How To – Body Butter with Shea

Let's make a body butter with shea!

I know what you're thinking.

Oh no, Lise! Not shea! It's too darn unreliable to work with and you never know if it's going to turn out grainy!

Your body butter is going to be the creamiest, smoothest, most skin loving body butter you ever made.


Shall we get started?

The Formula

These proportions will make for a beautiful, meltable texture that still stays solid at room temperature.

  • 80% shea butter
  • 20% oil of your choice

Now, let's translate that into weight and make a small, 'try-me' sized batch

  • 40 grams shea
  • 10 grams oil
  • 3 drops e-vitamin

Why 50 grams doesn't equal 50 ml

Because oil is lighter than water, and since we are weighing our ingredients, 10 grams of oil is – in volume – more than 10 ml.

You can see about how much if you check the picture at the top. Each jar holds 50 ml. The second jar is holding the 'excess'  – about 7-10 ml of product.

The Extras

If you want to add extracts or essential oils, you can. Be sure anything you add is oil based.
Always replace the oil amount with the extras.

Here's what I used to make my batch.

For my main oil, I chose fractionated coconut oil. Arnica and carrot extracts were added along with a mixture of essential oils.


Weigh and combine the ingredients. Melt in a clean heat-proof container. Bring the heat to just above 46° C, but no higher than 51,6° C.

Cool slightly while stirring, then add e-vitamin and any extras.

Stir, and transfer to your container.

Let set.

A note about cooling

Some swear by cooling shea in the refrigerator/cooler and some swear by slow cooling at room temperature. I have tried both methods many times and although I have had success using both methods – the method I find most reliable is cooling slowly at room temperature. This takes from 6-12 hours. 

Have a Go and Let me Know

If you try making this body butter, do drop a note and let me know how it went for you - which cooling method did you use? Extras? Did you use refined or unrefined shea?

More about Body Butter on this Blog


Tina Rasmussen, CPH said…
Yes the graininess of shea mas made me stay away from it for a while!
I have tried with Cera Bellina to counteract the graininess and it works sometimes - I think it depends on how and how long I melt it - slow and low seems to work the best.
Will give it another try!

Happy Easter :-)
LisaLise said…
Hi Tina - Oh how interesting with the Cera Bellina! I realize shea is a bucket of worms to work with, but it's such a lovely butter…

Happy Easter to you too :)