Winter in a desert climate is a recipe for dry, flaky, itchy skin, to the point where regular body lotions just won’t cut it! So a few winters ago I started looking for something ultra-rich and moisturizing that I could ideally make at home, and landed on a recipe for body butter that turned out to be my skin’s saving grace!
And since winter dryness is setting in yet again, I thought it would be a perfect time to share my favorite homemade whipped body butter recipe with all of you! Not to toot my own horn, but I think this homemade version is even better than the store-bought body butters I’ve tried in the past.
My homemade version is thick, rich, and packed with all-natural ingredients that will moisturize and revitalize even the driest of skin. And as you’ll learn very shortly, this body butter recipe is also highly customizable, allowing you to tinker and tweak things until it’s exactly what you want it to be!
So let’s dive in, and start by exploring what exactly body butter is and what goes into it. (And for even more DIY skincare and beauty products, be sure to check out my eBook At-Home Bath & Body! You can buy it in my shop, or download it for free if you’re an OGT Plus member!)
What Is Body Butter, And Is It Different From Lotion?
A body butter is used to hydrate, nourish, and soften skin, and it can be especially useful for those suffering from really dry or even cracked skin. And although body butters and lotions are similar in that they are both moisturizing body products, body butter tends to be thicker, richer, and more concentrated than the average lotion.
What Goes Into Homemade Body Butter?
This simple body butter recipe calls for just four ingredients. But it’s not an exact science, and there are plenty of ways to customize it to fit your individual wants and needs! So before we get to the actual recipe, I wanted to quickly go over what each ingredient does and how you might customize them.
◆ Shea Butter
Shea butter is a highly concentrated fatty acid that melts at body temperature, making it ideal for use in skin products like lotions and body butters. And despite the fact that it’s rich in fat, shea butter is actually non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores if you have acne-prone or oily skin.
Feel free to swap out the shea butter for cocoa butter instead, especially if you have stretch marks, scars, or other imperfections you’d like to see fade. Cocoa butter contains vitamins and acids that can minimize these and improve your skin’s appearance over time.
◆ Coconut Oil
Cold pressed coconut oil makes an excellent moisturizer for both hair and skin. It also has natural antibacterial properties, and as a nice bonus, it smells wonderful too! :-)
◆ Almond Oil
Like coconut oil, almond oil (sometimes called sweet almond oil) is highly moisturizing and often used as a carrier oil. It has a light and non-greasy texture, a pleasantly nutty smell, absorbs readily, and works well for most skin types.
There are plenty of other carrier oils you could use in place of almond oil if you prefer. (Though personally, I would eliminate fractionated coconut oil from consideration, just because it would be rather redundant to use two types of coconut oil in the same recipe!)
◆ Essential Oils
Add essential oils to your homemade body butter to infuse it with a safe and natural scent while adding additional skin-nourishing benefits. Here are a few essential oils (both single oils and blends) that would make an excellent addition to a body butter:
- Lavender/Geranium: The floral aromas of these oils work wonderfully in DIY skincare products, and they are both known for their ability to soothe skin irritation and reduce redness.
- Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is a quintessential “spa scent,” and it also helps promote open airways and healthy respiration.
- Restore: This essential oil blend was created for the purpose of easing aches and pains. Adding it to a body butter would work to give your skin a two-for-one of hydration and pain relief!
- Slumber: This relaxing blend can help you unwind before bed, and using it in a body butter would produce a perfect nightly moisturizer you could slather on before hitting the hay!
How To Make Whipped Body Butter
Melt the shea butter and coconut oil together in a double boiler (or use a bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water as a makeshift double boiler.) Once everything is melted together, remove from heat and let the mixture cool for 30 minutes.
After cooling, add the essential oils and almond oil and stir well. Then allow the mixture to cool again until it’s approaching room temperature and beginning to solidify—you should be able to press into it with your finger and leave an indentation.
At that point, use a hand mixer or stand mixer to whip air into the body butter. When it has increased in volume considerably and has a smooth, buttery consistency, stop mixing and transfer your finished whipped body butter to a clean glass jar (like a mason jar or one of my favorite glass yogurt jars) for storage. Store it in a cool, dark place where it will keep for about 6 months.
Note: Because this formula doesn’t use any preservatives or stabilizers, you may find that your body butter loses some of its airiness over time. If that happens, simply whip it with your hand mixer again to revive it!
Tips To Get The Perfect Consistency
- Depending on the climate you live in, you may want to adjust the ratio of liquids (coconut oil and almond oil) to solids (shea butter) to achieve the perfect consistency.
- My recipe calls for equal parts solids and liquids (or a 1:1 ratio), which produces a soft consistency that is well-suited to the cold, dry climate where I live.
- If you live somewhere warm and humid, using a higher ratio of solids to liquids will help prevent the the finished products from getting too soft or wet. Try a 2:1 ratio of solids to liquids (which works out to about 1 1/3 cups of shea butter, 1/3 cup of coconut oil, and 1/3 cup of almond oil.)
- Once you’ve dialed in a ratio of solids to liquids that you like, you can start swapping different ingredients in and out to create your own custom formula! Shea butter, cocoa butter, and mango butter would work well as solids, while liquid options include coconut oil, sweet almond oil, rosehip oil, hemp seed oil, jojoba oil, and avocado oil.
- To combat greasiness, try adding a small amount of arrowroot powder (about 1-2 teaspoons) to the pan when melting the shea butter and coconut oil together at the first stage in the process. (I don’t personally find this necessary, but again, I need all the richest moisturizers I can get!)
How To Use Your Homemade Body Butter
Before you scoop some of your body butter out of the jar, you want to make sure to wash your hands in order to avoid introducing bacteria to the jar. (It’s good hygiene and will improve the shelf life of your body butter!)
Apply a generous amount of body butter to your skin, allowing a few moments for the warmth from your skin to make the butter more “spreadable.” I personally love to slather it on after bathing or showering, because my warm skin makes it easy to apply and it keeps my skin soft all day!
Use your body butter as often as desired for softer, more moisturized skin. :-) I hope you’ll give it a try and let me know what you think, whether you use it yourself or make it to give as Christmas gifts!
How do you fight wintertime dryness?
Whipped Body Butter Recipe
- Double Boiler
- Hand Mixer
- Glass Jar
- 1 cup shea butter
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup almond oil
- 30 drops essential oils
- Melt the shea butter and coconut oil together in the top part of a double boiler (or in a bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water.) Once they have melted together, remove from heat and let the mixture cool for 30 minutes.
- Stir in the almond oil and essential oils, then wait until oils start to partially solidify.
- Next, use a hand mixer to whip the mixture for a few minutes, or until it achieves a butter-like consistency.