Your whole food, plant-based life.

Homemade Body Butter Recipe

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.

*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!*

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




  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.

  1. This recipe has been tested many times. If you don’t follow the recipe, you will not get the same results.
  2. 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.


Body 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.
  5. 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.

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  1. Julien wrote on November 17, 2015

    Super, merci d’avoir partagé, cest pas exactement ce que je cherche, mais j’ai déjà de quoi faire, bonne source d’inspiration :)

  2. Patsy Hudkins wrote on November 6, 2015

    Susan . . . I am so glad you shared this recipe. I made my first batch last night and was almost giddy with the success of it. You were ‘RIGHT ON’ regarding the importance of chilling the proper amount of time, I chilled my stainless steel mixing bowl and beaters too which helps it whip into the decadent, rich creamy butter like in your picture. I appreciate your photos and simple step by step instructions. Thanks again for sharing this great recipe. (I mixed lavender, clary sage and geranium essential oils – love it and can’t wait to share with my family)

  3. Pete @ EpiCraze wrote on November 2, 2015

    Hi Susan,

    You may not be a technical expert, but your attempt looks very promising and I myself will be making an attempt to re-create this recipe. Just need to remember the chilling step.

    I really like the way it won’t mould either. Good work.

  4. HealthyInfinity wrote on October 22, 2015

    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.

  5. Linda wrote on October 21, 2015


    • Susan wrote on October 21, 2015

      It will develop mold quickly. Cheers!

  6. Veronica wrote on October 19, 2015

    Have you tried making this using beeswax? Thanks

  7. Verónica wrote on October 12, 2015

    Do you think that olive oil would work well instead of the almond oil? I don’t find almond oil so easily in the country where I currently live and I’m running out of stock from my last trip!

  8. Karen wrote on October 8, 2015

    If my kid is allergic to shea butter what is alternative to getting a thick body butter?

    • Holly wrote on November 6, 2015

      Cocoa Butter or mango butter may work better for you.

  9. Cristina wrote on August 30, 2015

    @ 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).

  10. Danielle wrote on August 21, 2015

    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 wrote on September 26, 2015

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


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