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How to Make Your Own Body Butter

Updated on April 24, 2013

Body butter... just the name alone sounds luxurious. And trust me, it is. Body butters are most frequently made from coconut oil, Shea butter and essential oils. It sounds like it might be complicated to make your own body butter at home, but in fact, is surprisingly simple. You will wow your friends and family with this homemade luxury. And your skin will be thanking you too.

Shea butter comes from the nut of the Shea tree, found in West Africa.
Shea butter comes from the nut of the Shea tree, found in West Africa. | Source
The purest form of coconut oil you can find will be the healthiest for your skin.
The purest form of coconut oil you can find will be the healthiest for your skin. | Source

Ingredients for a Homemade Body Butter

The wonderful thing about making homemade beauty products is that you can completely customize the product to fit your needs. The same is true of body butter. The rule you will want to follow when making your body butter is to keep a 3:1 ratio of solid oils to liquid oils. Examples of solid oils are Shea butter and coconut oil. Examples of liquid oils you might want to use are almond oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil or jojoba oil. My personal preference is almond oil because it is light, absorbs quickly into the skin and has a light scent.

The final ingredient that you're going to need for you body butter is essential oil in whichever scents you prefer.

It's that simple! You really only need 2 ingredients to make body butter, but the 3 traditional ingredients in body butter recipes are:

  • Solid oils (coconut oil, Shea butter, cocoa butter)
  • Liquid oils (almond oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil)
  • Essential oils (your preferred scents). Some popular scents for body butter are: rosemary, lavender, citrus and peppermint. Just make sure the essential oil you choose is skin-friendly, as some kinds are not.

Tips for Buying Shea Butter

Shea butter has been known for it's healing and skin protecting properties for centuries. Rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins, Shea butter is a super food for your skin and hair.

When considering which Shea butter to purchase for your body butter, raw Shea butter will contain the highest density of nutrients. If the Shea butter is processed and filtered, it may loose many of it's nourishing properties.

Shea butter may come in gold or ivory colors. If you would like a pure white body butter, purchase your Shea butter in ivory. From the research the I've done, it seems that the quality of Shea butter can vary from seller to seller, so do some research and read a few customer reviews before purchasing your Shea butter.

Unrefined Shea butter may have some sediments of the shell left in the butter. Though harmless, you may want to filter these sediments out to make sure you make a completely smooth body butter. To do this, melt the Shea butter in a double boiler. Once melted, allow the sediments to settle to the bottom and then pour the melted Shea into another container. Using cheesecloth to filter the melted Shea butter is and easy and effective method to removing any leftover debris.

How to Make You Body Butter

Here are some FAQ's about making body butters.

  • Is Shea butter required to make a body butter? No, do you do not have to use Shea butter to make a body butter. You can actually make a butter with just coconut oil and almond oil (or whichever liquid oil you prefer). If you use only coconut oil as your base, you don't need to melt it as some recipes have you do. You simply whip it for 10 minutes or until can see it has become fluffy and smooth. That being said, Shea butter is extremely healthy for your skin and I recommend using it when you can.
  • Do I have to melt the oils to make a successful body butter? No, you don't. However, if you decide to combine Shea butter and coconut oil, then it is recommened that you melt the oils. Shea butter can be hard, so you'll get much better results if you melt it to combine with the coconut oil. Also, if you purchase unrefined Shea butter (which is the best option because it will contain the most nutrients), there may be some debris left behind. By melting it down, you can filter out any remaining debris to make sure that your body butter is perfectly smooth.
  • Why isn't my body butter whipping up? There are two main reasons as to why your body butter might not be whipping up. The first is that you haven't whipped long enough. It can take 5-10 minutes of whipping before you'll notice a consistency change. The second reason your body butter might not be whipping up is because it is still too warm. If you have melted the your oils, they need to be pretty much back to room temperature to whip up. The oils should be soft but not too warm. If you haven't already, throw your oil mixture into the fridge or put it outside if it's cold for an hour and try whipping your butter again.
  • How do you melt Shea butter and coconut oil? The melting temperatures of both Shea butter and coconut oil are very low, so you'll want to heat the oils in a double boiler. If you don't have a double boiler, use a heat-safe bowl on top of a pot of boiling water, just make sure there is space for the steam to escape. Using steam to melt your oils is the most gentle way to melt the oils and will preserve the most skin-nourishing nutrients. It's easy to get the oils too hot when melting them down on the stove top which will reduce the amount of nutrients that are killed off from the heat.

Coconut oil is an important ingredient in making body butters.
Coconut oil is an important ingredient in making body butters. | Source
Combine your liquid oils with your coconut oil and Shea butter mixture.
Combine your liquid oils with your coconut oil and Shea butter mixture. | Source

Body Butter Recipe with Coconut Oil and Shea Butter

  • 1 cup Shea Butter, raw (replace with coconut oil if not using Shea butter)
  • 1/2 cup Coconut oil, raw
  • 1/2 cup Almond oil, or oil of choice (I like to add some vitamin E oil here for an extra boost of skin nourishment)
  • A few drops of Essential oils of choice


  1. If you're not using Shea butter, move on to step 2. Melt the Shea butter and coconut oil over a double broiler. Stir oils constantly, just until melted. Remove from heat.
  2. Combine the Shea butter, coconut oil, almond oil and essential oil. Place mixture in the fridge until it begins to set up (about an hour in the refrigerator and 20 minutes in the freezer). The mixture should be soft, but too melty or else it won't whip up right.
  3. Once the oil mixture has set, whip for 5-10 minutes until it becomes fluffy, increases in size and the texture looks like butter. If you don't have a standing mixer or hand beater, a food processor should also do the job.
  4. Place into storage containers or individual jars. This makes a great little gift! Enjoy!
  5. It is normal for the body butter to melt as you rub it onto your skin. Keep massaging it into the skin and It will be absorbed pretty quickly. I'm sure you will be very happy with the results!
When the consistency of your oil mixture has changed into a fluffy, buttery texture, you know it's ready!
When the consistency of your oil mixture has changed into a fluffy, buttery texture, you know it's ready! | Source


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    • Scott P Williams profile image

      Scott P Williams 

      5 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Thanks. I'm going to have to try this.

    • Dreamhowl profile image

      Jessica Marello 

      5 years ago from United States

      You made making your own body butter seem pretty simple! This is something I'd like to try someday, though for now I should start using body butter first. Voted up and useful!

    • Jenna Estefan profile imageAUTHOR

      Jenna Estefan 

      5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Thanks! Hope you like it!

    • mariasial profile image

      maria sial 

      5 years ago from united kingdom

      Thank you for writing this recipe . voted up and useful


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