How to Make Homemade Body Butter (skin food)

Ali Segersten Dec 18, 2023 6 comments

What you put on your skin is equally as important as what you put into your body! This homemade body lotion, or body butter, is incredibly easy to make and will deeply nourish your skin. Your skin is the largest organ in your body and absorbs everything you put onto it. It's so easy to make your own skincare products using simple unprocessed ingredients. I also make my own face oil using jojoba oil, rosehip oil, moringa oil, sea buckthorn oil, vitamin E, plus several pure essential oils including frankincense, helichrysum, vetiver, rose, lavender, and a few others. It is so nourishing for my face! 

The base of this body butter recipe is shea butter. This solid fat comes from the nut of the African shea tree. It has a melting point of about 89 degrees, so it will stay solid unless the room temperature is very warm! I like to use about two parts shea butter to one part oil. For this recipe, that means 16 ounces of shea butter and 8 to 9 ounces of oil. If you do not have the oils I list below, simply use coconut oil and olive oil along with the shea butter! You should be able to find shea butter and jojoba oil at your local food co-op, however, you can also follow my links to order these online. Raw cacao butter gives this body butter an extra layer of richness. You don't have to add it, but it makes a lovely addition and will help keep the body butter more solid in hot rooms (such as a bathroom). 

Ingredients you will need:

Shea Butter

Shea butter is the foundation of body butter and what makes this lotion so nourishing for the skin. Shea butter is a rich source of fatty acids that hydrate, protect, and soften the skin, as well as soothing inflamed or cracked skin. Stearic acid and palmitic acid are the two main fatty acids in shea butter that do this. Shea butter is excellent for dry, cracked hands and feet, as well as for helping to heal skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea. You should be able to find shea butter at your local food co-op in the personal care product section, however, you can also order it online

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba Oil comes from the seeds of a flowering shrub that is Native to the southwestern United States. Jojoba oil is more of a liquid wax than an oil, and mimics the skin's sebum. This oil is rich in antioxidants and absorbs easily into the skin without being oily or greasy (this is why I use this as a face oil). Jojoba oil is excellent to use daily to help keep your skin hydrated and healthy. Jojoba oil can also be beneficial for helping to soothe skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. You can find jojoba oil at your local food co-op or order it online

Moringa Oil

Moringa oil comes from the seeds of the moringa tree, which is native to India. Moringa oil absorbs quickly and easily into the skin, is rich in antioxidants and oleic acid, calms skin inflammation, and can help with premature aging. Be sure to use unrefined moringa oil! You can order it online here

Sea Buckthorn Oil

Sea buckthorn oil is a deep orange-colored oil and what gives this body butter a rich yellowish color. If you don't add it, your body butter will be more of a creamy white color. Sea buckthorn oil is very high in antioxidants, vitamins, and omega fatty acids (3, 6, 7, & 9). This healing oil is incredibly anti-inflammatory for the skin and very hydrating. It is excellent for helping to calm down the inflammation associated with skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis. Only a very small amount is needed. If you add too much it can color your skin a bit orange (temporarily). You can order it online here

Pure Essential Oils

I use doTERRA 100% pure essential oils. Nourishing essential oils to add to lotions, face oil, and body butter include lavender, rose, frankincense, vetiver, ylang ylang, blue lotus, yarrow, and vanilla. You can order Frankincense, Lavender, and Ylang Ylang here. If you would like to save money, a wholesale account would be the way to go. You'll get 10 different pure essential oils, including Frankincense and Lavender at a discount. 


How to Make Homemade Whipped Body Butter

This recipe fits into 4 to 5 half-pint mason jars. Double the recipe to make 8 to 10 jars. The ratio I use is two parts shea butter to about one part liquid oil. You can change the ratio depending on your preferences. This recipe is easy to make and a great project to do with your children! If you don't have all of the oils I list below, simply use all jojoba oil or a mix of jojoba, olive oil, and coconut oil (8 to 9 ounces of liquid oil total per batch). The essential oils listed here are optional; you can add them to your body butter or use your own combination of oils, or omit them altogether. If you are experiencing skin inflammation or premature aging, then you may want to consider at least adding frankincense essential oil to this recipe. 


  1. Place the shea butter, cacao butter, jojoba oil, moringa oil, and sea buckthorn oil into a medium-sized pot. Place the pot over very low heat to allow the shea butter and cacao butter to melt. Once everything has melted, stir it together and remove it from the heat. Pour it into a heat-proof glass or metal bowl. 
  2. Once the mixture has cooled enough, add the essential oils and vitamin E. You'll need to snip one end of each of the vitamin E capsules and squeeze out the thick liquid inside, and then discard the capsules. Adding the essential oils to the warmed shea butter and oils can cause some of the volatile compounds in the essential oils to diffuse into the air instead of stay in the body butter, so it's important to wait a bit until the mixture has cooled, but not yet set. Alternatively, you can wait to add these until the mixture has set and you are whipping it with an electric mixer. 
  3. Place the bowl into your refrigerator overnight to set. You can also place it into your freezer for about an hour to set. It is ok if it is not totally solid before mixing. In fact, it is easier to whip up when part of the mixture is still partially in its liquid state. 
  4. Once the mixture has set, use an electric mixer to whip the body butter. Add the essential oils and vitamin E now if you would like. 
  5. Use a spoon to scoop the whipped butter into jars. Add a label and give as gifts or use for yourself! 

Step 1:

Melt the shea butter and cacao butter with the liquid oils. 



Step 2:

Pour it into a glass or metal bowl and allow to cool to room temp before adding the essential oils. 



Step 3: 

Chill the liquid mixture to set in the freezer for about an hour or in the fridge overnight. 



Step 4:

Use an electric mixer to whip the solid mixture into body butter. It is best to allow the mixture to sit on your counter for about an hour or so if it has been in the fridge overnight, or place it over a pot of warm water to soften enough to be able to whip up. 



Step 5:

Spoon whipped butter into half-pint wide mouth mason jars. 




About the Author

Ali Segersten

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University and a Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States. She is a Functional Nutritionist, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Alissa is the founder and owner of Nourishing Meals®.

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Add Comment


Great recipe, thanks! How long can you safely store these since there are no preservatives? Is there a risk of bacteria growth after a certain amount of time? Any tips for storing these? Thank you. I am really enjoying using your site! :)

Thank you so much for sharing this body butter recipe - skin food indeed! The measurements for the butters (shea&cacao) are by weight or volume?

Hi Olga,
You are very welcome. The shea butter and cacao butter are by weight. A kitchen scale works to weigh the cacao pieces (about 3/4 of a cup). The shea butter I linked above comes in 16-ounce blocks. :)

Thank you!

Where are the links for the ingredients?

Hi Janet,
They are linked above under "Ingredients you will need."
I can also create links in the ingredient list. :)

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