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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{ 751 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan September 17, 2012 at 11:52 am

I don’t like to store anything in plastic because of the chemicals that can leach into what is being stored. Cheers!

Jennifer September 20, 2012 at 3:18 am

Thanks for these amazing recipes. What is the brand of shea butter you use and where is the best place to purchase it whether in stores or online?

Susan September 20, 2012 at 5:20 pm

There is a link in the post to the shea butter. Cheers!

Carly September 21, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Just one question, maybe I skipped it but, how long does it last sealed and unsealed?

Tina September 24, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Where do you get your she butter from? I can’t find good, inexpensive shea butter.
Thanks! :)

Susan September 24, 2012 at 10:31 pm

There is a link in the post. Cheers!

Kathy Davis September 26, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Do you use “sweet” almond oil? Or just almond oil? Are there other carrier oils that you think would work instead of the almond oil? (ie meadowfoam oil, hempseed oil or jojoba to name a few). Lastly, have you ever tried with other butters like cocoa or mango? Just curious:) I want to try your recipe so i’m seeing what (if any) substitutions i could make based on ingredients I already have. Thanks!!

monica September 26, 2012 at 5:46 pm

This sounds great, I only have a doubt, can you switch the coconut oil for another type solid oil or butter, such as olive butter or orange, etc.?

Thanks a lot

Paige September 27, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Hi Susan,
I have extremely sensitive skin (especially to scents and harsh chemicals) and have been plagued with contact dermatitis and eczema on my hands ever since I was about 15 (I’m 22 now) I have tried numerous brands and types of hand lotions and body butters, all of which seem to make my hands break out like crazy. After finding this recipe on Pinterest and giving it a shot, I am happy to say that this raw body butter has totally changed the look and feel of my hands.

Instead of being cracked and red they are now smooth and supple, a long awaited change for me. I left out the essential oils and just opted for the natural creamy smell that accompanies the finished product.

Anyways, I just wanted to say thanks so much for posting this recipe, you are a life saver!!!!


Susan September 27, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Paige….thanks so much for letting me know. This was my first attempt at a body butter and I actually love it too!!

CHERYL September 27, 2012 at 10:17 pm

I’M making this this evening. I pray it works as I’d love some of my own Whipped Shea Butter. It looks Decadent

Manon September 28, 2012 at 11:50 am

Hi !

I’m from Belgium and I acyually found your blog post via Pinterest. I’m trying to do my own cosmetics too. I made a similar recipe, without the whipping, hated the texture.
I just would like to know if the fluffy textures stays ?

Enormous thank you for the whipping trick, my butter is chilling waiting for the mixer !


Susan September 28, 2012 at 11:51 am

Yes, it stays whipped. I love the stuff and use it all the time.

Manon September 28, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Nice !

Thanks !

Chianta September 28, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Hi can you please tell me about how long will the product last with and without essential oils added?

Susan September 28, 2012 at 10:27 pm

I have absolutely no idea. If you read the post, you will see that this is my very first attempt at body butter. It worked beautifully but I don’t have the background or knowledge in this subject to answer questions like that. Cheers!

VANESSA October 2, 2012 at 3:26 am

great post, where do you find the jars to store them in?

Dahlia October 2, 2012 at 7:53 am

Love this recipe! How long did yours end up lasting? Did it get moldy or go bad at all?

Susan October 2, 2012 at 11:27 am

You can store it in any glass jar. I got the ones pictured at Crate and Barrel. Cheers!

Susan October 2, 2012 at 11:27 am

It lasted for over a month (I used it up) and never went bad or got mold. I believe it is the introduction of water that will cause mold. Cheers!

VANESSA October 2, 2012 at 5:34 pm

thanks for the prompt response :)

ok so i have another problem…i made the butter right, and i don’t why didnt double check but i basically made the ratio from butter to oil 1:1. it was 8 oz of shea butter (i think- it wasnt labeled) and the oils (olive and jojoba) made up the other . now it has a greasy feel to it….what do you suggest i do to make it creamier instead of greasy?

Susan October 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Figure out what your ratios were solid to liquid, melt it down correct the ratios and remake it. This body butter does have a greasy feel when it first goes on but absorbs quickly.

kristin October 5, 2012 at 6:47 am

i am excited to try this, i had used a whipped butter recipe where the shea didn’t get melted but turned out grainy. a word of caution using citrus essential oils and they will cause extreme sunburning. any citris type oils should not be used in anything that will be left on the skin (lip balm, lotion, cream) and should be reserved for soaps and shampoos that get rinsed off! just a thought.

Aly October 7, 2012 at 3:30 am

I have found that when you melt shea butter over high heat it gets grainy. A nice way to avoid this is to heat the other oils and pour onto the shea to combine…. Thanks for the recipe!

Tracey October 7, 2012 at 11:16 am

I found a similar recipe that calls for 2 tbsp. of cornstarch to be added last, along with your fragrance oil; the writer claimed that the addition of cornstarch will prevent greasiness in the finished product. Have to try it!

Laurel October 10, 2012 at 1:51 am

It turned out beautifully just like you said! I love it. Smells great and the texture is better than anything I’ve ever used. Thanks for the recipe!

BrooklynGirl October 10, 2012 at 5:53 pm

I wanted to try this recipe, but I didn’t have coconut oil or almond oil. I have a ton of shea butter though so I dug around and found some mango butter and then I used olive oil. It worked just as well. After it cooled, I added some aloe vera gel and then some perfume oil just because and it whipped up nice and fluffy. I put mine in a old-fashioned canning jar. I scooped some of it off the beater and it on my skin and it just melted in. Perfect for winter, thanks!

Mindy October 11, 2012 at 7:52 am

Love this recipe. I am 6 months pregnant and wanted something completely natural to put on my belly (and the rest of me) to avoid the dreaded winter itch (and hopefully avoid some new stretch marks). I used the shea and coconut oil but instead of almond oil I used argan oil. I ended up not using any essential oils because I fell in love with the smell of the shea and coconut together. Thank you for sharing this with us!

Vicki October 21, 2012 at 9:24 am

I made this but DID NOT heat/ cool the ingredients. I simply cut up the Shea butter added coconut oil and almond oil and blended in a little food processor. It came out great. When I realized I omitted the heating step, at first i was going to melt it all down and redo it but I researched to see if I would have a better product if it’s been heated. I actually found that the Shea butter will lose a lot of it’s nutrients and the shelf life will be shortened if it’s heated above 170 degrees. It’s very simple if you omit the heating cooling steps. But if you want to melt to blend the oils be aware of how warm you are making it. Thank you Susan for sharing this you really inspired me to make my first batch!

Holii October 21, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Is it suppose to me kinda hard mines not fluffy at all but it works good…

Susan October 21, 2012 at 6:22 pm

It is whipped and fluffy. I can dip my fingers into the jar and scoop it out easily. Cheers!

Marijana October 24, 2012 at 8:09 am

Hej! I saw your recepie on pinterest and I have decided to make one body buter, becouse I am a little bit of creme freak and I like to have my skin fresh and smelling nice :)
I have a question about shea butter, can it be replaced with cacao butter??
Thanks for your answer :)

Toni Babcock October 28, 2012 at 11:17 am

This is an awesome recipe for the home crafter! Just a couple tips. :) You don’t have to heat it up at all if you don’t want. Start by whipping the shea butter first for a few minutes and then add all of your other ingredients. You might get little lumps of unwhipped shea though. Another way would be to heat the shea but not fully melt it. Just get it to a very creamy consistency and then whip it. This way you don’t have to whip as long or wait for it to set and you avoid lumps of unwhipped shea. I make and sell handcrafted bath and body for a living and this recipe will last at least a minumum of a year if not longer. Just be sure to look up the shelf life of the oils you use. The oil with the shortest shelf life will ruffly indicate the shelf life of your whipped butter. This recipe also should not grow and mold since there is no water in it. :)

Megan October 31, 2012 at 10:24 am

Hi, I tried making my own (not this recipe) and it came out VERY oily, might be because I didn’t have shea butter? I got my shea butter in the mail and really want to make another batch but im afraid it will be oily again, is this batch oily?

Susan October 31, 2012 at 10:29 am

If you alter a recipe, like leaving out one of the main ingredients, it might not work out correctly. :-) This body butter absorbs into your skin very well and does not leave an oily feeling, when you use the ingredients listed.

Chanel November 1, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Love the idea, thanks for sharing your recipe, I plan on giving it a try. I feel your pain with the questions and suggestions. ~sigh~

If you alter any recipe the outcome will vary. That is why she printed the instructions and ingredients.
If it’s oily it doesn’t matter, use it on dry skin and it will absorb. Use it at night so it will have time to “soak in”
And if you don’t like plastic, fine don’t use it. We are all aware of the hazards of everything out there and exposing ourselves to them the moment we step out of bed each morning. Sometimes you gotta just peel the warning label off and take a chance…

Viola November 1, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Everyone seems to be making this with their mixers. Is is safe to then reuse the mixers for food? I want to try this with my stand mixer as the hand mixer didn’t whip very well, but I am concerned about safety.

Susan November 1, 2012 at 6:15 pm

If you are concerned about the essential oils, then stir them in by hand at the end. Nothing else should hurt you. And if you wash your bowl and mixing attachment in hot, soapy water, I don’t see any problems. What exactly are you concerned about?

yvonne November 2, 2012 at 9:35 pm

So you used the shea butter and coconut oil in solid form?

Joann November 3, 2012 at 9:18 am

I have jojoba oil, instead of coconut oil, I’m going to try that.
Does the batch have to be refrigerated?
Thanks, can’t wait to try it!

Susan November 3, 2012 at 10:26 am

Joann, If you replace the coconut oil with jojoba oil, you will not have the correct ratios of solid oils to liquid oils. Cheers!

Chandra November 3, 2012 at 4:06 pm

can you use pure extracts instead of essential oils.

kathleen November 3, 2012 at 7:14 pm

I gave sensitive eyes. I think fragrances for the most would irritate. I made my own with shea, coconut oil, almond and olive. No fragrances, but I don’t like the smell.

Any suggestions to put in batch to mask this ? I am also considering adding cocoa butter as I heard it is best for skin.

My skin is already doing much better.

Cedric November 4, 2012 at 2:56 pm

I have tried to make my own but it re hardened, not sure what I did wrong, but after reading I think it’s because I didn’t allow it to fully cool. Also is there a replacement for coconut oil or can I just use Shea butter? I don’t really like it

Sylvia Alakusheva November 5, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Hi Susan, thank you for this beautiful recipe! I tried to make it at home with a mix of cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil, and liquid sesame seed oil, but once I mixed everything together, my “butter” remained liquid…I am so bummed! Did I do something wrong?

Susan November 5, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Sylvia, did you put it in the freezer to chill? See the pictures in the post as to how it should look. Also, did you stick with the 75% solid and 25% liquid rule?

Sylvia Alakusheva November 5, 2012 at 6:36 pm

I added some extra solid butter, so hopefully that works :) I am off to whipping now…
Thank you!!

chelsea ferrer November 6, 2012 at 12:49 am

what are other alternatives for shea butter? because we can’t find it in our place. we’re going to use it for our project to make a mosquito repellent.

felicia November 6, 2012 at 11:55 pm

hey there,
I’m really excited to try out this recipe! does anyone know how big of a batch it makes?
like what size of container it will fill? I’m thinking about making it as christmas gifts, but need to know what oz jars to order for it. :)
thanks so much!

alison November 8, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Hi !
This is so awsome, i want to do a bunch of that to give a bunch of my friends…. How much does one recepie gives ? And if i add double or triple, is it okay ?
And you used rosemary, can i use something else to have a bunch of differnt scent ?can you give me examples please :)
Thank you very much.
*sorry for bad english. I’m from Montreal hehehe

Alison :)

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