As part of my quest to go chemical free with everything I put on my skin, I soon found myself looking at face cream recipes. I wanted something that would sooth, smooth and moisturize my dry skin while helping me glow and feel good.

Of course, I was drawn to a homemade face cream with shea butter. I was already a fan of using shea butter on my skin having already used it on my feet and lips and as a general skincare ingredient.

So I loved the idea of putting it on my face, especially along with almond oil which I already use in my skincare routine.

So I experimented and came up with the perfect face cream recipe shea butter included! It’s listed below as well as full details on why I like using shea butter on face, exactly how to use shea butter for face as well as why you may like to make a shea butter face cream DIY rather than a lotion (and what the differences are).

Basically, everything you need to know to get the most out of your own homemade shea butter moisturizer for face.

Want a full body shea butter cream instead of a face cream? Find our shea butter body butter recipere here.

Best Homemade Face Cream With Shea Butter

What Is Shea Butter?

Shea butter is like a skin superfood! Basically, the extracted oil from shea seeds in West Africa, shea butter is full of nutrients, vitamins and fatty acids and is great for hydrating and healing skin making it a popular ingredient in skincare and beauty products.

The process of turning shea seeds into butter is quite involved. The first step is to find the seeds – they are inside shells inside shea fruit, remove them and dry them,

shea tree and fruit
Fruit on a shea tree

At this point, there are two routes that can be taken to turn the dried seeds into shea butter.

The easiest route produces what is called refined shea butter. This is when shea butter is produced using high-heat and chemical solvents. This is the cheapest and easiest way but, unfortunately, strips most of the nutrients from the product.

For this reason, refined shea butter is not as beneficial for your skin and not recommended for this face cream recipe with shea butter.

The other type of shea butter is unrefined or raw shea butter. This process does not use high heat or solvents and produces shea butter with most of its nutrients intact.

To make this by hand, the dried shea seeds are first ground into powder. This is then roasted before being ground again to form a viscous substance.

This substance has water added while it is kneaded and then whipped. This process forces the oils to form together on the surface where they can be removed and boiled.

The boiling removes any excess water as well as forces the impurities to the top where they can be removed.

What is left is shea butter which can be strained then left to cool. This leaves raw shea butter which is a solid at room temperature with a thick cream-like look. It’s off-white or ivory and has a nutty, smoky smell.

Click here to buy shea butter.

Read more about the differences between refined and unrefined (or raw) shea butter here.

How To Use Shea Butter On Face

Shea Butter

So can you put shea butter on your face? Yes, there are many benefits to using shea butter as moisturizer for face. It’s moisturizing, soothing, smoothing, healing, anti-inflammatory and contains many antioxidants. There are many reasons to want to put shea butter on your face.

You have two main choices when it comes to how to use raw shea butter on face – you can simply use shea butter by itself or with other ingredients to make a fabulous DIY shea butter face moisturizer.

There are benefits to making face cream with shea butter rather than using it by itself. Basically, you can mix it with other ingredients to get extra benefits. Then you won’t just get all the great benefits of shea butter but also almond oil, vitamin E oil and anything else you mix with it.

The drawback is that this takes more effort and can cost more money when you can use shea butter by itself.

If you want to use it by itself, this is how to apply shea butter on face.

  1. Rub a small amount of shea butter between your palms to make it a creamy/oily consistency
  2. Rub it on your face softly
  3. Let it absorb by itself

I recommend you use it once a day in the evening before bed.

Freshly made face cream in a jar waiting to set
Freshly made face cream waiting to set

Why Make Homemade Face Cream With Shea Butter?

For some huge extra benefits to using shea butter as face moisturizer, I recommend you make your own shea butter cream for face. Here are some of my reasons.

There Are So Many Benefits To Using Shea Butter As A Face Moisturizer

There are so many benefits to using shea butter on your face.

As mentioned above, it’s very moisturizing. What’s even better is that it forms a thin layer on your skin to protect it while it hydrates the skin underneath. It also has healing and anti-microbial properties which means it can help heal any cuts and rashes while helping to prevent infection.

It’s also full of antioxidants which can help prevent or slow damage to cells by free radicals. This works as an anti-aging agent protecting your skin cells from becoming dry and full.

It’s Cheap, Fun And Easy To Make DIY Face Cream Shea Butter

If you like the idea of making your own face moisturizer with shea butter but are worried that it’s hard or expensive, don’t!

This homemade shea butter face moisturizer recipe is super easy and cheap to make. In fact, it may be the cheapest face cream you ever own as well as one of the best.

It’s All Natural

Everything in this shea butter homemade face cream is natural. No chemical nasties that can hurt your skin.

DIY Face Cream With Shea Butter Makes A Great Gift

If you can bare to part with any of this great face cream, it also makes a great gift! I like to make it in a bail jar, put on a label and give it to people for gifts. It’s great.

Shea butter face cream
My rose and lavender shea butter face cream

DIY Shea Butter Face Cream Vs Lotion

When I first looked into a DIY replacement for my bought moisturizing cream, I originally through I needed to make a shea butter face lotion recipe. This was mainly because I worried using almond oil and shea butter for face cream would produce something greasy.

However, I soon learned there are some big advantages to making face cream over lotion.

This is because lotion is generally 70-80% water. And the problem with water is that this means your lotion can grow mold unless you use a good preservative.

Since I want to go chemical-free, my mind quickly exploded with all the preservative options and making a face cream became very attractive. It also makes more sense if you have skin that tends to dry out like mine.

So I decided a face cream was the way to go especially once I started experimenting with arrowroot powder which gets rid of the greasy feel. Then there was no reason not to fully embrace a shea face moisturizer.

Note that if you’d rather a face balm-like mixture, you can turn this into a homemade face cream with shea butter and beeswax by simply adding the beeswax. I recommend 1-2 tablespoons of beeswax depending on how solid you want your face balm. Add it to the double boiler with the shea butter.

Ingredients For Homemade Shea Butter Face Cream

What’s super easy about this homemade face moisturizer with shea butter is that it doesn’t include many ingredients! You could even skip some of them if you don’t have them. As long as you have shea butter and an appropriate oil, you can make this.

Shea Butter

DIY face moisturizer shea butter

As stated previously, there are so many reasons to want shea butter in your face cream. It’s full of antioxidants, fatty acids and vitamins.

It softens, soothes and moisturizes your skin while being easy to spread and use. When you apply it, it forms a protective layer on your skin while it moisturizes and keeps skin hydrated underneath.

It has anti-inflammatory properties and is good for cuts, rashes, redness and skin that needs some extra TLC.

It’s still unclear whether shea butter can clog pores (if it does then it’s not recommended for oily skin – read more here). It’s a definite winner for dry skin though.

Shea butter works great as a face moisturizer and it’s a winning ingredient in this face cream helping it have a great consistency and many rejuvenating effects on your skin.

You could switch this for cocoa butter.

Click here to buy shea butter now.

Almond Oil

almond oil and almonds

Like shea butter, almond oil is full of nutrients great for your skin, and it’s also important you buy an unrefined version.

To start with, almond oil is an emollient and a moisturizer. This means it smoothes out the skin by filling in any gaps while acting as a barrier (emollient) and helps your skin retain and attract moisture (moisturizer). This is especially good for dry skin. It can clog pores causing problems for oily skin, however.

Almond oil can help reduces the signs of aging and repair damaged skin (as found in this study). This is in part thanks to the vitamin E in almond oil which may also help with some limited protection from the sun (rated at SPF5).

Almond oil can also be great for getting rid of puffiness around eyes thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.

You can switch this for other oils like jojoba, coconut or avocado oil. So if you are looking for a shea butter coconut oil face cream recipe, simply switch the almond oil below for coconut oil.

Note that coconut oil is a heavier oil though that takes longer to absorb into your skin. This means it can add to a greasy feeling for this face cream.

Click here to buy almond oil now.

Vitamin E Oil

vitamin e oil

Vitamin E is fabulous for the skin. It can reduce inflammation while making your skin look younger as it’s an antioxidant. It helps repair skin and has many great benefits.

While vitamin E is found in both shea butter and almond oil, adding more will give you even more benefits, but you can leave it out if you wish.

Click here to buy vitamin E oil now.

Arrowroot Powder

Arrowroot powder

Arrowroot powder if the perfect addition to this DIY face moisturizer with shea butter if you want to cut down the greasiness of your face cream.

This powder is a starch extracted from the root of tropical plants. It works to absorb some of the excess oil in this face cream which is how it reduces the greasy feeling.

It’s also contains B vitamins which can help improve circulation and your skin’s ability to absorb other nutrients – meaning it will help your face get the maximum benefits from the other ingredients in this face cream.

This means the arrowroot powder not only helps with reducing the greasy feeling but also helps soften skin and improve blood circulation.

You can leave this ingredient out if you wish or use tapioca powder or cornstarch instead.

Click here to buy arrowroot powder now.

Essential Oils

lemon and lavender essential oil
Lemon and lavender essential oil – a refreshing combination

Essential oils are also optional but they do help take this face cream to another level.

They not only can give the cream (and your face) a nice smell, but they can also add extra benefits depending on the ones you use.

Which to use is up to you. You can use just one essential oil or a combination. Remember shea butter itself has a scent and some essential oils can help give this face cream a new one.

I personally love using lavender and rose essential oils in this recipe. I just love the smell. Here are some oils you may want to consider.

  • Lavender – my personal favorite. Lavender is great for skin and smells beautiful. It’s known for being relaxing and helping you be alert
  • Lemon – is uplifting, refreshing and is good for attention and focus. It’s also good for cleansing
  • Orange – is also uplifting and good for depression
  • Peppermint – is good for inflammation and the cooling effect it has feels great on sore lips. It can also help focus the mind
  • Spearmint – also has a cooling effect with a sweeter smell than peppermint. It’s also good for stress
  • Vanilla – is a mood lifter and good for depression
  • Rose – doesn’t just smell great but is also good for skin imperfections and stimulates the mind
  • Chamomile – is soothing and relaxing which makes it good for anxiety

Note: In my recipe, I simply share what level of essential oil works for me and my skin. You may need to alter this based on what is best for you.

Click here to buy essential oils now.

How To Make Face Cream With Shea Butter

Melting the shea butter
Melting the shea butter

It’s super easy to make this shea butter face cream. You are basically just melting the shea butter and then mixing the ingredients together.

You can change the oil if you wish and there are some alternatives for other ingredients above too. A popular choice is to make it a homemade face cream with coconut oil and shea butter by switching out the almond oil. This can work great too.

I recommend storing your face cream in an airtight container away from any water as moisture can impact its lifespan. I love using a bail jar to make it look extra special but any sealed container can do.

Mixing the arrowroot powder into the other ingredients
Mixing the arrowroot powder into the other ingredients

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Face cream ingredients all mixed in a double boiler
Face cream made and ready to be poured into my jar


I hope you have found this guide to making your own shea butter face cream useful. I love it and use it daily. My face has never looked or felt so good!

It’s also fun to try out different essential oils in this recipe. While I prefer lavender and rose, sometimes I like the pep something like peppermint oil gives me so I like to have a few alternative face creams made up for me to chose from.

I hope you have found this face cream recipe fantastic as well. Let me know what you think of this recipe by leaving a shea butter face cream review above.

You can also find our great shea butter lip balm recipe here, body lotion recipe here, body scrub here and foot balm recipe here. Find more useful guides to using shea butter here.


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