I remember my first small steps toward cleaning up my skincare routine. At the time, I had just learned about using apple cider vinegar to make homemade toner. No, I thought, the answer can’t be that simple.

Since I was desperate to clear up my inflamed skin (much of which was also due to hormonal issues after having two babies), as well clean up the products used in our home (particularly since I was a new mom with a toddler and baby hanging on me day and night), I decided to give the vinegar a try.

You know what?

The vinegar solution worked!

Homemade Shea Butter Cream Facial Moisturizer

Sure, I smelled like a bottle of homemade salad dressing (only first thing in the morning and before bed), but that simple change immediately made a difference in my skin’s appearance and overall feel. Maybe the change was more psychological at first. Whatever it was, I was hooked on learning about ingredients that could be used to naturally nourish my stressed-out skin.

Shea Butter Moisturizer

Over the years, I’ve fallen in love with learning about natural skincare ingredients and how these ingredients can nourish my body. Today, I keep a handful of ingredients on hand for making simple creations, like facial moisturizer and boo-boo cream, and also use some of these ingredients on their own (i.e. shea butter for a dry patch on my hands or feet).

I don’t make everything at home (we’ve been diving into the store-bought side of natural living a bit more lately), but there are a few products that are just so easy for me to make, it would be silly not to.

Facial moisturizer is one of these products, along with face wash and toner.

Shea Butter Moisturizer

I’ve been using an aloe and oil moisturizer for quite a while now, and I absolutely love it. It’s incredibly light, but also provides the moisture and hydration my skin needs. It’s great for our humid Florida weather.

When a cold front hit Florida just a couple of weeks ago, along with super dry weather, my skin needed something more. Something with mega moisturizing ability. So I returned back to one of my original do-it-yourself recipes, and added just a few simple tweaks to the method and ingredients.

Shea Butter Moisturizer

The previous recipe is more of a thick body butter, and I wanted something a bit creamier and lighter. I also didn’t want to use a stand-mixer or special mixing tools. I needed something simple and no-fuss–other than melting the shea butter and cooling the ingredients.

Since I’ve been in love with Plant Therapy’s Clear Complex Carrier Oil Blend, I decided to use that blend for the base oil, along with shea butter. Simple and basic.

Shea Butter Moisturizer

After making and using this moisturizer, I’ve been reminded of how much I love using shea butter on my face. I’m not sure when I’ll switch back to the oil and aloe blend (maybe this summer?). When I do, I may continue using this shea butter mixture at night before bed, and then use the aloe mixture for the daytime. I’m honestly not sure, but right now, I’m really enjoying this shea butter moisturizer.

Before I share the recipe, which is a remix of this recipe, let’s talk about each ingredient…

Shea Butter Moisturizer

Shea Butter:

I think this ingredient often scares people like myself who have acne-prone skin, because it’s thick. I usually associate a thick product with clogging pores (or at least I did for many years–habits are hard to break), but that’s simply not always the case, especially with shea butter.

Shea butter comes from the “nut” (or pit) of the fruit found on the Karite Tree. It has a strong scent when it’s purchased in an unrefined state. I use unrefined shea butter in recipes (including this particular recipe), but if you don’t care for the (natural) fragrance, I recommend using refined shea butter. Shea butter softens and moisturizes the skin. Since it’s such a rich moisturizer, I’ve found that I only need a small amount to get the job done. It does take some time to soak into the skin, but that’s what I love about it, especially when paired with lighter nourishing oils.

Clear Complex Carrier Blend: 

This is the nourishing oil blend I’ve been using on my face. I haven’t played around with other oils (although I did use individual oils in my original recipe, particularly sweet almond oil). I’m currently loving this new line of blended oils from Plant Therapy, since the blending is already done for me. This particular blend is made with grapeseed oil, hemp seed oil, evening primrose oil, and vitamin E oil. If you don’t need a clear skin oil blend, then I think a lighter oil like grapessed, almond, jojoba, or avocado will work well.

Homemade Shea Butter Cream Facial Moisturizer
4.91 from 11 votes

Shea Butter Cream Facial Moisturizer

A simple two-ingredient shea butter cream facial moisturizer. Use this as a day or night facial cream after cleansing the skin. 
Kristin Marr
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course DIY
Cuisine Body
Servings 4 ounces


  • 1/4 cup shea butter unrefined or refined* (40g)
  • 1/8 cup Clear Complex Carrier Oil Blend or a favorite nourishing oil of choice, such as: sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, or avocado oil** (23g)


  • Place a glass bowl on top of a saucepan partially filled with water over medium heat. Place the shea butter in the glass bowl, and allow it to fully melt. 
  • Carefully remove the bowl (and shea butter) from the heat source. Add the oil, and stir to combine the ingredients. Pour the mixture into a storage jar with a lid (you don't need a lid just yet). 
  • At this point, the oil mixture should be cooler (along with the jar). If not, allow it to rest for a few minutes. Then place the mixture in the fridge and allow it to solidify (1-2 hours, depending on location in the fridge and fridge temperature). 
  • Once the mixture is thick and creamy (it shouldn't be hard, just more solid), remove the jar from the fridge. Stir. 
  • Place the lid on the jar and store it at room temperature (out of sunlight). This mixture should last about six months, if bacteria isn't introduced to the mixture via dirty hands. 

To Use:

  • From my experience, this moisturizer works as a day or night cream. Wash the face as desired (I use a face wash and toner), and then apply a small amount of moisturizer on the fingertips. Massage the cream moisturizer on the face. A little bit of moisturizer goes a long way. The mixture will take a bit of time to fully sink into the skin. I apply makeup (100% Pure Foundation) over the top of this during the day. 


*I've used Better Shea Butter (linked above), Plant Therapy (available in refined and unrefined/"crude"), and Alaffia brands with good success. Most health food stores sell 100% shea butter, too. 
**Another option may be to use one of Plant Therapy's blended carrier oils. I haven't tried any of the other blends besides the Clear Complex Blend. 
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

Shea Butter Moisturizer


  1. I have noticed when you melt the butters whether it is shea cocoa mango after cooling I would,add maybe some coconut or some kind of emollient oil and finally some drops of essential oil after solidifying a bit I would whip it up with a mixture the problem was although it smelled good and would melt right into my skin it seemed to be greasy which was quite disappointing. How do you make a butter that isn’t so greasy

  2. Awesome! Thanks Kristin, would it be beneficial to add some Tamanu oil to this? Tamanu oil seems to agree with his skin well, and might help with the breakouts on his back/shoulders/chest. Thank you in advance!!

  3. Hey Kristin! We’re looking to start using this as a body-moisturizer after we get out of the shower. Last time Nathan used a soap with shea butter in it, it seemed his back broke out. That was many years ago though when he was young, so perhaps we could try using shea butter again. However, if shea butter does prove problematic, would it be possible to use mango butter instead of shea butter in this recipe? Thanks so much Kristin!

      1. Awesome! Thanks Kristin, would it be beneficial to add some Tamanu oil to this? Tamanu oil seems to agree with his skin well, and might help with the breakouts on his back/shoulders/chest. Thank you in advance!!

  4. Hi, which types of jars do you use to store your diy beauty products? Is there a particular brand you like? Thanks!

  5. Hi there. To make the shea butter less thick should i add more carrier oil. More than the stated 23gm.
    I plan to add drops of lavender, rose geranium and frenkinsence e.o to the recipe.

  6. Why not just use pure Shea butter on the face? Is it too hard? New to natural products so sorry if these question should are dumb.

  7. Thank you so much for your reply!
    I just did two batches 3 hours ago and they turned out great!
    Anyway once again TQ!!

  8. Hi Kristin,
    Thank you for this simple recipe and i love simplicity!
    Can I know is the mixture will turn watery after stored at room temperature?
    Thanks, have a good day!

  9. I found rubbing it in my palms a bit before i put it on my face helps a lot….i think what also throws me off with this batch is the carrot seed oil smell. Lavendar didnt quite cover it. Guess i just need to keep tweaking! Thanks!

  10. Thank you for your recipes! I am enjoying your blog! This is the first time i have tried using shea butter. I followed this recipe, but the final product is pretty solid. Could i re-melt it and add in more of the carrier oil? Would that help? Did i not mix enough, or at the wrong state in solidifying? Or is this just how shea butter is?

    1. Hey Kristen, It should be thick, but not hard. Shea butter isn’t really hard, but it is thick. It could also be the environment is making the product harder (cold). Is the moisturizer at room temperature? You could try stirring in more oil–no need to remelt.

      1. Hey please let me know for how long could I possibly store a batch before it goes bad?

    1. Hey Shyella, Since there isn’t water in this formula, a preservative isn’t needed. You could add vitamin E oil (roughly 1/2 tsp) to this product to keep the oil from going rancid.

  11. Hi there. I’ve been experimenting with homemade face creams for the last few years and I’m not really liking them because they have such thick oils and it just sits on my face and doesn’t absorb in right away. Do you have any suggestions for a more light weight face cream that will provide the moisture I need and soak in right away? I saw your Aloe oil summer one, but I need just a little bit thicker than that for winter time. I live in Canada. Thanks.

  12. 5 stars
    I made this shea butter facial cream and i’m loving it. I added few drops of essential oil blend for face to reduce the strong smell of unrefined shea butter. Thank you for this wonderful recipe

      1. Frankincense and Myrrh are good essential oil choices for your skin.

        I’ve been making most of my beauty product for a while now. I also make non petroleum jelly. I really don’t want petroleum products on or in me.

  13. I’m a big fan of you, I’ve been trying some of your home cleaners and love them and now giving a try of body care, so far I’m happy with the results except for this recipe, I’m not sure if it’s the shea butter, the oil or both, anyway the smell is not very nice I’m not sure if I can stand it other than that thank you for your inspiration with the products.

    1. Thank you, Mabelee! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog and recipes. This is the moisturizer I use on a daily basis–both at night and in the evening. The scent is probably coming from the shea butter, especially if it’s unrefined. You could try adding an essential oil to help the scent.

    2. Shea butter has a better smell if you add scented oils. I use it on my skin and add Caribbean scents they smell amazing.

  14. Hi! I’ve been switching my skincare and the oil moisturizer feels great but within a few hours, my skin feels tight again. Do you have any suggestions of an ingredient to add to help with barrier repair or to help seal in the moisture? Thank you!

    1. Hey Mary, I think shea butter should definitely help with that. You could try it on its own before adding any oil to it, just to make sure it provides the barrier moisture needed.

      1. 5 stars
        Hey! I have recently purchased some unrefined shea butter and some roshehip seed oil. Will this conbinaton work also?

      2. Hi, thanks for the recipe, I made it but when I apply it feels oily, and it made my skin super dry, I followed the instructions very well.

      3. Hey Madina, Try hydrating the skin first with a toner or water, then apply a small amount of the moisturizer, rub in your hands and then massage on your face.

    2. You could need a more moisturizing oil like almond or avocado; grapeseed and hemp are kind of dry.` A calendula infused oil would be excellent.
      Also, try layering: use plain organic aloe on your skin first, let dry, then use the facial butter. HTH

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