This simple DIY shea butter lotion recipe (made with just 3 ingredients) is the perfect moisturizer for the whole body, face included, and may be used for acne-prone and aging skin.

I’ll guide you, step-by-step, through how to make shea butter lotion, using shea butter and no coconut oil (because coconut oil can and will clog pores). The final product is a non-greasy, 100% natural moisturizer, with a creamy consistency and skin-soothing properties.

Scooping shea butter lotion from a clear glass jar using pointer finger.
Shea Butter Lotion: Use on hands, feet, face, arms, and legs,

This recipe is used just like store-bought body lotions: to moisturize the face, hands, feet, legs, arms. Technically, this is more of a homemade body butter recipe: a thick moisturizing cream versus a pumpable lotion. (Make pumpable lotion recipe here.)

But whatever you call it, it’s one thing: AMAZING!

What is Shea Butter?

Shea butter comes from the “nut” (or pit) of the fruit found on the Karite Tree. It is soft, compared to cocoa butter, and has a strong scent when it’s purchased in an unrefined state.

I use unrefined shea butter in body-care recipes, but if you don’t care for the (natural) fragrance, I recommend using refined shea butter. Shea butter softens and moisturizes the skin, making it perfect for homemade lotion, shaving cream, and lip balm.

Homemade shea butter lotion in a clear glass jar on a bathroom counter.
Shea butter has many skin care benefits.

Benefits of Shea Butter

Shea butter is the main ingredient used to make homemade body lotion and many other skin care products.

  • It’s naturally rich in vitamins and fatty acids, like vitamin A and vitamin E.
  • It contains anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. It’s ideal for sensitive skin and as an anti-aging product. There’s even evidence that shea butter could help with wrinkles.
  • Shea butter helps to combat dry skin. It’s an emollient: traps moisture on the skin without clogging pores. There’s also some evidence to suggest that it may help to alleviate eczema symptoms and soften scar tissue. Source: Medical News Today
  • Shea butter contains stearic acid, a naturally occurring fatty acid, that allows the butter to spread smoothly on skin without tension. This makes it ideal for a body and face moisturizer since it will melt right into the skin!

I personally use shea butter moisturizer every night before bed. And I’ve seen the texture and softness of my skin improve.

How to Make

Ingredients and Tools You’ll Need

  • 1/2 cup unrefined raw shea butter
  • (optional) 15 drops essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons nourishing carrier oil (sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, or grapeseed oil)
  • (optional) 1 teaspoon arrowroot starch
  • 4 ounce glass jar for storage
  • medium-size heat-safe mixing bowl
  • electric mixer: stand mixer with whisk attachment, hand mixer, or fork
  • medium-size sauce pan

Step-By-Step Instructions

Here’s the best way to make shea butter lotion, step by step.

Melt the shea butter in a glass bowl over a saucepan filled with water.
Step 1: Melt shea butter in a DIY double boiler.

Step 1: Melt Shea Butter

Heat the shea butter to melt it, don’t burn it. To avoid burning the shea butter, create a DIY double boiler. This will allow you to melt the shea butter without it directly touching the heat.

Place a medium-size glass bowl  over a sauce pan filled 1/4 the way full with water. The glass bowl should sit just on top of the saucepan, without touching the water in the pan.

Over medium heat, allow the water in the saucepan to simmer. Then add the shea butter and melt.

Once the shea butter has fully melted (about 2-3 minutes), turn off the heat and remove the bowl from the heat.

Add carrier oil to the shea butter in the double boiler.
Step 2: Add nourishing carrier oil to the shea butter.

Step 2: Add Nourishing Carrier Oil

Stir 1 teaspoon of arrowroot starch into the liquid oil of choice (grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, OR jojoba oil) and whisk to combine. Pour the oil (and arrowroot starch whisked in, if using) into the shea butter.

You can skip the arrowroot starch and add the oil directly to the shea butter at this step. The arrowroot creates a non-greasy lotion.

Step 3: Cool in the Fridge

At this point, the shea butter and oil mixture should be cooler (along with the bowl).

If not, allow it to rest for a few minutes. Then place the mixture in the fridge and allow it to solidify (about 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on location in the fridge and temperature). 

Alternatively, speed up the process by placing the bowl in the freezer.

Adding drops of essential oil to the cooled shea butter and carrier oil mixture.
Step 4: Add essential oils to the cooled shea butter and carrier oil.

Step 4: Add Essential Oils

Once the mixture is opaque and firm (not solid as a rock), remove the bowl from the fridge.

Add the essential oil (or a combination of essential oils) of choice, if desired. Add up to 15 drops of skin-safe essential oils to this mixture. A few of my favorite essential oils to add are listed in the recipe below.

Whipping the lotion mixture with a fork.
Step 5: Whip the cooled shea butter mixture with a fork or electric mixer.

Step 5: Whip the Shea Butter

Use the whisk attachment and an electric mixer, hand mixer, or a fork to whisk the mixture until it appears “whipped.” This doesn’t take very long, just a few seconds using a mixer and a bit longer with a fork.

Spooning lotion into a glass jar.
Step 6: Spoon the lotion into a storage jar.

Step 6: Spoon Lotion into a Jar

Now you get to enjoy this amazing homemade lotion recipe and all its benefits (we’ll talk about the awesome benefits in a minute). Or, share the lotion as a gift.

Choose a beautiful glass jar and spoon your creation into the jar. Add a label, if desired. And store the lotion at room temperature in a cool place (like a bathroom cabinet) for up to 6 months.

Carrier oils: grapeseed oil, jojoba, and sweet almond oil.
Carrier oils: sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, and jojoba oil.

How to Choose a Carrier Oil

You can use shea butter alone as a body and face moisturizer, or you can mix it with a carrier oil to make a whipped body butter recipe or lotion (like this recipe).

Here’s what I recommend for a nourishing carrier oil to mix with the shea butter. The options absorb easily in the skin, making them the best options for a non-greasy lotion.

Jojoba Oil: Jojoba oil is made from a shrub that grows in Northern Mexico and the Southeast US. Jojoba is an emollient: a natural moisturizer that softens and moisturizes skin. Jojoba is the closest to our skin’s natural oil, making it ideal for all skin types.

Grapeseed Oil: This oil comes from pressed grape seeds. It has high amounts of fatty acids, vitamin E, and antibacterial properties. Grapeseed oil may be a great option for aging skin and for those with acne-prone skin.

Sweet Almond Oil: Made from sweet almonds and rich in vitamin A & E, fatty acids, and proteins.

Virgin Coconut oil is also an option, but as I’ll share in a minute, I don’t care for using coconut oil on my face. If you’re just using this lotion on your body, coconut oil may be a good option.

Spreading lotion on hands.
Scoop lotion from jar and use your hands to warm the lotion and spread it on your body and face.

How to Use

Scoop a small amount of shea butter lotion out of the jar using your finger, then rub between your hands. The heat from your hands will soften the shea butter. Massage into your skin: face, arms, legs, feet, dry patches, etc.

A little goes a long way.

For the face, apply this moisturizer after cleansing (my favorite natural face cleansers) and toning (a spritz of rose water is my favorite). If you use any serums, apply a facial serum before applying the lotion.

Lotion in glass jars on a cutting board.
Store the shea butter lotion in a glass jar, at room temperature, for up to 6 months.

What’s the Shelf Life?

This natural lotion recipe doesn’t use any preservatives. Store-bought lotions add preservatives to formulas out of necessity. Without a preservative, mold and other bacteria will grow in a water-based lotion.

This recipe doesn’t need a preservative because it doesn’t use water in the formula. This means you can make a long lasting moisturizing lotion, without using any preservatives and don’t need to worry about mold growth. Woohoo!

Store the final product at room temperature, in a cool dry place, for up to 6 months. I recommend keeping homemade shea butter lotion away from heat, like a hot steamy shower, since it will melt slightly. This recipe is intended for home use; not to be sold commercially.

Essential oils being held in the palm of a hand over a jar of lotion.
Add essential oils for their scent and beneficial properties.

How to Add Essential Oils

If you want to scent your own lotion, essential oils are the best way to do this! Along with their scent, essential oils are easily absorbed by the skin for nourishment, and provide antibacterial and soothing properties.

Add one essential oil or a combination of essential oils, totally 15 drops, to this lotion recipe. The best essential oils for homemade lotion are…

  • Roman Chamomile 
  • Frankincense
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Jasmine
  • Carrot Seed
  • Rose 
  • Lavender
  • Tea tree 
  • Sandalwood 
  • Geranium   
White homeamde moisturizing lotion in a jar on a bed of white towels in a basket.
This lotion is made without coconut oil so it doesn’t clog pores!

Lotion Without Coconut Oil, Here’s Why

You’ll notice that this recipe doesn’t use any coconut oil. A lot of lotion and homemade whipped body butter recipes rely heavily on coconut oil.

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 oil isn’t always suitable for every need.

Many years ago, I decided it was 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.

One of my very first DIYs was a simple homemade moisturizer using coconut oil. After a few weeks of using this moisturizer on my face, I experienced multiple break outs, daily peeling, and dry skin patches. Here’s why…

There’s nothing wrong with coconut oil, but from a skin care perspective, it’s not the best moisturizer option for the face. If you use it on your face, it’s likely to clog pores and cause breakouts due to its chemical composition.

Shea butter does not clog pores and is the best moisturizer option. So skip the coconut oil on your face and instead turn to shea butter and a non-clogging carrier oil!

6 More Ways to Use Shea Butter

White homeamde moisturizing lotion in a jar on a bed of white towels in a basket.
4.73 from 80 votes

Homemade Moisturizing Shea Butter Lotion Recipe (Without Coconut Oil)

A non-greasy homemade ultra-moisturizing lotion perfect for the body and face, made with shea butter and no coconut oil. All natural!
Kristin Marr
Prep Time10 mins
Chill30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course DIY, Homemade
Cuisine Beauty
Servings 4 ounce jar
Cost: $10

Equipment

  • 1 electric mixer or fork
  • 1 medium-size heat safe bowl
  • 1 medium-size sauce pan
  • 1 4-ounce glass storage jar (or larger)

Ingredients

Instructions

Step 1: Melt Shea Butter

  • To melt the shea butter, make a DIY double boiler. This will allow you to melt the shea butter without it directly touching the heat.
  • Place a medium-size glass bowl over a sauce pan filled 1/4 the way full with water. The glass bowl should sit just on top of the saucepan, without touching the water in the pan.
    Making a double boiler by placing a glass bowl on top of a sauce pan.
  • Over medium heat, allow the water in the saucepan to simmer. Then add the shea butter and melt.
    Melt the shea butter in a glass bowl over a saucepan filled with water.
  • Once the shea butter has fully melted (about 2-3 minutes), turn off the heat and remove the bowl from the heat.

Step 2: Add Nourishing Carrier Oil

  • Stir 1 teaspoon of arrowroot starch into the liquid oil of choice (grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, OR jojoba oil) and whisk to combine. Pour the oil (and arrowroot starch whisked in, if using) into the shea butter.
    Adding arrowroot powder to a bowl of carrier bowl.
  • NOTE: You can skip the arrowroot starch and add the oil directly to the shea butter at this step. The arrowroot creates a non-greasy lotion.

Step 3: Cool

  • At this point, the shea butter and oil mixture should be cooler (along with the bowl). If not, allow it to rest for a few minutes.
  • Place the mixture in the fridge and allow it to solidify (about 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on location in the fridge and temperature). Alternatively, speed up the process by placing the bowl in the freezer.

Step 4: Add Essential Oils

  • Once the mixture is opaque and firm (not solid as a rock), remove the bowl from the fridge.
  • Add the essential oil (or a combination of essential oils) of choice, if desired. Add up to 15 drops of skin-safe essential oils to this mixture. A few of my favorite essential oils to add are listed in the recipe above. You can add your favorite essential oil or oils, not the ones listed above (if desired).
    Adding drops of essential oil to the cooled shea butter and carrier oil mixture.

Step 5: Whip

  • Use the whisk attachment and an electric mixer, hand mixer, or a fork to whisk the mixture until it appears "whipped." This doesn't take very long, just a few seconds using a mixer and a bit longer with a fork.
    Whipping the lotion mixture with a fork.

Step 6: Store

  • Choose a beautiful glass jar (4 ounces or larger) and spoon your creation into the jar. Add a label, if desired. And store the lotion at room temperature in a cool place (like a bathroom cabinet) for up to 6 months.
    Spooning lotion into a glass jar.

Video

Notes

*The essential oils listed are what I originally played around with and used. Feel free to use other skin-friendly essential oils. You can also make this lotion without using any essential oils. Other options:
  • Roman Chamomile 
  • Frankincense
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Jasmine
  • Carrot Seed
  • Rose 
  • Lavender
  • Tea tree 
  • Sandalwood 
  • Geranium 
Rushed for time? Try This: Skip 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.
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

FAQs

The best way to make a non-greasy lotion with shea butter is to add arrowroot starch. Add 1 teaspoon of arrowroot starch to the carrier oil, then add the mixture to melted shea butter and stir. If you’ve already made the lotion and didn’t add arrowroot, melt the lotion again and add arrowroot to the liquid, then chill and whip.

Store the lotion in a cool, dry place, like a bathroom cabinet. Storing in a warm, humid place (like a shower) may cause the lotion to melt slightly, but shouldn’t cause the lotion to melt entirely. It would take a very hot environment to melt the entire jar of lotion.

As long as water isn’t added to the homemade lotion, you don’t need to add a preservative. The addition of water causes mold and bacteria to grow. Use the lotion/body butter within 6 months. Learn about the safety of making homemade products here.

Yes! You can use a combination of mango butter, shea butter, and cocoa butter in this recipe. Use a total of 1/2 cup of butters. This body butter guide will help you combine different butter and oils to make a customized body butter/lotion.

I don’t recommend adding beeswax to this recipe as it will make it too hard to scoop and spread on the skin. Instead, you can make homemade lotion bars using beeswax.

546 Comments

    1. 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.

      Thanks..
      Shreya.

      1. 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.

        1. 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)?

        2. 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!

        3. 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.
          Jody

        4. 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?
          Thanks.

          1. Hey Kathleen, I know a few people added arrowroot flour/powder (a cornstarch alternative) to the lotion. Probably a tablespoon or two would help.

      2. 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).

          1. 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!

        1. 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?

          1. 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.

      3. 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.

        1. 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!

        2. 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.

          1. 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.

          2. 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..

      4. 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.

      1. 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.

    2. 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

      Thanks

      1. 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. 🙂

    3. 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

      1. Kathryn, I’ve been working on a lotion recipe similar to what you describe, but have not found the perfect formula just yet. I’ll keep you posted and continue to look online.

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

        2. 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.

          1. 4 stars
            This sounds like a lotion to try. However, I’m allergic to glycerin (and mineral oil). This is one reason I’m making my own lotions. Do you have an alternative to glycerin for this recipe? Thanks!

          2. 5 stars
            Hello, Joanne Stevens!

            Greetings from Bulgaria! Thank you for sharing your recipe, I am going to try it for sure. But I don’t want to use anything synthetic, so I am going to skip the synthetic preservative. I am just going to use EM-1 (Effective Microorganisms) instead of water. Read about EM here -> https://emrojapan.com/case/detail/91
            Be healthy!

        1. 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.

          1. Hi Kristen,, how much water do you recommend to add to this formula? I do find this body butter rather thick so not easy to spread, esp one who has very sensitive skin. Thank you.

      2. 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 🙂

    4. 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

      1. 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.

        1. 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 !

    5. 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!

    6. 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.

      1. Michelle, I just wanted to let you know that I’ll make sure Kristin sees your comment when she returns from traveling to give you an answer to your question. ~Rachel, commenting on behalf of Kristin while she’s traveling

        1. Love love love that I found this recipe. I am extremely allergic to coconut and it seems that it is in everything. I too was wondering about adding zinc to this recipe so I could use it as a sunscreen. I checked out your sunscreen recipe, but you u coconut oil. Any suggestions as to how much zinc I would add to this recipe? Have yet to make this as I just gathered all my ingredients.

  1. 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.

    1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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. 🙂

  4. Do you know approx cost to buy all the ingredients, how much it makes, and how long it lasts? Also, shelf-life recommendations, etc.? Thanks! 🙂

    1. 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 :).

  5. 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)!

  6. 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.

    1. 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.

  7. 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!

    1. Hi Airmid, I’m not sure there’s a great substitute for the shea butter, but the coconut oil moisturizer mentioned in the post above may work well for her.

  8. 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.

    1. 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 :).

  9. 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 🙂

    1. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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! 🙂

    1. 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.

  12. 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?

    Thanks!

  13. 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.

    1. 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!!

  14. 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

  15. 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!

    1. 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

  16. 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.
    Mary

  17. 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.

    1. 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 :).

  18. 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.

    Dorothy

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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!!

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. 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 !

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  22. 5 stars
    Kristin,

    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?

      1. Meadowfoam seed oil is one of the least pore-clogging and lightest of the oils out there. You could give that one a try.

  23. 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.

    1. 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.

  24. 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.

    1. 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.

  25. 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.

    Thanks!

  26. 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!

  27. 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?

  28. 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!

  29. 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!

  30. 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?

  31. 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!

  32. 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!

  33. 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

  34. 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?

  35. 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.

  36. 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!

  37. 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.

  38. 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!

    1. 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!!!

  39. 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!!!

    1. 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 :).

      Enjoy!!!

      1. 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. 🙂

  40. Crazy question, but where do you get the jar shown in the picture???? I LOVE it! It would be perfect for giving as a gift!

  41. 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?

  42. 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 🙂

    1. 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!

      1. 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!

        1. 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 :).

  43. 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!

  44. 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

    1. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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

    1. 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.

  47. i am making this as christmas gifts and i feel like adding something else would also make the batch bigger

  48. 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.

  49. 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.

    1. 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.

  50. 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

      1. Thank you thank you! Gives me a good start. I am thinking from here then it is mostly preference on how much of each? IE if I can use 18 drops and want to add lavender, frankincense, and myrrh I just choose how much of each? Sorry for all the questions – I’m still new and just starting in on all this stuff!!

  51. 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? 😀

  52. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  53. 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!

  54. 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 🙂

    1. 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.

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

  56. 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?

    1. 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!!

  57. 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?
    Cheers!

    1. 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 :).

  58. 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.

    1. 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.

  59. 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.

  60. 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

  61. 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

    1. 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?

  62. 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!

  63. 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.

    1. 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.

  64. 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 🙂

    1. 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!

  65. 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?

    1. 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?

  66. 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.

  67. 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!

    1. 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.

  68. 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!

    1. 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!

  69. 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.

    1. 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.

  70. 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!

    1. 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!

  71. 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!!

  72. 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?

  73. 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.

  74. Hello,

    Definitely going to try making this! Just one question, where can I buy similar looking jars to the one you used? They look amazing!

  75. 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?

  76. 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

    1. 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!

  77. From someone allergic to coconut, I am so excited to have found this recipe! I cannot wait to try it!!!

  78. 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!

  79. 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 🙂

    1. 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!

  80. 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?

  81. 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.

  82. 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.

  83. 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

  84. 5 stars
    Hi!

    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!!!

    1. 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.

  85. 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!

  86. 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.

    Thanks!

    1. 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).