Homemade Shea Butter Lotion

Lotion is far easier to make than you’d expect, and much healthier for your skin, too! Couple that with the revitalizing properties of raw Shea butter, and you have a storming recipe for success!

Shea butter lotion has so many great benefits for the skin and will only cost you a few cents per use.

Plus, by making it yourself, you will know it is made with pure and natural ingredients (and a lot of love) that will leave your skin feeling silky smooth.

You may be wondering why it’s important to worry about what we put on our skin or if it even matters. Well, to start, the skin is the largest organ in the human body.

It protects our bodies from harmful external factors, including chemicals, extreme temperatures, and bacteria, so we must take care of it in return!

Homemade Shea Butter Lotion

In fact, what you put on your body is just as critical as what you put in your body. Simply put, you need to look after your skin as much as possible.

This includes applying moisturizing lotion to areas of your body that need it most, wearing SPF when appropriate, and generally just allocating time for these creams to sit and absorb into your skin.

That’s why regularly moisturizing your skin using lotions and body butters is absolutely vital. And if you can’t afford the high street prices, you can indeed make your own scrumptious yet effective products!

Homemade products afford you the opportunity to customize each product for your particular skin type and preference.

That being said, it can be hard knowing where to start – especially if you’ve never made your own lotion before. But we’re here to lend a helping hand!

The recipes are cost efficient, non-greasy, and provide your skin with lots of necessary moisture.

What Is Shea Butter?

Shea butter is a product of Vitellaria Paradoxa, also known as the African Shea tree. It is the fat extracted from the kernels of a Shea tree.

These Shea nuts are natural ingredients that have been harvested and processed in West and East African countries for centuries.

It has an ivory or off-white color and is solid at warm temperatures. Many skincare products feature shea butter as a key ingredient thanks to its incredible moisturizing properties.

What Is Shea Butter Made Of?

Naturally existing in this firm, thick-textured cream is a collection of raw minerals and vitamins that add to the extraordinary qualities. Shea butter contains some of the following compounds:

  • Vitamins A and F – These two vitamins help to ensure that all shea butter has moisturizing and pro-aging properties.
  • Tocopherol – Also commonly known as catechins or vitamin E, this compound adds antioxidant properties to shea butter.
  • Oleic, Stearic, Linoleic and Palmitic Acids – These are some fatty acids present in shea butter. They are excellent for the skin’s barrier and allow the butter to meld seamlessly with the natural oils on your skin. These are also naturally occurring.

Uses For Shea Butter

Shea butter is a highly versatile and therapeutic way to heal ailments and issues. From skin to hair to sun protection and collagen production, it’s no wonder Shea butter comes so highly recommended.

  • Its soothing nature makes it an effective way to repair your skin, which provides almost immediate relief for individuals who may be suffering from dry and itchy skin and eczema. However, shea butter can also be used to:
  • Reduce the appearance of scars or stretch marks
  • Moisturize your hands and body daily
  • Effectively treat acne
  • Moisturize your lips
  • Alleviate skin rashes, burns, and insect bites
  • Reduce any inflammation of the skin
  • Helps to soothe any razor burn
  • Recharge your skin after sun exposure
  • As a revitalizing scalp and hair mask

How To Make Shea Butter From Shea Seeds

After 20 years in the soil, the Shea tree produces its first fruit. After 45 years, it will reach its full production capacity. Impressive, right?

The fruit is generally quite sweet tasting, which helps to provide the butter with nutritional properties. Its seeds can be acquired after the fruit has been consumed.

Additionally, there are several processes that can be used to make Shea butter from its seeds. We’ve condensed some of these into the following process:

Cracking & Pounding

Crack the shell of the Shea seed with your hand to obtain the Shea nut. After you have done this, wash them and leave them to dry to evaporate the moisture.

After you have dried them, pound them, crushing them into smaller pieces.

Roasting And Making A Paste

Next, you need to roast the small crushed pieces to transform them into a paste. The product will be of a dark chocolaty color.

Whip The Paste

All you need to do is add some water to the dark chocolate-like paste and mix it well until it reaches a whipped consistency.


By repeatedly washing the concoction with distilled water, you can purify the shea butter paste. This makes it safe for application on your skin.


You can now heat the purified paste on your stove. The fat should rise to the top, and the oil should settle at the bottom.

Final Step

Finally, skim off the fat while allowing the oil to settle at the bottom. The oil that is settled becomes hard and is used as Shea Butter.

How To Make Homemade Shea Butter Lotion

How To Make Homemade Shea Butter Lotion

And now we’ve come to the most interesting question: is it possible for you to make your own shea butter lotion at home? Why, yes, it is!

Making homemade body butter and lotion is actually pretty simple (fun, too), and doesn’t necessarily require the use of any special equipment.

All you need to do is melt a few ingredients together, give them some time to cool, whip using a hand mixer, and then transfer into an airtight container. Sounds good, right?

Well, there may be a few additional small steps involved, but it’s all still relatively straightforward! We’ve outlined some of the best methods below.

Method 1

One of the main tricks to make this particular homemade non-greasy lotion is adding in arrowroot powder, which absorbs some oil and creates the perfect lotion consistency.

Before whipping the lotion to make it light and fluffy, try adding a small amount of arrowroot powder.

What You’ll Need


  1. Melt the coconut oil and shea butter into your double boiler (or your makeshift double boiler). Then, remove it from the heat when the ingredients have mixed.
  2. Pour into a bowl and place in the freezer for roughly anywhere between 15-20 minutes. When you take it out, the mixture should not be solid, and should be firm enough to mix using a hand mixer.
  3. Add in your essential oils and vitamin E oil. This is an optional step.
  4. As you begin to combine the lotion ingredients together, slowly begin to add in the arrowroot powder while mixing using a hand mixer.
  5. Continue the mixing process until the lotion is light and fluffy. This should take you roughly around 3 minutes to complete.
  6. Transfer the homemade lotion to an airtight storage container and you’re done! Storing the mixture in this location will limit oxidation, and will maintain the smooth consistency of the lotion.

Method 2

This is similar to method one, but has a few key differences. When you make lotion, you’re creating an emulsion. That’s when you force two things to combine that don’t naturally mix.

The process is actually just like making homemade mayonnaise. You can also use a blender, but a food processor is likely to give you more reliable results!

Use distilled water for the water portion. Again, this is just so that everything is as pure as possible, with nothing unwanted getting into the finished lotion.

What You’ll Need


  1. Measure beeswax, jojoba oil, and shea butter into a heat safe glass container.
  2. You can make your own double boiler by placing the pitcher on a cloth in a pan of water. In this step, you need to heat the water to a gentle simmer until all the above ingredients are entirely melted.
  3. Pour the hot oil mixture into the food processor.
  4. Turn the food processor on, and in a small, slow stream, gradually pour water in as you go. This allows you to remain in control of the overall process.
  5. Allow the food processor to run for another minute or so.
  6. Make sure the lotion mixture remains below 176° F.
  7. Add essential oils and preservatives if you have decided to use them. Then allow the food processor to run for an additional minute or two until everything is completely blended.
  8. Pour into glass containers.
  9. Store in a cool, dark place at room temperature.
  10. Enjoy!

Method 3

For the more minimalist individual, this shea butter lotion recipe is perfect for you! With just two simple ingredients, this recipe is very easy to prepare. Plus, you don’t need a double boiler!

What You’ll Need


  1. Combine the safflower oil and shea butter in a bowl.
  2. Begin to mix the shea butter and safflower with a hand mixer in order to create your shea butter lotion.
  3. Blend the mixture until it has a smooth consistency. This should take you around 2 minutes.
  4. Pour the mix into a container and slather the lotion over any patches of dry skin. Most importantly, enjoy!

Shea Butter Benefits

If you’re wondering what the overall benefits of opting to use shea butter lotion are, then we’ve got you covered.

Not only is shea butter lotion an excellent way of treating certain skin conditions, but it is a very gentle ingredient that is perfectly safe for even the most sensitive skin.

There are two different types of shea butter; refined and unrefined.

Unrefined shea butter means no chemicals or preservatives are added during the extraction process, resulting in an all-natural product that is gentle on your skin.

Raw shea butter tends to be ivory, but it isn’t entirely uncommon to see white shea butter.

Don’t worry, this is okay! Shea butter products that are white are a direct result of processing during production.

When shea butter is refined, it loses its natural ivory color. However, unrefined shea butter has a large amount of beneficial nutrients in comparison to refined shea butter.

So, if you aren’t opposed to its more intense smell, unrefined shea butter is definitely the best way to go!

Other key benefits include:

  • It’s full of antioxidants which help to brighten up your skin.
  • UV protection thanks to Cinnamic Acid Esters. These absorb some UV rays. Plus, shea butter has an SPF between 3 and 4.
  • It is gentle on sensitive skin.
  • Highly moisturizing. The lotion will naturally begin to melt when it comes into contact with your hands, meaning it is easy to apply to the skin as a moisturizer.
  • Helps to reduce signs of anti-aging in the skin. Shea butter contains lupeol which inhibits enzymes that damage the skin’s supportive proteins
  • Hydrates and repairs damaged skin without any grease
  • Great source of fatty acids and vitamins
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties, meaning it’s great for treating skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.

Can You Use Shea Butter On Your Face?

Shea butter is non-comedogenic, meaning it does not clog pores. This means you can apply the ingredient to your face.

If you have acne-prone skin, you may want to do a small test patch first to be sure it doesn’t cause breakouts.

Shea butter, on its own, has a creamy yet thick consistency. It is easy to apply to the skin but can leave a residue.

If applying shea butter to the face, it is best to do it at night time. Applying it in the morning may affect your makeup routine.

Shea butter has anti-inflammatory properties making it great for acne and reducing redness on the face. It can also help with anti-aging by reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and crows feet.

Shea Butter: Tattoo And Wound Care

Shea Butter: Tattoo And Wound Care

A tattoo is a permanent marking on the skin made using ink and needles.

Not only do tattoos look great on the skin, but they help individuals to express their individuality – something that is desperately needed within our current society. But how do you go about healing them?

Why, using Shea butter and lotion, of course!

Shea in all its forms (raw or as part of a lotion) has a long shelf life compared to other forms of body butter. This makes it highly convenient as you won’t have to splash out for a new product with each new tattoo you get.

Neat, right?

Overall, thanks to its excessive healing properties, pure Shea is a great choice for caring for wounds and tattooed areas. And a little bit definitely goes a long way.

Not only does a small amount keep the area well-hydrated, but it also has soothing tendencies which will reduce the amount of skin irritation you experience.

It also helps to eliminate scabbing and lingering dryness in areas that need it the most. But, to properly treat your tattooed skin with Shea butter, you should follow these steps:

Prepare Your Skin

Clean your hands before doing anything else. Then, take a relevant amount of Shea butter and gently begin to rub it between your fingers or your palm until the texture changes into something resembling a mix of cream and oil.

Apply It Gently

Apply the shea butter gently to the area of your tattoo, using stroking movements that flow with the natural direction of your skin and hairs.

Wait For It To Absorb

Don’t rub the Shea vigorously! By simply putting it on top of your skin, it will be successfully absorbed.

Adding Essential Oils

Adding in essential oils to your homemade shea butter lotion is an optional step, but highly recommended!

Essential oils can have so many great benefits for your skin and can help to customize your lotion just the way you want.

Using essential oils will add cleaning, purifying, and anti-aging properties. Several can help to hydrate the skin and boost the immune system.

You can choose a single oil, a premixed blend, or create your own blend. Some oils come with anti-aging properties, which are wonderful in a homemade lotion.

Certain single oils including lavender are packed with beneficial ingredients for your skin. And they smell gorgeous, too!

Natural Preservatives

When you make homemade lotions that contain water, it is vital that you also use a preservative.

This is because if we make something that contains water, and have it sit around at room temperature, it needs to be kept fresh to prevent the growth of unwanted bacteria and mold.

Of course, if you want to go totally preservative free, you can just store your homemade Shea lotion in the refrigerator. But keep in mind that the shelf life will still be shorter.


With a homemade Shea butter lotion, you can experiment and play around with all the ingredients.

This is where it becomes very exciting! All recipes that show you how to make homemade Shea butter lotion will feature a liquid oil and Shea butter as core ingredients.

In the two recipes we’ve included, these are coconut oil and jojoba oil. But you can substitute these for other liquid oils or butters of your choosing.

You could try a mix of sweet almond oil and cocoa butter, or avocado oil and coconut oil. The options really are endless!

Additional Information

  • If you decide to add essential oils to your lotion to give it a particular scent, you need to dilute them using water.
  • A good rule is to stick to the 2% solution for topical application, meaning you should use 10–12 drops of essential oils in roughly an ounce of water.
  • It is best to store any DIY product featuring essential oils in an airtight glass container. We love wide-mouth mason jars because of their shape and overall convenience.
  • This shape also makes it much easier to get the lotion out.
  • If you do not own a double boiler, you can make your own by placing a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water.
  • You can substitute equal parts of mango butter or cocoa butter for the shea butter if you prefer, but the consistency may change.


Shea butter lotion is a miracle worker. It effectively soothes irritated skin or wounds (including tattoos), moisturizes dry patches of skin, and treats medical conditions including eczema – all at the same time!

There are several ways to make your own Shea butter lotion, all of which feature the same basic ingredients but with small differences here and there in regard to the process.

This article outlines three different recipes, so you can choose one that best suits your lifestyle.

Making homemade Shea butter lotion is also an entirely customizable process as you are given the opportunity to add in essential oils to give your lotion a specific scent, which may not be offered anywhere else on the market.

So if you are looking for a way to keep your skin perfumed and well moisturized whilst also saving a bit of money, a homemade Shea butter lotion is the perfect solution for you!

Hannah Shiftle
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