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. 

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{ 858 comments… read them below or add one }

Sonja April 26, 2013 at 6:30 am

This stuff is GREAT!!! I make it all of the time and my customers love it!! I use it twice a day!! I also use it in my hair!!! The last batch I made I used cocoa butter along with the other oils and it shrank too much in the jars. It’s also alot dryer feeling than without the cocoa butter. I think I will stick to the original recipe. I do add vitamin E oil. Thanks for the great recipe.


emily parker April 27, 2013 at 4:51 pm

I made this on today with tangerine & lavender essence and added a tbs of avacado and grapeseed oil during the whipping period. love it.


emily parker April 27, 2013 at 5:01 pm

I made this today and added tangerine & lavander essence oils and during the whipping period I used 1 tbs of grapeseed and avocado oil. it feels so good and small too.


Chi April 28, 2013 at 10:26 am

Hi, thanks so much. I made mine and it was so lovely after the whipping. However, the next day, it was hard again. I used mainly shea butter and almond oil. I am wondering if I needed more of the almond oil. Thank you


Susan April 28, 2013 at 11:03 am

The proportions are listed above. I have experience with those. If you have too much Shea Butter it would harden.


Kristin April 28, 2013 at 3:52 pm

I just made my first batch of body butter using your recipe and it came out BEAUTIFUL! Followed your steps to a “T” and used Lemongrass essential oil as my fragrance. I will be doing a blog post on it so others can enjoy this recipe as well! Thank you for sharing.


brittany May 1, 2013 at 12:19 am

can you use vanilla extract? i have heard of it being used in other lotion/body butter recipes…


Sue May 2, 2013 at 6:30 am

I love the recipe but is there a way to make the scent from the essential oil stronger or perhaps an essential oil that has a more robust scent. Any suggestions regarding a type of a strong essential oil.


Susan May 2, 2013 at 11:25 am

Put in more essential oil. :-)


Janet May 2, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Is it necessary to use glass jars or can you use plastic?


Susan May 2, 2013 at 1:41 pm

I don’t use plastic. I wouldn’t recommend it.


Jen May 4, 2013 at 12:27 pm

It says that you partially let it to become solid, would it be bad if you let it harden all the way? I’m always out on the run, but I would love to try this!


Susan May 4, 2013 at 12:44 pm

If you let it harden all the way, you won’t have body butter. It will be a solid mass.


Erin May 7, 2013 at 10:39 am

I just found your site & I love it!!! I’ve been trying new raw/natural products (i’m kinda obsessed with coconut oil, ha) and this is one I’ll definitely do. I’m now a follower & Look forward to your future posts. Great work!!! Thanks
Erin aka Momasaurus


Cameron May 8, 2013 at 11:01 pm

I love this recipe. Thank you! I also had to comment as I love your responses Susan. Simple and respectful, yet so blunt that a couple of your responses made me laugh out loud. You have great patience with us beginners :)


Susan May 8, 2013 at 11:11 pm

Cameron, you made me snort….my daughter often tells me I need to be nicer. :-). Thanks for the nice comment. :-)


Rose May 9, 2013 at 5:40 am

This looks amazing! Could I add jojoba oil and vitamin E?


Karen May 11, 2013 at 11:13 am

mine is cooling as we speak! hope it comes out good. was just shy of the almond oil so I added a little grape seed oil. wish me luck! thanks for posting


Ms. I May 12, 2013 at 10:51 am

I made this recipe last night and I LOVE it!!!! It is so simple and turned out beautifully… a batch of fluffy, chocolatey scented heaven for my skin!

I used 100% cocoa butter instead of the Shea butter and a blend of vitamin E and almond oils. I also added a few drops of lavender oil and several drops of Seabuckthorn oil. Lately, I’ve noticed how dry and ‘old’ my hands seem to look… not any more!!!!

If you are looking for a simple, healthy alternative to toxic lotions, I highly recommend you try this!

Thank you for sharing!!!


Pamela May 12, 2013 at 1:44 pm

What is the shelf life of this body butter? Thanks


Susan May 12, 2013 at 5:09 pm

I have kept it for months, but I honestly don’t have a definitive answer for you. It would also depend on the climate. Cheers!


Zaskira May 16, 2013 at 4:30 pm

I made this with
2 cups shea butter
1 cup coconut oil
1 cup avocado oil
1 ounce jojoba oil
20 drops vitamin E
20 drops vanilla essential oil
I had a big jar (one quart) so I doubled the recipe

Anyways, I’m 20, and this is the first time I made a body butter–
it came out beautifully!!!! It smells so lovely, thank you ^_____^=


Gloria May 20, 2013 at 8:00 am

I made this tonight and it whipped up well, however the moment I put it on my skin it melted to an oil – I had doubled up on the liquids bc I used almond as well as grapeseed oil! My mistake!
I have also run out of Shea butter – can anyone else suggest another creamy ingredient I can add to rescue it?… It would be such a waste to throw this away.


Susan May 20, 2013 at 10:33 am

Gloria, put it aside, order the shea butter and make the recipe with the correct ratios. :-)


pia May 21, 2013 at 1:21 am

Hi, it looks great, want to make it, but you write several times 75% solid to 25% liquid…but the recipe says 1 cup butter and ½+½ cup oils….surely that is 50/50, not 75/25? What am I missing here? Thanks!


Susan May 21, 2013 at 9:34 am

Coconut oil is hard at room temp. It is a solid. So, 75% (shea butter and coconut oil) and 25% (almond oil)


Benja May 22, 2013 at 10:16 am

Hi! Super looking body butter, thanks for posting the recipe. May be i can add moringa oil and/or sesame oil in place of almond oil? I suppose with ‘herbal active’, the shelf life would be extended quite abit.


megan May 22, 2013 at 10:43 pm

My coconut oil is liquid these days (over 76 degrees in my house) – still considered a solid? Also, any trouble cleaning the mixer after this? I just had a toss a blender canister that was beyond cleaning from the last time I made lotion :-(


Susan May 23, 2013 at 12:13 pm

If it is liquid, it is not solid. No, this won’t ruin your mixer.


DA May 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm

What can we use in place of almond oil that’s cheaper or easier to come by and has the same benefits? Also, what do you think of that NOW Foods brand on Amazon that has all sorts of essential oils? I’ve tried contacting their customer service and they don’t give me a straight answer whether their peppermint oil is safe to eat and how to use it in place of mint extract, just to find a book, so I don’t know if they really know their product and if it’s safe. I’m planning on ordering that same shea butter and some coconut oil to make something like this, along with beeswax for lip balm, but everything says to use almond oil.


Lea May 25, 2013 at 6:50 am

I just made my body butter with grape seed oil as a liquid part and it worked just fine. You may also use any vegetable cooking oil from a grocery store, most of them are good for your skin. I would suggest virgin olive oil, but Susan might come up with something better.


Veronica May 28, 2013 at 8:46 am

I’ve been using NOW Foods essential oils for a few months and I really like them. They smell good and quite a bit cheaper. If you want a consumable oil I’d suggest getting a flavoring. You can get them at the grocery store or Michaels or other craft store. Not sure that kind of oil would work for this recipe though.


Judy May 30, 2013 at 7:06 am

I made this body butter right before we went on a trip to the beach, it turned out so wonderful! My husband has had some problems with skin cancer recently on his arms and so he uses this to help his arms look better. Normally they look dry and crusty.

I used 25% coconut oil, 25% Shea butter, 25% kokum butter & 25% almond oil. Yes, it does melt the moment I put it on my skin, but I just thought that’s what it was supposed to do. I am keeping the extra jars in the reefrigerator until I get ready to use them.

Thanks for giving us the recipe :)


Gypsy June 3, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Is the whip step essential? I don’t really want to have to clean my whip with partially solidified essential oil containing body butter. I use the same whip for making cake!


Susan June 3, 2013 at 5:29 pm

If you don’t whip it, it will be solid. I use my kitchenaid mixer for this all the time. I just throw it in the dishwasher.


Judy June 5, 2013 at 6:20 am

I used my hand mixer, wiped off as much body butter as I could before putting it in the dishwasher. No problem!


Maria June 17, 2013 at 5:05 pm

I was wondering instead of adding essential oils if I can substitute with lemon or orange rind? I am not sure if the Now essential oils are skin friendly. I tried adding a bit of Now lavender essential oil and the scent did not work for me. Thank.


Anna June 18, 2013 at 9:01 am

I’m curious, if I adjusted to the correct proportions (75%,25%) if you could add pure aloe vera as well? I have a family member with a horrible skin condition and I am looking for a good recipe for a skin cream to help heal and relieve the irritation. I have tried Betsy Jabs non-greasy skin lotion with moderate success (I love the feel of it), but had a hard time getting complete emulsification. It did help with the skin condition and I think the aloe had something to do with it (also used almond oil and vit e). This looks like an easier recipe that I would love to try- and I may just experiment (But I would hate to waste ingredients!). Thanks :)


Andrea June 18, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Hi there,
I am wondering how ‘much’ this recipe makes? (Either in actual ounces, or how many jars of what dimensions you can fill.) Thank you!


Susan June 18, 2013 at 4:09 pm

As it says in the recipe, it makes 2 1/2 to 3 cups. :-)


Steph June 18, 2013 at 9:43 pm

A couple of my friends and I have recently started to get together once a month for a ‘Make Your Own’ Party. Tonight we made this Body Butter as one of our recipes. We were amazed by the final product…It was light, fluffy and perfectly whipped. We couldn’t believe how simple it was to make a natural product that looked so luxurious, and makes your skin feel so smooth. We will definitely be making this product again and again.


Karen Brimhall June 21, 2013 at 1:22 pm

To Susan,
I can’t wait to try this simple recipe! I have 2 pounds of the Organic Raw Shea Butter from the exact link you showed us! Mine is a deep ochre yellow color. I always thought Shea Butter was naturally white! I like the color for my uses.

To Anna,
If you use Aloe Vera, keep in mind that it is a liquid with water in it… so you have to use something for emulsification (mixing oil and water), and something to preserve it since water introduces bacteria to oil. I like to make body butters with distilled water and aloe vera in them, and the “true” emulsifiers, that are used by the commercial industry, are not as natural so I don’t want to use them. So, I use beeswax, lecithin, and arrowroot powder. (The arrowroot powder absorbs some of the oil and leaves your skin with more of a matte finish. Great to camoflauge age spots and scars! It’s powdery soft and heavenly.) But even with the use of those things, I’ve never had a batch that didn’t start separating after a few weeks. I just make small batches, separate into small containers, and keep what I’m not using yet in the fridge. And to keep them from spoiling, I use Vitamin E and/or GSE. If you really want to add aloe vera or other “water” ingredients, it takes a little more experimenting and educating yourself. But to me it is worth it. The water makes the body butter have a wonderful cooling feel, and adds more moisture to your skin. That said, I can’t WAIT to make Susan’s recipe. Looks heavenly.


Tiffany June 29, 2013 at 1:21 pm

I love this Body Butter, it’s amazing . Thank you for sharing your recipe and thoughts on making this wonderful cream. I mada a batch for my sister birthday, I hope she likes it as well as I do. Please continue to share your ideas !


David July 3, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Please ignore my previous post and post following (was writing it from mobile and coconut oil was misspelled to cocoa oil). Thanks:
thanks for the wonderful recipe. Tried it for a first time and really love the consistence of the final product. I used
1 cup unrefined shea butter
1/2 cup coconut butter
and add some vanilla essential oil for better smell. And there is the catch. The smell of shea butter seems to be that strong that eliminates coconut+ vanilla aroma. So added more coconut oil (so was 1:1 in the end) and nearly half of the 10ml vanilla essential oil bottle. Could you please let me know if the shea butter is really so powerful or you have not experienced this? Bought shea butter for the first time and from well rated seller on the internet who claims to have pure unrefined etc shea butter. Thank you and wish all the best


Brittany Jackson July 10, 2013 at 12:08 pm

O make a similar mixture as a diaper rash cream. I do shea butter, coconut oil and aleo juice with a few drops of tea tree oil. Clears up diaper rash and exzema. I always have a issue with the whipping process. Guess I get ahead of myself and don’t let it cool. Turned out great this time


Brittany Jackson July 10, 2013 at 12:08 pm

i make a similar mixture as a diaper rash cream. I do shea butter, coconut oil and aleo juice with a few drops of tea tree oil. Clears up diaper rash and exzema. I always have a issue with the whipping process. Guess I get ahead of myself and don’t let it cool. Turned out great this time


Marleen July 10, 2013 at 7:51 pm

I just made this today and it turned out great. I used emu oil instead of jojoba oil because that is what I had. I have the skin of a 60+ lady so I need all that moisture. I haven’t noticed anyone else has tried emu oil. I hope it works as good as it looks.


HannahD July 11, 2013 at 11:04 am

Hello Susan,

Great recipe! I wanted to thank you for sharing.
I have ended up modifying it slightly. 😉
It goes on so lovely. Thanks again & Hope your enjoying the wonderful summer!

– HannahD


alecia g. July 14, 2013 at 3:05 pm

soooo….if the coconut oil is SOLID when I go to make it…it’s considered a solid, but if it’s in its liquid, or even liquid’ISH state, I hafta come up with a substitute?? What would YOU recommend??….also….if I’m adding fragrance oil, do I back off the same amount of oil in my recipe to compensate for the fragrance/essential oil?
LOVE THIS STUFF!! I wanted to taste it, it looked so good….heeheehee


Jessica July 15, 2013 at 1:40 pm

I made this yesterday and OMG !! I love LOVE this body butter!! I actually just made a small batch …cut the one posted in half …Its awesome ! I’ll make a bigger batch when I run out of this :) Thanks for a great recipe !!


Radhika July 16, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Just wanted to say thanks and three cheers for this simple, clear and great recipe. Mine took over 40 mins to cool in the freezer – the photos and tips proved to be invaluable! Btw, it even works as a hair treatment. What a happy ending! 😀


kim July 19, 2013 at 12:06 pm

I made the original recipe in June and loved it! Thank you for sharing! I am out so am making more today. Trying a mixture of shea, mango and coconut oils, along with almond oil. The first time, I used raw, organic coconut and the coconut helped to tone down the shea butter smell. This time, I bought a larger and less expensive brand of coconut oil (not organic or raw…just 100% pure coconut oil) and it has not the slightest hint of coconut aroma. I DEFINITELY will use the raw, organic brand next time. Meanwhile, I am waiting for the oils to cool so I can begin whipping and jarring to let it set up!


Bell July 19, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Just wanted to add a note for those people who are afraid that the butters might ruin their mixers. :) I made my first couple batches of lotion recently, using both cocoa and shea butters, and some REALLY smelly oils (it was to help heal eczema) and I had a little trouble getting it to come off some of my tools.

But, I just used water as hot as I could stand, and then I let them soak for a little while in white vinegar, before tossing them in the dishwasher. Good as new. I also use the same tools in the kitchen as I do for my “spa” products.

Hope this helps!!


Denise July 19, 2013 at 8:20 pm

The measurements of the shea butter is it solid or liquid and also the coconut oil?


Sheri July 28, 2013 at 12:52 pm

I used Zaskira’s version of this, and its amazing! My husband has psoriasis on his knees, it was crusty and open, not to mention sore.. Its healed over nicely, you can still see where it is, but he says they even feel better.
I am so pleased that something I made helped., where medicated lotions etc did not. So Im going to make more and hope it helps a friends daughter that has it on her head.


devans00 August 8, 2013 at 6:25 pm

I totally loved this recipe. I made it with organic cocoa butter, virgin coconut oil and Golden Jojoba Oil. The cocoa butter was too hard to do anything with by itself but the mixture melts anytime it touches the skin.

It was hard not to take a bite out of the chocolatey smelling fluff as it was whipped up.

Thanks Susan


Nova August 12, 2013 at 11:46 pm

I just tried this and it worked well. I added Calendula extract for my eczema. You only need to use a tiny amount as it leaves a bit of a greasy residue (mine did anyway). I also think i cooled mine a bit long before whipping it (I used a hand mixer and it worked well). Next time i’ll whip it a bit earlier.
You can use it under your eyes as an eye cream, as a shaving cream/oil, as a moisturiser, it’s really versatile!
Thanks for the recipe!


Chris August 26, 2013 at 4:50 pm

My skin does not seem to like coconut oil. It is too oily and I think it leaves little red bumps(hives?) on my arms. Is there any substitute for coconut oil? I need something solid to keep the proportions right


Michelle September 6, 2013 at 2:20 am

To those who are confused about coconut oil in it’s liquid state vs solid state. Just put it in the refrigerator, let it solidify and then measure out the amount you need. I live in Alaska, so coconut oil is ALWAYS solid. :)

I use strictly coconut oil for my body lotion and it is heavenly. However, I am going to have to try this recipe…looks amazing!


Ashley September 8, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Hi! If this is a repeat question I am sorry. Should I use a separate kitchen utensils, pans, and mixer for beauty products?


Char September 11, 2013 at 6:44 am

Trying to make this now. How do I correctly measure a cup of something solid? To my mind, cup measures are for liquids and 1 cup is approximately 8 fluid ounces.. Is there an equivalent weight measure (e.g. grams or ounces ?) I would find this very useful. I am in the UK and cup measures are unusual here.


Susan September 11, 2013 at 10:44 am

You can melt it and measure it. :-)


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