Homemade Body Butter Recipes for Dry Skin
Discover my favorite homemade body butter recipes to moisturize dry skin. Body butters are so easy to make and a great moisturizer for dry skin relief. Following I share everything you want to know about how to make homemade body butters. Plus you’ll find my best body butter recipes, with non-greasy and emulsified options, to incorporate into your natural skin care routine.
Homemade Body Butter for Dry Skin
Homemade body butter recipes are one of the easiest skin care products to make, even for beginner DIYers. Lotion and similar body moisturizer recipes are made using oils, water and emulsifiers to allow the oil and water to mix. These ingredients need to be mixed at a certain temperature for a successful emulsification, therefore making them more of a challenge to craft at home. However, you can make a homemade body butter recipe with just butters and fats.
While some people prefer to make a whipped body butter recipe using a hand mixer to whip the ingredients as they cool, you actually don’t need any special equipment to make these easy body moisturizers. Even a hand mixer is optional if you don’t want to whip your finished product.
Homemade body butter recipes are also easy to customize. I recommend starting with a basic body butter recipe to get started. You can then add other ingredients after you’ve mastered making this natural skin care product. Once you’re more comfortable making homemade body moisturizers, be sure to try the many homemade body butter recipes I’ve included below to help you get started.
First, however, I want to cover in depth information on how to make body butters, along with tips and tricks to create the best body butter, and a brief overview of common ingredients used to make homemade body butter recipes. I also answer common questions on how to make homemade body butter.
What is Body Butter?
Body butters are a natural skin moisturizer that moisturize and nourish skin. Suited for before and after sun care, as well as dry skin, body butters are most commonly made with a combination of semi-solid or solid butters and a carrier oil. These ingredients are melted, then mixed together to create the final product.
Body butter is similar to a lotion or body cream. Like lotion, both are good moisturizers for dry skin. However, many people prefer to make body butter at home because it’s easier than making lotion. As body butters do not contain water as an ingredients, you do you not need to emulsify body butters. You also do not need a preservative to prevent the growth of mold or bacteria, as there is no water that enables their growth.
A typical body butter recipe is usually made with shea butter and a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil or coconut oil. Homemade body butter recipes can also contain other ingredients, such as essential oils for fragrance, and other ingredients that give the butters varying skin care properties.
Is Body Butter Better Than Lotion?
Depending on your needs, body butter is typically better than lotion if you have really dry skin. While body butters are formulated using shea butter, carrier oils and/or other similar moisturizing skin care ingredients, lotion is not. Instead, lotion is comprised mostly of water. Therefore it contains fewer moisturizing ingredients. While both products make good skin moisturizers, body butters will definitely moisturize your skin better than a lotion. Therefore homemade body butters are a better choice if you suffer from dry skin.
However, it’s also important to keep in mind that body butter is heavier than lotion. In some cases you may find that some homemade body butter recipes can leave your skin feeling greasy. In this case, you’d want to make a body butter recipe that incorporates dry carrier oils and/or arrowroot powder (or cornstarch) to formulate a non-greasy body butter recipe. This will keep you skin moisturizer from feeling oily when applied to skin.
If you want to avoid a heavy or greasy feeling all together, then I recommend using a lotion or a cream. As lotions and creams are emulsified, they will soak into your skin quicker with making skin feel oily or greasy. However, you may find that lotion needs to be reapplied more often as a result as they are the thinnest skin moisturizer. Both lotions and creams also lack the skin protectant properties that body butters can offer, being the thickest of these skin care products.
Can I Use Body Butter On My Face?
Yes, you can use body butter on your face depending on what is in it. Coconut oil, for example, can clog pores for some people. However, shea butter doesn’t clog pores. Therefore, if you are considering using body butters on your face, I recommend looking up the ingredients first on a comedogenic scale. This scale will tell you whether any of the ingredients is likely to lead to acne outbreaks or clog pores.
For the most part, however, body butters are often too heavy to use on your face. There is also the issue of certain ingredients clogging pores. Therefore, I only recommending using body butter on your face for spot treatments. For example, if you have small patches of dry skin. Using body butter on those small areas may work to reduce your dry skin, without causing breakouts.
You’ll also want to be mindful if there are essential oils used in your homemade body butter recipes. Some essential oil can irritate sensitive facial skin. While others are known to cause skin irritations. If you use essential oils to make homemade body butter for your face, don’t exceed a half percent of the total formulation. This can vary, however, depending on the essential oil used. (Not all essential oil have the same usage rate, therefore it’s important to determine the skin safe amount for use on your face for each oil chosen.)
Can I Use Body Butter Everyday?
Yes, you can use body butter every day. It might be too heavy for daily use, so use it once a week or every few days if your skin isn’t very dry. However, if you have rough spots or very dry skin, you can use it daily.
What Ingredients Are Used to Make Body Butter Recipes?
There are hundreds of recipes for body butters, but the main ingredients used to make a body butter are a semi-solid or solid butter (also known as a plant based fat) and a liquid carrier oil.
Following are some of the ingredients that are common in homemade body butter recipes:
- Shea Butter (or other semi-solid butter): Shea butter is one of the most common ingredients for shea butter body butter recipes. It’s highly moisturizing and offers many benefits for skin. As a semi-solid butter, it makes a great body butter base.
- Cocoa Butter (or other solid butter): Hard butters have natural skin care benefits. As they are solid at room temperature, they also help to create a thicker body butter.
- Carrier Oil (including coconut oil): Carrier oils are added as an ingredient to homemade body butter recipes to make semi-solid and hard butters softer, so they can be massaged onto skin. They also have unique skin care benefits.
- Wax: Many types of wax can be used to make body butter to thicken the formulation or to make an emulsified homemade body butter. Common waxes are emulsifying wax, beeswax or plant based wax, such as candelilla or carnauba wax. Wax also helps to protect skin from the elements and lock in moisture.
- Arrowroot Powder or Cornstarch: These ingredients are commonly used to thicken the other ingredients and to formulate a non-greasy body butter.
- Essential Oils or Fragrance: You can add either essential oils or a fragrance oil to scent your homemade body butter recipes. Be sure to refer to the maximum usage rate when incorporating fragrance into your products to avoid skin irritation.
- Lanolin: Lanolin is often added for severely dry or cracked skin. It works well to lock in moisture so skin stays hydrated. It also serves as a skin protectant.
What is Shea Butter?
One of the most common ingredients found in homemade body butters, shea butter is a fat that’s extracted from the shea nuts grown in Africa. It’s a semi-solid butter, so it’s often used in body butters to make them firmer. Shea butter is good for most skin types and has a low risk of allergies. It doesn’t clog pores, so you can use it all over your body.
Shea butter is moisturizing thanks to the fatty acids in the butter, along with vitamins A and E. These fatty acids get absorbed into your skin, which helps moisturize your skin and restore the barrier on top of your skin.
You can buy both raw or unrefined shea butter as well as refined shea butter. Unrefined shea butter has a natural fragrance, often described as thick and nutty. Whereas refined shea butter is deodorized and white in color.
Both types of shea butter work well as body moisturizers to moisturize dry skin. Therefore, this body butter ingredient is especially useful before and after sun exposure.
Why is Shea Butter Used to Make Body Butter Recipes?
Shea butter is often used to make body butter because it’s semi-solid at room temperature. It can be used alone on skin as a natural moisturizer. Therefore you don’t need to add much to shea butter to create a shea butter recipe for dry skin. This makes it great base for beginner shea butter recipes.
Shea butter also is a great, all natural moisturizer. It moisturizes skin without leaving it feeling greasy. In addition, shea butter doesn’t clog pores and absorbs quickly into the skin. It is also not likely to cause allergies. Therefore, most people with sensitive skin can use shea butter.
In addition, when you combine shea butter with a liquid oil and whip it, it will keep its shape and hold up well as a whipped body butter.
Shea Body Butter Benefits
Shea body butter has many natural benefits for skin when using to make homemade body butter. The skin care benefits of shea body butter are as follows:
- Shea butter is an excellent moisturizer for both skin and your hair.
- Shea butter is said to have natural anti-inflammatory benefits. Therefore, it can help reduce inflammation from dry skin and eczema.
- As shea butter is also high in vitamins A and E, it helps to nourish skin and provide antioxidants that can slow down the visible signs of aging.
- Shea butter also whips beautifully with a liquid carrier oil. It gives your body butter a light but firm texture that holds its shape well.
Why is Shea Butter Grainy?
Shea butter is made up of several types of fatty acids. Each of those fatty acids has its own melting point, and therefore each one solidifies at a different temperature. When you heat shea butter and cool it, if it cools too slow, the fatty acids can separate. This is what causes shea butter to feel grainy. Grainy shea butter is perfectly fine to use, it will work just as well as before you melted it.
How Do I Fix Grainy Shea Butter?
If your shea butter for your homemade body butter recipes is grainy, you can take the following steps to fix grainy shea butter:
- You can fix grainy shea butter by reheating it and letting it cool quicker. For best results, use a double boiler to melt your shea butter. A microwave can cause parts to get hotter than other parts. This can affect the cooling rate, which can cause graininess.
- Once it’s melted, stir it will while it’s cooling. Since you’ll be heating the shea butter to melt it, adding oils and then whipping, this will definitely suffice for stirring.
- It’s also recommended that you cool it quickly by placing it in a bowl of ice water or placing it in the freezer so it cools quickly.
What Can I Mix With Shea Butter for Skin?
Shea butter is an oil based product, so you can add other oil based products. You can’t add water based products to shea butter without using an emulsifier. For example, you can’t add green tea or aloe vera gel because they won’t combine.
You can add essential oils, liquid carrier oils, coconut oil and even other butters.
How Can I Thicken My Body Butter Recipes?
Yes you can thicken your homemade body butter by adding different ingredients to your recipe. Here are some of the ways to thicken body butters:
- If your body butter is too soft, you can add beeswax, candelilla wax or carnauba wax to thicken your body butter. You can also use an emulsifying wax to make an emulsified body butter recipe. These waxes are hard at room temperature, so they will thicken your body butter and create a barrier on top of your skin.
- Alternately, you can also add more hard butters to your recipe, if you find it is too soft. However, before adding additional ingredients to thicken your body butter, you will need to melt down your body butter, then add the additional ingredients. Once added, remix the melted ingredients. For whipped body butters, you need to whip the mixture again as it starts to cool.
- Another way to thicken your homemade body butters is to add cornstarch. Cornstarch thickens natural skin care products and body moisturizers in the same way it does food. When you add cornstarch to food along with heat, it is able to thicken a variety of foods such as gravy. It also helps to emulsify the ingredients.
How Do I Substitute for Beeswax?
Not everyone wants to use beeswax to make homemade body butter. However, there may be body butter recipe with beeswax that you want to make without beeswax. In this instance, you need to substitute the beeswax with a vegan or plant based wax.
If you have an existing body butter recipe with beeswax that you want to substitute with a vegan or plant based wax, it’s important to remember that different waxes have different melting points. Therefore, as with my moisturizing lip balm recipe with or without beeswax, you have to adjust the amount of wax used based on the percentage of difference between the melting point of the wax you are using and the wax you wish to substitute.
To determine how much vegan wax you need to substitute with beeswax, you need to do a little math. First determine the percentage of difference in the melting point from one wax to the other. (You can google the melting point for the plant based wax you’d like to use as well as the melting point for beeswax.) If the wax you have chose to use in place of the beeswax has a higher melting point than the beeswax, then you would decrease the amount of wax you are substituting by that percentage. If the wax has a lower melting point than the beeswax, then you need to increase the amount of wax in the lip balm recipe by that percentage. (A percentage calculator comes in really handy for this task.)
How Long Does Homemade Body Butter Last?
Most body butters will last anywhere from 6 months to 1 year. Of course, the actual shelf life of any homemade body butter recipe comes down to the ingredients.
All of the various ingredients used to make homemade body butter have a different shelf life. Some oils and butters used to make body moisturizers have a short shelf life of 3-6 months. Others, like shea butter, have a long shelf life of 1-2 years. As long as the ingredients used to make your homemade body butters don’t get rancid, they are still okay to use.
However, determining how long a specific body butter recipe will last depends on two things — the shelf life of the ingredients and the freshness of the ingredients. Assuming all ingredients are bought fresh, assuring a maximum shelf life, your homemade body butter will last as long as the ingredient with the shortest shelf life.
As homemade body butter recipes don’t contain water, you don’t need to use a preservative. This means, however, that it’s important to keep your body moisturizer away from moisture and only use clean, dry hands to get the butter out of the container.
I also recommend you use a small spoon or even a spatula to remove the product from the container. By doing this, you won’t accidentally introduce germs from your hands into the container.
Does Homemade Body Butter Go Bad?
Yes, homemade body butter can go bad. Both oils and butters can go rancid, so be sure to use fresh ingredients. If your body butter smells off, it could be due to rancid oil. You will have to toss if it smells bad.
Bacteria and microbes from your skin can also get into body butter. SInce there’s no preservative, they can multiply and ruin your batch. If you see any spots or the color or smell is off, toss your body butter.
How to Extend the Shelf Life of Homemade Body Butter
Should you wish to extend the shelf life of your homemade body butter recipes, you can add an antioxidant to your natural skin care formulations. Vitamin E oil is a common antioxidant that extends the shelf life of carrier oils to help prevent rancidity.
I like the vitamin E oil from Mountain Rose Herbs. There are many types of vitamin E. However, the oil from this company is rich in delta and gamma tocopherols, a natural choice for antioxidant function. It is obtained by vacuum distillation of vegetable fats derived from non-GMO soy sources. This oil is comprised of 18-20% mixed tocopherols and measures close to 7500 I.U. per ounce. In addition, it is 100% dispersible in other fats and oils.
Homemade Body Butter Recipes
Learn how to make homemade body butter with these homemade body butter recipes:
Orange Peppermint Body Butter Recipe
Learn how to make a body butter recipe with essential oils and shea butter for moisturizing dry skin relief with aromatherapeutic benefits. This non greasy orange and peppermint body butter is made with shea butter and kokum butter to moisturize dry skin. While the addition of lanolin helps to lock in moisture and act as a natural skin protectant against the elements. Blood orange and peppermint essential are also included in this body moisturizer recipe for their aromatherapeutic properties and natural skin care benefits. Get the recipe.
Whipped Body Butter Recipe for Dry Skin
Nourish your dry skin with this hydrating whipped body butter recipe. It’s the perfect addition to your natural skin care routine for dry skin relief. Scented with an all-natural lemon creme fragrance oil, this whipped body butter is an emulsified body butter recipe that stands up to warmer climates. Its rich, skin conditioning ingredients are a treat for dry skin care. Get the recipe.
Magnesium Body Butter Recipe
Learn about the benefits of magnesium plus how my magnesium body butter recipe can offer relief from restless leg syndrome, nerve pain and sore muscles. This homemade body butter recipe is made with magnesium flakes, a combination of plant-based butters, skin soothing rosewater and essential oils. So it not only helps to relax your body and relieve stress, it’s also a wonderful skin moisturizer for dry skin. Get the recipe.
Chocolate Body Butter Recipe with Roasted Cocoa Butter
Make an all natural chocolate body butter to moisturize dry skin. This no fragrance added, emulsified body butter recipe has a delicious chocolate scent derived from the roasted cocoa butter and other natural ingredients used to make this natural body moisturizer. It can be made with or without essential oils, and includes several coffee essential oil blends that compliment the natural fragrance of this body moisturizer. Get the recipe.
Chocolate Orange Homemade Body Butter Recipe
This homemade chocolate orange body butter recipe is made with real cocoa powder as well as skin nourishing shea and cocoa butters. So it’s a great way to moisturizes dry skin. Scented just like chocolate oranges you can buy during the holidays, this non-greasy body butter recipe feels super luxurious when applied to skin. And it leaves behind an amazing scent! Get the recipe.
Mineral Bronzing Body Butter Recipe
Body butters aren’t just for winter skin care. They can be used throughout the year as well. In fact, this mineral bronzing body butter recipe with coffee oil is one of my favorite DIY body butters for summer skin care. Learn how to make a body highlighting bronzer for your summer beauty regimen with this easy recipe for a natural skin bronzer. With as few as 4-ingredients you can add a sun kissed look to your summer skin. Get the recipe.
Bacuri Body Butter Recipe
This natural bacuri body butter recipe is fantastic for aging skin! Formulated to moisturize and nourish dry and maturing skin, this non-greasy bacuri body butter recipe is crafted using three simple ingredients from the Brazilian Amazon forest. Each of these body butter ingredients are unrefined and cold pressed to allow their skin care benefits to shine through. Plus, they each possess unique anti-aging skin care properties. Get the recipe.
Pumpkin Spice Body Butter Recipe
This golden glitter pumpkin spice body butter recipe will have everyone raving about how amazing you smell! A must have for seasonal holiday parties, not only does this moisturizing pumpkin spice body butter smell just like everyone’s favorite pumpkin pie, but it also makes skin pop with glitzy eco-friendly glitter! Try this emulsified body butter recipe with candelilla wax as part of your beauty regimen or to give as DIY holiday gifts. Get the recipe.
Neem Oil Homemade Body Butter Recipe
This plant based natural neem oil body butter recipe is handmade with arnica infused coconut oil and neem oil to help ease the pain of minor wounds, minimize the appearance of scarring and promote healing. Made with only the finest natural ingredients, this herbal body butter is sure to become a staple in your bathroom medicine cabinet. Get the recipe.
Rose Body Butter Recipe without Beeswax
Looking for a vegan friendly moisturizer DIY? This rose body butter recipe without beeswax fits the bill! Made with only natural ingredients, this rose body butter nourishes skin without leaving it feeling greasy. Inspired by Nourish Organics Rejuvenating Rose Butter, plant based skin care recipe contains refined shea butter and coconut oil, rosehip seed and sunflower oil, and natural rose kaolin clay. I also added a touch of frankincense essential oil for a light scent and its natural skin care benefits. Get the recipe.
Mosquito Repellent Body Butter Recipe with Essential Oils
Don’t let bugs ruin your summer fun! Repel mosquitoes and deer ticks with this non-greasy mosquito repellent body butter recipe made with natural essential oils. This insect repellent body butter is crafted with a blend of natural essential oils including lemon eucalyptus essential oil which has been shown to not only repel biting insects, but deer ticks as well. Get the recipe.
Homemade Magnesium + Arnica Body Butter Recipe with Essential Oils
This homemade magnesium and arnica body butter recipe is scented with a delightful lavender and orange fragrance and is great for everyday aches, pains and bruises. Scented with a soothing blend of orange and lavender essential oils, this herbal body butter recipe helps to relieve stress and soothe pain. Get the recipe.
DIY Unicorn Body Butter Recipe with Highlighters
Learn how to make your own fabulous DIY unicorn body butter for glowing skin. This tri-color unicorn body butter recipe leaves a hint of shimmering highlighters on your skin. Plus it can be scented with your favorite fragrance. A wonderful treat for dry skin care, this emulsified body butter with coconut oil also makes a great homemade gift idea for anyone who loves unicorns. Get the recipe.
Cinnamon Sugar Homemade Non Greasy Body Butter Recipe
This cinnamon sugar homemade non-greasy body butter recipe makes wonderful homemade gifts and includes free printable labels for gift giving. Make this amazing cinnamon sugar scented body butter recipe for DIY holiday gifts! This non-greasy body butter combines fragrance notes from vanilla, warm ginger, cinnamon and cardamom with a rich, moisturizing skin care formula that melts into skin on contact. When applied, this scented body moisturizer leaves skin feeling luxuriously soft and supple. Get the recipe.
DIY Lavender Body Butter with Neem Oil
This DIY lavender body butter recipe offers amazing skin protection. In addition it also moisturize skin. However, unlike other homemade body butter recipes, this lavender body butter also contains neem oil. A natural analgesic, this non greasy body butter recipe also helps to ease pain and promote healing. Get the recipe.
Shea Body Butter Recipe without Beeswax
Discover how to make a shea body butter recipe without beeswax for dry skin relief as a vegan friendly moisturizer for natural skin care. This homemade shea butter body butter for dry skin is quick and easy to make, with just 3-ingredients. It is a wonderful moisturizer not just for dry skin relief, but also to to give as homemade gifts. Get the recipe.
Whipped Body Butter Soufflé Recipe
This whipped body butter soufflé is an ultra rich, moisturizing whipped body butter recipe. Enriched with both shea and cocoa butters as well as jojoba oil as key body butter ingredients, this homemade body butter recipe is emulsified for quick absorption and long lasting hydration. Get the recipe.
Unicorn Glitter Body Butter Recipe
This magical, unicorn glitter body butter recipe is perfect for parties and summer festivals! Scented with a sweet candy crush fragrance oil, this lavender colored body butter is made with shimmering mica and glitter. So it leaves behind lovely layer of iridescent sparkly glitter on skin wherever it’s applied. Get the recipe.
I hope you enjoy my collection of homemade body butter recipes. You can discover more natural skin care recipes by following Soap Deli News on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Or subscribe to my newsletter for more beauty tips and ideas.
October 17, 2021 at 7:27 pm
Do you have any good recipes for pregnant women? My niece is pregnant, and I’d love to give her something for stretch marks, etc.
Thank you! I love your instagram/blog/website! You give out so much good information!
Rebecca D. Dillon
October 18, 2021 at 4:28 pm
Cocoa butter is said to work great. My chocolate body butter would be perfect. Or you can try this stretch mark treatment, that’s similar to a salve consistency. You can also make a basic butter butter and use the eo blend from my stretch mark recipe.
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