The Best DIY Body Butter – Doesn’t Feel Greasy!

I love sharing my recipes with you. It is, after all, the reason that I started this blog…but it really has become so much more then that. It’s my creative outlet, a way to connect with like-minded people, a place where I can learn and grow within my writing and photography…and I great way to distract myself from my looming infertility issues (bet I never told you that before!)

However, although I love to share my recipes, and then read success stories in the comments (like my life-changing facial cleanser recipe!), once in a while I get a small, selfish urge that tells me to keep a certain recipe to myself. This has been the case for my Body Butter recipe, that simply is…the best. It’s so delicious, moisturizing without feeling greasy, and down-right wonderful, that I just wanted to keep it all to myself…for a little while at least.

Alas, that selfish piece of me has subsided, and I’m ready to share with you my “secret” recipe. Why? Well, it’s just too lovely to keep to myself any longer, and I although I’ve been selling it in local shops for over a year now, I want you to give you the chance to make it at home too. It’s also the base for a few other recipes that I’d like to share…like my Whipped Sunblock, and Homemade Vapor Rub…so you see, now’s the time.

Why homemade body butter is the superior moisturizer

Homemade body butter, is hands down, the nicest thing that you can do for your skin. Unlike store-bought moisturizers and lotions, body butters don’t not contain preservatives, and are very nourishing.

Lotions are water-based, and butters are oil-based. Anytime you add water to a cosmetic, you are also adding a shelf-life to it because water creates a breeding ground for bacteria to grow, and thus, your homemade lotion will soon spoil if a preservative isn’t also added. While some preservatives are considered safe, others can be a concern for your body and the environment. Check out David Suzuki’s “the ‘Dirty Dozen’ cosmetic chemicals to avoid.”

Body butters, on the other hand, do not contain water, and are a pure mixture of oils, which eliminates the need for a preservative. However, a common complaint about homemade body butter is that they tend to feel a bit greasy.

How to prevent the “greasy” feeling of homemade body butter

Well, I have a little trick up my sleeve to help with the “greasiness.”

My secret – well first of all, a little goes a looonnngg way! You just need pea sized-amount for a large area. Then rub it in until it’s absorbed.

Second, adding some arrow root powder or tapioca starch really helps 😉

Whipped Body Butter Recipe

What you’ll need

Kitchen equipment:

  • Stand mixer or hand mixer
  • Medium, glass bowl
  • Large pan
  • Kitchen scale – you could convert grams to tablespoons, but a kitchen scale will make your DIY-life a lot easier!
  • Spatula
  • 4-6oz container for storing

Ingredients:

*Always try to use organic ingredients whenever possible.

  • Shea Butter: Shea butter is naturally rich in Vitamins A and E as well as essential fatty acids and other vitamins and minerals. Shea butter is an intense moisturizer for dry skin, and is a wonderful product for revitalizing damaged skin. It is also wonderful to use in the summer as a moisturizer before and after sun exposure to reduce the possibility of the skin peeling or becoming dried out, and offers a low level of UV protection (approximately SPF-6)
  • Coconut Oil: This is a great oil for general moisturizing and serves as a protective layer, helping to retain the moisture in your skin. It also acts as a mild oil suitable for those with inflamed and irritated skin, and those with skin sensitivities.
  • Sweet almond oil: Sweet almond oil contains fatty acids as well as vitamins A and E and penetrates easily into the skin.
  • Sunflower oil: An oil wealthy in oleic acids with high amounts of vitamins A, D, and E, it also has beneficial amounts of lecithin, and unsaturated fatty acids. It is deeply nourishing and conditioning for the skin, and is highly recommended for recipes designed to treat dry, weathered, aged, and damaged skin.
  • Jojoba oil: Jojoba oil comes from the beans of a shrub like plant, and it is actually a liquid plant wax rather than an oil. It is bright and golden in color, has a mild odor, and is favored in the carrier oil family because of its advanced molecular stability. It makes a wonderful skin moisturizer because of it’s absorption properties that are similar to our skins own sebum.
  • Beeswax pastilles: Added to this body butter to help maintain it’s consistency in warmer temperatures.
  • Vitamin E oil: Vitamin E oil is great for preventing rancidity in cosmetics, and it acts as an anti-oxidant in lotions and body butters.
  • Tapioca starch or arrow root powder: Arrowroot powder is generally used as a substitute for cornstarch, which is highly processed and difficult to source in non-GMO varieties. In this recipe, tapioca starch and arrow root powder is added in help with greasy feeling.
  • Essential oils: sky is the limit when it come to scenting your body butter. Just add a few drops of whatever smells good or has a therapeutic effect to you. Below I share my faves!

“Scenting” your body butter

You can really add any essential oils you’d like to scent you body butter, but there are two scents that I sell, and either one or the other seem to appeal to most people.

The first, I call “Hippie Skin” Body Butter. It uses a lovely, soothing combination of lavender, tea tree, patchouli, frankincense, and sweet orange essential oils.

The second, is Orange and Vanilla Body Butter. The smell is reminiscent of a creamsicle, and uses sweet orange essential oil and vanilla extract or concentrated vanilla absolute.

Best of luck with your body butter, and stay tuned for many DIY recipes, using this body butter as a base, to follow!

Body Butter

 

The Best DIY Body Butter - Doesn't Feel Greasy!
 
Author:
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Using a kitchen scale, measure out the shea butter, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, sunflower oil, jojoba oil and bees wax into a small, glass bowl.
  2. Melt the oils using a double boiler. You can create effect this by putting the glass bowl into a pan of simmering water.
  3. Remove from heat once melted and let the mixture cool until it's opaque (to speed this is you can put it in the fridge, but don't let it solidify completely).
  4. Next, it's time to whip the melted oils into body butter. If you using a hand mixer, add the remaining ingredients to the bowl. If you're using a stand mixer, add the remaining ingredients and the melted oils to the stand mixer bowl.
  5. Whip until the ingredients are well combined and the mixture is light and fluffy - about 3-5 minutes.
  6. You're finished whipping when the body butter can stick to a spoon when held upside-down.
  7. Transfer to a small container or jar and store in a cool place.

 

 Love the recipe but don’t want to make it?

Let me make it for you! This Whipped Body Butter AND our Whipped FACE Butter is for sale in the Modern Hippie Shop
PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I only promote products that uphold to Modern Hippie Health and Wellness’s values.

106 comments on “The Best DIY Body Butter – Doesn’t Feel Greasy!

  1. Carly, where do you buy your tins? I found some that look similar on Amazon but wanted to check with you first just in case there is a better source. Thanks! Jenn

  2. Hi there, is it possible to make this without the beeswax or can you suggest an alternative? I avoid using animal products.

    Thanks 🙂

  3. My butter ended up a bit more greasy than I’d like. Can I up the arrowroot powder or decrease some of the oils? I’m new to this. Help. Thanks so much. I do love your deodorants. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes.

    1. Hi Leona, You can try adding a 1/2 tbsp. more arrow root if you like, but I there’s probably nothing “wrong” with you butter. It’s not water based like most commercial body butters (which in turn have preservatives), and made with 100% oils, so your only going to need a small amount which I work into my skin until it’s absorbed. You’re most likely using just using too much – a little goes a long way 🙂

  4. Help! just made this body butter and it won’t thicken..tried adding another 1/2 tbsp arrowroot powder but it didn’t help…any suggestions? also, I’d like to buy a shampoo bar from you, how canI do that pls?
    thanks

    1. I’m not familiar with candy oil so I don’t know if it would work or how it would feel on your skin. If you like orange as a scent, I’d suggest investing in some sweet orange essential oil for your home made body products. It’s actually relatively inexpensive, too.

  5. Hi ! Love the recipe,but I’m concerned about the vanilla that’s being mixed in the body butter, spoiling it over time, I made some homemade fabric softener with vanilla and it didn’t hold up, have you had any issues with the vanilla spoiling the body butter?

  6. Hi Carly,
    I’m going to try this recipe tonight as I am tired of making body butters that are greasy to the feel. Since I am making one for myself & for a friend, I am doubling up on your measurements. I will let you know how it all worked out.
    Thanks!

    1. I think you’ll enjoy it! Just remember, a little goes a looong way. You can’t compare home made body butter, made of pure oil, to commercial body butters which are water based and contain preservatives 😉

  7. Hi there! I’ve been experimenting with a few whipped body butter recipes and i’ve noticed sometimes the body butter doesn’t hold the essential oil scent. I can really smell the nuttiness of the shea butter most times. Any advice or explanation for this?

    1. Hi Amber. It really depends which essential oils you’re using – some essential oils definitely hold their scent better then others. Citrus-y essential oils (lemon, sweet orange, grapefruit) tend to dissipate much quicker then others. Unrefined shea butter does have a naturally nutty scent. If the smell bothers you, you can also find refined shea butter which is almost odourless. Hope that helps!

  8. I can not get my butter to whip up nicely. It gets maybe 20% bigger after 15 minutes of whipping but doesn’t look like it should. It’s 80% Shea, and 10% sweet almond oil and 10% beeswax. Any ideas? I have tried all temps to whip it. I am wondering if it’s possibly too much beeswax? I really like the amount of wax though it holds moisture… Any advise would be very helpful! I just put some water in the bottom of this batch and it whipped much better but I figure it will separate at some point. Thanks!!

    1. I wouldn’t recommend adding any water – as soon as you do you’re adding a shelf life to it and it will probably need to be stored in the fridge. It may not be whipping because it’s not cold enough. Try putting the mixture in the fridge over night and then whipping it again.

  9. I’m making what I call a Beard Butter, and it uses Shea butter, coconut oil, and argan oil, I would like the consistency to be thicker though. I’m using 75% Shea butter, and 25% oils, any suggestions? Thank you! Great blog!

    1. Hi Kris,

      Beard Butter sounds wonderful 🙂 I have a lot of fun experimenting with mew recipes too. I’d try maybe try 60% butter, 35% oil and 5% beeswax ? If that doesn’t work then remelt it and adjust – these types of recipes are very forgiving. Jojoba oil is nice for softening hair, too 🙂 Best of luck!

    2. That’s the thing, I don’t wanna add any beeswax because then it becomes a balm. Is there anything I can add to stiffen it up that isn’t beeswax? Thank you

      1. Okay, well just go ahead with your original 75/25 mixture and once it solidifies use a stand mixer to whip it into a butter. It should turn out pretty nice.

  10. Hello, I am very excited to try your recipes. (I’m currently putting a list together for ingredients). I wanted to know if the body butter, lavender face moisturizer, toothpaste and face cleanser are safe to use during pregnancy/ or for the hoping to become pregnant. I’ve read conflicting reports/articles on essential oils and pregnancy and would like your opinion. I’m so glad I came across your site and have enjoyed exploring it. I have already started saving my lemon peels for the multi purpose cleaner – it is a great way to use them!! I’m excited to clean!!! Thank you.

    1. Hi Jen! I’m so happy that you’ve found the blog and are inspired to make these products! Everything that you are planning on making, I also used during pregnancy. By the time you apply the body butter or moisturiser to your skin you’re only applying a fraction of a drop of essential oils. But, if you want to play it safe, you could do your research on what essential oils are considered “safe” for pregnancy.

  11. Have you tried shipping this body butter? I want to ship this to my family who live in texas and I’ve read that body butters melt during shipping. How does this hold up? Thanks.

    1. I could pack it with a cold pack if the heat is a concern. I have shipped it to warm states before, though, and haven’t had a problem.

  12. Thank you!! Can’t wait to try the arrowroot in my recipe. I don’t use much, but it was a bit greasier than I wanted. My current “flavor” is lavender, rose, lemongrass, and frankincense…weird sounding but very nice and light 🙂

    1. Use the hemp oil in place of the sunflower and almond oil (so 26g hemp). It holds up in heat and I think it would be a great replacement!

  13. Hi I am using 1cup of cocoa butter and 1/2 cup of coconut oil. Melted it, put in fridge till the edges started to thicken, whipped it but turned hard. What am I doing wrong? Thanks

    BERNADETTE

    1. Hi Bernadette,

      You’re using too much cocoa butter which is quite hard at room temperature. Cocoa butter shouldn’t be your main ingredient in body butter, coconut oil should be. Try this recipe! 🙂

      Carly

  14. Hi I made the body butter. I am excited. It cane out really good. I rubes some on my arms and legs. It felt really good. I thought I would be hard to do, but it wasn’t hard. Thank you for the receipe.

  15. Im putting a list of things together and I as wondering if I could leave out the vitamin e oil. What does it do, and would it be ok without it?

    1. Vitamin E oil is great for preventing rancidity in cosmetics, and it acts as an anti-oxidant in lotions and body butters. You can definitely leave it out if you like.

  16. I just noticed the body butter in the photo contains cocoa butter but the recipe does not. If I were to incorporate both Shea & cocoa butter, how much would you use? So excited to try! Just waiting on my vanilla absolute to arrive! Thanks for sharing your recipes!

  17. First time attempt, I went wrong somewhere 🙂
    Where I’m at: Too much arrowroot was added to compensate for a much runnier solution than I was comfortable with. Which ingredient could I add at this point that would make the mixture less dry

    1. Hi Kay. It was probably too runny because you didn’t let it cool! If it’s now too dry then you’ll have to remelt it all and add more oils. Then let it cool (try to fridge) and whip again.

  18. I am wondering if I could add collagen (in addition to or in place of the arrow root) to help absorb some of the greasiness and to also help with cellulite? How much would you recommend?

    1. Hi Kendra, I’ve never worked with collagen before so I really can’t answer that question. But as always with DIY recipes, just start with very little and add more if needed. It’s a trial and error!

  19. What can I use to substitute the sunflower oil in your recipe because I don’t have any. Could I substitute it with argan or grapeseed oil?

  20. I’ve made body butters before; I don’t mind the ‘greasy’ feeling, or waiting for the moisture to get thooughly absorbed. However, when I made one for my mom she hated the greasiness. Thank you a million for the tip re: tapioca starch! I think it might just be a life saver for my mom. Going to try this out within the next couple days!

  21. I’m trying to make body butters but they all smell like shea butter. I use unrefined. Also..what essential oils , cocoa butter and shea butter do you recommend. I’m just trying to make nice birthday gifts. Thank you.

    1. Hi Debbie. The essential oils that I recommend, I list above. My favourite combo is orange/vanilla and patchouli/lavender, but it’s all a matter of personal preference. If you don’t want them to smell strong of shea butter, you can use refined shea, and of course, essential oils will mask the smell. Hop that helps!

  22. Is it OK to use 1/2 cocoa butter & 1/2 shea? I just love the way cocoa butter smells. Also, can I replace the oils in your recipe with hemp, argan or fractionated coconut oil? Obviously I wouldn’t change the virgin coconut oil, but I have a lot of the fractionated kind as well & it would be easier to use what I have than buy something new.

    1. Hi Gina! Cocoa butter is pretty hard so you may want to add a little more liquid carrier oil if you decide to do so. And yes, those other oils you mentioned sound like they’ll make a lovely substitute 🙂

    1. Hey Jennifer! You could absolutely leave it out if you wish – it’s not essential, although it does act as a natural preservative.

  23. Hi
    So I made my butter using mango butter and shea butter (50 % of each) with grape seed oil. I whipped it and it was perfect and then hours later it hardened. do you have any idea what I’m doing wrong .

    Thanks

    1. Hi Betty, yes, mango butter is quite hard in it’s normal state, so adding it would make this butter much more firm! You can try re-melting it and adding more grapseed and then whipping again once it cools.

  24. Hello! I made this body butter and absolutely love it! However, I found that the smell of the essential oil disappeared. I used 20 drops of pink grapefruit. I really just smell the coconut oil. Any suggestions? Does it matter if you add the EO when the base is still hot? Should I allow it to cool down more? Cheers!

    1. Hi Claudine, citrus essential oil does dissipate much quicker then others. You should definitely allow for the mixture to cool before adding it so it doesn’t burn off. You can try adding more or using a different essential oil in the future 🙂

  25. Hi there, I made a batch and I used agar agar. It works similar to arrowroot, but less like cornstarch. You blend it with boiling hot water and let it dissolve. I’m wondering if you’ve used it before? I realise I didn’t let the agar agar completely dissolve and there are little bits of thickener in the butter. The butter is AMAZING but the bits are there. If I reheat the whole thing again would it melt the agar agar? Would it negatively affect the oils if i reheat it and would they separate? What temp should I reheat to? Would I need to rewhip it?
    Thank you so much!!
    Jennifer

    1. Hi Jennifer. I have only used agar agar in replace of gelatin in pudding and other desserts. I can’t imagine are it would work in the butter… I probably wouldn’t recommend it and would stick to arrowroot, cornstarch or tapioca powder. But since you’ve already used it, you could try re-melting, cooling, and re-whipping! it should re-whip again once it’s fully cooled 🙂

  26. Does it matter what concentration the Vitamin E is? The Vitamin E you have linked is 7500 IU/oz. The Vitamin E I have is 32,000 IU/oz. Since you’re using 1/4 tsp, does that mean I should use 1/16 tsp?

  27. Hi Carly, I just started making sugar scrubs almost 2 months ago and love your recipes. I am planning to make boy butters as well and I would love to add color, but I don’t want to use chemicals or fresh fruits and vegetables. Do you happen to know if dried fruit powder would negatively affect the shelf life? I have never used fruit or vegetable powders before and wasn’t sure if it could actually be used in the body butters or sugar scrubs without causing an issue.

    Thank you for any advise you can give.

    Roxy

    1. Hi Roxanna, don’t add fresh fruit or veg because then you’re adding water to the butter which will make it “expire.” Dried powder won’t effet the shelf life, but be careful because want vegetable/spices can stain your skin! I’d stick to cosmetic colouring, mineral micas, or personally, nothing at all. Sugar scrub is a different story because you’re washing it off right away – I use pink micas in mine 🙂

        1. Also, from what you mentioned…you don’t use coloring in your butters, but only in your sugar scrubs….? Is there a specific brand of micas you use? I am looking at Amazon and there are so many different brands… Thanks Roxy

  28. Hi Carly,
    I’ve been searching for a non-greasy body butter so thank you for this! Question…I have a child who is quite allergic to peanuts and all tree nuts. While I realize that a good almond oil is likely refined, I try to avoid any link to these nuts for her peace of mind and for others who are worried. Is there a substitute for almond oil? Can’t wait to try this!!! Thank you????

    1. Hi Suzanne, you can absolutely subsitute for most carrier oils – hemp, olive, sunflower, grapeseed, wheat germ, pomegranate, etc.- all good options 🙂

  29. Hello I read your blog I’m so ready for this where can I get my body butter and Shea butter at and can I find arrow powder in the grocery store
    Linda

    1. Hi Linda! Click on the links within the post and it will take you where you need to go to find quality ingredients. Yes, you should be able to find arrowroot powder in the grocery store. Or, if you have cornstarch on hand, you can use that, too. Best of luck!

      Carly

  30. Hi, i just want to ask – Can you just double the ingredients if you want to make more of this body butter? Thanks

  31. Hey Carly , good to see Ur nongreasy body butter recipe which I am looking for long time… Yesterday I prepared body butter but I used equal proportions of Shea butter (1/4 cup)and beeswax (1/4 cup), 1/2 cup arrow root powder.. And almond oil and olive oil lesser Than 1/4 cup and few drops of lavender oil. But I didn’t blend it.. But it’s very greasy.. If I re melt it and blend it will become non greasy or should I add more butter or any other ingredient … Please please please help me to make it non greasy…

  32. Hello, I want to combine 1oz each mango butter, shea butter and cocoa butter, with 1 oz each of jojoba, almond n coconut oil for a 50/50 ratio butter to oil. And maybe 2oz of vanilla scent for an 8oz jar. Does it have to be a certain ratio, will this come out too greasy or too thick? I used the 50/50 ratio before and over time it hardened back up and was thick like a shea butter but I also used a hand whisk and not a mixer. Do you think the texture was off from the ratio or the whipping technique? Next time I will use a mixer as I want to do a bigger quantity for gifts but do you think it’s too many/much butters? I want your opinion before I order all the ingrediants again

    1. Mia, all I can suggest to you is to just follow the recipe, which I know works. I can’t guarantee any results otherwise. It sounds like too much butter…again, just follow the recipe 🙂

  33. I would really like for you to make me a body butter with beeswax. I bought some once at a craft show and can’t get in touch with the person to order more. I have Lupus and my skin is very dry and it can crack at times which is very painful. Please get back to me ASAP. I would be willing to order from you. Thanks Wanda

  34. Could you replace one of the oils with aloe vera gel? Or just double an oil? I don’t have sunflower or jojoba, but do have grapeseed.

  35. “It needs to be cold enough” seems to be the trick to getting this body butter to whip properly. Your suggestion to “put it in the fridge” and “put it in the fridge overnight” would seem to contradict the direction in the recipe where it says to not let is solidify completely. Wouldn’t putting it in overnight result in this? I’m making a batch right now but can seem to get to the correct level of coldness without going to solid. Help.

    1. What I find best is to get it completely solid by putting it in the fridge, and remove it and let it soften slightly before whipping it. Every one’s kitchen is a different temperature, so it’s hard to put a time on it. When I’m ready to start mixing, it’s still fairly firm but softens as it whips.

  36. I made nearly same thing with out sunflower oil or arrow root I was trying to make it for beard tamer or butch wax wich it works really good for but it was just amazing for skin it clears up acne psoriasis and dry cracked feet it’s even good chap stick I used 1oz beeswax coconut oil 4 shea butter 3 almond oil 3 jojoba oil 3 in tbsp and 3 vitamin e capsules and 10 drops of orange mine looks like butter or hard vasiline if anything I’d add more orange it was my first time making any thing mine was lil sticky for back massage but it soaks in but doesn’t feel bad on face almond oils are good for dark circles under eyes it was over 8 oz tin I just heated in jar cut bees wax down add solids micowave then add oils I used candle warmer to hold it liquid form and add oils and stir up

  37. Hello Carly,

    I’m new to DIY butters and i’m really enthusiastic about making a huge batch of this body butter and have the perfect christmas gift for my friends and family.

    I’ve got 2 jars with coconut butter, 900 ml each, and since i have this huge quantity, i am wondering if i can leave out the shea butter.
    I also want to use almond oil(sells in packs of 500 ml) and jojoba (sells in packs of 200 ml) and leave out the sunflower oil. I’ve also got homemade olive oil from friends in greece, which i mostly use for cooking and direct application on my hair, would it be a good idea to use in the body butter or would it get too oily?

    I plan to make the Hippie skin essential oils combinations, these sell in 10 ml bottles here. Would 1 bottle of each be enough ?
    I also wonder how long would the shelf life of this butter be – I’ve read that jojoba oil is used as preservative, and the coconut butter lasts for an year if unopened, but combined I’ve got no clue.

    I’m sorry if i flooded you with so many questions, any help is greatly appreciated !

    Best regards,
    Poli

    1. Hi Poli, I wouldn’t recommend leaving out anything or tampering with the ratios. If you want to replace something, do so with a comparable ingredient. Eg, if you want to skip the Shea, replace it with Kokum butter. If you leave out the sunflower, then replace it with almond. Olive oil wouldn’t be my first choice because the scent is quite over-powering.

      One of each bottle of the essential oils would be more than enough.

      There is no water added to this recipe, so the shelf life is quite long. If I had to say, I’d guess at least a year. Vitamin E acts as a preservative.

      Hope that helps 🙂

      Carly

  38. I am wanting to understand the Shea butter product a bit more. Did you use refined Shea butter or unrefined Shea butter? When I search for organic Shea butter, it is listed as unrefined. Does it matter which one to use?

    1. Refined shea has been “refined” so it doesn’t have much of an odour and is lighter in colour. Unrefined has a bit more of an odour. It doesn’t really matter too much which one you use, however I always opt for the organic unrefined.

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