7 Lovely DIY Body Butter Recipes For Glowing Skin

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I love a well-made body lotion; it nourishes our skin and keeps us looking younger for longer. But what about a top-quality body butter recipe? I’ve experimented with it in the past, but this week, I decided to make it my mission to become an expert.

So, below, I’ll show you, in detail, how to make body butter. I absolutely love the consistency of this recipe. It’s like slathering your body with clouds! It’s very light and scented with 3 different essential oils, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

diy whipped body butter


So, what actually is body butter? We’re all used to smearing body lotion on our skin, so how is this any different from that? Well, in some ways, body butter is more intensely hydrating. This is because, traditionally, body butter doesn’t contain any water and is made of all oil-based and soluble ingredients.

Because of this, body butter is perhaps the best moisturizing product for anyone who has to deal with very dry, ashy skin.

Better yet, if the thought of adding a preservative to a lotion puts you off, this is the product for you because homemade body butter doesn’t call for any preservatives at all!

About My Body Butter Recipe

So, the first DIY body butter recipe you will see below is my whipped shea butter. It’s an exceptionally light butter, almost grease-free, and scented with 3 different essential oils that will impart powerful benefits to our skin.

But keep reading, because after this I have 6 more excellent body butter recipes, I hope you enjoy them, I loved them all!

homemade body butter

I absolutely LOVE the consistency of this DIY whipped body butter. It’s like slathering your body with clouds! Beating air into the mixture at various intervals creates tiny air pockets, giving it an exceptionally light and almost marshmallow-like consistency. It’s a lot like whisking up some whipped cream for sweet desserts!

I now use this daily, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back!

Benefits Of Body Butter

There are two main benefits of body butter. Firstly, as we’ve already said, this product type is intensely moisturizing. They are perhaps the best choice product for those with dry skin. But my absolute favorite benefit is how easy they are to make!

You don’t have to worry about achieving an emulsion, which is the hard part of whipping up your favorite lotion. In fact, if you can melt butter, you can make body butter!

Another benefit of making your own is that it’s difficult to get true body butter these days. Most of our store-bought alternatives will just be lotion in disguise. So by making your own, you know you have the real McCoy.

Homemade V Store-Bought

how to make body butter

First of all, if you’re buying your body butter from a large brand, then it’s likely you’re not getting body butter at all. In fact, you’ll be getting a heavy emulsion that is made to look and feel like whipped body butter.

The reason big industries do this is that lotions are much cheaper to make. True body butters are made from expensive, solid oil ingredients – such as high concentrations of shea, mango, and cocoa butter.

In fact, a lotion calls for as much as 70% water. So, you think you’re slathering your body with gorgeous shea butter, but then you check the ingredients list and the first ingredient is ‘aqua’… It’s not exactly what you were expecting from an all-oil moisturizer.

But it gets even more damning when you consider that all emulsions, including the ones masquerading as body butter, need strong preservatives to prevent mold and microbial growth. Our cosmetics are already filled with parabens, silicones, and other things we would rather not want – adding another to the list might not be something you want.

Of course, we have lotion recipes on this site that require you to use a preservative. But if you’re looking for truly natural skincare, homemade body butter made without water is 100% the way to go!

Butter & Oil Substitutions

cosmetic butter

The butters and oils have been carefully chosen in order to maintain a fluffy texture to the finished product. But let’s take a look at some choices you can make with this gorgeous homemade whipped body butter.

Using anything other than refined shea butter in this recipe may give you a different texture, but you absolutely can experiment.

I’ve used mango before, which worked quite well. I’ve also tried avocado, which had a wonderfully light, fluffy feel to it but for some reason was also a little grainy (although these ‘grains’ melt very quickly when applied to the skin).

Using Coconut Oil

Using a solid oil, such as coconut, can be a little tricky here. This is because it has the chance to radically change the texture and consistency of your product.

However, coconut is a fantastic ingredient. It helps to gently moisturize very dry skin, reduces inflammation, stimulates the healing of wounds, and has some good antimicrobial action.

Therefore, you might want to include it in your homemade body butter. In order to do this, we need to think of coconut oil as liquid oil. This is because it isn’t the most stable of solid ingredients, and is prone to melting at a temperature only just above room temperature.

So, swap out no more than 20% of your liquid oil for coconut oil. Any more than this, and you’ll start noticing the product is significantly stiffer.

Using Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter is another fantastic cosmetic ingredient you might want to use. It’s filled with lovely minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that our skin loves.

Furthermore, it’s fantastically moisturizing, and wonderful for keeping skin looking healthy and supple all year round.

However, this butter is significantly harder than shea and so unsuitable for this method. Place a little of both kinds of butter between your fingers. Unless it’s very cold, you’ll find that shea can easily be massaged into the skin. Cocoa butter, however, cannot.

As we’re cold blending, we need a cosmetic butter that will easily be whipped at room temperature. This is, unfortunately, not something that is possible with cocoa butter. In fact, you’ll likely break your whisk trying.

However, cocoa butter can be fantastic in a body butter recipe that includes a heated phase, so that solid ingredients can first be melted down. Take a look at my unwhipped harder body butter recipe to learn how to do this.

Essential Oils & Scents

adding essential oil to body butter

As much as we include essential oil blends as part of many of our recipes, you can actually use whatever you like!

If there’s a particular blend that you just love, your homemade body butter formulas are a great place to use them. Alternatively, you could keep things simple and make use of just one essential oil. We like to do this, and when we do we often opt for Lavender essential oil.

For a more unconventional aroma, you could decide to use fragrance oil. While they are synthetic, research shows that they’re okay for use on the body.

Fragrance oils come in all varieties, and often cover scents and smells that you can’t get in essential oil form. Blueberry muffins, leather, strawberries, licorice, and wine are but a few examples of what is available to you. You can even find imitation designer perfumes as fragrance oil blends!

While we know fragrance oils are a controversial ingredient, we wanted to empower you to use whatever you think is right for your body. Because making your own decisions is what DIY skincare is all about!

However, we will say that more research needs to be done in this area to clarify some of the long-term effects of fragrance oil use. It’s also worth noting that fragrance oils should never be used on the face.

OK, here’s my homemade whipped body butter recipe

diy body butter

How to Make Body Butter

I absolutely LOVE the consistency of this DIY body butter recipe. It's like slathering your body with clouds!
4.86 from 7 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 150 g
Author: Angela Wills

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  • Weigh out and place the refined shea butter into a glass, aluminum or PET plastic bowl.
    Then, using the electric hand blender, whisk the butter so that it is light and fluffy. This should take 2-5 minutes, but this can vary.
    97 g Shea Butter
    using the electric hand blender, whisk the butter
  • Add the isopropyl myristate and blend once more until the mixture has fully combined.
    15 g Isopropyl Myristate
    Add the isopropyl myristate
  • Add the sweet almond oil and once again blend until nice and fluffy.
    36 g Sweet Almond Oil
    Add the vitamin e oil and the essential oils
  • Add the vitamin e oil.
    .75 g Vitamin E Oil
    Add the vitamin e oil and the essential oils
  • Add the essential oils and give it one final blend. The end product should be light, fluffy and somewhat marshmallowy in texture (sort of like fluff).
    .5 g Neroli Essential Oil, .5 g Grapefruit Essential Oil, .5 g Rose Absolute Essential Oil
    Add the essential oils and give it one final blend
  • If your mixture is too runny, check your measurements once more and try again.
    Also, be careful not to over whip your butter. If your mixture is too hard, it is likely that you've managed to add far too much shea butter.
    If your mixture is too hard, it is likely that you've managed to add far too much shea butter
  • Spoon into a sterile container
    1 Cosmetic Jar
    Spoon into a sterile container


Shelf life is around a year dependant upon the shelf life remaining of your oils, add a little vitamin e to extend this.

Shelf Life & How To Store Body Butter

Because our body butter recipes do not contain any water, there is no need to make use of a preservative. Providing you’re using a good quality antioxidant, such as vitamin e, your body butter should happily last 6 months before showing signs of becoming rancid.

If you do find that you’re getting mold growing in your product, it is likely because the product has been contaminated with water during storage. If you’re the kind of person that stores this product in the bathroom or likes to apply it when still wet – consider adding an oil-soluble preservative, such as phenoxyethanol. This will solve your problem.

It might not seem like much, but even a few drops of water in your all oil-based products can be enough to cause massive bacterial and fungal growth.

If you wish to avoid this, be sure to store your DIY body butter somewhere dry and only apply using clean, dry fingers. To prevent the oxidation of any essential oils you have used, also be sure to store your products out of direct sunlight.

How To Use Body Butter

It is recommended that anyone with dry skin should use their body butter daily. However, normal to oily skin types won’t see much benefit beyond 2-3 times a week.

Applying couldn’t be easier! Simply apply like a lotion, using long, circular motions across the skin. Be sure not to apply too much, as a body butter generally has a medium absorption speed, as opposed to a lotion which sinks in very fast.

If body butter is applied to the skin while it is still wet, it can help trap moisture in the skin, providing even better hydration all day long. However, see above for why this can be problematic, and how you can avoid mold and microbial growth in your homemade body butter.

FAQ & Troubleshooting

How To Keep Whipped Shea Butter From Hardening

If your whipped body butter is hardening after you have made it, it’s likely two things are happening.

Firstly, you may be storing your body butter somewhere too cold. For instance, there’s no reason to store your body butter in the fridge, as this will not massively extend shelf life.

Secondly, it could be that your formula is a little off. Try taking a look to see if you’ve measured your ingredients properly and if you have the right ratio of solid-to-liquid ingredients.

How long does whipped body butter last

It’s unlikely your product will last too long, as it’s just so lovely on the skin! However, your body butter should have a shelf life of around 6 months, provided it is stored correctly and not contaminated with water.

What preservative should I use for body butter?

This is the best part, you don’t need one! Because this body butter recipe does not contain any water at all, it’s not possible for microbes such as bacteria and mold to grow. However, you will want to make use of an antioxidant, such as vitamin e, to prevent your oils from becoming rancid.

Having said that, if it is likely your product will be contaminated with water (e.g. steam condensation in the bathroom) then you will want to make use of a broad-spectrum, oil-soluble preservative to keep things in check. I would recommend phenoxyethanol.

Why is my body butter greasy

Body butter can be greasy, however, as my recipe is formulated with Isopropyl Myristate, you don’t need to worry about this.

Isopropyl Myristate is an ester that helps to increase the speed of oil absorption through the skin. By using this, our DIY body butter doesn’t feel as greasy for as long.

6 More Homemade Body Butters

Emulsified Body Butter Recipe With Chocolate & Peppermint

This emulsified body butter smells great, & it feels great too. My skin is ultra soft, & I owe it to this extra creamy, buttery emulsion. I find the smell of chocolate so intoxifying.

homemade emulsified body butter

Non-Greasy Lemon Body Butter Recipe

Body butters are formulated with lots of heavy moisturizers, such as cosmetic butter. But you can offset this with a few tricks to create a non-greasy body butter recipe.

non-greasy body butter

Creamy Whipped Shea Body Butter With Lavender – Better Than Shop-Bought

You’ll just love this creamy whipped shea butter recipe. It’s gorgeous on the skin & makes it feel so soft & supple. It’s the product your body craves, so why not treat yourself? 

homemade whipped shea butter

Intensely Hydrating Mango Body Butter Recipe – Unwhipped

This mango body butter recipe is great for targeted moisturizing for dry skin. I’ll use this on my elbows, knees, and anywhere that likes to dry out like a prune in 100-degree weather.

hard mango body butter

How To Make Carrot Infused Body Butter

I love the color of this carrot infused body butter recipe, it brings a little bit of sunshine into my life to stave off those winter blues.

carrot infused winter skin body butter

A Lovely Whipped Body Butter Recipe With Raspberry

I’ve been experimenting quite a bit, and this body butter recipe fragranced with raspberry fragrance oil is one of my newest creations, it’s absolutely to die for.

My gorgeous whipped body butter recipe

Final Thoughts

While the whipped DIY body butter can be a bit more difficult to crack than the unwhipped mango body butter, you definitely should keep at it. Once you get the technique down, you absolutely won’t regret the early mishaps and mistakes. I know I don’t.

While you definitely can head into a store like Lush and pick up a commercially produced alternative, I just think making your own just… well, makes sense. Who knows what’s in those, and they just cost way more than I’m willing to part with. Homemade body butter is the way to go, and it makes an amazing gift too!

I love how customizable these skincare products can be, too. But don’t forget to be careful with your ingredient choices, as you may find it fails to whip if choose something a little too heavy.

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook to keep up to date on everything we do! Go ahead and subscribe to our YouTube channel, as well, to watch us make these lovely things and save time as well!

Author: Angela Wills

Title: Founder and Author - Savvy Homemade

Expertise: Beauty Recipes, Skincare Formulation, Soapmaking, DIY Crafts, Parenting

Angela Wills is an author, founder, and the driving force behind Savvy Homemade. With over fifteen years of experience, she brings a wealth of knowledge and dedication to every post she writes. She is fearlessly dedicated to creating tried and tested beauty recipes, skincare formulations, soap recipes, and many other DIY crafts that will work for everyone. Angela has a Diploma in Skincare Formulation, is a proud member of the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild, and infuses each DIY product with her passion and expertise.

Discussion (16 Comments)

  1. Hi Angela

    first of all thanks for your wonderful recipes
    i was just wondering how much Phenoxyethanol should I use in the body butter
    and i have read the comments where you mentioned using a substitute but i would appreciate if you name a few to look for.

    Thanks a lot

    • Hi Saeed,

      I’ve had a look and Phenoxyethanol can be used at around 1%, but no more. If you’re looking for alternatives, take a look at Optiphen, as this is an oil-soluble preservative too. Optiphen uses phenoxyethanol, but it combines it with other ingredients to help make it more broad spectrum. I would use Optiphen at between 0.5-1.5%.

      Hope this helps

  2. Hi Angela, the Myristate is difficult to get hold of here, is there a specific oil to substitute it with? I did read somewhere that coconut MCT is appropriate. Can you confirm? Many thanks.

    • Hi Lara,

      The job of the myristate is really to help the body butter feel a little less greasy by speeding up penetration. The best substitute I know of is olive squalane. It’s also an excellent moisturizer that mimics the natural oils found in our skin. If you can get that, I would use that as a substitute here for sure.

  3. Hi Angela,
    I think your mom had an intuition that you would grow up an Angel. Hence the appropriate name “Angela”. Soooooo apt.
    Thanks again a million times for sharing.

  4. if your using the body butters for retail, can you add a preserve in case for bacteria, mold etc? In case of anything, and if so what would you recommend?

    • Hi Maritza,

      Ordinarily, a body butter wouldn’t need a preservative. However, if you are concerned about your consumer putting wet fingers in the product, you may wish to make use of one. If you’re looking for a natural preservative, Preservative Eco is pretty good and widely available. Otherwise, I have used Phenoxyethanol before and thought that it was quite good.

      Hope this helps!

  5. Hi Angela. Just finished your body butter recipe and the texture of the finished product was absolutely wonderful. I didn’t have any refined Shea butter on hand so used the unrefined. I also used ylang ylang, bergamot and lavender, again because I had them on hand. The finished product was a bit of a disappointment only in the fragrance. I wondered why you used the refined Shea butter and then I realized that all of my butters smell about the same when I use the unrefined Shea. Is that why you use the refined instead? I did some checking and the consensus seems to be that the refined Shea butter doesn’t have the same beneficial qualities so now I’m wondering what else I can do. I did increase the amount of essential oils and that did help some but the Shea smell seems to overpower. Any ideas?

    • Hi Mimi,

      I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the texture of the body butter. It really is like spreading clouds across your skin! As for the smell, I have a strong feeling your shea may be masking some of the fresh scents of your essential oils. I also use refined in this context simply because the butter is easier to whip, although you can get a similar texture from unrefined if you do it just right (which you must have done, so good on you!). I actually have the same problem with unrefined cocoa butter, it smells much too chocolately for my floral fragrances and essential oils.

      My suggestion would be to swap out the unrefined for the refined. While I do agree that unrefined is better, it’s not really a big gap between the two (as much as some people want to tell you). But if you prefer the unrefined, you could try using a fragrance oil instead of or in combination with your essential oils. While I’m not always a fan of fragrance oils due to their synthetic origins, they should be safe in a formulation that isn’t used on the face. There’s only so much essential oil you can use before it starts to irritate your skin; fragrance oils don’t have the same problem (although try not to overdo it, as again they’re artificial products).

      Other than that, not a lot springs to mind, unfortunately. If you find a solution, do let me know!

      Hope this helps!

      • Thanks again, Angela. I decided to give it one more try and split the butter quantities to half unrefined Shea and half Mango. It looked great and the fragrance was better but it was grainy. Was that the Mango butter not being melted, do you think? The following day it was even grainier. Rather than toss it out I melted it down, let it cool in the fridge until it just started to set, whipped it and it was pretty much perfect in texture. I surprised myself. I still got that Shea fragrance a bit so broke down and bought some refined Shea Butter and will use it for my next batch. This recipe is a keeper in any case. Thanks so much for your help. I’m glad I persevered!

      • Hi Mimi,

        Yeah, I’ve definitely had a grainy texture to my whipped body butter before, although never with refined shea. I especially experienced a lot of graininess when using unrefined avocado butter (although the ‘grains’ would melt very quickly between my fingers and in general the formulation was actually quite nice).

        I think the problem really is the unrefined nature of some cosmetic butters, but I couldn’t really tell you any more about it as I’m not all that sure myself. It’s interesting to see that you managed to reduce the graininess by melting it down and whipping it again. It’s a good troubleshooting tip for when things don’t go quite right.

        At any rate, I’m so glad you persevered as well. While I do agree unrefined is best, perhaps it’s not always suitable in all formulations. It’s good to have both on hand, for various different applications.

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