DIY Homemade Organic Body Butter & Lotion

I am in love with my new homemade, organic body lotion. It is divine, decadent, and so rich. It looks and smells so good I wanna eat it and it is doing wonders for both my skin and hair! The coconut oil gives a refreshing coconut smell that always reminds me of the beach, and the almond oil and shea butter give it a wonderful, full-bodied nutty smell.

Homemade Organic Lotion and Body Butter

**I do have an updated version of this recipe that includes beeswax, making it even more amazing, and it includes a free printable!

I wanted to make my own because not only is it fun to make, but it is full of all natural, organic ingredients that all come directly from trees! So, I don’t have to worry about chemicals that are being absorbed into my skin, then distributed all over my body. Take for instance the lotion, CeraVe. My mom gave this to me for Christmas because it has worked really well for her and my dad, and it’s thick, creamy and works well on my dry, eczema-prone skin, too. However, I looked it up in the EWG Skin Cosmetics Database and found it has a moderate hazard for endocrine and organ system toxicity, some contamination concerns, and it is not known whether or not they test on animals. Ack! I also looked up Aveeno, and it has a much better rating, so it is less toxic than CeraVe, but they do test on animals. And, to make matters worse, for many of the ingredients on both products, the data is limited, so it’s hard to know how toxic they really are.

I’ve also been using it on my very curly hair (see my natural curly hair regime here) as a mousse and have been very happy with it! I’m so excited because now my entire hair care regime is organic, homemade, and cheap. I make my own shampoo and conditioner from baking soda and apple cider vinegar. See the post on that here. My hair has never looked healthier, shinier and felt softer.

UPDATE: When I wrote this post, I had been using it as a hair cream and did for several weeks. But I no longer do so, bummer, I know. I wanted it to work, but it made my hair so tangly it was completely unmanageable! Wish I could give you a different report.

About the Recipe

So, onto the fun stuff. I got the recipe from Rawmazing, and followed it almost exactly, except that I added 10 drops of lavender oil. I will probably add more next time, as the lavender is barely detectable. The lotion contains only three ingredients (unless you add an optional essential oil for fragrance), all of which I bought on Amazon.

Like most natural/organic products, they take some getting used to because we are so accustomed to processed, un-pure things. So it honestly took me several days before I liked the way it felt on my hands, as it is quite oily, but now I’m in love because it not only heals my dry skin, but protects my hands from the rigor of washing up after little human beings.

Four simple ingredients – Almond Oil, Shea Butter, Lavender and Coconut Oil

Cost Breakdown

Each batch makes 32 ounces of lotion – that is a ton! It will last a long time.

  • Organic Coconut Oil – Buy at (where to buy) (hand made and organic!)
    • $8.49 for 16 oz. and you only need 4 oz. of it to make 32 oz. of lotion
    • Making it $2.12 for 32 oz.! You also get free super saver shipping on Amazon.
    • Also doubles as a great face lotion all by itself! I love the way it feels on my face.
  • Organic Sweet Almond oil (where to buy)
    • $7.00 16 oz. and you only need 4 oz. of it to make 32 oz. of lotion
    • Making it $1.75 for 32 oz.!
  • Organic, Raw, Unrefined Shea butter – (where to buy)
    • $11.50 for a pound, and you only need 8 oz. of it to make 32 oz. of lotion
    • Making it $5.75 for 32 oz.!
    • It’s much better if you get unrefined, organic raw shea butter. The refinery process removes many of the nutrients from the butter that make it so good for your skin.

The price per 32 oz. batch is $9.62 (if you buy from the links above). Cheap! That’s even cheaper than CeraVe, which is $7 for only 16 oz. Let’s compare our lotion to another lotion on the market that is organic and half full of pure shea butter. I found one from Organic Essence which contains mostly organic shea butter, and also has other organic oils like lemongrass and mint. It is a whopping $17.24 for just 4 oz. Wow, way more expensive than the homemade option! Our’s cost just $1.06 per 4 oz.! Now, their jar is biodegradable, so bonus points for that. But I up-cycled two old lotion jars, which is even more earth-friendly.

Homemade Organic Lotion - Make It With Your Kids!

Ooo wow, what does that weird thingy do? Oh well, all I know is I get to bang and smash and make a mess!

The Recipe

  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) Organic Coconut Oil (where to buy)
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup)  Organic Sweet Almond Oil (where to buy)
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) Raw, Unrefined Shea Butter (where to buy)
  • 5-10 drops (or more if you want) of your favorite essential oils – I have a lot I love some of which include – Lavender, Rosemary, Carrot seed, Frankincense (not the greatest scent but it works so well when I get eczema!), Stress Away (a blended oil – just because it smells amazing!), Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang…I could go on. (where to buy high quality essential oils)

So, onto the making of the lotion! Grab a trusty assistant like the handsome fellow I found crawling around the kitchen, and let them satisfy their curiosity with the mixer, which we’ll use later.

Homemade Organic Lotion - Shea Butter
Have fun scooping out the shea butter – it’s like playing with very sticky play dough, or dense cookie dough. And the nutty fragrance is divine! It really stuck to my hands. I felt like I need flour, like I was baking cookies!

Just like the recipe says, put all the ingredients in a double boiler on the stove until the coconut oil and shea butter melt.

Then, store it in the fridge until it chills and hardens. That took about 2 hours for me and will look like this:

Then whip it up in a mixer, which took about five minutes for me to get it nice and whippy. This is a necessary step to create emulsion, which is a combination of two or more liquids that will normally not mix (immiscible). Several readers have reported that they skipped this step when making my other lotion and diaper rash cream and the ingredients separated when it hardened, making the lotions unusable  It will look just like whipped cream and it will not be thick, but runny. I thought there was something wrong at this point, but after it settles a few hours later, it turns back into a more hardened state in the jar.




How to Purchase High Quality Essential Oils through My Merry Messy Life

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About Sara McFall

Sara is the owner and founder of My Merry Messy Life, which started in 2011 as a way to chronicle her journey to a natural, chemical-free lifestyle and to share her passions of mothering, real food, homeschooling and crochet. She is a mama to three precious and energetic little boys and wife to a university professor who loves to sing, dance ballet and ballroom, and live simply and naturally.


  1. This looks awesome! The best thing I ever did for my skin was to switch to 100% cocoa butter… I look forward to trying other all natural alternatives as well. I totally want to try this!

    I am a new follower. 🙂
    I would love for you to link up with my Super Link Party!!!


  2. This is really great! I recently made a similar body butter and just love it! However, I haven’t blogged about it yet. I would love it you came over and linked up at Tiny Tip Tuesday this week (and every week 🙂 )

    P.S. I’m also a new follower – send here by Earning My Cape! 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    This looks very interesting! I’m new to making my own natural products. What is the shelf life and would you store this the the fridge? Thanks!

    • That’s a great question! All I know is coconut oil has a shelf life of 2 years and this does not have to be refrigerated. It would make it too hard to use.

      • You can add Meadowfoam oil or Vitamin E to it to make it last longer. Both are natural preservatives.

        • Thanks for the tip, Jane! I didn’t know that Vitamin E oil is a natural preservative. Very cool.

        • No, they are not preservatives! Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which will help other oils not oxidize, or go rancid. Meadowfoam oil is a great oil with a long shelf life, but it is not a preservative. It is important to understand the difference in terminology.

          This recipe uses only oils, butters, and zinc oxide. There is no water added, so no medium for bacteria and/or fungi to grow. A preservative is not necessary. However, you can introduce bacteria and fungi when you dip your hand into the container. Make small batches that will be used up quickly – a huge tub that will last 6 months or more with numerous hands going in and out just makes for lots of opportunities for contamination.

  4. I love this idea and post. 🙂

    But I have GOT to say: cutest baby picture ever.

  5. Wonderful! I’ve recently made something similar and I’m very happy with it.
    A tip: if you find your ‘lotion’ too oily, add a teaspoon cornstarch, it will cut down the greasiness!

  6. That does look wonderful! You have alot of great info on your site! I’ll be back. I’m so glad you stopped by my blog hop to share and I hope you had a great weekend!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Nut allergies in my house. What would you replace the almond oil with? Thanks!

  8. Well, I would try olive oil first. I think it would work really well. However, shea butter also comes from a nut, so I’m not sure if that would cause problems for your family or not. I’d have to research how to replace shea butter for you, though.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Could you check the ingredient quantities …… the text says 8 oz almond oil and 4 oz shea butter…but the recipe is opposite with 4 oz almond and 8 oz shea buter. Also what is the shelf life? Thanks! Cindy

  10. I’m only beginning my crunchy journey, and am trying my hand at baking soda/acv shampoo conditioner, and I would love to try this recipe too. I am curious if I could replace the almond oil with 1/2 olive oil and 1/2 vitamin e oil? or just straight vitamin e. what do you think?

  11. I followed the recipe and instructions and mine turned out kind of hard. Is this normal?

  12. sounds great! how do you use this on your hair? wet? dry? instead of all types of gels and mouses? and it holds? thanks!

    • Well, I was using it for a while – just rubbed it on my hands after my shower, hung my head upside down and scrunched into my very wet hair, then squeezed dry with an old t-shirt. However, I stopped using it because the oils would build up on my hair and make it tangly. It would wash out with regular shampoo, but not with baking soda shampoo. So, if you use regular shampoo, this might be fine.

      • Hi, does this mean that you are no longer using this on your hair? What do you use instead? Love your site, by the way.

        • No, I’m not using this on my hair anymore. After about a week, it had made my hair so tangly it was unmanageable because of the oils in it. But my hair is long, thick and very curly, so it might not do that for everyone.

          • I have super thick and curly hair too 🙂 I have had the exact experience with the lotion in my hair. Its very hard to wash it with just the baking soda. Did you go back to using the TIGI?

  13. Hi Sara,

    Hi Sara,

    I just made some haircreme and it really does look like whipped cream 😉
    Unfortunately I forgot to put in some lavender oil.. Do you know if I can still put some drops in or is it too late?

    O and how many lavender oil do you put in your lavender infused water. Or is it just try and see if it works?

    Thanks for these posts!

    • Nope, not too late at all! Just drop in 5 to 10 drops to start, and stir in with a spoon. If that isn’t enough for ya, add more until it is. I think I put 5 to 10 drops in the water, but I really can’t remember. It was just enough so it wouldn’t be too strong.

    • Thanks!! I tried it and works + it smells amazing)!!
      I also tried the cream as body cream and that’s amazing as well.
      It feels so great to put on your skin and the results afterwards are amazing too. Nice and soft 😉

      I brought some to my mum (she’s got really dry feet) and she called just a few minutes ago to say thanks cause it really worked. She tried so many creams and lotions and nothing worked. So thanks!!!

    • Great! Thanks for letting me know! I love the smell, too! I have another recipe for this that includes beeswax (see my Green Homemaking tab above) and it’s even better because it’s less oily.

  14. We made it and it works wonders on our hair. We just dip our fingertips barely in the oil and scrunch the ends of our hair. It helps to keep some wave/curl in it.

  15. Hi Sara it looks amazing!! I really want to ask your help….Do you have any SPECIAL method to clean up these all kitchen stuff? After making homemade lotion, butter, lip balm.. my kitchen messed up with sticky oils and need few hours to clean up..Anybody has a good tips??

    • Gosh, I wish I did! It does make a gooey mess that’s hard to clean up. I have to scrub everything in the sink with hot water and soap. All the oil doesn’t come off, but that doesn’t bother me since it’s all food-safe.

  16. hi! i love everything on your site. just ordered everything off amazon and cannot wait to start making all my own beauty products! can i use grapeseed oil or evoo instead of almond oil? in the pic was this in your hair? does it make your hair greasy and how much do u use in it? im also looking for a face wash and face lotion to use. and eye cream. can i use coconut oil on my eyes and face. i read you r not suppose to use it on your face. i have sensitive skin btw

    • Hi Danielle! I’m so excited you’ve ordered your supplies and are going to get started! Sure, many oils are completely interchangeable – grapeseed, sweet almond and olive oil can be used interchangeable I’ve found. I put in the post that I no longer use it as a hair cream – it felt great for a few weeks, then my hair started getting super tangly and unmanageable because the oils clumped up my hair. I do not recommend using it this way anymore :(. Yes, I agree with the no coconut oil on the face. I LOVE it on my arms and legs and body and used to use it on my face until I got pregnant and now all it does it make me break out. It is a known comedogenic, but it may work for you. If you have dry skin, it might great for you, otherwise, I’d use a dab of Almond, Grapeseed or Olive Oil as a moisturizer.

  17. Dee Huffman says:

    Love the recipe! But a note above stated you added beeswax, how much? My lupus makes me allergic to everything so I love trying new recipes. I have found to make it last longer you either refrigerate it or add vitamin e and tea tree essential oil. To keep Bacteria from rearing its ugly head. Also rinse the containers out with boiled water and all utensils and dry them well.
    PS found you via Pininterest. Please add me. I don’t see a link.

    • Yes, I used beeswax and posted another recipe – the link is up at the top of the post underneath the picture, but here it is again – . Great tips on how to make it last long – I’ve never had trouble with it soiling because I use a little every day. Great to have you on the blog, Dee! How do you want to be added? There is a link to receive weekly emails from my blog on my sidebar, near the top, and all my social media buttons are at the top and bottom of the blog. 🙂

      • Dee Huffman says:

        Thanks! For some reason when I go to sites from Pininterest I’m not always able to link to them. I will try now. I did find the beeswax recipe. It’s great you and I use our stuff right away but I have had people tell me they have experimented with recipes they found online and ended up with mold growing in their containers.

  18. Can I use this in my curly hair or not? So sorry, my Englis is not so goodso i didnt understand 🙁

    • Well, that depends. I did use it on my hair for a while, but stopped because the coconut oil really tangled up my hair and didn’t really reduce the frizz for me. It might work fine on other hair, so you might need to experiment!

  19. Great recipe, thanks for sharing. =)

  20. DIY Homemade Organic Lotion & Hair Cream says:

    This lotion sounds great! I have been using just coconut oil, but I would love something more luxurious. My only concern, at least for me, is the fragrance. I am dealing with too much estrogen and lavender is estrogenic. I would have to try another fragrance…maybe lemon oil?

    • Hi there! Sure, you can use any essential oil you want for fragrance, or nothing at all. I love using cedarwood, sweet orange, rose hip, and many others. Do you have a health foods store nearby? You might be able to go and smell a bunch of different ones before trying, or just buy one on Amazon that sounds nice!

  21. I just love your site! Thanks so much for all of your great natural recipes… I’m just wondering if you’ve come across any good anti-frizz or curl lotions? I was super excited to find this recipe & then I read that you stopped using it. I’ve just been using the sweet almond/ castor oil/ coconut oil mixture that I use to wash & moisturize my face as a hair oil as well. Too much, though, and I have greasy curls galore. 🙁

  22. How do you keep the lotion from melting? I tried making whipped coconut cream and it melted back down to oil, I kept it under my bathroom sink. I want it to stay creamy!

    • Hi Nicole! Well, coconut oil returns to liquid state at about room temperature. So, if your house is pre

    • Hi Nicole! Well, coconut oil returns to liquid state at about room temperature. So, if your house is pretty warm, that’s what’s happening. You’ll have to find a cool place to store it, or in the fridge. Did you only just whip coconut oil? Because with this lotion, I’ve never had trouble with it melting, even when my house is 74 degrees inside.

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  24. Do I have to whip it in a machine or can I just do the ol’ elbow grease and stir it into oblivion. Am looking to lower the mess since the less mess made the more my hubby will be receptive to using it. 🙂

    • I totally get what you mean about your husband…we have to work our women tricks to get them to do healthier things many times! Honestly, I don’t think elbow grease will work terribly well. BUT a hand mixer could do the job well, then all you have to clean is the whisk. Does that help at all?

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  28. Can I use the ratiocination coconut oil instead of the other and can I just use the Shea 10% African butter as a body lotion and on my face all together, or each alone with a drop if maybe lavender oil or rosehip oil? thanks

    • I’m not sure what the ratiocination coconut oil is, Lois, I’ve never heard of it! If you’re trying to go natural, then unrefined, pure, virgin coconut oil is the best. If it doesn’t say that on the bottle, then I doubt it is natural.

  29. Really like the Valencia Orange Lotion from Made from Earth ! No horrible nasties in it. Smells beautifully of oranges without being overpowering. Lovely. My skin is quite dry and especially so on my legs, being a woman of a certain age, and this does the trick perfectly.

  30. Hi Sara, I have been using CeraVe for a few years now, my doctor recommended it and I do love it. but the last year or so I have been trying to switch out all my chemical beauty products. I’m almost there except for the face lotion and mascara. But I am curious how does this compare to Cerave? pretty similar or no? I’m prone to get cystic acne. It’s like one giant owie zit at a time. Usually around my chin. Except the mascara, all my makeup, face toner and makeup remover is homemade. I also make an awesome after shave lotion that I love. but now it’s time for the face lotion. It sounds like a great recipe but I am worried about the oily-ness. Please let me know. Thanks!

    • Hi Melinda! It is oily – I wouldn’t use this on your face if you’re prone to acne. You could just use straight up shea butter as a lotion, and leave out the coconut oil, as it can be cimoedogenic.

  31. Smells Good (company name) sells unrefined raw Shea butter on Amazon for around 18.00 for 5 lbs. no mistake. 5 pounds! You have to put it in freezer baggies or repurposed jars, which is what I do, because it comes as big pieces in a plastic bag. Really creamy and great price. Less than 4.00 per pound. It stores well and I’m thrilled with the product and the moisturizers I make with it.

  32. I am having trouble finding sweet almond oil. Can I use olive oil instead?

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