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Homemade Body Butter Recipe

This is the Homemade Body Butter Recipe I shared when I visited Martha Stewart Living Radio!


body butter recipe


I keep a small tub of my homemade body butter recipe in my car and shared some of it with Kadi Prescott – dynamo mother of 7 children.  Needless to say – she instantly wanted to know how to make it for her sensitive skinned little one.   Because we are both blogging diva’s – instead of emailing the recipe to her I told her I’d kick into gear and get the recipe posted.

All of the ingredients can be easily sourced – but the trickiest may be the beeswax.  You buy it buy the pound so one block will make a lot of lotion!  You can find it at Michael’s for $20 – but I found for less money, not to mention a more trusted source on Local Harvest.

This Homemade Body Butter Recipe has 4-5 ingredients, is easy to make and you’ll have the pleasure of knowing every ingredient that went into it.

Honey Citrus Homemade Body Butter Recipe

2 Tablespoons of Beeswax
1/2 Cup of Grapeseed Oil
1 Capsule of Vitamin E Oil
2-3 Tablespoons of Distilled Water
10 Drops of Citrus Essential Oil – or to preference

Preservative if the body butter will not be refridgerated.

Homemade Body Butter Recipe Instructions

Combine the wax and oil together in a wide mouth jar. Microwave until the wax is almost completely melted.


Use a hand blender to whip – ensure it’s completely submerged for safety reasons!
Slowly add water and continue to aerate, then add fragrance. It will turn white and be thick and goopy.

Allow the lotion to settle for at least 15-20 minutes.

Scoop into a lotion container of your choosing, empty lip balm tubs.

Apply a small amount to any dry spots and enjoy!

A note about preservation… the vitamin e will help to extend the life of this product, but the formula contains water… so it will only stay bacteria free for a few days without being refrigerated.   I suggest  keeping the bulk of your product in the fridge – and pulling out a couple days worth at a time in a smaller container.  IF you eliminate the water, then you could keep it out, but I haven’t had a chance to test the recipe without water.

Making your own products is wonderful, but it’s time consuming and pricey – so if you prefer to have it done for you Pure Natural Diva has all natural botanical perfumes, organic body & skincare – check them out!  To stay up to date on all the latest diva happenings become a Diva VIP – you’ll get free shipping on all orders over $50 and exclusive offers not available anywhere else!

Who knew making your own Homemade Body Butter Recipe could be this simple?

{ 62 comments… add one }

  • Christina April 14, 2010, 3:26 pm

    Wow Tania! Thank you for posting this :) I have a really close friend who makes her own lotion, but I thought it was harder to do than this. I guess it is her sneaky way of selling it all us unsuspecting dry skinned people :) Just kidding, but seriously this is a simple and easy recipe. I would love to and plan on trying to make this myself. Thanks so much for the share.  This screams Burts Bee’s but without costing an arm and a leg! Thanks again.

  • Serendipity is Sweet April 19, 2010, 5:51 am

    Wow, this is so cool. I’ve never tried making lotion before. Sound like a great idea to make a bunch and package in pretty containers for friends and family. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  • Lisa Liguori May 16, 2010, 8:33 pm

    I am collecting recipes for personal care products to make with my kids this summer, and this looks easy to make and luscious! Thanks for sharing it; I can’t wait to get started.

  • Lindsay August 19, 2010, 6:41 pm

    Thank you for this link, looks easy enough and fun to share with friends! Great little gifts. 

  • Rita October 3, 2010, 6:41 pm

    I made this body butter and worked great. With no preservatives and added water, I am wondering how long the self-life is for this homemade body butter. I put my extra jar in the fridge.

    • Tania Reuben October 5, 2010, 10:24 am

      I’m SO glad you liked it! How long the lotion lasts will depend on the freshness of the oil you use and how you store it. Kept indoors mine tends to keep for about 3 months. It will spoil quickly in the heat – I found this out by leaving a small tub in my car! Refrigerating the extra is a perfect. That should buy you a good amount of time

  • Sheila November 24, 2010, 5:00 pm

    HiMy body butter always turns hard. I have not tried making it with water or beeswax yet. Is it those ingredients that keep it soft and not turn hard? (asking before I buy the beeswax)Could you email me your response?Thank you

  • Tania aka Pure Natural Diva February 14, 2011, 1:46 pm

    Sheila!  I’m So sorry I missed that you had asked this question!  I didn’t find mine turned hard.  Mine typically lasts me about 3 months.You can also use more water for more of a lotion too.I hope that helps!

  • Michelle June 17, 2011, 11:24 am

    I can’t wait to try this recipe – thanks.  There’s nothing better than making what you use.  😉

  • Ashbags July 13, 2011, 1:11 am

    I tried making my own body-butter using your recipe as a guideline. It turned out AWESOME. Thank you so much – I am so excited about it. My African beeswax was much darker in colour than yours, so the colour was a bit interesting, but still great. I do however, have a very important question: Does this product have a shelf life? Should I be keeping it in the fridge, or will it last well kept as I would a commercial product? I look forward to your response, thank you again.

    • Tania July 13, 2011, 1:34 pm

      The vitamin E is a natural preservative, but that said… this will not shelf like a conventional lotion. How long it lasts will depend largely on the freshness of the natural oil you chose. I’ve typically gotten about 3 months from mine. So slather it on generously and enjoy. Also if you made 2 jars… I would keep the second one in the fridge to extend it’s life.

  • Joya Sandoval July 16, 2011, 6:51 pm

    I may have overheated the oil and beeswax when microwaving…I started in 20 second increments (1 min. ) then did about 4 or 5 10-second spurts and beeswax was almost totally melted before I started mixing. Also, I can smell the grapeseed oil as well as the sweet orange scent, so I may need to put more essential oil drops in? Or my oil may be older than I thought.  Anyway, the color is a light green…just like the grapeseed oil. I bought my beeswax at Michael’s (had a 40% off coupon) and essential oil at Whole Foods, grapeseed oil @ Trader Joe’s.  It feels great on my skin!

  • Diana July 26, 2011, 6:35 pm

    Tania, aside from the fun factor and self-satisfaction of making your own lotion, is there any cost savings to be had here? How much would you estimate each bottle you make to cost in materials?

    • Tania August 27, 2011, 10:36 am

      It depends what lotions and creams you are purchasing and the base oil you are using for your cream… the primary ingredient.
      I believe I paid about $20 for the wax, but I only used a small amount. I’m pretty sure that block will make my lotion for the ne
      I own the essential oils, but they can be pricier… again you need a few drops. I also use them for foaming hand soap and other projects.
      I think overall it saves money, as long as you keep making lotion and use up all your beeswax.

  • Deborah Meyerhoff July 29, 2011, 3:58 pm

    I am thrilled with the recipe, but because I use so much moisturizer, would have to have you tell me the additional amounts using the 1# bar of beeswax!  Thanks so much,  Deborah

    • Tania July 31, 2011, 10:25 pm

      I’m afraid I’m not sure what your question is… can you clarify.

  • Deborah Meyerhoff August 1, 2011, 10:44 am
  • Deborah Meyerhoff August 1, 2011, 10:46 am

    Oops …Do you mind figuring out the increases in recipe measurements if I want to make the entire pound of beeswax?  Or even with a cup of beeswax at a time.  Thanks so much,Deborah

  • cassy August 10, 2011, 4:11 pm

    how much does this recipe make? I have limited money, so I bought limited supplies. I have a small block of beeswax…. but that’s about it… and if I only make a small amount can I skip the vitamin E? Thanks!

    • Tania August 27, 2011, 10:25 am

      If you make a small amount, you’ll likely get about one month shelve life. More if your keep it in the fridge.

  • Gypsy October 20, 2011, 9:26 am

    Can I use food coloring to color this lotion?

    • Tania October 20, 2011, 9:31 am

      I haven’t – but as long as it’s food grade – I can’t see why not. Are you trying to add color for cosmetic effect – or appearance?

  • T Robinson November 14, 2011, 3:21 pm

    is this recipe greasy?? want to make some as christmas gifts

    • Tania November 14, 2011, 10:30 pm

      I don’t find it to be greasy. You might want to make one batch first and see how you like it.

  • Lisa December 9, 2011, 5:41 pm

    Can you substitute almond oil for the grapeseed oil in this recipe? …olive oil? Thanks,

    • Tania December 9, 2011, 5:57 pm

      I have only made it with the grape seed oil, but can’t think of any reason the almond & olive oil wouldn’t work. I imagine the olive oil will affect the smell a little. Both of those oils have elements that will nourish and moisturize the skin – which makes them a great choice from a skin care perspective.

  • Pam December 11, 2011, 10:17 am

    This recipe calls for distilled water but it doesnt say how much to add

    • Tania December 12, 2011, 12:53 pm

      It calls for 3-4 Tablespoons of water to make a body butter. I’d up it to 4-6 for more of a cream/ lotion.

  • Jackie December 12, 2011, 12:40 pm

    I started with your recipe as a guideline…Here’s what I’ve used so far…When I first made it I had 1 Tbsp Beeswax4 Tbsp Avocado Oil2 Tsp Shea Butter2 Tbsp Aloe1 Tsp Almond Oilfew drops Vanilla Extract1/2 Tsp Orange Oil5 Tsp WaterIt all mixed well and it turned into a butter when it cooled. It was too greasy so I started adding to make it more like a lotion. I now just have clumped butter and the water is separated. 10 Tbsp & 10 tsp Beeswax 4 Tbsp Avocado Oil3 Tsp Shea Butter6 Tbsp Aloe1 Tsp Almond Oil3 Caps Vanilla Extract1 Tsp Orange Oil25 Tsp WaterHow can I get the water to mix in with the rest of the batch? Also, I am hand mixing with a whisk, don’t have a hand blender yet. 

    • Tania December 12, 2011, 12:52 pm

      Hi Jackie. You can only add the water while it’s warm, otherwise it won’t blend smoothly. I can’t imagine hand mixing this! Wow. That is dedication. The mixer I use was $20-30 20+ years ago… so they aren’t too pricy. If you don’t have the budget for new I bet they would be almost nothing at a thrift store.
      I wish I had better news.

  • Jackie December 12, 2011, 12:58 pm

    Yea I have been warming it up in the microwave until its liquid. I kept blending while it was turning to butter (though it doesn’t look as creamy as the one in your picture, maybe because I need more of the shea butter and beeswax?) and it separated, as it cooled it just separated. Yes I have been hand mixing, it is a lot of work… hoping to get a blender today, maybe its because I really just need that! 

  • Jackie December 12, 2011, 1:10 pm

    What should be 4-6 Tablespoons? Water?

  • Jackie December 12, 2011, 1:44 pm

    I think I figured it out. I must have been mixing at too hot or too cold temperatures. I am now putting it in the microwave for 10 seconds, adding a very tiny amount of water and mixing until its blended. It’s creamy now so I’m just going to keep adding water so when it cools hopefully it will be creamy like a lotion. Awesome recipe!! This was my first attempt at making it and this really helped give me an idea where to start. Easy to make (I’m sure having a hand mixer really makes it easy!) :)

    • Tania December 12, 2011, 3:32 pm

      Glad you worked it out! It really is easy with the a hand mixer.

  • kasey bertling December 15, 2011, 9:25 pm

    Thanks for the recipies, it seemed it hardened a bit too much and so I added much more oils of diffrent types. Both ways I tried didn’t seem to be like a perfect lotion, any suggestions?

    • Tania December 20, 2011, 5:13 pm

      I personally have had no success in modifying the texture once it’s set… but I know that others have remelted the entire formula and tried it again. I can’t speak from experience on this though! See Jackie’s comments below.

  • Whitney December 18, 2011, 9:26 pm

    HiI was wondering how much your recipe makes?  I’m hoping to make several 5 oz jars. It don’t know how much to multiply the recipe.  Also is the 1oz beeswax measured hot or solid?Thanks

    • Tania December 20, 2011, 5:09 pm

      I never actually measured the final production… but I would add the ingredient volume together to get your total oz… I’m thinking I probably ended up with 6-8 oz’s total… but don’t quote me on it. I haven’t made a batch in a while.

  • Cindy December 20, 2011, 5:01 pm

    Love the simplicity of this. I am making it tonight with Peach kernal oil as it absorbs really well. Will up the water to make it more of a lotion.I am no expert but have bought some essential oils as I love to experiment with scents and want totally natural products.I am using this lotion recipe to make a sleep lotion…I know the scents are so personal and this is a work in process but I am loving the blend so far! peppermint oil – 7 dropscinnamon bark oil – 5 dropsEucalyptus – 7 dropsRosemary oil – 10 dropsLavender oil – 9 dropsBirch oil 5 drops

    • Tania December 20, 2011, 5:08 pm

      Thank you for sharing your fragrance formula! Sounds like you’ll be hydrated this winter!

  • Danica February 22, 2012, 7:26 pm

    I was wondering if candililla wax can be substituted for the beeswax?

    • Tania February 23, 2012, 1:09 am

      I had to look it up, but it seems like you could.

  • Danica February 23, 2012, 9:38 am

    Thank you for looking into this, Tania.  I am very excited to try it! Thank you again for the recipe!

  • Danica February 23, 2012, 1:23 pm

    I just made some of this body butter.  I substituted the oils for olive oil, the beeswax for




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    candelilla wax, and the water for aloe vera juice.  This butter is AMAZING and my skin seems to like it too!  Thank you! Just an FYI … The candelilla wax worked well.

    • Tania February 23, 2012, 10:53 pm

      Are you happy with how it turned out?

  • Danica February 24, 2012, 7:38 am

    It turned out more like a lip gloss, but I like it because it is easy to smooth onto the eye area.  I think it is because of the aloe juice.  I am going to experiment again today and just use water instead of aloe and I hope it turns out more like a butter.

  • Michelle March 24, 2012, 1:57 pm

    Thanks for this easy recipe – easily made even with a naughty 3 year old buzzing round my ankles.  I used the sweet almond oil, 2 caps or vitamin E, Honey and lastly calendula essential oil – my kids (and husband) get eczema to varying degrees so this was a great way to see if I can do a cream cheaper than purchasing.  THe amount of calendula may need to be adjusted –  I used (accidentally) 12 drops but we’ll see.  I also no longer have a stick blender so used a hand held electric mixer and melted in a wide mouthed bowl.  If you up the speed of the mixer gradually it will reduce splatter.  My only problem is splitting of the water after the fact and I think it’s because I used an Australian TBSP – which is 25ml – and not my US 20ml TBSP – and the three year old helping meant I accidentally tipped all three tbsp into the cream! But I discovered to removed the excess oil I just stir a bit with a fork or whip with a skewer then drain it from the jar I put it in, that seems to help.  Already – without me even trying it my hand that got the cream on it while putting in the jar was still soft an hour later and my cousin saw my post on facebook about making it and she’s asked for the recipe! So easy to remember as well :-)  Thanks again.

    • Tania March 24, 2012, 3:45 pm

      I’m glad it went well for you! Thank you so much for sharing! I love hearing the feedback!

  • hope April 29, 2012, 1:45 pm

    i loved this recipe so much! its really easy to do and a lot easier than i thought it would be.as im interested in making homemade lotions… do you have any more recipes?or any for a face cream?

    • Tania May 1, 2012, 10:08 am

      I have a few that I’m working on! But none that are ready to post. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss new recipes as they are published!

  • Liz F April 30, 2012, 7:29 pm

    It’s refreshing to see a recipe that DOESN’T use coconut or palm oil!!  Thanks so much, bought the ingredients the other day except for distilled water, can’t wait to try it out!

    • Tania May 1, 2012, 10:06 am

      Can’t wait to hear how it turns out for you!

  • Daisy September 7, 2012, 7:58 pm

    I tried whipping up some of your body lotion but all I got was a liquids form  I used the yellow beeswax pastilles instead. Do you think this had something to do with it?Daisy

    • Tania September 8, 2012, 4:14 pm

      I don’t know if it’s related to the wax, or if the the blending just failed to go according to plan. Without being there it is really hard to trouble shoot. I can say I haven’t worked with wax beads.

  • Elizabeth December 28, 2012, 12:26 am

    Have you ever had this recipe return to liquid? I gave the above recipe a try with olive oil. It did set solid, but some of the small mason jars have returned to liquid. 

    • Tania January 1, 2013, 11:22 pm

      I have not had this happen. I really wish I had a suggestion for you. Sorry.

  • barbara January 5, 2013, 9:37 am

    Any idea what makes cream crystalize after a period of time?

    • Tania January 16, 2013, 9:56 pm

      I haven’t experienced this, so I wish I could be of more help. Did you try doing a search for lotions crystalization?

  • Mikala February 13, 2013, 2:16 pm

    I made this several months ago now and put it into a refillable squeeze tube.  I put lemongrass essential oil in it but as the tube keeps most of the product airtight, I have not had any problems with rancidity.  They are called Coghlan’s squeeze tubes if anyone is interesting and you can get them at amazon and REI. 

  • Daliah May 19, 2013, 8:45 am

    I made this and it came out great. I substituted a few ingredients. 1/4 cup avocado oil. I love it’s moisturizing properties. 2 Tbs aloe vera juice, 2 drops glycerine, 1 Tbs cocoa butter, Bergamot Oil, Lemon Oil. I wouldn’t use cocoa butter next time, maybe Shea butter, it’s odorless. I’m not sure my 2 oil scents are good together, that’s why I added the essential oils. Lotion does not smell yummy, but not bad, I’d just change the scent up next time. You mentioned water goes rancid, try aloe vera juice, it seems not to. I used it before and lotion is fine. To blend well, I found that you need the oil mixture to be cooled slightly. Good way to do that is to sit the jar with warm melted oil, in a bowl of ice, then blend. I use an old tall spaghetti jar. I don’t have a stick blender, I just use my hand held blender, it fits and works great.Elizabeth, I found my lotion turned liquidy when the weather turned warm. The a/c for the upstairs doesn’t work as well as downstairs so the weather has an impact. I decided it was old lotion anyway, so I dumped it and made fresh today. I’m not sure if I did, but my idea was to add a slight bit more beeswax since this is what keeps it solid. Too much beeswax and you get a lotion bar which I didn’t want. Because you can remelt these if you mess up, I added only what this recipe called for, 2 Tbs, and figured if it was not as thick as I wanted, I’d add more later.

  • Daliah May 19, 2013, 9:12 am

    I meant I used 1/2 cup oil, not 1/4.

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