After I vowed to go chemical free, it was only a matter of time before I started trying to make my own body moisturizer. I am a big believer in daily moisturizing and I was excited by the prospect of making my own DIY body lotion with shea butter.

Once I started reading and experimenting, I was surprised how easy it is!

I already loved working with shea butter and how it makes my skin feel so this was my starting point. I quickly learned a body butter shea butter was the best way to go although I was worried about it feeling greasy – and my first few concoctions were a little greasy.

Then I came up with this perfect non greasy shea body butter recipe that not only felt great on my skin but leaves my skin looking better than it ever did with store-bought cream.

Below, I share everything with you that I’ve learned about making shea butter lotion including why I do it, why I make a body butter style lotion and what I do to stop it feeling greasy.

I also walk you through the benefits of each ingredient in my recipe so you understand the shea butter lotion benefits. I also give you some options for ingredient exchanges if you are missing something. And, of course, I share exactly how to make whipped shea butter lotion.

Let’s start!

How To Make Non Greasy Shea Body Butter Recipe

What Is Shea Butter?

Shea butter is a popular ingredient in skincare and beauty products thanks to being very beneficial for the skin. I love to use shea butter to make lotion.

It’s a natural product made from fat extracted from shea seeds. Shea seeds are found within shea fruit which grows on shea trees native to West Africa.

It is a little more complicated to make shea butter than just getting some seeds though, and there are a couple of different techniques.

Firstly, the seeds need to be removed from the shells that surround them. They are then dried out.

This is when there are two choices of what to do next depending on whether you want to make what’s called refined shea butter or unrefined/raw shea butter.

Refined shea butter is cheaper and easier to make. It extracts the shea butter using high-heat and chemical solvents. Unfortunately, this process also strips most of the great nutrients in shea butter meaning it’s not as beneficial for the skin.

It’s white and odorless which can make it easier to work with, but since it’s lacking most of the awesome nutrients of raw shea butter, I don’t recommend unrefined shea butter for your body cream.

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

To make the much better quality raw shea butter takes more effort and is often done by hand. In this process, the dried seeds are ground into powder which is roasted.

This roasted powder is then ground again to form a viscous substance. This is kneaded and whipped while water is added.

shea butter

This whipping forces the oils to coagulate together on the surface of the water. The oils are removed and boiled.

Boiling the oils removes any remaining water and forces any remaining impurities to the surface where they are removed.

The remaining substance is raw shea butter. It’s strained and cooled. It solidifies into a thick, somewhat creamy consistency which is an ivory or off-white color. It smells smoky and nutty.

Click here to buy shea butter.

Why Make DIY Shea Butter Lotion?

There are so many reasons I love making my own DIY body cream shea butter, and I think you will too. Here are some of the top reasons.

DIY lotion shea butter
My completed shea butter body butter. So good!

Shea Butter Homemade Lotion Is So Nourishing For Your Skin

The number one reason is, of course, because this DIY shea butter body cream is so good for my skin.

It hydrates, it protects, it soothes and it softens.

My skin loves this cream and so do I. In fact, I absolutely love touching my skin now. It’s so soft with this homemade body cream with shea butter.

This DIY Lotion With Shea Butter Is All Natural

I also love that this recipe for shea butter lotion doesn’t just work, but there are no chemical nasties. It’s made with all natural products and feels good enough to eat!

It’s awesome.

It’s Cheap And Easy To Make

Not only is it all natural and so good on my skin, but it’s so cheap and easy to make. You only need three ingredients to make this recipe, two of which you can find in your local supermarket.

It only takes minutes to make and it’s fun as well. It’s soft and fantastic 🙂

It Makes A Great Gift

Not only do I love making shea butter lotion recipes for myself, but I love making it for others too. I love packaging it up and gifting it along with my sugar scrub. It makes such a great gift!

Safflower oil and shea butter ready to whip
Safflower oil and shea butter ready to whip

Homemade Shea Butter Lotion Vs DIY Shea Butter Body Butter

First of all, what is a lotion vs a body butter?

Whilst these terms are used somewhat interchangeably at times, they can also mean different things.

Lotions are generally made with water, oil and an emulsifier whereas a body butter is a mixture of just butter and an oil that’s whipped to make it fluffy. Sometimes body butters are referred to as lotion (like I do in this article), but you wouldn’t call a lotion a body butter unless it was.

When I first looked into making a moisturizer with shea butter, I was thinking about making something thinner and more lotion-like than a body butter. However, two things happened to change my mind.

Firstly, body lotion is generally 70-80% water. The problem with this is that it means your lotion can become moldy unless you use a preservative. It’s not good to keep your DIY beauty products containing water at room temperature without a good preservative.

Since going chemical-free is important to me, finding a preservative that was natural and effective soon made my mind explode. I then looked for alternatives.

I had initially discarded the idea of making body butter because I felt it would feel greasy. However, I changed my mind after I read more and started experimenting. In fact, if you make my shea butter body cream recipe below, I think you are going to be surprised by how thin and lotion-like it is. It isn’t thick and heavy like I imagined body butters.

I am now sold on a shea body butter DIY being the way to go and absolutely love making and enjoying my homemade shea butter lotion non greasy.

Freshly whipped shea butter, safflower oil and arrowroot powder, ready for essential oils
Freshly whipped shea butter, safflower oil and arrowroot powder, ready for essential oils

How To Make A Homemade Shea Butter Lotion Recipe Less Greasy

When it comes to making body butter than is lighter and less greasy, there are two main things I recommend.

The first is to use lighter oil. I use safflower oil in my body butters (and in the recipe below) because it is quickly absorbed into the skin. You could also use rosehip oil or grapeseed oil.

I recommend you stay away from heavier richer oils. This includes coconut oil, olive oil and palm oil. While you can switch out safflower oil in my recipe below to make a homemade lotion with coconut oil and shea butter, I do not recommend this. Of course, everyone’s preferences are different, but it will make for greasier body butter.

The other thing I recommend is adding arrowroot powder to your body butter. While you can make body butter without it, it can help absorb excess oil. So can tapioca powder or cornstarch. I find it makes a noticeable different to how greasy my body butters feel and it also has some benefits of its own. More about that below.

Ingredients In A Non-Greasy Shea Butter Lotion Recipe

You only need three ingredients to make this awesome DIY body cream with shea butter. You can also choose to add essential oils. Below, I describe the benefits of using each of these as well as some alternatives.

Shea Butter

Shea butter in an airtight container
Shea butter in an airtight container

There are many benefits to using shea butter in your body lotion. It’s full of antioxidants, fatty acids and vitamins.

It’s used in many skincare products because it softens, soothes and moisturizes your skin. It forms a protective layer on top when you apply it while it hydrates underneath. It’s easy to spread and use.

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

If you have oily skin, the jury is still out on 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 in this recipe for moisturizing your body and giving your cream a good consistency.

You can switch it for cocoa butter or mango butter.

Click here to buy shea butter now.

Safflower Oil

Safflower oil

Safflower oil is light and absorbs into skin well which makes it perfect for this body butter.

Safflower oil is considered to be beneficial for your skin, although there is yet to be any scientific studies to prove exactly what these benefits are.

However, safflower oil is believed to anti-inflammatory and particularly good for oily skin and for people battling acne is it’s been found to be noncomedogenic which means it won’t clog pores.

You can also exchange this for grapeseed or rosehip oil.

Click here to buy safflower oil now.

Arrowroot Powder

Arrowroot powder

Arrowroot powder is a perfect addition for your DIY body lotion shea butter if you want to cut down the greasiness of your body butter.

It comes from the starch that is extracted from the root of tropical plants. It cuts down the greasy feeling of this body butter by absorbing some of the excess oil.

It also has benefits of its own. It contains vitamin Bs which can improve circulation and your skin’s ability to absorb other nutrients. This means it can help your skin get the maximum benefits from the other ingredients in this body butter.

So not only does it help cut down the greasy feeling but it also will help moisturize and soften your skin while improving blood circulation.

If you don’t have any arrowroot powder, you can leave it out 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 optional in this recipe, but they can make your body butter even nicer.

They not only can give it a nice smell, but different essential oils have their own benefits they can add to the body butter for you. You can use one or mix a few together to form a blend with multiple benefits.

I personally love using lavender and rose essential oils in this recipe. I just love the smell. However, using raw shea butter (which you should) brings in its own smell and these raw shea butter lotion recipes can work better with stronger smelling essential oils that can overpower the shea butter smell more easily.

For lighter smells, like rose, you may need to add more essential oils. Below, I share what works for me but you’ll need to work out the levels that are best and safe for you.

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

Click here to buy essential oils now.

How To Make Shea Butter Lotion Recipe

Whipping the oil and shea butter
Whipping the oil and shea butter

It’s very easy to learn how to make homemade shea butter lotion. You basically add the ingredients together and whip them!

I recommend an electric mixer to do this. When I first made body butter, I tried to use my stick mixer but it just didn’t work. My electric hand mixer worked much better.

I recommend using an airtight container when you make your own shea butter lotion. I love using bail jars (particularly when I’m giving it away as a gift) but any airtight container is fine.

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I hope you have found this guide to how to make your own shea butter lotion useful. I love my body butter and use it daily. My skin has never looked and felt so good!

It’s also fun to try out different essential oils in this recipe, but note while I wouldn’t say shea butter has an overpowering smell, it can be hard for lighter fragrances to stand out when mixed in with raw shea butter.

I hope you have found this shea butter body lotion recipe awesome as well. Let me know what you think of this recipe by leaving a shea butter body butter review above.

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


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