Homemade Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion (without Coconut Oil)

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Homemade DIY ultra moisturizing lotion moisturizer. An easy-to-make recipe without coconut oil.

This recipe is used as a lotion, hence the name. The final product is technically a body butter– a thick moisturizing cream versus a pumpable lotion. Both body butters and lotions are used to moisturize the skin. I’ve written a complete guide to body butter (including what it is and options for customizing your own body butter, over here.) If you’re looking for a softer lotion you may want to try this silky smooth lotion. Also, I’ve recently updated some of the photos in this post, so if you’re coming over here from Pinterest, the images may look a bit different :). 

how to make an easy-to-customize homemade body butter

April has brought valuable lessons. Let’s review a few:

1. Don’t keep your glass 2-gallon jar of Kombucha hidden in a dark pantry. Your husband unknowingly will break it, sending sticky Kombucha rushing across your floor like a mighty river. Due to the shattered glass you’ll have to throw away the beloved SCOBY. Wearing black for several days is totally acceptable.

2. Chicks are even worse than having full-grown backyard chickens. Remember the time I shared 5 Reasons to Not Keep Chickens?” Well, chicks are a whole new game. If your children won’t leave your home with chickens, chicks mean they will want to set up a fort, camp out and study their every move, 24/7. I’m determined we will leave the house one day.

3. Coconut oil is not the cure-all. Gasp, I know. That statement is practically heresy in the natural living community. Toothpaste? Coconut oil. Smoothies? Yep, coconut oil. A boo-boo? More coconut oil. We use it for everything! I’ve learned the magical white oil isn’t always suitable for every need.

Since you’re probably a tad bit shocked by the coconut lesson, let’s talk. I feel the need to explain such an outrageous statement before being eternally cast-off from all things crunchy.

A couple of years ago, I decided it was time. Time to ditch the toxins found in our bathroom. From lotions to body wash to makeup, the amounts of toxins I put on my body was astounding. With the urge for simplicity and natural living, I started developing my own replacements for things like foundation powder and lotion.

homemade ultra-moisturizing lotion recipe

One of my very first DIYs was a simple homemade moisturizer using coconut oil. After a few weeks, I was amazed at how nourished my skin felt.

Fast forward to March of this year. I’ve always dealt with extremely sensitive skin, but last month I noticed my skin was showing signs of extreme irritation. Multiple break outs, daily peeling, and dry skin patches. I immediately turned to a blogger friend, a guru on the topic of homemade skincare.  Her advice was reassuring, but I knew it meant kissing my beloved coconut oil good-bye, at least during this season of life.  So, why the change?

homemade ultra-moisturizing lotion recipe

Our skin changes and goes through seasons. I wouldn’t advise anyone to eat a grass-fed burger, daily, over the course of two years. Although it would be super tempting. Our bodies need diversity in the food we eat. Same with skincare. Our skin often needs different ingredients for various stages and seasons of life. My skin was clearly letting me know it needed a change from the daily coconut oil applications. After looking into my options for DIY products, I developed this simple homemade lotion recipe. An ultra-moisturizing lotion that does not use coconut oil.

Please hear me out, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with coconut oil or my coconut oil recipe (it’s fabulous). I simply needed a skincare change during this season of life.

homemade ultra-moisturizing lotion recipe

I’ve been hesitant about sharing this recipe. Silly, right? Why wouldn’t I share? The simple answer is that this recipe uses a number of essential oils. I chose to add essential due to their healing nature.

Skin-safe essential oils are easily absorbed by the skin for nourishment, and provide antibacterial and antiviral properties. Even though essential oils are wonderful additions to homemade products (when used safely), I’ve noticed a trend in the blogging community, one I find a bit concerning: The intense selling of particular brands of essential oils and the development of recipes and usage “tips” just to sell oils.

homemade ultra-moisturizing lotion recipe

I’m not here to sell you on essential oils. I add “where to buy” at the end of many ingredients in my recipes to provide a resource for the actual product(s) I enjoy and use, because there are certain products I love. I’m not telling you to buy the products; rather, I believe it’s helpful to provide a visual representation of the products and brands I like to use.

Plain and simple: I’m here to share life with you and my quest to make it simple, real and natural. 

With a heart to share what I’m now using on my face and body, I bring you a homemade ultra-moisturizing lotion. Made with moisturizing shea butter, a nourishing skin oil, and few drops of essential oils (optional). A simple moisturizer that’s super thick and luxurious, but easily absorbed by the skin.

4.9 from 46 votes

Homemade Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion (without Coconut Oil)

After looking into my options for DIY products, I developed this simple homemade lotion recipe. An ultra-moisturizing lotion that does not use coconut oil.
Course DIY, Homemade
Cuisine Beauty
Keyword Moisturizing Lotion
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 oz. jar
Author Kristin Marr



  1. In a double boiler (a glass bowl over a pot filled 1/4 the way full with water), over medium-low heat, melt the shea butter. Add in the nourishing skin oil. Turn off the heat.

  2. Pour into a bowl (I use my Kitchen-Aid bowl). Place in the fridge or freezer and allow to cool and return to a solid (not hard) form. This takes about 15-20 minutes, depending on location. 

  3. Once opaque and slightly firm, remove the bowl from the freezer. Add in the essential oils. Using the whisk attachment on your mixer, whip the mixture. You can also use a whisk or fork versus a mixer. This takes just just a few seconds. Don't over-whip. Scoop into a jar and store at room temp. Apply to both body and face as desired. 

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

*The essential oils listed are what I originally played around with and used. Feel free to use other skin-friendly essential oils--either just one or a combo--for a total of around 26 drops (or less). You can also make this lotion without using any essential oils. If you'd like to play around with other essential oils, you can read about more options in my body butter tutorial, here

Feeling Greasy? Some folks find that body butter is a bit too greasy to apply all over the body. The good news is that there’s a simple solution for this issue…arrowroot flour/starch. A small amount of arrowroot flour/starch may be added to the liquid oil before pouring the oil into the melted butter(s). If you're interested in adding arrowroot, I'd try adding 1 teaspoon to this recipe. You can see how to do this in my body butter tutorial, here

Modification Possibilities: 

Try skipping the melting stage in this particular recipe. Simply whip the nourishing oil and shea butter together, adding more oil if needed. I’ve done this before when I didn’t have any time to melt and cool the ingredients.



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    • 5 stars
      Dear Kristin,

      It was a relief to find something minus the coconut oil. I’ve been a looking for one without it, and thanks for posting this wonderful recipe. I am going to make this soon and would let you know about the results.
      Love your blog… and would try others, too.
      I just had one small question: here in India, we get essential oils that are water and oil based. which ones are we supposed to use in these handmade creams and lotions? It would be a great help if you could clear this for me.
      Also, please suggest some alternative for rosemary essential oil, carrot seed oil and tea tree essential oil. As I haven’t been able to buy these here in India.


      • Hi Shreya, So glad to help with the sans coconut oil recipe.

        There really aren’t any replacements for the oils mentioned, but you can leave them out and still create a good lotion recipe. You can also refer to the link in the post for more essential oils recommended for the skin.

        You want to use the essential oils vs the hydrosols (water based) in this recipe.

        • 5 stars
          This sounds wonderful, Kristin! I’d love to make it this week but I have a question. Do you think I could use only one essential oil instead of 4 (I love Lavander)?

        • I looked through many of the questions but would like to know one more thing about this lotion. Does it stay fairly solid above 76 degrees? I’m having a lot of trouble with the body butters melting and becoming useless. Thanks!

        • Reading your recipe for homemade body lotion..you had me at “Even though essential oils are wonderful additions to homemade products (when used safely), I’ve noticed a trend in the blogging community, one I find a bit concerning: The intense selling of particular brands of essential oils and the development of recipes and usage “tips” just to sell oils”
          I get so tired of people pushing THEIR brand or their brands combination of oils that don’t say what is actually in them. I know enough about them to mix them myself and what I don’t know, I have a computer and Google, I think I can find my way.
          Your blog is great and I look forward to catching up with your ideas especially the ‘Simplify’ and Homemade’ sections.
          Thanks for being a blogger with integrity.

        • Hi Kristin,
          I made it and it feels really good for the hands but I find it too greasy for my face and body. Do you have a suggestion on how to make it less greasy?

      • Hi Shreya,

        So glad to help with the sans coconut oil recipe.

        There really aren’t any replacements for the oils mentioned. You can leave them out and still create a good lotion recipe. I would also suggest reading more from the link above, describing various oils for the skin.

        I would recommend using the essential oils for this recipe vs the hydrosols (water-based).

          • Thanks, Shauna. I’ve never tried using tapioca in a body recipe so didn’t want to suggest something I can speak confidently about. Glad you were able to help. I appreciate it!

        • Hi Kristen
          Thank you for this
          I have a couple of questions
          Can I add aloe vera gel to this mix?
          I have alot of oils collections and I wanna make use of them, can I make a mix of many oils with this?

          • Hey Hana, I don’t recommend adding aloe. If you do, you’ll need an emulsifier. I think that will depend on the oil. Most skincare/body oils will work.

      • there are no essential oils that are water based. You may find it easier to get essential oils over the internet (the blog lady mentions Amazon.com) to start with until you get used to what they are and can then look for them locally. A small 25 or 50ml bottle of them would last you for quite a few batches of this lotion/body butter so you don’t need to buy bigger bottles to try them.

        • Thanks for sharing, Amanda. You’re correct, essential oils are not water-based. There are hydrosols that are water-based, but they are not called for in this recipe. Enjoy the lotion!

        • I know this was posted years ago, but I feel it’s still worth responding to for anyone who ends up reading through all of these postings…you need to be careful with which essential oils you are getting however, because they can claim to be 100% pure when the oil they are calling it is pure, but in reality it has only a small percentage of the bottle as that oil and the rest is filled with other chemicals. I want to warn this, because I don’t know of any 100% pure essential oils that can be bought as 25 or 50ml bottles, they are typically 5 or 15ml bottles when they are pure and I have never found them locally (at stores). The ones that are typically sold in local stores are the ones that claim they are pure but have other chemicals in them. As an animal person, I also feel it’s important for you to know this, because I have known people who have had their birds die because they have used the essential oils from local stores that claimed to be pure but actually had other chemicals (because the other chemicals can kill the birds), when using true 100% pure oils there are still certain ones you need to be careful with around birds (since they are more sensitive than other animals), but others you can actually use with them safely to help benefit them as well. On that note, since it’s used in this recipe: tea tree (melaleuca) oil is actually dangerous to use around birds as well as cats. So, if you have either of those, I would recommend trading that oil out at least.

          • Hi Stephanie, I just wanted to let you know as a soap and bodycare business I regularly purchase 500ml to 1L bottles of 100% pure essential oils from whole sale companies. I simply could not afford to make my products in bulk, if I bought 15ml bottles at retail cost!
            I would never use essential oils on any pets even 100% pure, without consulting with an aromatherapist. Essential oils are naturally made up of hundreds of chemicals in their structure.

          • 5 stars
            Here in Australia I see native birds hanging around the Tea Trees all the time. The aroma bothers my sinuses more than it does the birds..

      • Shreya,

        Kristin used oil based oils in her recipe. Here in the US the water based are called hydroxide and I believe are used more in perfumes or for use with babies from everything I’ve been learning.

      • Hey Sue, If the hemp is unrefined it will need to be stored in a cool, dry place (such as the fridge). If the oil is refined it’s shelf-stable and the lotion can be left on the counter.

    • This is a great recipe. Thank you for sharing. Why do you add the following?
      15 drops drops lavender essential oil
      10 drops rosemary essential oil
      5-7 drops carrot seed oil
      3-5 drops tea tree essential oil


      • Thank you, Natasha. This recipe can be customized according to each person’s skincare needs. For me, I’m looking for a lotion with both healing and rejuvenating properties, so I choose oils and amounts that reflect that need. 🙂

    • does anyone have a recipe for a homemade lotion that isn’t more like an ointment… i want to be able to squeeze it out of a container or a pump bottle… i’ve tried several different recipes and although i like the results on my skin the process of making sure its all rubbed in is driving me crazy… help

        • Thing is with a lotion it must be used right away or kept in the fridge unless a preservative is used. I make my own so I don’t have to use store bought with synthetic chemicals. I really like the idea of this creme. It doesn’t seem to turn to oil immediately on the skin. It almost looks like a lotion in the picture. How is the texture onceit is made.

          • 4 stars
            I know that this comment is coming late, however Grapefruit Seed Extract can be used to extend shelf life. And Cosmetic Grade Stearic Acid is a great (vegan: as it comes from Palm) emulsifier, I use it at roughly 1/3 the amount of beeswax in my lotions. A great combination is sweet almond oil, vegetable glycerine, rose water, distilled water, beeswax, and stearic acid, it comes out gentle and creamy. I avoid scenting lotions and creams as you can never tell who’s allergies you will be wreaking havoc with and my Dad was always very sensitive to scents.

        • I have been reading your comments and enjoying the fact that you are not trying to sell something. On that note I am going to share with you and your readers a recipe that I have used many times for homemade lotion. This recipe is very easy and so versatile in that you can use any kind of oil you choose as long as they total 3 oz.

          This basic recipe makes approximately 20 ounces of Lotion.
          (I do use a digital scale to make this.)
          You can either use a stainless steel pan on the stove using low-medium heat or I use a large glass bowl and use the microwave in short 30 second bursts.

          Start by melting 1.2 oz. Emulsifying Wax until just liquid then add oils.
          1.5 oz. Sweet Almond Oil or Safflower Oil
          1 oz. Avocado Oil or Hempseed or Apricot
          .5 oz. Jojoba Oil
          *(Neem oil is good for eczema but it has a rather harsh odor that is difficult to hide.)
          .2 oz. Glycerin
          warm to approximately 120° – 140° F.

          Separately heat 15.2 oz. Distilled Water to approximately 140° F. Do not boil.
          add water to oil and using a stick blender for about 2 – 3 minutes. Don’t worry about it being watery, it will thicken as it cools.

          Add after above mixture cools a bit
          .5 ml (1.5 ml) Liquid Germall Plus (Do not attempt to weigh this ingredient. Use a pipette and fill to the first mark. (An excellent broad spectrum antimicrobial preservative, intended to prevent bacteria, mold and fungal growth in products.)
          16 – 20 drops of essential oil per 20 oz. mix. (This is of your choosing, mix as desired. Lavender is very popular but I love Frankincense. The smell is amazing. Tea Tree and peppermint make a very nice foot lotion.)

          You may also add:
          1 teas. Vitamin E *optional
          1Tbls Arrowroot *optional
          1 teas. Aloe Vera Gel *optional
          I am adding these optional ingredients to show how versatile this recipe really is.

          Once your lotion is well blended you can pour it into a container that has a pump or just use a mason jar.

          *Note: You can find everything mentioned in this recipe on ebay and you won’t have to buy large quantities.

          Hope you have fun experimenting with this.

        • Hey Reese, Awesome, glad the recipe is helpful. Yes, it’s more of a thick body butter, and a little bit goes a long way.

          Adding coconut oil adds a really nice whipped (and soft texture) to lotion, which is why so many lotion recipes call for this ingredient. Another option is adding water, but that gets tricky due to bacteria growth and emulsion issues.

      • Just my 2cents: It’s not AS “clean/natural”, but you can “enhance” many plain basic/hypoallergenic lotions with essential oils. For example, my face cream is a plain Vitamin E Sorbolene Cream (again, this is not in keeping with the ideal clean/natural, but it is closer than most products) with essential oils mixed throughout it in a little old travel-Nivea dish 😛 (reduce-reuse-recycle!)

        Until you find something more Clean, you may find that an acceptable alternative 🙂

    • Thank you so much for sharing. I have been reaping the benefits of virgin coconut oil but it made my face feel scaly when I put it on directly. Not wanting to overlook its benefits, I reckoned your recipe would help and used the oil as you describe. I followed your instructions to a T and was delighted that the concoction came out soft and easy to smear. Next day it was hard and it too, makes my face feel scaly. Any suggestions or advice?
      Thank you

      • Hey Martha, You’re welcome :)! It sounds like you made the recipe perfectly. The lotion will be much softer and have a greasy feel the first day, but by the second day the lotion will feel more like butter–hard, but “scoopable.” The only way to really get around this consistency is to add something to thin out the lotion like a liquid–a tiny amount hydrosol, aloe gel, or even coconut oil–and whip it again.

        • Hi Kirsten,

          Thanks for sharing this wondering recipe. I’ve tried it a couple of times and decided it’s a little too thick. I wonder if I can whip it again by adding in a small amount of vitamin E serum to get a more spreadable consistency. Thanks !

    • This seems like a lovely tutorial. Do you think it would be good for acne-prone skin? I use little amounts of Neutrogena facial moisturizer that is supposed to be working against acne, but it leaves my skin feeling rather oily by the end of the day (that’s embarrassing for school!). I’ve been searching forever for a facial moisturizer for acne WITHOUT coconut oil (it was great the first week, then I broke out like never before!) and I’m having so much trouble.

      Do you think you could make a recipe for acne-prone skin? Thanks!

    • Kristen,
      I’ve been wanting to make a daily face moisturizer with spf. Carrot seed oil has a high software so I’m definitely making this recipe. I also have some non-nano zinc oxide powder and was wondering if it could be added to this recipe? It would boost the spf but I don’t know if it would alter the feel of it.

  • I can’t wait to try this lotion recipe! My skin definitely needs a coconut break. One question: what is the lotion consistency at room temperature? Is it hard like coconut oil (I live in the Pacific Northwest so my coconut oil is pretty hard except during a couple months in the summer) or an actual lotion consistency?

    Thanks! I really enjoy your blog.

    • Hey JennB, The consistency is a harder “butter” consistency vs. a liquid lotion, like we are used to in the store. I scoop it out of the jar with my finger and a little bit goes a long way (I use it for both face and body). The melting of the shea butter and then “whipping” helps it maintain a bit softer consistency.

  • 5 stars
    Hi! Found your site through Pinterest and I’m so glad I did! I love this recipe and can’t wait to try it out. I also loved your comment about the intense ‘selling’ of essential oils! I am just getting in to it, but it seems like if you’re not using the one or two popular brands then you’re not using the right thing! I’ve found a brand that I really like, at a much more reasonable price..and they are no less effective 🙂 Thank you for being a voice of reason!

  • Thank you for being honest about the essential oils. It is really nice to see that some bloggers aren’t out there solely for money. 🙂

    • Hey Stephanie, the price will depend on what you have on hand. If buying everything for the first time you could spend anywhere from $20-30. The oil and essential oils can be used lots of times (there will be LOTS leftover from the recipe). The shea butter, if purchasing one like the size above will last two times ($9). I also have a local shop that sells their own packaged shea butter for $2/2oz. (this recipe calls for 4 oz.). This recipes makes about a 1/2 cup. Hope that helps :).

  • I’ve made two batches of homemade lotion and both have come out too greasy for my husband’s tastes. I’m using them on my currently sunburned arms, lol, but I’m still looking for that elusive “perfect” lotion for him. Yours is next up on my list – thank you for creating one without coconut oil (which seems to be the main greasy issue)!

  • does it matter if you use refined vs. unrefined shea butter? I want to make a large batch to give away as presents so I’m trying to buy the shea butter in bulk but the suggested brand only sells small jars.

    • Hi Debbie, All the ingredients are shelf-stable, so a preservative isn’t needed. I’d recommend storing this lotion in a glass jar if you choose to use essential oils.

  • Is there a substitute for shea butter? My daughter is allergic, darn it, and we are trying to move away from chemicals as well. Thanks!

  • I just made my first batch. I didn’t want to use coconut oil because it doesn’t seem to help with my dry skin. I used the sweet almond oil, lavender essential oil, vitamin E oil and the tea tree oil. The lotion is more oily than what I was expecting but I am waiting to see if it will help with the dry skin. The consistency of the lotion in the glass jar is harder than I also expected after whipping the oils together. I am liking the fragrance so far.

    • Hi Kimberly, Sounds great. The lotion should be hard (not like store-bought lotion), but spreadable. It will be a bit greasy when it first goes on, but within minutes should be absorbed by the skin. Enjoy :).

  • 5 stars
    Looking forward to making this recipe. I’m not a fan of oily moisturizer and so far I have only made a recipe that called for coconut oil (which I love for all other applications). As a newbie I’m not sure how to clean the utensils / jars. Appreciate any advice. Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Dee, I use glass jars to store this (pint-size mason jars)and then clean the jars with lots of soapy water. Enjoy the moisturizer. Let me know how it works for you.

  • I have been reading through your lotion & cream recipes, and they sound wonderful. I do have a question about the essential oils. Are they somewhat ‘perfume-y’ or can I just add some real vanilla for fragrance or make them unscented somehow? I tend to not like something very strong smelling. I realize that the essential oils may have some beneficial reason for being in the lotion but just wondered if you could help me with this aspect. Thanks for all the natural recipes!

  • 5 stars
    I made a batch of this with just the shea butter, sweet almond oil, and lavender as that’s all I had on hand at the time. I would really like to add the carrot seed oil…would I be hurting anything to melt what I have down (like if I just set the jar in a pan of water and heated it until it got soft) and add the carrot seed oil? I made the batch just a few days ago, so very little of it is gone! I do love it, though, and am so appreciative you shared your recipe. Coconut oil, while I love taking it internally, has never brought about any miracles topically; I have actually found it to be drying to my skin. Yay for shea! 🙂

    • Hey Maria, I agree about coconut oil… it’s great, but not for everyone. So glad you like the shea butter alternative. I would simply add the carrot seed oil to the lotion and mix. I’ve done that many times without any issues.

  • Looks like a great recipe! I need a lotion that can be used from a squeeze bottle or a pump. I’m thinking of trying this recipe, but doubling the oil to 4 TBSP. Have you tried this recipe with that ratio? Do you think it would work for a pump?


  • I tried it and really like this recipe. It’s my first recipe attempt, but I honestly don’t feel the need to hunt around and try other recipes :).

    It was late and I misread the recipe for the first batch so I put in 1/4 C shea. I thought, that’s not gonna work and added 2 more TBL of shea, which ended up being basically equivalent to your original recipe!

    I’m letting go of trying to make it squeezable from a bottle and am just putting it in jars. If anyone has tried this with a pump I’d like to know if it worked.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    • Hey Beth, Thanks for sharing! I’m so glad you like it. Sounds like the lotion came out perfectly even with the misreading which turned to be correct lol :). Enjoy!!

  • Oh, I had to laugh when I read this post this morning. I just ruined my kombucha scoby – and yes, mourning is in order.

    I make my own shea butter cream too – but I’ve never added carrot oil – so I’ll have to try that in my next batch.

    Enjoying your blog! Micaela @MindfulMomma

  • 5 stars
    THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I am back on the site to get the recipe again! This will be my second batch and I LOVE this body lotion. Then one day I was out of face serum and started using this and guess what? My face has finally cleared up from all the meds I’m on. THEN I ran out of this all-together and grabbed some coconut oil and used it. AGH!!! Now my knit capris are nasty as they have oil marks all over them and I didn’t even put them on until 1/2 hour after the oil. That had happened to so many of my yoga pants this winter that I said forget it—no more coconut oil.And now I have a lotion I love 100 x’s more! Thanks again!

    • Hey Patty, Yay!! I’m so happy you’re able to get back on. We’ve been trying to find the problem since you wrote. I’m so happy you love the lotion. I need to make another batch today. Blessings, Kristin

  • Hi,

    I am new to DIY skin care product. And I have some questions. I don’t know if the question as already been asked, but do you know how long the lotion is good? Do I have to throw it away if I don’t use all of it in a period of time?

    Thanks alot.

  • Is there a way to adapt this recipe to turn it into a whipped body butter? Do the essential oils act to keep the bacteria from colonizing in the lotion? I am new to making my own lotions. Thanks in advance for your reply.

    • Hey Nanette, I’ve tried creating a recipe that stays “whipped” and super fluffy without success. This lotion will be spreadable, but not whipped after sitting on the counter for a couple days. There’s no concern for bacteria growth because we aren’t adding any water to the recipe. The essential oils add beneficial properties for the skin. Hope that helps :).

  • Hi Kristin,
    I thought I had posted my question but can’t find it here, so I’ll try again. I don’t know how blogs work! Anyway, I cannot stand the smell of tea tree oil, ‘tho a bit in the cleaning stuff I tolerate, just because the whole formula works so well! But having that aroma, even the small amount it calls for, in my body lotion, ain’t gonna fly. So, my questions are:

    1) What is the purpose of the tea tree oil?
    2) Is it essential for the effectiveness of the lotion?

    Thank you so much. I’m loving the recipes I have made: laundry detergent, surface cleaner, astringent and facial cleansing oil.


    • Hey Dorothy,

      I received your message this time. Yay!!

      Tea tree does have an interesting smell. You can definitely leave it out in this recipe. It does add benefit for the skin, but leaving it out will still create a wonderful lotion. I wouldn’t replace it with a a different, although you could up the lavender amount just to compensate, if desired.

      • Hi All! I left out the tea tree oil bc I didn’t have and used a few drops of lemon EO instead (I read it has a similar antibacterial affect) so figured I’d try it. Also, I didn’t have lavender on hand so my lotion does have more of a shea butter smell. I also added some vitamin E oil and some rosehip oil . I love it, thanks so much!! At first I thought I missed something bc my lotion hardened but read another comment and was relieved. Thought it would be creamier but still very nice. May add more oil next time around. Great lotion.

        • Awesome, Kathryn! I’m so glad you like it. Yes, it’s a bit harder than the creamy lotions from the store (adding coconut oil is usually the solution many people use for making a soft, whipped homemade lotion), but hopefully it’s still spreadable :). Enjoy!!

  • Thank you Kristen. I am ready to go try this! Well. . . on Monday. After a week of house guests, I’m flat on my couch right now!

  • Kristen, I just made my first batch of Lotion w/o Coconut Oil. I am in heaven! After putting the finished product in the glass jar, I took the Kitchen Aid bowl and whisk up to my shower, showered and got every last dab out of the bowl onto my body. Oversharing I may be, but I’ve been stroking my skin all afternoon! I used Lavender, Rose~Geranium and Orange Oils, skipping the Rosemary and Tea Tree. What an incredible recipe. Thank you so much for sharing this with us dried out beauties.

  • Hello !

    I just found your website while looking for a moisturizing lotion recipe for my 6 years old daughter and myself . Would this one work on a child ? (I would use it as a body lotion for her, not on her face)

    Also would it work without essential oils ? My daughter has asthma and our pediatrician recommended to stay away from essential oils for now 🙂

    thank you !

    • Hey Margaux, This lotion is perfect for an adult and child. My daughter (2) likes to put some on after bath time just like mommy. You can leave the essential oils out and still create a wonderful lotion. The essential oils are added for their skin benefits, but the oil and shea work on the moisturizing.

    • I wonder if your pediatrician is confusing true essential oils with “fragrances” used in perfumes. There are several essential oils that are indicated for asthma (much backed up by scientific research).

      Helichrysum (pretty much any of the species, except Helichrysum splendidum) is rich in 1,8 cineole (also known as eucalyptol) on which there is a great deal of research backing up the following theraputic properties: expectorant, mucolytic, mucociliary, antitussive, bronchodilator, and anti-inflammatory (it’s actually an ingredient commonly found in many products that are indicated for all sorts of respiratory conditions)

      Other oils rich in cineole are Eucalyptus (globulus and radiata – radiata more for children) and Rosemary (ct. cineole). I’m sure you’ve heard of Eucalyptus. It’s pretty much everywhere.

      Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) is rich in linalyl acetate, known for its antispasmodic properties (can help relieve the spasmodic coughing associated with asthma) as well as for easing the tension and anxiety due to the attack. Linalool (another key constituant) is known for its anti-inflammatory properties (as is linalyl acetate). The two combined can pack a theraputic punch against inflammation of the airway.

      There are other oils rich components that have some serious scientific backing that are beneficial to those suffering from asthma.

      Before completely dismissing essential oils, I would seek out and consult with a certified aromatherapist in your area. She or he will know the safest and most effective oils and their concentrations as well as methods of application (inhalers, et. al.) If that consultation proves hopeful, let her pediatrician know of your intentions. The aromatherapist and physician should both be aware of what the other is using in case of contraindications between physician-prescribed medications and what the aromatherapist suggests.

      Regardless of what path(s) you choose to follow, I wish you the best of luck with your daughter.

  • 5 stars

    A big thanks to you for this wonderful recipe. This is my second DIY try and its absolutely fantastic. My skin drinks this lotion! Even though my skin is super dry, I find this lotion too greasy on the face. Would you please suggest any variation that would work on face too?

  • If I use kokum or mango butter instead of shea will I need that many drops of EO? I know shea has a stronger smell than two mentioned above.

    • Hey Sarah, The oil amounts are more for skin benefits than aroma, but you can reduce the amounts and still create a great lotion product. I’ve never tried kokum or mango butter in this recipe, so I’m not sure how those would effect the lotion’s scent. Let me know how it goes.

  • Hi Kristin, I just made this lotion and it is more yellowish in color, is that okay? Can i melt the lotion again and add more lavander oil or vanilla oil because i am not liking the smell of the tea tree oil. Thank you.

    • Hey Lea, The color of the lotion will vary with shea butter. The shea butter I now use (listed above) is more yellow as it’s unrefined. So a yellow color is perfectly normal :). You can add more lavender directly to the whipped lotion as it’s probably still soft and can be stirred into the lotion. You can also melt the mixture back down, just make sure it’s over a low heat to protect the EOs.

  • 5 stars
    I just found your site, and can’t wait to try this.

    I, too, would love to find the beautiful jars you used. I tried the Amazon link in one of your comments above, but it took me to Bell quilted jars, which are not nearly as cute. Could you tell me who manufactured the jars? It might be marked on the lid.


  • Oh yay! I am so excited to have a different variety of natural lotion to try! I really dislike the way coconut oil feels on my fingers, so I gave up on handmade lotions. I don’t have much time to make things from scratch, but I am trying to do better! Can’t wait to give this a shot! Thanks!

  • Has anyone ever mentioned a peanut like scent to the shea butter? I made this recipe and the only thing that I can say is that’s the first thing I notice and it turns me off. I put lavender and frankincense oils, but they seem to be masked by this strong peanut odor. Any suggestions?

  • Hello Kristin Marr
    I have also just found this site while looking for a DIY Lotion to make and this one seams to be just right. I have only one question about the measurements.
    You mentioned 2 TB skin-nourishing oil, is that 2 Table Spoons??? I am more familiar with metric measurements. I like your site and the way you get back to people to answer their questions. My compliments!

  • Thank you for this recipe! Coconut oil is great for skin but not for the face because it does clog pores (NakedTruthBeauty). Shea butter with Jojoba is really great and does not clog whatsoever! Argan oil is also good since it is a “dry oil” and will soak in quickly. I will be making this tonight since I just found a Mother’s Cupboard store near my workplace!

  • I am 51 and my face is like leather. I have been trying the oil cleanse and that didn’t work. I can’t seem to find anything natural for my face that gives me the moisture I need and doesn’t make me break out. Help!! Can I put this lotion on my face?

  • Hi, does this recipe melt in warmer temps the way a coconut oil-based butter does? I’m trying to find the right oil combination so this lotion isn’t too greasy but still moisturizing and that won’t melt or liquefy in warm weather. I’m thinking mango butter with either argan or almond oil. Thanks, looking forward to trying this for holiday gifts!

  • Thank you so much for this recipe. Coconut oil just seems to sit on my skin and does next to nothing to hydrate me. I have always had dry skin, and living in the New Mexico desert has done nothing to improve the situation. I subscribed to your blog because you don’t seem to be pushing any specific brand of essential oil. I am heartily sick of the (two) big companies talking about how they are better they than anyone else and using scare tactics to keep uninformed people afraid to use any other brand. Keep up these wonderful articles!

  • Kristin, the hemp oil doesnt say if it is refined or not but it says cold pressed and is organic. I actually used sunflower seed oil but find the cream too greasy, is that because of the oil I used? I dont mind it like this on my body but its too much on my face, any ideas? Sue

  • I believe I am allergic to Shea butter (I have reactions to latex). I tried this recipe but my face is now even more dry than it was. Is there an alternative to shea butter?

  • You could also use an herbal infused oil. I personally love calendula infused oil in this. Nice simple Recipe. I do cut down on the amount of EO due to the scent and for sensitivity reasons from EO. Vanilla is nice if scent is what you are looking for.

  • Hi! You mentioned in one of the other comments that there is a link to a page with other EO’s that are good for your skin, but I’m not seeing that link. Am I blind? Is it possible to point out where that link is? I really want to make a sort of fall-chai smelling lotion but don’t know if the EO’s that would make that smell are safe for skin! Thanks!

  • I just wanted to say thank you. One of my children has a coconut allergy, and I have struggled for years to find skin care that doesn’t contain coconut. I can’t wait to make this! My daughter will be so happy that she can actually kiss me and touch my face again.

  • Hi Kristin,

    I am allergic to coconut oil so looking forward to trying this and giving some away as Christmas gifts. I have a few questions:

    1) If I want to create my own fragrance, can I use different essential oils in the same proportions you mention? Or are some of them specifically necessary for consistency, preservative effect, etc.?

    2) Can I add vanilla extract for scent, or will that make the lotion spoil faster?

    3) Can I store this in metal tins instead of glass jars? (like the ones at Freund)

    Thanks so much for this tutorial! One of the few out there not using coconut oil!

    • Hey Shae, I love giving this lotion away for Christmas presents! Here are the answers to your questions:

      1/ Yes, you can. You can stick with the amounts called for, adding your own skin-safe oils.
      2/ Vanilla would be lovely in this recipe! You could either use vanilla essential oil or vanilla extract. Just careful with the vanilla extract as it’s made from pure vodka if someone has sensitive skin, depending on the amount you use. Luckily, because the vanilla extract is made with alcohol, the lotion will not spoil faster (just avoid water in the lotion, as it can cause bacteria growth).
      3/Metal can cause the oils to leach, so may not be the best choice for long-term storage. If you want a metal-look, then I would use stainless steel containers (if they exist) or glass.

      You’re very welcome! Enjoy!!!

  • I’ve been looking for a recipe to make for Christmas presents (and for myself!) and this one sounds great. I have a few questions before I get started.

    1 – My skin is super oily… what is the best oil you would recommend to use? I use coconut oil to clean my face every night and then wash it off, which works great for removing my makeup. But, I’ve tried a whipped coconut oil recipe to use as lotion and it just doesn’t absorb into my skin.

    2 – I live in Florida, so should this be kept in the refrigerator?

    3 – It would be a little too costly for me to buy all of those essential oils, so if you had to pick 2 or 3 oils, what would you recommend and how much should I use?

    Thanks so much!!!

    • Hey Laura, Here are a few answers :):

      1/ I have very oily skin too. I like jojoba oil. I’ve had the same issue with coconut oil not absorbing in my skin.
      2/ I live in Florida too :). I keep my lotion on the counter. It won’t melt, even on the hottest of Florida days.
      3/ I would choose the oils that you’ll be able to use most commonly use in other recipes: lavender and tea tree. You’ll be able to use both those oils in many cleaning recipes and other cosmetics. There are many recipes calling for those oils on the blog under cleaning and cosmetics :).


      • Awesome that we have a few things in common! Thanks so much for the quick response! I can’t wait to try the recipe and to give the women in my family this lotion as a Christmas gift!!! Take care and I’ll keep following your blog for sure. 🙂

  • Hi there! I am very excited to try this recipe, as I have like many other readers, been having problems finding non-coconut-oil recipes. I suffer from oily skin and I will be using cocoa butter instead of shea. I was wondering if you had any luck with adding other ingredients to this mixture. I am curious about pure aloe vera gel? If it is 99% pure aloe vera gel and the other 1% I believe is alcohol, then would it mix well? I know adding water or water based ingredients is a no-no. But in your opinion do you think aloe vera gel would mix?

  • I can’t wait to try this recipe! I tried another homemade lotion recipe with beeswax and I found it to be too hard to spread for my taste.

    Just curious — could I use sunflower seed oil as the oil in this recipe? I have a lot on hand as I use it in my face oil. Would the lotion be about the same consistency as if I used the others you mentioned? Also, if I don’t use essential oils, should I increase the amount of base oil?

    Thanks so much! So glad to have found your site 🙂

    • Hey CC, I’ve never used sunflower seed oil, but if you already enjoy this oil on your skin, I think it will probably work very well! If you don’t use any of the essential oils, you can keep the amount of nourishing oil the same. No need to increase that amount. The essential oils don’t add any “oil” to the recipe, just added benefits :). Enjoy!!

      I’m very glad you found Live Simply too. Welcome!

      • Thanks for your reply! I gave it a try with sunflower oil this afternoon and it worked well. It feels pretty oily/liquidy when I first put it on (though it’s hardish in the jar), but once I start rubbing it in it feels great. It’s a couple hours later and I still feel moisturized but not greasy.

        A quick idea for any fellow lazy readers out there: I melted the shea butter in a small mason jar that I put into a pan of water, then after cooling it in the freezer I just whipped it with a fork right in the jar. It seemed to create the whipped cream consistency just as well as a mixer. And if you store the lotion in the same jar, you’re left with only a single fork to wash 🙂

        I’ll definitely try the essential oils next time to add some scent. Thanks again!

        • Great tip, CC! Thank you for sharing.

          I’m so glad the sunflower oil worked well. I used to apply multiple “coats” of lotion a day, but since using this lotion I’ve found my skin stays nice and moisturized all day long. I’m so glad you’re finding the same thing to be true.

          Enjoy!! And congrats on making homemade lotion :).

  • Just found your site, it’s such a gem. Can’t wait to try out all these wonderful recipes. I wonder where did you get that white waffle weave towel as shown in the second picture? Been wanting to get these but couldn’t find one. Thx!

  • I am excited to try and make this lotion but i don’t understand what you mean by 2 TB in your ingredients:

    2 TB skin-nourishing oil, such as: jojoba, avocado, apricot, or sweet almond oil. This can even be coconut oil.

    that might be a stupid question but what is that

    • Hey Jessie, You’ll need 2 tablespoons of a nourishing oil. The “such as” suggestions are options you can use based on your own preference and skin. I like jojoba oil, but everyone is different. Hope that clarifies! Let me know if you have any questions.

  • Yes!. I am routinely searching for coconut-free options. It’s an allergy that many don’t think exists. But it does. Shea butter is my best friend as is apricot oil. Never thought to combine them. Will have to try this out!. 🙂 Thank you.

  • thank you! i was wondering if there was something i could add to it that would make it more of a lotion… like less thick and creamy. i haven’t tried making it yet, because I’m still waiting on the shea butter to come in the mail, but just from the ingredients it seems as if it would be more solid then liquidy like a lotion

    • Hey Jessie, You could try adding more nourishing oil (but not too much as that will make it very oily). The other option is adding coconut oil (if you’re okay with coconut oil on the skin) as that will increase the amount made and create a softer lotion.

  • Hi, just made this today for the first time. Used the unrefined Shea butter and jojoba oil, didn’t have carrot seed oil, but subbed basil. It’s a very moisturizing ‘feel’ compared to the coconut oil. So far, so good.
    I saw where some people were asking about clean-up. I wipe out my glass measuring cup that I use to melt the Shea and jojoba in a hot water bath with a paper towel and then use Dawn dish soap for the final cleaning. Works like a champ.

  • I am looking forward to trying this recipe. I have some shea butter, but it smells weird so I am going to try the mango butter. I also love Plant Therapy. Besides great essential oils, they have a variety of carrier oils, so I may experiment with one of those. I have been wanting to try hazelnut, which is supposed to be good for oily skin.

    • Wonderful, Jan! I’ve never tried mango butter, but a lot of people really like to use it when making this lotion. I love Plant Therapy too. I just started using their carrier oils and love the quality and price.

  • Hi Kristin,
    Thank you for this recipe – I can’t wait to try. My question is that if I want to switch up the EO’s in the recipe do you have a reference as to know how much to sub? IE if I wanted to use Frankincense and Myrrh instead of Rosemary and Tea Tree oil – is it a straight substitution of drop amounts? I am still new to all this and want to make sure I don’t overdue it with the oils!
    Thank you in advance

  • Just made this, but I used RAW shea butter. Quite a smell. So, I’m wondering what are the best essential oils to mask a sort of baby poop-ish (for lack of a better word) smell of RAW shea butter? 😀

  • I just found this recipe today and I’m so excited to try it out!

    I was wondering whether you’ve tried mixing different butters? For example, using both shea butter and cocoa butter in the same lotion?

    I was also wondering whether you’ve been able to use this moisturizer without having to switch things up again? At the start of your post you said that you changed from your coconut moisturizer because your skin was beginning to get irritated. Did you eventually find the same thing with this shea butter moisturizer?

    Last question: do you have any idea where I can buy these butters and oils in Canada? The products that you link to on Amazon.com are infinitely more expensive on Amazon.ca 🙁 I assume you don’t know, but I figured it doesn’t hurt to ask.

    • Hey Courtney,

      I haven’t tried different butters in the recipe. Many readers have mentioned using mango butter. I personally think a combo of shea and cocoa butter would be great!
      I’m still using this lotion. I love that it sinks into my skin and doesn’t leave the dry feeling left by coconut oil. There are times when I run out and due to laziness I just use pure shea butter for a few days, but overall this is my go-to lotion still. I also use a homemade argan oil serum once or twice a week at bedtime instead of this lotion (the recipe is coming soon and it’s super easy!), just to mix things up.

      For the butters and oil, I’m not sure about purchasing in Canada. Maybe check with Plant Therapy for the oils and Mountain Rose Herbs for the butters? They may ship to Canada at decent prices.

    • Courtney – I’ve tried both cocoa & shea butters but not together & I prefer shea butter. I also liked the shea better b/c it kept my skin moisturized longer. As for where to get oils in Canada, Zehrs or a health food store. Here in southern Ontario, KW region, I go to S & H Health foods. Their prices are decent & I can usually find everything I need.

  • Hey Kristin! This will be my first time making my own lotion and I’m pretty new to EOs as well. Is this lotion okay to use on my kids with all the EOs in it? Thanks!

  • 5 stars
    Hi Kristin, I made this lotion tonight. I’ve had it with Olay and their overpriced products that have a bunch of stuff in them that I’m sure I don’t need. It’s my first attempt at making my own beauty products. I’ve been reading all over the internet to find recipes for making my own and it seems I like yours the best.I was reading too fast and missed the rosemary but it still turned out well and I love the smell, shea butter doesn’t bother me in the least. This feels great on my skin. Thank you so much for all your hard work and sharing what you’ve learned with us. You do a wonderful job of writing, explaining recipes and answering questions. I appreciate you.
    ~ Sincerely, a new fan, Annie 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Annie! I’m so honored to have the opportunity to share recipes, tips, and stories with such an amazing community. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the lotion. Making homemade products is such an empowering feeling–knowing what’s in the product and how it is made.

  • Have you tried this lotion recipe in a Pump Dispenser? Or would it be too thick to dispense this way? Thank you in advance.

  • Hi! I just ordered a few of the things I can’t find in my hometown from amazon, and can’t wait to make this! Do you use this just in place of a facial moisturizer? I have done homemade lotions, but looking for something I can use for my face as well. Will it be oily? Do you wear it under makeup? Will the EO’s cover things such as anti-wrinkle/acne issues?

    • Hey Shanay, I use this lotion for a facial moisturizer. The lotion easily absorbs into my skin, but a little bit goes a very long way. The oils will help “maturing” 🙂 (*raises hand*) and acne-prone skin. I wear this lotion under make-up. Enjoy!!

  • Hi Kristin. I just happened on your site today looking for a good recipe for a rich hand cream and am excited to try out your recipe…it will be the first time I make my own body product. I plan on using very small canning jars and lids to put the cream in. My question is: do you sterilize your containers or is it just sufficient to wash them in hot soapy water and dry them? What do you do to prepare them?

    • Hey Kellie, Welcome to Live Simply! I just wash my jars with hot soapy water and dry them. As long as the jars don’t have any standing water (or leftover food particles) bacteria won’t grow :).

  • 5 stars
    I have made this recipe three times so far and every time I do love it but I find it ends up turning pretty hard. Doesn’t look as soft and fluffy as yours does in the pictures or on the video. Is there something you think I could be doing wrong? Maybe whipping it too much. I was hoping to continue with this lotion but I would love it to be more creamy and easy to spread. Thank you for your help.

    • Hey Jillian,

      I’m not sure what may be happening. Within a few days of making this recipe, the lotion will feel hard but should still be spreadable and easy to scoop from the container. One suggestion is to try cooling the mixture in the freezer, but not allowing it to fully freeze. Then whip the semi-frozen ingredients. I think that may help produce more of a whipped consistency.

  • 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this awesome recipe! I just printed it out and am going to try it today. (Luckily, I already have all the essential oils.) I thought you might also like to know of CamdenGrey.com, another excellent source of pure, high-quality essential oils (and other supplies, such as Shea butter etc.). I’ve purchased from them over the years and their quality is consistently high, their customer service excellent, and their prices are almost always much lower than other places.

  • Hi Kristin, I’m happy to find your recipe and want to try it soon as my first ever made moisturizer, I was just wondering whether argan oil would work instead of the jojoba etc. oils. And if so any difference in storing/preparation? I have dry, flaky skin and already use argan for hair .. Thanks

  • Hello Kristin,

    I was very happy when I searched your blog but was very disappointed when I ordered them all from Amazon only to find out that they don’t ship all the items (raw shea butter and all essential oils) in my location/ country 🙁

    Is there any option? I would really love to try this. BTW, my location is Bahrain

    • Hey Roxan, I don’t know enough about international shipping to really answer your question…I’m sorry :(. I wonder if the ingredients could be found at local shops/stores in your area?

  • Yay no coconut oil! I am allergic to treenuts and have a sensitivity to coconut. So it makes me a bit insane to see all the recipes say coconut oil then suggest almond if a commenter says they’re allergic.
    Thanks much!
    P.S. I’m still not sure how I am with Shea butter, but I plan to use mango for such things. Thanks again for sharing!

  • Hi Kristin,

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! Any tips for how to wash my hand mixer and bowl after I make the lotion? The shea butter is really tough and too waxy to use a sponge with, eek! Thanks.

    • Hey Cassandra, I usually let the bowl and mixer attachment soak in really hot water for a couple of hours with a grease-fighting soap. After a couple of hours, the shea butter is easier to remove. Clean-up is definitely the hardest (dirtiest) part of this recipe.

  • Hi Kristin, thank you for the recipe. I don’t have any skin nourishing oils such as jojoba, sweet almond that you mention. Can I ommit it? And can I use only lemon oil instead of other EO for night cream for skin brightening? Thank you Kristin 🙂

    • Hey Muthia, Lemon oil will work if the lotion is applied at night. I wouldn’t use lemon oil for a daytime face lotion since citrus oils are sensitive to light. I’ve never tried making this lotion without the nourishing oil, so I’m not sure how the change will effect the recipe. Let me know if you try it!

  • I followed the recipe, using sunflower oil for the nourishing oil and whipped ingredients 1 to 2 minutes which was too long and it got hard. After reading more posts, I re-melted, re-cooled and re-whipped for just 30 seconds and it was still hard. Any suggestions? I hate wasting the oils! It is really too hard to use and doesn’t melt on the skin like coconut oil would. Any ideas before tossing this?

    • Hey Jennifer, My guess is that the oil you used didn’t take to being chilled and whipped? That’s all I can think of at the moment since I don’t have any experience with that particular oil in this recipe. I’m sorry to hear it’s still very hard and doesn’t melt or absorb into your skin :(. I’m not really sure what else you can do. I wonder if you could use it for a shaving cream since it doesn’t absorb into the skin?

  • Because I use this lotion on my face as well, I am thinking of adding zinc powder for sun protection. Do you think it will work?

    Thank you.

  • Does the addition of carrot oil make for a 30-40 spf moisturizer? I only use moisturizer with an spf and reading the question of adding zinc, I’m wondering if that’s necessary? Thanks, by the way, for the recipes!

    • Hey Kelsy, Some studies suggest that carrot seed oil aids in sun protection, so that’s why it’s added to this recipe. The zinc, in this recipe, contains the highest amount of sun protection so I believe it’s necessary.

  • So excited that I found your website! I recently discovered aveeno tests on animals (don’t know why it took me so long) and in my search to find a new moisturizer I found your website! I’d like to try this but am wondering would it be ok to substitute honey for the oil? My skin tends to get oily if I use to many oil products, and I’m thinking since I cleanse with coconut oil that would be a lot. Thanks!

    • Hey Addy, Honey may work. My only concern would be a sticky consistency added by the honey, but it may be worth experimenting with this addition. Let me know how it goes!

  • I’m happy to see a recipe without coconut oil, it’s pretty environmentally unfriendly. (I may be biased because I discovered I’m allergic after using it for a year.) But you know what absorbs into the skin really well and can be grown and processed locally? Lard! Just not the shelf stable stuff with the alphabet soup of preservatives. It’s really similar to the oil the skin naturally produces (pig skin’s close enough to ours that it can be used for transplants for burn victims). And it feels so much less greasy than you’d expect.

    • Hey Alia, You’re right–lard and tallow are pretty amazing for the skin. I don’t have a local (accommodating) source for lard (even though we purchase our beef and pork in bulk from a farmer), but if you have an excellent source and can render your own fat, using lard or tallow is excellent for the skin.

  • I made this lotion, but it’s too thick. I don’t know if my kitchen aid bowl/whisk is too large for the recipe or if I did something wrong in my measurements. I ran the kitchen aid on high trying to get the lotion to “fly” around so it could be whisked. Could I add more liquid oil (I used jojoba) or maybe use something smaller like my hand blender or emulsifier to fluff it up? This is my first homemade non food item so please excuse my ignorance. Thank you!

    • Hey Heidi, Hmmm…I’m not sure what may have happened. Usually the lotion only takes up about a quarter of my KitchenAid Bowl. In the end you should have a thick, but spreadable lotion.

      You can try melting the lotion back to a liquid state (use a double-broiler so the oils don’t burn) and then try whipping it with an immersion (hand) blender. Let me know how it goes!

  • Thank you! I did as you suggested. Completely different texture. I will have to either make a larger batch or just use the emulsifier next time. Thank you for the help!!

  • Is there a way I can make this moisturiser less thick? Should I just add more oils or is there a seperate ingredient I need to add?

  • You should also never let your boyfriend open the jar of Kimchi for you, because he will open it quickly and make it explode everywhere. (Also, your dogs probably won’t even eat it for you in this situation, so you have to clean it up….) Thanks for sharing this lotion recipe! I’m totally going to try it.

  • Hi Kristin, thanks for the recipe on this moisturizer. I’m very new at this, so quick question. I don’t have a mixer, so trying to see if I could whip it any other way. From the sound of it, it’ll be in solid state when whipping is needed. If I use a manual whisk to whip it, do you know how long it’ll take?

  • 5 stars
    Hello Kristin, I have been having numerous issues with my facial skin for over a year and trying many different (expensive) products (in addition to a $250 dermatologist who did nothing but tell me to put vaseline on my face and gave me a prescription for a steroid cream!). I have been using your recipe for about 3 weeks now and notice my skin is much softer and the my other issues are improving slightly. Thank you so much for this recipe! My face was really stressing me out and now I feel so much better. I also tried your toothpaste recipe and love it! I printed off several other recipes and am going to try them too. Keep up the good work! Oh, ever think of coming up with something for hair? Regards. Shari

    • Hey Shari, Thank you so much for sharing. I’m so excited for you!! I’m currently working on one hair product (it’s not quite perfect yet), and hopefully more in the future. Enjoy the recipes and amazing skin!

  • 5 stars
    Thank you for a recipe without coconut oil! I found that I was allergic to it! My face would break out!! There aren’t too many recipes without it. I love coconut, but noticed I would get a headache after consuming it. Anyway, thank you and I can’t wait to try it!

  • Hi Kristin! I ordered the shea which you linked to in your recipe, it arrived and boy does it have not the best smell. I went ahead and made the lotion, using sweet almond and the essential oils you had suggested. The lotion continues to have a strong weird smell. Did I get a bad batch or have you had other comments about the smell of shea in general? Have you ever received a rancid batch from this company?
    Thanks so much, other than the funky smell, the lotion is really nice 🙂

    • Hey Kristin, I would definitely contact the shea butter company and let them know. The shea butter should not have a rancid scent. Some people don’t care for shea butter and think it smells like peanut butter, but I haven’t heard of a rancid scent issue (yet). Let me know how it goes!

  • Hey Kristin,

    I was just wondering if you could use rose hip seed oil instead of carrot seed oil with this recipe. If not, what would you suggest as a more affordable substitute?

  • I’m new to shea butter. I tried this recipe today and I applied to my face, body and also my wet hair. it was so good for all of them. I don’t think I need to buy any other skin/hair moisturizer products ever again! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  • I like this recipe. I actually have all these ingredients except the carrot seed oil. I’m 3 months pregnant with my second and I’m trying to prevent more “tiger stripes”. I was thinking aaallll the recipes I’d find were coconut oil based which would totally suck during the Texas summer. I’d rather not smell like a snack….lol.

  • Thanks for the recipe. Just wanted to add my experience with coconut oil. I used it exclusively, extra virgin organic, I applied it 2 x a day on my skin, all over. After 2 months I developed very very dry flaky skin. I’m 55 and have never had dry skin. I switched out the coconut oil for sweet almond oil and dry skin is gone.
    After doing some research this is a common problem because coconut oil does not allow any moisture in! It makes a barrier for moisture. I want to add some aloe vwra gel to this recipe and see how that works

  • 5 stars

    I love this particular combination – it works miracles on pimples. I see above that someone asks about adding zinc oxide to this recipe and it seems that you suggest following a recipe more similar to your sunscreen recipe. I’m wondering what your thoughts are on adding zinc oxide to this particular recipe? With the summer months coming, I feel more comfortable using a facial moisturizer with a stronger spf, but don’t want to use coconut oil or beeswax in my facial moisturizer. Thank you!!!

    • Hey Kelsy, Thank you for sharing! I’m so glad you love the lotion. I haven’t tried adding zinc (yet), but I think it would be a great addition! I suggest adding it during the final mixing stage.

  • 5 stars
    Hi Kristen…thanks so much for this fantastic recipe. I have been using this lotion as my night cream for the past 5 months and it leaves my skin feeling so nourished come morning. I also use this when I know I’ll be out in the sun for quite a while as the avocado oil has an SPF of 15 and the carrot seed oil has an SPF of 40. Next batch being made right now :). Thank you!

  • So glad I stumbled upon your blog, and I can’t wait to try these homemade beauty product recipes!

    I noticed your recipe does not call for an emulsifier or water, which seems to be in a lot of other DIY lotion recipes I’ve seen. What would be the purpose of adding these ingredients? Just curious since it seems like your recipe works fine without them.


    • Hey Sara, I’m so glad you found Live Simply! It’s funny you mention the water or emulsifier as I’ve been playing around with a new lotion recipe using a hydrosol (a liquid) and beeswax (emulsifier) to offer people a more “pumpable” lotion. The reason, I believe, many people add these ingredients is to give the lotion a thinner consistency (more like store-bought) lotion versus a thick butter (like this recipe). I’ve tried a few recipes out there and experimented on my own, but I haven’t had much success. My biggest concern with adding water is the possibility of bacteria growth in a shelf-stable lotion (the reason I’ve been trying a hydrosol).

  • hi Kristin

    can i use this as a face mosturiser? i cant use coconut oil either. or is there something that would work better? another recipy maybe that doesnt use coconut oil either?

    thank you

    amanda xx

  • Hi Kristin! Came across your blog after googling for a homemade moisturizer recipe. I have super, super, super (did I say it enough?) oily skin and I’m trying to find a moisturizer that doesn’t add to the problem. I tried coconut oil (because I have that on hand and use it for my body at times) as a facial moisturizer but it made it even more oily. And the creams and lotions at the store for mature skin are expensive so I figured I might as well make my own! Now, my question is, (sorry for the rambling), do you think your recipe be ok for my super, super oily skin?

    By the way, awesome blog! I saw a link to your homemade foundation powder and need to read that!

    • Hey Barb, I also have very oily skin! I recommend using a nourishing oil in this recipe that’s best suited for oily skin (Squalene and Argan have been great ones for me). I personally enjoy this lotion and find it sinks into my oily skin after a few minutes. Another option (and less work) is a facial serum as a moisturizer: https://livesimply.me/2015/01/18/diy-homemade-facial-serum/. In the summer I often use the serum on my face because I just want something a bit lighter than lotion.

      And thank you so much for the sweet blog compliment! I’m so glad you’re enjoying Live Simply!

  • nice recipe! I am making a balm using also shea butter, oils and I add beeswax to have the balm texture. I am using olive oil mainly, for my son’s eczema. I add a few drops of propolis in it, very effective for repairing skin:)
    but I don’t see any conservative in your recipe. I use 5 drops of Vitamin E, or grapfruit seed extract to avoid oils to spoil.

  • I’ve made the coconut oil moisturizer & used cocoa butter as a substitute & both work work well. I’ve recently made the shea butter recipe but added 1tsp. each of vegetable glycerin, tea tree oil & liquid vitamin E & it turned out more like a granular scrub. Can I melt it back down & whip it again? I didn’t completely melt the butter down the 1st time.

    • Hey Tami, Yes, I believe melting the formula back down and whipping it again will help! You may want to add the tea tree oil back in once it’s heated and whipped (just a small amount), since the oil may not withstand the heat. Let me know how it goes!

  • thank you so much for this recipe! I too have a problem with coconut oil on my face (although I still like it for other things). After using it for a few weeks my cheeks actually felt crunchy! I just made a face serum which is a little too oily for me. I’m going to try combining some of the serum with Shea butter and see if that’s the magic combo.

  • SO happy to come across your blog! I have seen many varieties for natural products but refreshing to read all of yours. I intend to make many, or most of them! Unfortunately many of the products listed, “don’t ship” to where I live ( Ontario) but I’m hoping to find some at the local “Goodness Me” store.

    Thank you for all of these incredible tips and recipes!

    • Hey Ingrid, It’s great to hear that you’re enjoying Live Simply and the recipes. Many local stores now sell the products used to make DIYs, so I would definitely check out your local stores–maybe they could even special order a product? Enjoy!

    • Ingrid- I live in southern Ontario so check Zehrs in the Natural Values section & there’s a S & H Health food place nearby too. Zehrs doesn’t have great prices or great selection but they do have EOs. The health food store is better for prices & has a great selection of items, especially hard to find things. Hope that helps.

  • Hi Kristin! I love your blog, and love this lotion! I like that it doesn’t need a preservative, and was wondering what the shelf life is? I have been experimenting with making my own products, and I’ve been wondering about preservatives. What products do you suggest using a preservative with? It’s so tricky! Thanks! 🙂

    • Hey Rosie, It’s great to hear you’re loving the lotion! I usually add a preservative (like Vitamin E oil, rosemary extract, or grapefruit seed extract) when a product includes water. I also make sure the water is boiled or I purchase distilled. Most of the time the products I make, which need a preservative, are used very quickly.
      When using shelf-stable ingredients (and no water) a product like this lotion should last about 12 months, although I’ve never kept it for this long.

  • Thanks Kristin, that helps! So, if I were to make a body wash or face wash (which would include water) how long do you think that would be stable for? I’m trying to figure these things out, but there’s so much information out there, it’s difficult to get the facts! I appreciate your feedback! 🙂

    • Hey Rosie, The body wash will keep for 2-3 weeks. The shelf-life is shorter for this product due to the coconut milk. One of the best ways to keep it fresh is to freeze half the body wash and then defrost in the fridge when needed–that way you can make as much as desired and just pull it out when needed. Once defrosted, I keep it in the bathroom for a max of two weeks.

      The face wash doesn’t contain a sensitive ingredient, like coconut milk. I keep my face wash on the bathroom counter for about 6 weeks at a time. You can also add about a teaspoon of Vitamin E, or the other oils mentioned (above) to help preserve it during this time.

      Most homemade products are evaluated on a case by case basis when determining shelf-life and the need for a natural preservative. I always take into account the ingredients and ask, “Are these ingredients shelf-stable? Or do any of these ingredients suggest refrigeration/quick use?”

  • I am wondering if there is a recommendation for substituting some of the essential oils in the recipe? I am a fan of peppermint and lemongrass, but I am allergic to lavender. Is there a reason to use the specific essential oils outlined in the recipe or could there be substitutions? Please advise. 🙂

    • Hey Teresa, I recommend using this recipe as a base and adding the essential oils you enjoy! Also, take into consideration safety and oils that are beneficial for the skin. The oils could also be left out :).

  • Hello, I am very interested in making your coconut oil free lotion but I have a question that I was hoping you could help me with. My daughter is allergic to peanuts and we avoid tree nuts as a precautionary measure. My research shows me that some people with nut allergies can have reactions to Shea nuts as well. Do you know if there is a substitute to Shea butter?

    Robin Ori

  • Hi, I am enjoying your blog & I’m just waiting for some ingredients to arrive from Amazon before I try this recipe!

    I’ve been reading around about xenoestrogens & to my shock, both lavender & rosemary are listed among them (sage & tea tree too in case you’re interested). It’s especially noted that topical application is a bad idea if you have estrogen dominance or are just trying to balance your hormones. Dr Peter Eckhart advises to stay away from them too. So I just thought I’d let you know in case you or any readers here are trying to avoid them like I am. I’ve been using Dr. Bronner’s lavender soap for ages & I love it, but now I have to give it up. I can’t wait to try this recipe, I’ll just have to substitute the oils for other varieties – not sure which ones yet.

    Keep up the good work! 🙂

  • Hello! I just started transitioning to all homemade products from cleaning to beauty and I love your recipes. This was my second attempt at homemade lotion and I did a slight variation to yours. I used my raw Shea butter, same amount, did two tablespoons of coconut oil, 15 drops lavendar, 5 drops tea tree along with 5 drops of skin care eo that I use daily on my face. It came out to thick so added one tablespoon of fractionated coconut oil. It turned out basically like my first batch I tried from another site. My question is 1) is there a difference from using the fractioned oil to the regular cocunut oil? And 2) mine always turn out yellow not white like everyone I see posted? Why is this? And 3) is it the coconut oil that makes the lotion somewhat greasy or my raw Shea butter? Any insight would be so greatly appreciated! My 8 month old battles with skin sensitivities and mild eczema so I’m trying to find a perfect mix I can apply to him multiple times daily that has same benefits of the lotion I made but maybe not so greasy.

    • Hey Cassie, Here are a few answers 🙂

      1. The fractionated coconut oil is liquid (will remain in the same liquid state despite temperature changes) due to the processing. The fractionated oil is perfect to use in liquid DIY recipes: liquid soaps, body wash, etc. Virgin coconut oil (will change from solid to liquid depending on temperature) can be used for lotions, lip balm, and cooking.

      2. Two factors play into the color of the lotion. I used refined shea butter to make the lotion in the pictures found in this post, hence the white color. Unrefined (which is my preference now) will produce a more yellow product. You can see the yellow color in the video post here: https://livesimply.me/2014/11/18/how-to-make-homemade-ultra-moisturizing-lotion-without-coconut-oil/. The oil used will also change the yellow hue of the lotion. White or yellow are normal :).

      3. The shea butter can feel greasy and should absorb into the skin within a few minutes. I personally think coconut oil has a drying effect when applied to the skin, but others express a greasy feeling. It may be either ingredient. With shea butter lotions/body butters, a little bit goes a long way. If you have any arrowroot flour/starch you may be able melt the lotion back down and whisk it into the lotion–this may help with the greasy feel.

  • Hi Kristin, Tons of information… Thank you! I did finally find a “pumpable” shea butter lotion that doesn’t have any junk in it, ozone layer hand and body lotion, which fits my two requirements 1. Only shea butter (I can’t use coconut oil) and 2. Does it pump?

    I hate to sound cliche “I don’t have time to make lotions” Maybe I should re-prioritize! Thanks again for the recipes

  • im so gonna try this. I too think coconut oil feels a little too greasy if too much is used but I don’t want a hard lotion either. do you think I could use 1/4c shea butter and 1/4 cup coconut oil and that will soften it up some?

      • I just made some using the 1/4c Shea butter, 1/4c coconut oil, 2 Tb sweet almond oil. I didn’t have any of the EOs you mentioned so I put in some vitamin E oil, lemon EO, jasmine EO, and a small touch of Texas cedar wood! Smells delicious and actually came out pretty smooth bc I mixed it for a while. May actually go well in a sneeze bottle. For anyone else, I really would t recommend jasmine EO. It took WAY more than what I initially thought and it still only had a very faint smell. That’s why I added the Texas cedar wood but only like 5 drops and it all balances out pretty well! Felt a little greasy when I 1st out it on my arms but it adsorbed fast and feels so good now!! Thanks for the sharing!!

  • I noticed that some people have mentioned they want a recipe that can go into a pump dispenser and that you were looking/testing for recipes. I was wondering if you have tried any of the recipes in the “Better Shea Butter” Ebook? I received this free when I purchased my first thing of Raw Shea Butter from Amazon and I find it so informative! I love that they provide their customers with this. In the book, they have a recipe called Green Tea Lotion, which is the only recipe in the book containing water. They recommend it be used in about three months. I have just tried it and substituted some of the ingredients with what I had. Just thought I would mention it! Love everything about your blog! Thanks for sharing with us readers! I have purchased your ebook and will be starting the process of cleaning out my pantry/fridge after my wedding in November. I can’t wait to start the real food challenge.

    • Hey Annie, I haven’t tried any of the recipes in the book, yet. Thank you so much for suggesting the book–I agree, I love the Better Shea Butter customer service! Congrats on your wedding in November. Enjoy the Challenge!!

  • This isn’t a lotion, but rather a whipped butter. Lotions have water and an emulsifier wax to them. The Shea butter is what is keeping this so thick and together, but it is heavy and greasy. You need water and a preservative to be a lotion.

  • I read a couple of comments about it and have to say, my lotion is rock hard as well. Made it to use it on my babies mainly but that isn’t really an option now. Can’t get them to hold still long enough until it’s melted in my hands… 🙂 Did I whip to long, to short , any other idea?

    • Hey Melanie, Yes, my guess is that the lotion was whipped too long, but the cold weather (if it’s really cold in your home) may also have something to do with the hard-as-a-rock texture… just a guess. You could try melting it back down and adding a bit more nourishing oil.

  • So why isn’t olive oil in your default recipe as its probably the most superior ingredient one could ever have in a moisturizer recipe. I can tell you don’t eat, and perhaps your should as olive oil is great for skin, hair, bones, nails…I mean it seriously rocks for your health and skin condition.

  • Hi, I made this moisturizer last night. I used mixer to make it creamy. However, when I was about to use it this morning, it becomes solid again, which is not so easy to apply. Is that same for yours? Thanks.

  • Hi, I’m wondering what is the shelf life and storage guideline for this lotion? Since it has no preservative in it except for some antioxidants, how long can I use it for? Thanks !!

  • Hey livesimply crew ❤️
    I had a field day and made your body scrub, astringent & this lotion. I’m not sure what to blame but the scrub or the lotion is causing my eczema to flair on my upper arms. Any chance you know what ingredient could be causing this? I love the concept but it’s not doing a thing to penetrate the dry spots ????

    • Hey Lindsay, I’m not sure which ingredient may be causing the eczema flare-up since everyone’s skin (and products used) can be so different. Maybe you’re allergic to an ingredient? I would discontinue using the products, then slowly once the eczema has healed, try each one by itself to rule out which product/ingredients may be causing a reaction, like an elimination diet (just the opposite method ;)).

  • Glad I found this. I am black woman with infant twins; we all have dry, sensitive “ashy” skin. It could be because of the winter season, but I haven’t used lotion in about 2 or 3 years to prevent exposure from harsh chemicals. I would usually just coat my skin, hair, and lips with coconut oil after bathing, and started implementing this method with my children. I’m noticing, however, that our skin and hair are both excessively dry in the morning. Would you mind if I used this recipe and reviewed the results on my blog (linking to your site, of course)?

    Also, if one does not have a stand mixer, how would that affect the outcome?

    • Hey Ariana, I hope this lotion is the solution you’re looking for.

      Due to copyright laws, you can’t share the actual written recipe and directions on your blog, but a review linking to the original recipe and post is perfectly fine. Thank you for asking.

    • Ariana, you’re probably experiencing extreme dryness because you cannot moisturize your skin with an oil. Oils like coconut oil help the skin retain moisture by creating a barrier, but do not actually moisturize. Most moisturizers are made up of humectants, occlusives, and emollients. Only humectants (like glycerin and hyaluronic acid) moisturize the skin. Oils fall into the occlusive and emollient categories.

  • Yes! A recipe I could actually use (that is, without coconut oil, it doesn’t go well with me at all). Thanks a lot for this recipe.

    I want to find out if I can substitute the Shea Butter with mango butter, because it is what I have….and I will also like to find out from the readers, if anyone has used the mango butter and if it came out nice?

  • 5 stars
    Hi Kristin, I’ve just made a variation of your lovely skin cream with great success. I had 100mls of babassu oil which is similar to coconut, only it sinks in faster and doesn’t leave a greasy film. I added 1tbsp of marula oil, 1 tbsp of squalane and 50 drops of essential oils (frankincense, fennel, rosemary, rosewood and carrot seed).

    Although it feels quite oily when you put it on, it sinks in in a matter of minutes and leaves your skin so soft and silky – I’m thrilled with the result. It has also retained the whipped cream texture and hasn’t hardened. This might be due to the amount of EOs in the mix.

    I have delicate (not sensitive) skin that dehydrates easily, particularly in winter and this is just what I need. Thanks so much for the basic recipe. Next time I will try mango butter as I love it too, but Babassu oil is fantastic!

  • I do not have carrot seed or Rosemary EOs and would love to make this recipe without having to buy more EOs. Can these be substituted for something else? Also, what are your recommendations for creating an on the beach/tropical coconut scented lotion? It’s my all time favorite lotion scent but sadly coconut isn’t an EO. Only a fragrance. Any recommendations on how to get that amazing scent?

  • Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I am unable to use coconut oil as I am allergic, and it is very hard to find recipes that do not include it. I will definitely be trying this one!

  • Hi, Kristin

    It is a pleasure to read through your articles. I am switching my skincare routine to a natural way and I am so glad to see your site here.
    I have on question, is there any need to put anything to function like a preservative into the moisturizer/face wash ?

    • Hey Alice, I haven’t found anything that’s 100% natural and effective as a preservative (I’m still looking). For now, I try to avoid water when possible in my products, and only make small batches of my products.

  • Hello!

    Thank you so much for your wonderful site. I appreciate all your wisdom and experience 🙂 Saves me a LOT of time! 🙂 I recently made this recipe and I think I might have done something wrong and I’m hoping you can help me. My final product turned out quite hard and crumbly. While it’ll eventually melt in my hands to apply to my face, it’s not even close to “spreadable” like you mentioned it should be. I doubled the recipe and also added extra rose hip oil instead of the carrot seed oil. I couldn’t get to my stand mixer so I used a whisk attachment on a hand mixer… maybe that was it? it didn’t whip well enough? Any thoughts? Could I remelt it and whip it more?

    • Hey Gretchen, I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog.

      I’m not sure what exactly went wrong. I recommend, as you mentioned, melting the product back down (you could even leave it in the glass container, and use a double boiler) and adding 1-2 tablespoons more of oil or shea butter. I’m not exactly sure what the lotion may need to be fixed, but it’s worth a shot! Let me know how it goes.

  • Thank you so much for this recipe! I was using coconut oil in January & it made my cheeks grossly dry & the rest of my face red & splotchy all while also being coantantly oily. I have been using just castor oil now for maybe a month (along with your homemade astringent) with GREAT results; my face has never been so clear for so long. However, I would like to have a moisturizer that is less oily & has more added benefits. So could I use castor as the nourishing oil instead of one of those listed, or are those recommended for a particular purpose?
    Thank you!

  • Hi Kristin,

    I haven’t used Shea Butter for a number of years, as I used a face cream once with Shea butter in it and it gave me reaction. Is there alternative ingredient you can suggest instead of Shea butter in case I get another reaction?

    Thank you,

  • Hi Kristin, I am very excited to try this lotion and was wondering if I could add frankincense or myhr oil as well? those are also supposed to be good for skin and I have them on hand.

  • Hi, This receipe looks great, i am going to try it for my first homemade lotion as i would like to get away from store bought lotions. as i don’t know much about it i would like to ask if this ingredients are ok together..
    – the shea butter (refined though)
    – Chamomile, roman essential oil
    As that is the only essential oil i have i would like to add one or both of my carrier oils (Argan and evening primrose)

    Would these be ok to add to your lotion? also would this lotion be ok under foundation?

    Thanks! im looking forward to making this

    • Hey Nicole, I’ve used refined shea butter in this recipe before. It will turn out more of a white color than a beige color. That’s just fine. I believe the roman chamomile essential oil will work nicely in this recipe. I’ve used this lotion/body butter under foundation many times. It takes a few minutes to sink in, and then I apply the foundation.

      • Oh i didn’t know you had replied, thanks for the reply! i will definetly be trying this tonight then 🙂 your article is great!

  • I just purchased the ingredients to make this body butter and am looking forward to it! What is the approximate shelf life for this recipe?

  • Hello, Sorry back again
    I have only just managed to make it but i think i’ve messed it up :/. i’ve not tried it on my face yet but have just tried it on the back of my hand as i’ve literally just finished making it, it feels quite oily on my hand and doesn’t seem to be sinking in.

    Stupidly, i added 2 tablespoons of argan oil then 1 tablespoon of evening primrose oil, so 3 tablespoons in total, i think this may have been the mistake, i maybe should have done 1/1 or just used argan.

    I am going to try it soon on my face but if it is too oily is there any way to rectify it? maybe adding more shea and making it into a bigger batch? or should i start again


    • Hey Nicole, I think the issue may be stemming from the argan. Argan is a beautiful oil, and from my experience with using it for an oil moisturizer, a small amount goes a long way. It tends to be oily/greasy when too much is used compared to some other oils. I haven’t personally used evening primose oil, so I’m not sure about that one, but it sounds like the issue may just be the argan. I think you could add more shea to balance out the oil, or maybe add a bit of arrowroot starch to help take away the greasy feel. I haven’t personally tried adding the arrowroot, but I’ve heard from many readers who enjoy this addition. You’ll need to mix the starch into the lotion, and I would only add 1-2 tablespoons for starters. Let me know how it goes!

  • Hello,
    I just wanted to ask how you clean the glass containers or other utensils after making the creams. I had a hard time cleaning everything and I do not want to just stick it in the dishwasher everytime since we are on well water and I don’t want the stuff to clog the pipes. Do you have an easy way to clean up after? I did try boiling water and dish soap but it was still a little greasy. Thank you so much! Love your recipe and have to make it next!

    • Hey A Lopez, I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipe! Typically I use hot water and Sal Suds. You may need to soak the tools in the hot soapy water for a few minutes to help lift the grease.

  • I have been wanting to make a lotion for men (well men scent anyway).. There are so many lotions in the stores but very few for men.

    So basically my questions are: can i use any eo blend that smells more masculine and can i use it daily?

  • Hi Kristin. Your recipe sounds great. I am going to try I using a blend of mango and chamomile butters instead of shea butter. Also, a great carrier oil is meadowfoam seed. It is a great moisturizer, non greasy and locks fragrance into skin. It is my new favorite oil I use in almost everything. I am hoping the meadowfoam and sweet almond will make it a little less hard???
    Also, I saw in one of your responses that you can’t seem to find an all natural preservative. That is because there is no such thing (unfortunately)while many plant based materials have preservative qualities there are none that are strong enough or that offer broad spectrum coverage. Have you checked out any of these- they are as close to all natural as I have been able to find. NataPres (best) Leucidal Liquid (has several variations) NeoDefend (not to be used with ingredients containing citric acids).

    • Hey Sharon, Thank you so much for sharing! I’m going to look into the preservatives you recommended–thank you! I just recently tried meadowfoam, and really enjoyed it! I bet it would be great in this recipe.

  • Hi Kristin.

    Love your blog posts and thank you for sharing this recipe, I would love to try this recipe as coconut oil breaks me out.

    Do you think I can use organic rose water instead of essential oil? I’m not sure how much I need to use in order to get that lotion texture.

    Do you have any suggestion?

  • Hi there!
    I am totally trying this recipe today!
    I have tried other lotion recipes in the past, that have included Shea butter – it is the reason I bought it. However, the butter that I bought – unrefined and all – seems to have a really strong scent that essential oils can’t seem to cover. Have you experienced this?

    • Hey Tiffany, Shea butter can have a stronger scent than other butters. And I’ve also found that the scent varies with the shea butter. I personally don’t think the Better Shea Butter brand has a really strong smell. Unfortunately, I don’t have much experience with other brands.

  • 5 stars
    Thank you Kristin!
    Just finished a batch of this, and it’s awesome! It totally reminds me of the body butter I used to buy at The Body Shop – maybe a little bit more oily.
    This is going to be everybody’s Christmas gift this year! ??
    I will definitely try Better Shea Butter when I need to stock up again.
    Thanks again!

  • Hi,
    I love your site and can’t wait to make some body butter. I was just wondering, do you know what the ph of it is? I am trying desperately to get my skin’s ph right, because I am always so incredibly dry no matter what I do.
    Thanks for sharing all of this knowledge with us!

  • Thanks for this recipe. I went to boil the shea butter and added it directly to the pot instead of above the water. Can I still use the shea butter to make the lotion or do I need to start over?

    • Hey Doesn’t Follow Directions ;), If the shea has been mixed with the water, you’ll need to start over. Unfortunately, the water will separate from the shea and oil, and you’ll need an emulsifier (like a wax) to keep this from occurring.

  • 5 stars
    Hi Kristin, I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to see this recipe but glad I did. I like mixing things up and will try this recipe. My sister is addicted to my homemade body butters and lotions, as I am 🙂
    Thanks, as always!! Love your blog.

  • just found this recipe yesterday and I’m so excited to try it out today!
    Can i use different kinds of butter? such as using both cocoa butter and shea in this same lotion?

  • Hello. I made this lotion this past weekend and I suspect I may have over whipped it. The texture is very hard. I’m wondering if its possible to melt it back down and start over. I did add the essential oils and realize they may be compromised, but at this point that may be preferable to throwing out the whole batch. What do you think? Is it worth a shot?

  • I have made both of your lotions. My legs and hands have never been so dry. I even added extra oil. Not sure what I can add or take away from this recipe to actually absorb into my skin to often instead of dry out?

    • Hey Tracy, Shea butter is in an incredibly moisturizing product. I would first try adding just shea to your legs and hands, and see if that helps, since shea is the product that will give intense moisture. If that helps, then you could just use the shea or increase the shea in this recipe. The other lotion recipe doesn’t contain shea, and I wouldn’t recommend adding it.

      I know this may sound funny and has nothing to do with lotion, but maybe the skin needs hydration and help with locking in moisture? Drinking a fair amount of water and eating a diet rich in healthy fats has helped me with this. Just thinking out loud based on my skin experiences :).

  • 4 stars
    I would suggest you have the recipe print with the web address. I will sometime share a recipe and it’s nice to be able to give them the web address. Thanks! 🙂

  • 5 stars
    what can i use instead of arrowroot powder because i cant find it in my country .by the way i love this recipe for my body .thank you

  • Hello, maybe I missed an answer to this, I just made this today and agree it’s not really a butter or lotion as it’s pretty hard. But, love it still. That said, being a senior I don’t want to have to pull my skin to put lotion on my face. Is there something you can add to this to make it “glide” a little? Maybe vegetable glycerin? Thank you! Love your site!


    • Hey AMB, I suggest letting the product soften a bit on your hands (or fingertips), thanks to your body heat, and then applying it. That should make it more spreadable. Another option to just stir in more oil (another tablespoon or two).

  • Hi! I’m not sure if anyone has mentioned this already, but do you need an emulsifier or a preservative for this recipe? Will the shea butter & oil separate or will it go bad? How long does it last for?

    • Hey Michaela, You don’t need an emulsifier or preservative in a body butter type recipe. You could add some vitamin E oil to prevent the oil from going rancid, but I personally don’t since the recipe makes a very small amount.

  • Hi Kristin thanks for this one! I have been trying different recipes with my daughter as my tester. She loves this one – a direct quote –

    “I like the aloe/coconut but it’s more of a lotion (I use on my face actually). But the one I love is the super thick one you made round 2. I don’t know what’s in it but it’s really thick.”

  • Oh my goodness I left off the best part; I had just sent her another recipe:

    “Sweet. I love all 3 of the things you made last go round. The body cream is the shiz”

  • 5 stars
    Hi there!! I stumbled across your site a few weeks ago and tried the body butter recipe and LOVE IT!! Thanks so much for sharing. I did switch it up a bit and used half mango butter and half unrefined shea butter. I used argan oil for my light oil also. And of course, I used my own essential oil concoction. I wanted something that wouldn’t melt in the summertime and so far this working great as we have had some very hot Spring days here in Michigan. I also appreciate the fact that I did not see you pushing essential oil companies either. I can’t express how much I appreciate this!! I have my favorite companies that I researched extensively before diving into the essential oil life and one of the things I have noticed is all the fierce bickering in this industry. Big turn off! Anyways, again THANK YOU for sharing this recipe!!

  • 5 stars
    I put about teaspoon vitamin E oil in mine as it is an antioxidant, was wondering about the shelf life, it is really lovely leaves skin feeling silky. I am in Australia,

  • Great looking recipe – can’t wait to try it! But can we just talk about how much your GORGEOUS marble/teak(?) cutting board makes me crave a good black and white cookie????

  • Hi,

    Thanks for this great, minimalist recipe. I have been trying out different recipes and am looking for ones without water (even distilled) which seems to decrease the shelf life. Since I have a beekeeper connection I added 20g of beeswax and then added 5 drops of rosemary oil to the shea butter – almond oil mixture. I am curious to see how oily it feels when it has cooled off. My next approach will draw on this same recipe with the 1-2 tb arrowroot powder as you suggested. Thanks again!

  • I’m allergic to almonds and in turn have a skin reaction from Shea Butter as most is processed in the same facilities as almonds. Is there an alternative you can recommend? Maybe Coco-butter or Mango Butter?

  • 5 stars
    I just used this recipe to make Christmas gifts! I made 12 8oz jars using 1lb of shea & 1lb of cocoa butter, 4 oz jojoba oil, and 7 tsp of cornstarch. My oil blend was meant to be relaxing so I used lavender, sage, & ceaderwood. I did put it in the ice bath prior to refrigerating for about 5 minutes, it then took about 2 hours to cool out. Thank you! It’s so hard to find a recipient without coconut!

  • 4 stars
    I wanted to thank you for the non-coconut oil recipe. I agree that it’s great, just not great for everyone all the time. My son (2), and my daughter (3.5) to a lesser degree, are fighting eczema this year and it’s been hard to watch. We have spent so much money trying to find soaps, lotions, creams, you name it to help it over the last two years. As we have been eating a paleo diet, the only item I have yet to eliminate is dairy, I need to find an alternative for my two 3 gallon a week, yogurt loving little ones, if that is the problem. I recently learned some people have a sensitivity to coconut oil, especially in lip balms. So I’ve been search to find recipes without to see if they work better. I’m looking forward to whipping this up this weekend after a little research on the oils to be sure they are safe for their ages. Do you use these on your children?

  • I like how you addressed essential oils! I have a brand that I LOVE and so you listing the essential oils to use also helps me to know which ones I might like using from what I already have! Happy New Year and all the best to you!

  • 5 stars
    Absolutely LOVE! Love that a little goes a long way and therefore is lasting. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes.

  • hello! i’m interested in trying this recipe. I love lavender and frankincense EO. Could you let me know what ratio you’d recommend and why, and what these EOs would do for the skin? Thank you!

  • 5 stars
    Thank you for the awesome recipe. It was really easy to make and I like how it feels on my face. I will definitely make this again. : )

  • I’m starting to make a lot of homemade products and a friend and I share orders from New Directions Aromatics which has A LOT of essential oils, carrier oils, jars, lip balm tubes, cosmetic butters, beeswax, etc. It’s wholesale and ships internationally. Definitely the way you want to go if you’ll be making lots of these recipes

  • Hello, I totally skim read the recipe and added the essential oils before putting it in the fridge to set and then mix. Have I just ruined a batch?! Serves me right for multitasking. Any advice gratefully received. Thanks!

  • hello Kristin my daughter suffers from mild eczema. Do you have any natural lotions you can share with me for her. Doctors can seem to get it right and I am looking for a more natural way.

  • Hi Kristin, I’m so excited and thankful I came upon this recipe that doesn’t use coconut oil because I’m very allergic to coconut! Like you said anything natural uses some form of coconut oil. As well as many store bought products. I have to read them very carefully to make sure soaps, lotions, shampoos, etc. don’t have any form of coconut in it…which is hard to find! Thank you for sharing this recipe and I’m looking forward to making this soon. 🙂

  • Hello I was wondering, do you think i could add a small amount of oat milk (oatmeal water) to this recipe before it goes back into a solid or would that ruin the consistency?

  • 5 stars
    I’ve always preferred using natural butters and oils over coconut oil too. I’ve always found coconut oil to leave this “greasy” feeling afterward that I was never a fan of. What would your take be on any of these oils I found on this site, https://www.naturesgardencandles.com/essential-oils, I’m trying to find a good addition to use to my moisturizer.

  • Thanks for the recipe!

    I had similar skin issues for awhile as while. If you find that your skin issues worsen/return, you may consider that it is due to an “unrelated” or more systemic condition, as was mine (chronic inflammation due to poor gut health).

  • I didn’t read the whole thing through but I was wondering if this moisturizer ever expires 🙂 I made a batch a month ago, and I absolutely love it, makes my skin so much nicer. I was wondering if it would still be good for another 4 months. Or if I have to remake it more often. I’m not really familiar with the ingredients and if they go bad.


  • Hello,
    All it was cracked up to be! Absorbed easily, no smell, no stain. I finally have a moisturizer I will actually use. Super important since I just moved to Arizona;)
    Thank you!

  • Hi,
    I was wondering what could you substitute shea butter for?, because shea butter makes me break out.
    Thank you.

  • 5 stars
    Hello Kristin, a few days ago I made this recipe and love it, except it is a little too greasy for me. I know you mention adding arrowroot powder to help with that. But, I didn’t have any arrowroot powder at the time. So, I picked some up at the store today and wondered if I could just add a tsp. of it directly to the cream and mix it or should I re-melt the lotion and then add? Thank you for this recipe, I will be making it often.

    • Hey Allison, I’m not sure if adding the powder once everything is mixed will work. If it’s too greasy to use, it’s worth a try. Another recommendation is to use to a very, very small amount of the lotion at a time. A little of bit of it goes a long way. That may help, too.

  • Kristin! I made your hand lotion but when mixing the oil and water It did not turn out so well. Could you take the temp of the water and oils when you make the lotion and let me know please/

    Thank you

  • Hi. This is the first time im using shea butter. I made this today and really made my skin silky soft. But I do have a doubt.
    I feel i overwhipped my cream and it looks very solid (at 23*C room temperature) but wen i apply it, it melts fast and gives a greasy feeling. Is this supposed to be this way? I dont mind it on my body, but for my face it is too thick I feel.
    What should I do?

    • Hey Rose, As long as you use a detergent (like Sal Suds or a dish soap) and warm water, it’s not too hard to clean out the jars. Anything that will cut the oil/butters.

  • I just read ALL comments. I’m allergic to coconut, shea, aloe, almond stuff. I took notes & will try many suggestions in comments. My skin is super dry (no hormones left at 70). Desperately need moisturizers for face, hands & body. My toddler grandson has skin problems too. I’m also want a pure deodorant. Any reply appreciated.

    • Hey Siam, It will be on the harder side. That’s normal. But over-whipping will just put it over the top, so to speak. To use, just scoop some and then let your body heat (from your fingers/hands) soften the mixture before applying.

  • 5 stars
    Hi Kristin, I’m eager to try this recipe. I’m actually wanting to augment it with zinc oxide because I’ve had basal cell issues on my face and am allergic to chemical spf ingredients in commercial products. Can you think of any reason the shea butter version of your moisturizer recipe couldn’t be modified with the zinc?

      • Thanks Kristin! I’m having a hard time determining how much to use and am wondering also if the zinc oxide will appear make the cream noticeably white on my skin. I want to use your simple and easy recipe as a daily facial moisturizer.

  • 5 stars
    Hello Kristin –
    I am looking forward to trying your recipe. I do not include Coconut oil or Cocoa Butter in any of my recipes. My choices include Shea and Kokum butters, Sweet almond and Jojoba oils. I live in south Texas so beeswax is also an ingredient. Also I find the ‘stand-up’ mixer really helps when you have to whip for over 10 minutes. There are a few inexpensive ‘stand-up’ mixers in the marketplace, that do just as well as the high priced ones.
    I like the way you write your articles. Thanks for sharing. Here’s wishing you much success. Regards

  • 5 stars
    My skin gets so dry this time of year. Thanks for the simple homemade moisturizer recipe with just a few natural ingredients. Perfect!

  • Hey all,

    So I’m super new to making DIY lotions and things at home, and I had never made anything with shea butter before this. The shea butter recommended in the site (and maybe all raw/super natural shea butters?) has a *very* strong and distinct smell, and if you happen to not like that smell, it really isn’t going to be covered up by your EOs. Just a note – it seems like the lotion would feel nice for sure but I don’t think I will keep it as it just smells so terrible to me.

  • 4 stars
    Hi Kristin,

    We were delighted to find this without coconut oil, but after making it with the 1 tsp of arrowroot powder as suggested, the finished product is HARD! It’s not soft and buttery like we had hoped. What can we do to improve this? We both have incredibly dry skin out here in the desert and cannot use coconut oil as it stays greasy for hours and hours (though this one isn’t too far from that using almond oil). I almost think our skin is hydrophobic LOL! Thanks in advance,

    • Hi Sharon,

      I’m so sorry this product didn’t work for you. Can you try it without the arrowroot powder to see if that helps with the consistency? That should make it not as hard. Im sorry for the dry skin! Come to FL to get all the moisture you want! lol.

      Here is also another recipe that doesn’t use coconut oil: https://livesimply.me/smooth-homemade-lotion/

      Please let us know if that helps or if there’s any other questions!

      LS Team.

  • I’m not sure if you can even help with this, I’m googling anyone who may be able to help. I make my own face cream in glass containers. but now it is going brown when in contact with the metal lid. I put preservative in the formula, but I think the Rosewater in the formula is reacting. Any idea?? I’m freaking out a bit.

  • This sounds like a great recipe and can’t wait to try it out!
    Two questions:
    1. Could I add in some cocoa butter along with (or in replacemen of some of) the shea butter?
    2. What are your thoughts on using an immersion blender as a substitute to the hand mixer with whisk attachment?

    • Hey Erin, You could add cocoa butter. It will definitely make the “lotion” harder/firmer. I would use a fork instead of a hand mixer over an immersion blender.

  • Do you have any suggestions for glass lotion jars, with a pump dispensor, that have a larger top opening (wider jar mouth)? I bought one at Amazon & the pump broke after a week.

  • So excited to find this recipe. I made it last night using the shea butter, almond oil and tea tree oil. I didn’t have any of the other essential oils so I just used what I had. My ‘problem’ is that the shea butter has such an unpleasant odour! If I purchase the other essential oils, will they be enough to give it a nice scent? Also, would I need to make a new batch or could I re-melt this one and add in the oils following the recipe? Thank you!

    • Rachel,

      What brand of shea butter are you using? I’ve found scent can differ with each brand, particularly unrefined shea butter. The essential oils or just one oil will help but it’s not going to completely mask a strong odor if the shea butter has that. I would try just stirring in one essential oil and see what happens.

      LS Team

      • Hi,
        That’s really interesting, thank you. I have the brand Nurify (pure, unrefined) shea butter. I don’t know much about brands and it’s news to me that different ones smell different! Are there any you recommend that have a fainter smell? Or does it also depend on the batch?
        I did add some lavender oil which helped (both in scent and texture) but the shea butter is still quite overpowering.
        Thank you!

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