Alright, friends! Today I’m sharing with you my favorite homemade shea butter lotion recipe. This recipe has been a longtime staple for us. More recently, I’ve updated my recipe to include shea butter and it is heavenly!
In case you didn’t know, storebought moisturizers are often full of petroleum, mineral oil, and other nasty ingredients that actually suck the moisture out of your skin. Dishonest marketing, right??
Because of the nasty ingredients, I switched to homemade lotion many years ago.
It is technically Spring up here in South Dakota. But it’s still cold and dry. This is NOT normal for the Black Hills which is generally milder and not nearly as snowy. But one thing is for sure, my skin has been begging for more from my homemade moisturizer.
For years, I’ve used cocoa butter in my moisturizer. Due to the overall low humidity here, I started researching ingredients more thoroughly to see if I was missing anything. Turns out I was!
Don’t get me wrong, cocoa butter has some fantastic benefits. But I’ve really missed the ball on not using shea butter. Before I get to my recipe, let me explain the benefits of both kinds of butter so you can make sure you’re picking the right one for your skin care needs.
Benefits of Both Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter
- Emollients that help stop water from evaporating from your skin, (from WebMD).
- Contain fatty acids
- Vitamin A is known to help with the following, (from Healthline):
- stretch marks
- age spots
- Vitamin E benefits, (from Cleveland Clinic):
- moisture retainage
- protects cells from damage
- softens skin
As you can see above, shea butter has so many benefits. But there are two items on my list of shea butter-specific properties we should talk about more.
- Latex. Though shea butter does contain latex, there is no guarantee that you will have a reaction if you have a latex allergy. My oldest daughter is allergic to latex and uses my homemade shea butter moisture without any reaction. Zero issues in fact. The shea butter I use is raw too. So all this said, depending on the severity of your allergy, you may want to use refined shea butter.
- Acne. I want you to be fully informed about what my research revealed and several sources (at the bottom of this article) stated that shea butter MAY clog pores. In my view, the amount of shea butter for this recipe will not likely cause any issues. My anecdotal evidence I have 3 teens who have had some normal teenage acne. When I switched to shea butter instead of cocoa butter, their blemishes did not worsen.
I realize I only have anecdotal evidence for the latex and acne assertions, but I wanted to share those with you if you are concerned.
Other Homemade Shea Butter Lotion Ingredients
Now that I’ve sufficiently beat the dead horse on shea butter, I want to just talk a wee little look at the ingredients in my lotion. Many items can be purchased at your local store. Just keep in mind that the higher the quality (without extra ingredients) the more nourishing your lotion will be
- Aloe Vera Gel – When looking for this ingredient, it’s best to get a brand without a bunch of additives. You do NOT want the green or blue aloe. In a pinch, I have even used aloe vera juice from my local grocery store. It works, but if you can get some good 100% pure aloe vera GEL, this is the best.
- Vitamin E – You should be able to find vitamin E oil in your local grocery store, but it’s often not 100% pure. I have used the store bought and there are benefits still.
- Essential Oils – again pure is best. My favorite essential oil combination is 8 drops of lavender oil (which is very soothing) and 2 drops of Germ Fighter (to keep bacteria at bay).
- Beeswax – Don’t skip the beeswax which helps with skin elasticity. It also aids in the lotion’s creamy texture.
- Almond Oil or Grapeseed Oil – According to Healthline, almond oil and grapeseed oil are great for moisture, skin tone, acne, and sun damage.
- Shea Butter – I already covered all the benefits of shea butter. You may substitute cocoa butter for shea butter.
Equipment to Make Homemade Shea Butter Lotion
You will just need a few tools to make your lotion.
A scale – I use my food scale so much and I would be lost without it. I will also give you volume measurements but the scale is so much easier for solids such as beeswax, shea, or coconut butter.
A blender – you can use your normal kitchen blender, food processor, or even an immersion stick blender.
A double boiler – if you don’t have a double boiler, you can set up a makeshift one with a small metal saucepan and a metal or glass bowl resting on top (not touching the bottom of the saucepan). Fill your saucepan with a few inches of water and be sure the bowl you place on top does not touch the water. Boil your water. Do not use a microwave to heat your fats since that will destroy some of the benefits of your ingredients.
Spatula – you will need something to scrap down the sides of your blender container
Storage jars to hold about 1 1/2 cups of whipped homemade shea butter lotion. 4 oz canning jars work great for this jar works great for this.
Without further adieu…here is the recipe.
Homemade Shea Butter Lotion
- double boiler
- food scale
- blender, food processer, mixer, or immersion blender
- 4 oz storage jars
- 1 c. aloe vera gel
- 1 tsp. vitamin E oil
- 10 drops essential oils
- 21 grams beeswax, grated or chopped or ¾ ounce
- ½ c. almond oil or grapeseed oil
- 14 grams shea butter or 1 tablespoon
- Set up your double boiler and begin heating your water.
- Place your beeswax, almond or grapeseed oil, and shea butter on the top of your double boiler. Stir periodically and heat until melted.
- While your solids and oil are melting together, mix the aloe, vitamin E, and essential oils in a separate pourable bowl. I like to use my 3-cup measuring cup for this since it has a spout. Set aside.
- Once your shea butter and beeswax are almost completely melted, shut off the double boiler and stir until completely melted.
- Pour the melted mixture into your blender or a narrow and tall bowl (if using an immersion blender). Let hot oil/wax cool slightly and to a milky consistency.
- While blending at a low speed (or pulsing with an immersion blender) slowly pour in your aloe mixture. Periodically stop blending and scrape down the sides.
- Blend until your lotion is an even creamy consistency.
- Pour your lotion into jars. Enjoy!
Who needs to buy store-bought moisture with how easy this one is to whip up? I use this every morning and night as part of my skincare routine. I hope you love it too!