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easy diy shea body butter

For the past several weeks I’ve been experimenting with some recipes for making my own “hard” lotion bars and body butter. They’re so easy to make and really don’t take much time! I prefer both of them now over buying commercially made stuff (no added chemicals, at least that I know of).

I use the same ingredients for both hard lotion and body butter with the exception of the natural beeswax which I only use in my hard lotion bars (basically it’s the bond that holds the oils together) and the shea butter doesn’t have to be in the hard lotion unless you want it. I’ve made hard lotion with and without it shea butter and with and without the essentials oils (scents). But that’s for another post. Today I’m just going to focus on the body butter.


Easy DIY Shea Body Butter

Total ingredients I use for body butter:

  • coconut oil
  • olive oil or some other oil (almond, grape seed, etc)
  • shea butter
  • essential oils (I’ve been using peppermint and eucalyptus)


About the Shea Butter

I did a little researching and if my info is correct, unrefined shea butter will be more of a creamy, beige or ivory color. If it’s white it may be refined.

I found a great deal on Amazon for two pounds of organic unrefined ivory shea butter from Ghana. I also learned that it’s probably better to order it in the cooler months so it doesn’t melt in the heat during shipping.  I can attest that the same is probably true for chocolate cookies as I’ve received some to review one summer and they were a melty mess by the time I opened the box 🙁  .


Below is a picture of my shea butter. It came in a big lump wrapped in plastic wrap and sealed in a foil lined protective bag. According to my research you do not have to refrigerate shea butter and it may last for a good year to 18 months if not longer. Don’t get water in it or may get moldy according to another source I read. I just keep mine in the wrapping/bag it arrived in and put all of that in a ziplock baggie and store it in the back room of our home where it’s cooler.


picture of organic unrefined shea butter from Ghana

If you have everything you need (ingredients, simple electric mixer, utensils) you can have a batch of body butter whipped up and ready to use in just about an hour or so, maybe less!


  •  First, make yourself a double boiler system. With my first batch I used a glass bowl placed inside a big pot with water , as pictured above, but I think my second batch using two pans (the bottom one with water) melted my oil/shea butter faster.


  • Next, add 1 cup of shea butter and  half a cup of coconut oil into the glass bowl or top pan to melt. After it melts add in half a cup of olive oil (or almond, or grape seed, or whatever you want). I did read you should have 3/4 solid oil and 1/4 liquid oil in your recipe.


  • I recommend pouring the melted mixture into another glass bowl, covering the top, and stick it in the freezer for about half hour to solidify (not freeze). Do not let condensation / water get into your mix.



homemade body butter

Okay, so you want it pretty solid, not rock solid but stiff.  You’re about to whip-it! Grab your mixer and make sure you scrape the sides of your bowl. Make it look like whipped cream!

Now this where you add your essential oils if you were planning to do so.You can find some good deals on essential oils here. [Update 12/2016:  I now use Young Living exclusively and I have experimented with Lavender and Patchouli.]

In my recipe shown in this post I think I used about 25 drops or so of peppermint oil and maybe 10 or so of eucalyptus oil to enhance that peppermint edge. But that’s me! You experiment with whatever you want. Mix it right in there real good with your mixer.


*Just be knowledgeable about what essential oils you do use. Not all oils are made the same and some can be pretty potent and possibly dangerous.


pretty jars for diy shea body butter

Find a variety of cute jars here.

I had a bunch of these little (4 oz.?) canning jars not being used so I put them to good use!  I used my Pampered Chef cookie dough scoop (I love using it!) and put two scoops into each jar and have been giving them out as gifts . I also bought some half pint canning jars from Walmart for about $7/1 dozen (see one in the picture on the left). My one batch of body butter made 6 small jars and one half pint jar of  body butter.


This body butter is great! It has a luxurious feel – it’s smooth and buttery and seems to absorb into the skin almost immediately. I put this on after my shower just about everywhere. I use it on my face as a moisturizer too! The essential oils do not bother my skin. I did read though that if you have oily skin you might not want to use it on your face as it might clog pores. This would make a great gift or stocking stuffer!


I researched several different posts/websites about shea butter and whipped body butter recipes. Some people make it differently. I found the following posts helpful:


It really is easy to make and I found very affordable prices on Amazon!