Homemade Body Butter

Homemade Body Butter with Coconut Oil, Honey, and Citrus

A couple of weeks ago I ran across an article about additives in cosmetics and skin care products that was quite disturbing. Of course, I freaked a tad and thought about tossing everything in our home. After I calmed down, I decided to chill out and take a gradual approach, beginning by making some homemade versions to use. I started with what we had in our home, specifically our kitchen. My thinking is if I put in in my body I should be okay with putting in on my body.

I began by creating a body butter of sorts with only three ingredients we usually have on hand: coconut oil, honey, and citrus. A simple mixing of the three created a fresh, smooth cream that I’ve been using the shave my legs with for the past week or so, as well as a moisturizer for really dry areas, especially my dry, cracked cuticles. I’ve even used it as a lip balm throughout the day. And the best thing is if I’m in the mood for a snack I can safely eat it too. OR add a spoonful to some hot tea (Carrie from La Pomme de Portland recently share that handy tip).

homemade-shaving-butter-1homemade-shaving-butter-2homemade-shaving-butter-3homemade-shaving-butter-4Simple Homemade Body Butter with Coconut Oil, Honey, and Citrus

As I said, I’ve primarily been using it to shave my legs. While there’s no lather, it’s pretty cool, because once I’m out of the shower or bath, my legs are already moisturized with no need for anything else. Very handy dandy, indeed. It can also be added by the spoonfuls to a hot bath as a bath oil/moisturizer.

Coconut oil and honey alone have so many healthful benefits, so just imagine what combining the two will do for your skin, without all of the junkity junk so many other skin care products can have. Be sure to check the notes below, and if you try this one soon, let me know what you think!

Easy Homemade Body Butter with Coconut Oil, Honey, and Citrus

A few notes:

- Note that Coconut Oil is used for this recipe, not coconut milk, or coconut water.

- Primarily I’ve been using this as a shaving cream for legs, and moisturizer for dry areas like elbows, cuticles, and feet, as well as an addition to bath water. I’ve called it a body butter for lack of a better term, so test on others areas before using as an all-over body moisturizer.

- For this batch I added the zest of grapefruit for a fresh scent, but any citrus zest will do, or a favorite essential oil added to your preference could be substituted. Just imagine the wonderful combination of scents you could create!

- The “recipe” below makes a large amount, which is perfect for splitting with a friend, or having some to keep in the kitchen and bath to keep those cuticles nice and hydrated.

- Although mixture starts out soft, it will firm up, solidifying more after a day or so.

- Be aware that since it’s an oil base it can make the shower floor or tub quite slippery, so be careful!

- Since there is citrus zest in the mixture, there may be little pieces of zest that you will need to wipe off.

4.8 from 10 reviews
Homemade Body Butter
 
A simple 3 ingredient body butter and/or shaving cream.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups of coconut oil, measured as solid
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons zest of grapefruit or other citrus (substitute essential oil to preference)
Instructions
  1. Mix all together until combined and smooth.
  2. Transfer to a container and cover.
Notes
- Primarily I've been using this as a shaving cream for legs, and moisturizer for dry areas like elbows, cuticles, and feet, as well as an addition to bath water. I've called it a body butter for lack of a better term, so test on others areas before using as an all-over body moisturizer.
- For this batch I added the zest of grapefruit for a fresh scent, but any citrus zest will do, or a favorite essential oil added to your preference could be substituted. Just imagine the wonderful combination of scents you could create!
- The "recipe" below makes a large amount, which is perfect for splitting with a friend, or having some to keep in the kitchen and bath to keep those cuticles nice and hydrated.
- Although mixture starts out soft, it will firm up, solidifying more after a day or so.
- Be aware that since it's an oil base it can make the shower floor or tub quite slippery, so be careful!
- Since there is citrus zest in the mixture, be aware that there may be little pieces of zest that you will need to wipe off.

 

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    Amy! I made this today using lemon after you shared the “recipe” with me and added a heaping teaspoon into the tub for a relaxing soak, shaving my legs, etc.

    Oh my heavens! This body butter is PERFECTION!

    I do not ever want to be without this body butter. My skin feels amazing and my cuticles really haven’t looked this good in a long time! Love, love, love it, my friend!

    • 2

      Daniella says

      I’m way too busy working on a farm to make my own body butter. I’ve done a lot of research to find safe, environmental-friendly, cruelty-free products, using EWG’s site and other research, and I buy all my body products from Nourish. They make a completely chemical-free body butter. The fresh fig scent is so lovely!

      • 3

        Sarah says

        Seriously? If you have time to do research you should have time to make your own body butter.

      • 6

        Martha says

        I agree. I’ve been looking at other body butter websites and have seen the same obnoxious post elsewhere. If you have time to tell everyone across the web about some website, I’m pretty sure you can mix together a couple ingredients.

  2. 14

    Tonja says

    Coconut oil is great to use before sunbathing (if you do that sort of thing :) you won’t burn. At least it works for me.

  3. 19

    says

    My hands can always use something rich and creamy like this to lubricate my hands especially being in water all day. What a great recipe and so simple and a nice gift to give someone for Mothers Day, a birthday or even the holidays. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  4. 20

    Tsandi Crew says

    Sadly, and I hate to bring this up but make sure any citrus fruit you use has not been coated with wax or any other noxious unwanted stuff. I have found that every citrus fruit I come across lately is coated. That said, I am going to do this beautiful remedy for my dry skin! Thanks for making it so simple!

    • 21

      Jasmine says

      There is a simple way to remove the wax off of any fruit, you would soak the fruit in water and a little white vingear. I hoped this helped; I also heard that if you buy organic fruits they don’t come with any wax.

  5. 22

    says

    I love this! My sister in law made some lotion bars that were fabulous. I will pass this on to her and maybe she will make it for me!

  6. 25

    Tammi says

    Going to try but have a question. Since coconut oil hardens, this won’t clog the pipes will it?

    • 26

      Jillian says

      Yes, it will. I do oil pulling with coconut oil and have to spit it in the trash. So, be prepared to clean the pipes or find another way to use it.

  7. 27

    says

    This looks so good. I’m going to make it this weekend. I did have one question. How long will it last before going bad? I don’t use a ton of lotions since it is so humid where I live and I’d hate for any of it to go to waste.

    • 28

      Anonymous says

      You can use a little extra citrus powder with this or some vitamin E oil to help, but the zest and the honey are both full of natural preservatives. As they age, they will mostly just dry out (think what happens to the honey that stays in you cupboard too long). In point of fact, honey was the primary source for embalming for many ancient cultures all over the ancient world ranging from Egypt to China to Scandinavia.

  8. 29

    Meg W. says

    I would recommend adding something to keep it from going bad. Vitamin E oil is a great option to increase its shelf life.

    • 30

      katydidsoaps says

      While Vit E would be a great addition for it’s skin loving qualities, it is an antioxidant and will only prolong the shelf life of the oils. It is not a preservative and will not prevent the growth of mold or bacteria (highly likely with the addition of fruit zest)

      I’d use a broad spectrum preservative like Phenonip in addition :-)

    • 31

      Lori says

      I am going to make this with maybe a little less honey, definitely the vitamin e and I am going to try grapefruit essential oil for the scent since is less likely to become contaminated by bacteria. I would try making an amount that would last about two weeks at a time. Since I have dry skin I use oils and body butter as an all over moisturizer and I love coconut oil.

      • 32

        says

        I was wondering, how do you get it so frothy? I know you mix it with a mixer. Do you mix it until it’s fluffy? When I bought my jar, it was oil on top and solid on the bottom. Then I poured it out in a bowl and mixed it together and poured it back in the jar. It was grainy, like sand. Is that the way its going to be? Or is it because I didn’t add anything to it? Sorry for all the questions. It’s just that this is my first time using natural products. Also, how do I store it? In the fridge or at my night stand…thanks again

        • 33

          says

          Goyi,

          The kind of coconut oil I buy is pretty solid right out of the jar. I mixed it with the honey and zest until smooth. I store mine in my bathroom cabinet. If you choose to store it in the refrigerator, it will just be more firm.

      • 34

        says

        YES…Vitamin E is a natural preservative, although…citrus itself is a natural preservative, so you don’t need to add anything when you have citrus in a product, you can also use citric acid, in a powder formula, or grapefruit seed extract, is also a natural preservative…many great natural and easy ways to keep it longer…This recipe looks fabulous. I am going to make this for a friend, Using lime zest and a little bit of lime oil, and will add just a bit of coconut lime fragrance :) thanks for sharing the recipe….FABULOUS!!!!!

  9. 36

    khushbakht says

    does this cream makes you skin color darker? Because usually these winter butter creams make your skin darker or they for dark patches on your skin.

  10. 37

    Cherell says

    Works great for my itchy skin after I have been in the sun. Yes I have an allergy to the sun ;(
    I do find it rather sticky but it works GREAT!!

  11. 40

    says

    This looks so amazing, I would wanna eat it or at least use it as frosting. OMG. I’m so making this as a recipe and I’ll make some extra for my body. Thanks for sharing.

  12. 42

    says

    What a fantastic idea!

    Anytime I’m cooking in the kitchen and I get a little coconut oil or olive oil on my hands, I just rub it into my skin. So natural!

    Is the honey essential? I’m allergic to it topically.

  13. 43

    Marie says

    I always keep a jar of coconut oil in my bathroom and use it on my face and hands every night. Works great. Adding honey would make me concerned about bacteria. I know others who have had problems with homemade. Also, citrus can be extremely irritating on the skin. THis is lengthy but below is a list I found online regarding harmful ingredients that are still natural. I love natural but it does not always equate to good:
    All of the following common natural ingredients can cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, skin sensitivity, and/or sun sensitivity:

    •Almond extract
    •Allspice
    •Angelica
    •Arnica
    •Balm mint oil
    •Balsam
    •Basil
    •Bergamot
    •Cinnamon
    •Citrus
    •Clove
    •Clover blossom
    •Coriander oil
    •Cypress
    •Cottonseed oil
    •Fennel
    •Fir needle
    •Geranium oil
    •Grapefruit
    •Horsetail
    •Lavender oil
    •Lemon
    •Lemon balm
    •Lemongrass
    •Lime
    •Marjoram
    •Oak bark
    •Papaya
    •Peppermint
    •Rose
    •Rosemary
    •Sage
    •Thyme
    •Witch hazel
    •Wintergreen
    •Ylang ylang

    • 44

      says

      Hmmm … I actually added the honey knowing that it has antibacterial properties.

      As far as the grapefruit zest being added, anyone allergic to grapefruit or other citrus could delete or substitute their favorite scent.

      • 45

        Gina says

        Because of Honey’s supersaturation of sugar it inhibits the growth of yeast and other fungal spores. Its pH is 3.26 to 4.48, a killing field for bacteria. This is why if you use honey on skin that is irritated by infection, it will clear up. I use honey to wash my face and it’s cleared it up so well.

    • 46

      celia says

      That seems like a pretty short list compared to the huge list of harmful chemicals in anything you buy at the store. Just sayin.

  14. 47

    Sarah says

    I JUST made this …its still in the mixing bowl. I tried it on my hands and its sooooo sticky from the honey …??? Should i add more coconut oil !! ?! I hate to waste as its so expensive… Please help ..thanks :)

    • 48

      Annette says

      I usually just use coconut oil whipped. Made this for a change and don’t like the feel of it on my skin. Need to rinse off with water afterwards but DOES leave the skin soft

  15. 49

    Sarah says

    Agh … Nope didnt work. Dont try this ladies … Its nothing but a sticky mess !! Ive just wasted a cup and a half of expensive coconut oil !! Urrrrr

    • 50

      says

      Sarah,

      I’m sorry you were unhappy with your final result. I’d say to maybe try adding more coconut oil. I’ve been using mine for a couple of weeks to shave my legs with great success. I also have a friend who made a batch before I posted the recipe to double check behind me and she has been absolutely thrilled with her results.

      • 51

        Lajarika Adams says

        Amy please tell me if I could use olive oil to dilute the sticky feeling from the honey. Also is there another base I can use other than the honey its honestly so sticky smells soooooo good though. I don’t want too waste it. The ingriedients were not cheap. Please HELP!

        • 52

          darcy says

          It is a bit sticky so i apply it- let it sit for a minute and then wash it lightly. That takes the tacky feel away and the oil will stay on your skin. You can also apply – all over your body – and use it on your legs while you shave. This way it is soaking in while you shower and shave. Then rinse off. Again the oil will stay, your legs will be smooth and it will have a chance to soak in. Another thing you can do is mix it with a 2-3 cups of epsom salts and 1-2 cups baking soda. This will make it into a bath scrub/bath soak. I use these ingredients for that all the time. My parents who are in their 60 love this to soak in. You will need to be careful as it will make the tub slippery but your skin will get nice and soft and glow. Just keep trying until you find what works for you. Going natural is finding your balance and what you will use. I don’t soak that often but when I do this is heavenly. However, I do shave often and so this gets used that way.

  16. 53

    Becky says

    Would be nice to add some essential oil to it as well, such as lavender oil or whatever fragrance you enjoy.

  17. 54

    says

    I love making my own body care products. It’s so nice knowing what’s going on my skin. I bet this smells amazing.

  18. 55

    Jennifer says

    I’m going to try this. I use coconut oil on my dry winter hands. It’s the only thing that really makes a difference. The citrus scent added sounds wonderful. I don’t plan to use it in the shower so I’m going to leave out the honey. That seems like it would be too sticky.
    A great alternative to zest is to dry the citrus peels on your counter (single layer for a few days) and then chop them up in a blender or food processor. This gives you a nice fine powder that works better than zest. This is also way better for flavoring foods. You get all that citrus flavor without any bitterness.

  19. 56

    kayla says

    I just made this using orange zest and I didn’t find it to be even remotely sticky…rubbed right in!

  20. 57

    Emily says

    I tried this, and personally I found it much too oily. I just made it, so it hasn’t set yet, but it is extremely oily and I probably wouldn’t use it for anything other than to shave my legs with. Which, if that is the case, I could find better, much cheaper options to use for shaving my legs.

  21. 58

    jenny says

    Im gonna try the oil honey combo right now :) ive been using just coconut oil for shaving for some time now. And as a head to toe moisturizer, and even put a small amount in my curly hair to define and moisturize. Dont know about putting zest in my body product. But what about steeping a sachet of zest in warm oil to scent it, without having bits of zest to deal with later? Remove sachet, let oil firm back up and whip in the honey. Thanks for the inspiration to take my beloved coconut oil to the next level.

    • 63

      says

      I’m not sure what the added moisture of the juice would do, so I can’t say. If you try it, let me know.

  22. 64

    Dana says

    I saw this was asked already, but how sticky does the honey get in this mixture? I’m assuming if you’re using on small areas, it’s not a big deal. Also, I’m planning to use EOs instead of the orange zest. How many drops do think this would take? 20?

    • 65

      says

      Hey Dana!

      I haven’t noticed it being that sticky except on the palms of my hands, but I have to say, that applies to any lotion or cream I put on my body. I don’t like anything on my palms.

      As far as the essential oil, I’d try a few drops at a time to see what you like best. Some of the oils I’ve used are very strong, so 20 may be overwhelming depending on what it is.

      Hope that helps! :)

  23. 66

    Lajarika Adams says

    Amy please tell me if I could use olive oil to dilute the sticky feeling from the honey. Also is there another base I can use other than the honey its honestly so sticky smells soooooo good though. I don’t want too waste it. The ingriedients were not cheap. Please HELP!

    • 67

      says

      Hello Lajarika,

      I don’t know what would happen if adding olive oil. It would certainly thin it out. Hmmmm … did you use the recommended amount of honey to coconut oil ratio? Also, the coconut oil should be measured as a solid.

  24. 68

    Chellie says

    Try using Agave Nectar instead of the honey if too sticky. Same good properties as honey, less “sugar” so less sticky…. Just a thought. I will be trying this tonight and will update!

  25. 69

    alicia says

    How do you store it after it is made so that it doesnt separate and liquefie
    Thanks

      • 71

        alicia says

        I did as u suggest and it liquefied at room temp. The honey is at the bottom of the container and the coconut oil is on top the only way it will get solidmis if I put it in the fridge.

        • 72

          says

          Alicia,

          I’m not sure what may be causing that. Are you heating the coconut oil up? Are you using coconut oil that is a solidified when you begin? It shouldn’t be liquidfied at any point of the process unless it’s hot. Is your room temperature hot? If you could share what ingredients and other details of what you may be doing, I may be able to help. Otherwise, I’m at a loss of why it is liquefied.

          • 73

            alicia says

            I use the coconut oil straight from the jar solidified all measurments are followed to the letter, mixed as instruction says to and when done it looks just like the pic but a few hrs later it started to liquefied , stored it in the bathroom under the sink.

          • 74

            Karena says

            Coconut oil melts at 76*F. If the room you are in is warmer than this, it will definitely melt. I keep mine in the bathroom and in the Summer months, it’s liquified, and in the Winter it stays a solid.

    • 75

      Tamara says

      Hi Alicia, the room temperature may be hot. I have both hard and liquid coconut oils, and the hard coconut oil will liquify if the environment is warm. I think (don’t quote me) the liquifying point is above 76 degrees fahrenheit, or something like that. If you keep it in a room that is relatively cool, then it will solidify; if you keep it in a warm environment, it will liquify. Tamara

  26. 76

    Anne says

    hi Ms. Amy what if i don’t have a coconut oil solid can i use a coconut oil liquid?! it’s still works?

    • 77

      Tamara says

      Hi, are you speaking of fractionated coconut oil? If so, I do not believe it will work because the recipe needs to thicken up. Try adding some beeswax; the beeswax will harden it and will probably suit your needs. I am an organic body care student and I am playing around with many recipes. I have fun playing around and trying things out. Good luck. Tamara :)

  27. 78

    Tamara says

    Hi, I made this today and it came out a little stick; I added a few more teaspoons of coconut oil and it is perfect now! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. I am looking forward to having a lot of fun making more. Blessings, Tamara :)

  28. 79

    Tamara says

    Oops, I meant to say a little “sticky”, now a little stick. hahahahahaha :) Tamara

  29. 80

    Tami says

    It seems some people say the honey makes the butter too sticky whereas others say the consistency is just right. It makes me wonder about the quality of honey being used. The big thing lately in health magazines, articles, blogs, etc is how some big company manufacturers are selling honey that is not truly honey, rather it is high crustose corn syrup sold as honey. So my thought is perhaps the recipes turning out too sticky may not be made with a local or natural honey. Raw honey has been used for centuries on the body for various reasons. Maybe it is fraudulent product that is not truly honey that is the cuprit here? Just my thoughts…

    • 81

      says

      Hey Tami,

      That’s a good point. I used honey from our hives, so it’s a bit different from most found in stores, for sure. Thanks for sharing! :)

  30. 82

    says

    Skin problems are major health concerns esp now that our environment is more toxic than ever. I like the butters and the ingredients used here. They help soothe and nourish the skin while protecting it against the effects of a harsh toxic enironment.

    Now the above recipe is great, the question I have is whether the oils are refined or organic unrefined. I’ve heard they produce/output different results and the latter certainly retains many of the healing properties than the former. Any way, I order my organic body plant butters from eBay, http://r.ebay.com/4zTB21 or from SilkOn Skin at silkonskin dot com.

    Good work.

  31. 83

    Stephanie says

    How long does this last for? I’m planning on making some for christmas gifts to my best friends, but i want to try it now and see how it works….. will it go bad?

  32. 85

    Amanda says

    I just use straight coconut oil to shave with and after a shower and on my hands throughout the day. The body butter does sound great though.

  33. 87

    Ash says

    Just came across this on Pinterest. Gonna make this soon.
    I have been using white Sugar mixed with Coconut oil to scrub and it feels wonderful and leaves your skin exfoliated and hydrated.

  34. 88

    Amelia says

    Just made a tiny amount of this to test before making for christmas presents-it is so lovely!! Will definitely be making this as gifts this year!

  35. 89

    leta says

    I tried this with 1/2 cup c.o. and 1 tbsp honey and 5 drops lemon e.o. I did find it a little sticky but <3 this. My face feels awesome! I have a burn on my hand so I will be using this every day to see if it helps. Ty

  36. 91

    iad says

    Hi, this may sounds like a silly question. But I can’t seem to find a solid coconut oil in Thailand where I live I start to wonder if there is a coconut oil in solid form available. I remember putting a bottle of liquid coconut oil in an air-con room and in the morning it turned solid. I am not sure if it’s the same thing, or can I use the liquid-turned-solid-coconut oil in this recipe. If I can use it, is it mean that I have to store it in the fridge? In Thailand the average temperature is above 30c.

    thank you

  37. 92

    MA says

    I have coconut oil at home, but it is solid as a rock. Should I melt it a little and then whip it? Or should I just measure it out and mix it in a mixer until it gets creamy?

  38. 95

    Jennifer says

    Hi Amy! I made this today and I used essential oil instead and it came out sticky. How much essential oil do I need to use in place of the zest?

  39. 97

    Amanda@best antibacterial soap says

    Thanks for sharing.. For me there are many benefits linked with using all natural skincare products, from improving the health of your skin to contributing to a safer environment. :) Keep sharing.

  40. 98

    Natalie says

    Was wondering if anyone had problems with this clogging their pipes? Since it is an oil I was just thinking over time of it going down the drain will it cause it to clog?

  41. 99

    says

    I swear is there anything coconut oil can’t do?!?! I just used it as an eye make up remover and it changed my LIFE!! It worked better than my Neutrogena for getting rid of my makeup! Mind, Blown!

  42. 102

    says

    This stuff is amazing I love it as lip balm even though it seems to take only a few minutes to seep into my lips . Did you know you can use just plain coconut oil to put on after you get out of the shower some people might not like the texture on their skin .Thanks for the great idea I used orange zest can I use lemon juice or lime juice by any chance???

  43. 103

    Holly says

    Hi there,

    I’ve whipped coconut oil before for cradle cap – but like you mentioned in the notes, it solidifies in the next few days. If I were to use this as a shaving cream – and applied it to my legs after it had solidified – will it just kind of melt on my legs? The way it does if you just scoop a hand full out of the jar? Any idea on how to keep it fluffy, or am I destined to fail? :(

    Thanks a bunch!!

  44. 104

    Glamoura says

    Here’s a thought: try making a smaller amount so that you don’t waste your products on your first try should you do something not-quite-right.

    I cut the recipe down to 1/4 of the recommended amount and, since it is so simple and effortless to make, I continue to enjoy using the mixture as needed, wasting nothing.

    I also recommend using raw honey, as cooked honey (e.g., Golden Blossom) does not have the antibacterial properties and benefits of natural honey and can cause all kinds of irritations – inner and outer.

    The same with coconut oil: pure, unrefined, uncooked is what works.

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