I used lemon and rosemary essential oils. Will be making more tomorrow as valentine’s gifts.

Carolern77 February 14, 2014 at 9:55 pm

Oh my gosh, I love my body butter. I followed your recipe to the T and it came out wonderful. I already had coconut oil in my kitchen and pure raw shea body in my bathroom. I use that stuff daily. I had to buy some sweet almond oil and essential oils. I used calendula and a chai body oil made from essential oils and it smells yummy. I’m putting it on my hands before I can even get it in the jars. I can’t stop smelling myself. Thanks for a great recipe. Do you have anything for lip balm?

Bonnie February 15, 2014 at 12:08 am

Where do you buy raw Shea butter at?

Kelley February 15, 2014 at 11:43 am

This looks awesome!

Question: does the coconut oil give the body butter a coconut scent? I have never made anything with coconut oil, so I’m curious about the smell of it.

Edie February 16, 2014 at 3:23 pm

I have made whipped body butter- but straight in the blender.

If you have a Vitamix or other high powered blender, this is very easy. Break up your shea butter or cocoa butter and spoon out the coconut oil into the blender. If yoou remember, get some vitamin e oil caplets and break them into there- they will act as a preservative. Add your oil (I use avocado oil) and your scents (I used rose extract, a few drops of jasmine and vanilla extract) and then blend- first on low, then up to up 7. Let it go for a few minutes, then place into clean, sterilized jars. I store mine in the fridge, and before using I stir it a bit with a spoon I use expressly for this purpose. This is fast and works really great!

Susan February 17, 2014 at 3:14 pm

There is a link in the recipe. Cheers!

Susan February 17, 2014 at 3:21 pm

No lip balm yet but a book coming soon!

Jen February 17, 2014 at 6:37 pm

question, how do you measure the solid shea butter? does it grate easily? I can’t wait to make this :) Thank you!

Norine February 17, 2014 at 8:56 pm

when you make lotion, you have to let the melted oils like coconut and shea butter, cool to room temperature before you can whip or blend them together. They won’t mix together other wise. It’s like making mayonnaise. I use my food processor and it only takes a few minutes to blend up.

Olivia February 19, 2014 at 6:26 am

Please can you help me :( I whipped up shea butter, cocoa butter and various oils. I also added rose water and now the lot has curdled! Is there any way I can fix it? I don’t want to use any chemicals in ;my creams

Susan February 19, 2014 at 11:57 am

I think that because you introduced water to a recipe that called for all oil, that caused your problem. Maybe try melting everything again? I honestly am not sure what the fix is for that. Cheers!

Susan February 19, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Norine…yes, I agree. That is why the cooling step in the recipe is so important.

Susan February 19, 2014 at 12:03 pm

The shea butter isn’t super hard so you can pack it into the cup. Alternatively, melt it and them measure. :-)

becky February 20, 2014 at 1:46 am

Olivia-it’s def. because you added water to an all oil mixture. it’s a basic emulsion, so the only way to fix it is to add more water. i would add it VERY slowly while whipping it, it will look worse before it looks better, but it should come back together. also, if you put it in a food processor it will help emulsify it more thoroughly than a kitchen aid. Like Norine said, it’s like making mayonnaise (also an emulsion) good luck!

becky February 20, 2014 at 1:51 am

olivia- if you want the rose scent next time i would add rose oil and you shouldn’t have that problem

Aislinn February 21, 2014 at 10:01 am

Have you or anyone tried mixing some Vitamin E in this? :D
Sounds heavenly, but I’d love to extend its shelf of life!
As where I’m from, it’s tropical all year round :D

Aude February 25, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Amazing recipe! I’ve been making it for a year now. Thanks to you I got into homemade cosmetics, I now make all my creams, deo, etc myself using much more complex technics but this one I will never change! It got me through my pregnancy without a single strectch mark. Thank you!!!

Christinia Peake February 26, 2014 at 8:12 pm

I cant waut to try to make this. I have been wanting to every since I brought some from a lady at a farmers market. I was like I want to try this because. It would seem to be easy. If you take your time a follow directions. Nice blog and I truly enjoyed this article.

DEBBIE March 1, 2014 at 4:47 pm


Ellie March 1, 2014 at 10:59 pm

I’ve made this and it refuses to stay in “whipped” form..it turns into a liquid…what is wrong?

Kelly March 2, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Is it ok to replace almond oil with essential oils completely? I have terribly itchy skin on my legs and have heard lavender and thyme essential oils are good for this but not sure if a half cup of essential oils is overkill.

Susan March 2, 2014 at 5:46 pm

A half cup of lavender oil would not only be over-kill, it would be extremely expensive and way too intense. Essential oils are made to be used in small doses. Cheers!

Susan March 2, 2014 at 5:47 pm

It probably wasn’t cold enough when you whipped it. And you can’t store it in a warm place. Room temp is fine unless it is too warm. Cheers.

Susan March 2, 2014 at 5:48 pm

I measured by volume. You can measure by either. Just keep the same ratios.

Candice March 2, 2014 at 11:51 pm

Can you use Grapeseed oil instead of Almond oil?

Vicki March 3, 2014 at 9:14 pm

So what would happen if it gets to warm while storing? Once my home hits 75+ degrees will it liquify? Made a quarter of the recipe using lavender and tuberose. Looks amazing can’t wait to shower and slap on in this random Texas ice weath.

Lilly March 4, 2014 at 7:36 pm

I made this recipe and weighed all of my ingredients. As long as you have the correct percentages it should work. I froze my mixture until it was almost solid then used a spatula to scrape my bowl and whipped it in my Kitchenaid. Came out perfectly. At room temperature my mixture is a solid but easy to scoop with a small wooden spatula.

I had to use a lot of essential oil to cover the strong Shea butter scent but once whipped the Shea scent diminished a lot. A little goes a very long way so use sparingly or you will feel like an oil slick until it soaks in.

Thank you for sharing this recipe.

The best antibacterial bar soap March 5, 2014 at 10:20 am

That looks lovely…. I always use essential oils used to prevent skin infectionsa as they are very good at healing properties..

rickelle March 5, 2014 at 3:49 pm

I was just wondering if i could substitute coco butter instead of coconut oil

fifiet March 9, 2014 at 8:04 pm

Can i change sheashea butter with beewax? Thx

Michelle March 15, 2014 at 12:50 am

Just made this recipe tonight, however, it looks whipped and has great texture. As I touch the butter, it melts and turns oily, so oily I look like a shiny oil slick. Do you have any suggestions on what to change next time? I used shea butter, coconut oil and almond oil, added a little vit e oil with sweet orange and lavender essential oils. Thank you.

Susan March 15, 2014 at 11:24 am

It is a little oily. It is a butter, not a lotion. But…if you read through the comments, it absorbs very quickly and leaves your skin feeling wonderful.

Susan March 15, 2014 at 11:24 am

I have no idea if it will work with beeswax. That is a wax, not an oil and the recipe was formulated for oils.

Susan March 15, 2014 at 11:52 am

It probably wasn’t chilled enough when you whipped it. Cheers!

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?

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