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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{ 705 comments… read them below or add one }

Debra Andersohn December 10, 2012 at 12:11 am

I used cocoa butter instead of the coconut oil because I didn’t have any and it came out amazing!
Beautiful either way. Giving as Christmas gifts.
Thx

Amanda P December 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Any suggestions for hand whipping? I don’t have a mixer.

Lauren Brown December 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Can you share where you purchase your glass jars w/lids for this?

Susan December 11, 2012 at 4:15 pm

I just use jam jars. You can collect them or buy canning jars. Cheers!

jackie December 13, 2012 at 10:43 pm

thanks so much for the information regard 75% and 25%. I didn’t put enough coconut oil and almond oil in my first batch so it came out hard, not creamy. I’m going to reheat my batch and add more of the oils. Also thanks for the cooling tip.

Nancy K December 14, 2012 at 11:27 am

Where can you purchase cocoa butter?

Mary Beth December 14, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Instead of an essential oil can you use vanilla extract to add vanilla scent? Or will that be sticky?
Thanks! Making this today, can’t wait :)

Sarah December 15, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Just lovely! Just made my first batch. I’m wondering if maybe I over mixed as it hardened up quite quickly versus staying pliable. No matter it still works but just wondering what the final texture should be like?

Susan December 15, 2012 at 12:51 pm

You can’t really overmix. Either the oil ratios were off (you need to be careful) or the cooling process wasn’t done correctly. It should have a butter consistency.

Lilly December 15, 2012 at 6:05 pm

I wanted to blend grapefruit and eucalyptus. I know eucalyptus needs to be diluted, but is this mixture enough to dilute it? What I mean is, I know you can’t apply it directly to the skin. So is this mixture enough of a “dilution”?

Susanne December 16, 2012 at 8:19 am

It is soo amazing – I love this Body Butter!!! It’s the first I made and it is easy to do. I used following essential oils: lavender (lavendula angustifolia), mandarin red (citrus nobilis), backhousia citriodora ( I do not know english translation, so I used the latin name).
Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

LeeAnn December 16, 2012 at 9:25 pm

It looks so good! I want to eat it. lol.

April December 18, 2012 at 11:40 am

My body butter is melting in the jars back to a soupy consistency, is this normal? What did I do wrong?

Thanks April

Susan December 18, 2012 at 11:46 am

No, that shouldn’t happen. Either your oil ratios were off (solid to liquid) or you might not have chilled it enough. Cheers!

andrew December 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm

So you chill then added essential oils and almond oil?

SarahBeth December 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I would love to know if i could use vanilla extract
For this body butter mix? Im excited to try also where did
You find the shea butter?

Emily December 19, 2012 at 6:56 pm

I’m SO excited about making this!! I ordered all the ingredients from Amazon, and the last package came yesterday, yay! One question though–do you know approximately how many drops of essential oils you used for one batch? I’m using lemongrass and lavender.

Susan December 19, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Add it slowly and use your nose. When you like how it smells, stop. Cheers!

Susan Parker December 19, 2012 at 10:35 pm

I just ordered off amazon it will be after xmas before i receive items…your recipe sounds fantastic Ill let ya know if it turns out… Merry Christmas too

ashlee lewis walls December 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm

I have made my batches for gifts and the turned out great until i went to open them and they smelled like the natural shea butter (like anise). When I mixed them you could really smell the essential oils now you can not smell them at all. What could be a reason for this and how can I rectify this?

Susan December 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm

I have not had that problem. I might suggest adding more essential oils?

connie December 21, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Try adding essential oils when it cools some. I make homemade soap and I add the oils when the soap has cooled some (before it traces). The heat seems to “dilute” the scent.

Amy December 22, 2012 at 12:02 am

In your measurements for your solid oils – that’s 1/2 a cup in hardened form? Silly question, but this is my first diy. :)

Melanie December 23, 2012 at 5:25 pm

I have the same question..is it 1/2 cup coconut oil in hardened form?

Susan Parker December 26, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Well…I gotta say…that raw shea butter does not smell good…I changed your process just a bit…I read in several articles that if you overheat shea butter you lose much in natural benefit …soo I heated the cocoa butter in a double boiler just with the hot water (I don’t want to mess it up)…stove off… cooled about 10 min to milkier look …added it to mixer bowl with the shea butter cut up in about 1 in cubes…turned it on low…for about 5 min (scraping sides at 2 min)…i added about 1 tb vanilla…2 tb raw honey…and…3 tb light virgin olive oil…5 more min on low mixing (scraping sides at 2 min)…. (it looks great)…then turned mixer on med high…another 5 min (scraping sides at 2 min)…love it!!!!

Amanda December 28, 2012 at 2:36 pm

“I measured out shea butter (I use this shea butter: 100% Pure Unrefined Organic Raw SHEA BUTTER )
and coconut oil for the solid…”

So in response to the previous questions, the coconut oil was in fact solid prior to heating. :)

Can’t wait to make this, just waiting for my shea butter to come in the mail!

Tia December 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Thank you for this! I needed to replace two of my once favorite body butters (due to being pregnant, and suddenly unable to handle the smell, or the stickiness!) This is perfect:) Absorbs amazingly… Definitely bookmarking this one!

Susan December 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Thanks! It does absorb wonderfully, doesn’t it!!

Seth Black December 28, 2012 at 11:54 pm

I just made this with olive oil instead of the almond oil. Love it! I also added some lemon and lavender essential oils. it goes on oily but leaves the skin SO SOFT. Thanks for the recipe!

Tamara December 28, 2012 at 11:58 pm

My 6 year old daughter and I made this today after ordering everything from Amazon. Just like you said, the cooling is essential. I put the mix in my deep freeze and it whipped up like a cloud. I used beeswax and olive oil along with the shea and it turned out awesome! Thank you for this very simple and and effective recipe. My skin is soo soft!

rebecca January 2, 2013 at 3:02 pm

How is your ratio 75% 25% if you are using 1 cup of shea butter and 1/2 cup each of coconut oil and almond oil?

Susan January 2, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Coconut oil is considered a solid oil.

Laura January 3, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Thanks so much for a great recipe! I halved the recipe using 1/2 cup mango butter + 1/4 cup coconut oil + 1/4 cup jojoba oil with approx. 20 drops each of lemon and sweet orange + 5 drops lavender essential oil. It is perfection. For those wondering about using vanilla extract, this is not a good idea. Extracts are made with alcohol & water, which require emulsifiers to blend with oil and also introduce the potential of bacterial contamination — always a risk when you add water-based ingredients with no preservatives. I think the vanilla scent might also be very short-lived given the change to evaporate. For best results, it’s better to stick with the all-oil recipe, which promises a long shelf life of at least a year.

Michelle B January 5, 2013 at 7:20 pm

I made this last night and it turned out great! I think I added too much rosemary, because my husband and daughter said it smelled like Vicks vapor rub. I used it this morning and once it goes on your skin it doesn’t smell as strong. Next time I will use sweet orange. Still I love it and it goes on the skin so nice.

Alannah January 5, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Loving it! I’ve made a few body butters, gotta try this one out.

Kelvin J January 7, 2013 at 10:49 am

I would like to try this.. can someone suggest what type of store would carry the various oil scents to try?

Thanks!!

Ursula Tkacz January 16, 2013 at 4:37 pm

I can’t wait to try this recipe!
I’m thinking of using lemon and orange zest instead of buying the essential oils; similarly to how you used the rosemary during the cooling process. What do you think?

Tamara N January 16, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Can i use cocoa butter instead of coconut oil? Will it work? Please help.

Susan January 16, 2013 at 11:19 pm

I haven’t tried it. But if you stick with the 75-25 percentages, it should. Can’t say for sure.

Chaya Lapin January 19, 2013 at 6:12 am

Hi Susan

You are amazing , thank you for giving us such good healthy and wholesom ideas. May God bless you.I am going to try this body butter , I have such dry skin . I will let you know . I cannot thank you enough. I love you blog and site . Thank you for your effort much appreciated

Chaya

KP January 20, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Thanks for the recipe! I made a batch for myself last evening and used 5 drops each of Lavender and Peppermint essential oils and I have to say it smells good enough to eat! I am thinking of making a separate batch for a once-a-week-head-massage with this mousse since it has all three ingredients that are considered best for scalp.

Erin January 21, 2013 at 4:21 am

My brother’s fiancé made this for me for Christmas and it is amazing! I’m 9 months pregnant and this is the best ‘bump’ cream I’ve used so far. Great in the winter and all natural so no worries about any chemicals and baby. Thank you!

Beth January 22, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Thank you! I just finished my first batch and it is beautiful. I used 1/4 cup cocoa butter, 1/4 cup coconut oil. It smells so good and feels so good on my dry winter hands. I just buttered my kids. :) And now will tuck them in bed.

Erin Elizabeth January 25, 2013 at 1:41 pm

This is AWESOME. I just made some! I had to leave my mixture outside (18 degrees) for 35 minutes. I used dry measuring cups not liquid for all three ingredients. I literally FORCED myself to wait until my cooled mixture looked like your cooled mixture… It whipped like a dream! My next recipe I will try is the hair and face masks… I have sensitive skin so I have to be mindful what I use. I am using it on my son when he gets out of the tub!

Phyl January 25, 2013 at 6:30 pm

I tried this and measured carefully, but it is too oily. Is there anything I can do to make it less greasy?

A. Smith January 30, 2013 at 9:52 am

I made this a few months ago and I think its great, but my wife, not so much lol. She doesn’t like the smell or taste (we’re all of adults here) of it. Any ideas on a mixture of essentials oils that work better for men?

Rose January 30, 2013 at 12:23 pm

In order to get the ratios exactly right, should I melt the shea butter first to ensure that it is exactly 1 cup?

diane rosales January 30, 2013 at 7:15 pm

i did this and my body butter is more liquidy…. definitely nothing like a lotion. :( not sure what i did wrong?

Susan January 30, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Most likely either the measurements were off or you didn’t let it cool enough before whipping. I wish I could tell more I have no way of knowing… Cheers!

liliana February 3, 2013 at 10:44 pm

I like your recipe, I use cocoa butter instead of coconut oil and a few drops of tea tree oil. Does not have a strong smell, next time I will add more essential oils.
I shared the cream with my in laws today and I have to live my sample, my father in law love it! Oily at the beginning, but the skin absorves easily in a few minutes. Thanks for sharing your recipe. God bless you.

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