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 mold. 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.


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  1. katherine wrote on February 11, 2017

    I am thinking about making this for a family member, and I was wondering about two things. 1) Can i use cocoa butter instead of shea butter, and 2) are the essential oils in place of the almond oil, or combined with?

    • Susan wrote on February 15, 2017

      Combined with. Cheers!

  2. AJane wrote on February 7, 2017

    This may be a dumb question, I haven’t made any lotion products before. I am looking to make more of a soft balm type texture (not so much the fluffy lotion texture), can I achieve this without using a mixer? Or will it be too solid without whipping it?

  3. Lucy wrote on February 4, 2017

    I made this today, it is amazing! I did a vanilla orange combo and it smells as awesome as it feels. Thank you so much for posting this recipe!

  4. Allen wrote on January 23, 2017

    I used lavender oil and mine is incredibly oily and too strong. Ive added more shea but i might be trying to fix something beyond repair. Any suggestions?

  5. Marie wrote on December 31, 2016

    Does it have to be with solid Shea butter? I got Intensely Moisturizing Shea Butter from Nourish Organic. Will this work?

    • Susan wrote on January 30, 2017

      Yes, you need solid shea butter. Cheers!

  6. marsha palmer wrote on December 28, 2016

    if i dont have almond oil can i double the coconut oil?

    • Susan wrote on December 29, 2016

      Coconut oil is considered a solid and the almond oil is considered a liquid. So, no, that wouldn’t work as well. Cheers!

  7. Ricki Hawker wrote on December 28, 2016

    This looks amazing! I like to have homemade butter on hand for after the sauna. I haven’t tried rosemary… that sounds heavenly for winter!

  8. Norma wrote on December 21, 2016

    Thank you for your recipe. I am making my second batch. I love the way it makes my skin feel but unlike some lotions I’ve used my skin still feels good the next morning. I used grape seed oil instead of almond oil. It fluffed up beautifully.

  9. Jay wrote on December 21, 2016

    I made this yesterday following your instructions. After whipping for about 15-20 minutes, the lotion was soft and fluffy like whipped cream. I filled the lotion in a glass jar. However, over the night, the lotion has become a bit hard. It melts in fingers but it doesn’t feel the same as after whipping. Is this normal? It is cold here in NJ and I left in bathroom at normal home temperature. Thanks!


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