Up until recently, I wasn’t interested in creating my own bath and body products. I like to keep things really simple, and over the past couple of years I’ve only used regular coconut or olive oil for all of my skin care needs. Olive oil works wonders as a makeup remover!
However, oil can have a drying affect on the skin, so it’s not always the best moisturizer on its own. Yes, as strange as it sounds, oils can actually dry-out your skin! So, I started looking into other all-natural options and discovered the moisturizing capabilities of pure shea butter, which for some reason, I had been previously intimidated to try.
I’m so glad I got over that.
Initially, I tried sticking to my usual routine with the raw shea butter, using it straight-up as a lotion. It has a soft, putty-like texture that melts in your hands, but it was almost too putty-like and left a heavy feeling on my skin. Hence, why I finally decided to try making a lotion with it.
Keeping things as simple as possible, I paired the raw shea butter with pure olive oil, which is a good source of vitamins A and E. The result is a rich and buttery cream that keeps my skin healthy and supple. I use this cream daily after washing my face, and love how it makes my skin feel!
My Favorite 2-Ingredient Lotion
Makes about 5 ounces
4 ounces raw shea butter (I ordered this brand in ivory)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Gently melt the shea butter over the stove using a double boiler. (I just fill a 2-quart saucepan with a couple inches of water, then fit one of my oven-safe serving bowls over the top to create a make-shift double boiler.)
Tip: If you don’t have a food scale to measure the shea butter, simply cut the one-pound block into roughly 4 evenly-sized pieces. They’ll each be about 4 ounces.
Stir the olive oil into the melted butter, then place the mixture in the fridge to cool for 30 to 40 minutes, until it’s at least half-way solidified again. Then all you have to do is use a hand mixer to beat the mix until the lotion has a creamy texture, which takes about 5 minutes. (I tried stirring it with a spatula first, but the hand mixer makes the texture MUCH better!)
Transfer the lotion into a glass jar, and use as often as desired! It should last for at least 6 months, if not longer.
- You’ll notice that many store-bought lotions contain water as one of the first ingredients, which gives them a thinner and more liquid-like texture. If you want a moisturizer similar to that, you’ll need to add a preservative to the mix, as adding water will make the lotion spoil quickly without it. I didn’t want to work with preservatives, which is why I stuck to this easy 2-ingredient formula.
- If you’d like your lotion to have a scent, you can add one or more of your favorite essential oils to the mix.
Reader Feedback: Have you ever made your own lotion before?
Questions and Reviews
Does this recipe leave your skin feeling a bit oily after? I tried a similar recipe and while I love to use it before bed, I can’t any other time without leaving behind an oil stain on my leather purse or car handle! I’m nervous to try another recipe.
Simply wipe off the excess oil. That’s what I do when I use straight shea butter and I love it.
Thanks Megan, I’m always looking for pure and natural Skincare and makeup ideas! xx
Love this post! I usually use coconut oil but felt like I had heard somewhere that it can dry you out. I also would use Shea butter, mainly on my stretch marks, but it is a bit tough/thick to work with. I love this recipe and can’t wait to make it! I am kind of crunchy and enjoy making my own products, like toothpaste, so this is right up my ally. I think my girls would like it, too 🙂 Thanks, Megan!
In case you’re curious about the toothpaste recipe:
Jesse, how do you store your toothpaste and how long does it last?
I mix and store it in a small glass bowl I got from Walmart, and it probably lasted me a month or two. The batch is small enough that it won’t go bad before you use it up.
What a fantastic tutorial! I can’t wait to try this. It looks good enough to eat. I had no idea you could create such a luxurious mousse-like cream at home. Lovely!
I made my own with differnt oils/butters and it was very greasy as well. I tried adding in baking soda as I had read it helps cut the grease but it didn’t really help at all.
try using cornstarch or arrowroot powder,it works for me
I’ve tried grape seed oil on my arms and legs but don’t like it on my face too much.
I have semi-oily skin that sometimes goes crazy dry too so I don’t like to add oil because I’m afraid of breakouts, I mean, I thought I was done with those in high school, then college and now as an adult, still get them, bleh.
Eager to try yours! I love shea butter, never makes me feel greasy like bacon.
Iv started using coconut oil and a drop of Geranium and frankincense Essential oil as a facewash. Works wonders! I also would breakouts and red uneven skin tone, aswell as scars from the breakouts. But that has improved dramatically. It doesn’t leave my skin feeling oily either. I put on before jumping in the shower and take off using a hot face cloth.
I always add pure vitamin E oil, without any other ingredients, (I recommend sundown brand) as an additive to lotions or use just a dab by itself after an avocado and lemon juice face mask. It is not greasy upon application, and it makes my face feel fresh. My husband told me it is the only thing you need for stretch marks, and after using it, my stretch marks on my belly and thighs have virtually disappeared! In addition to oil pulling, vitamin E oil has enhanced my complexion and skin health to unbelievable levels.
Face oil can be SO good for oily skin! It helps replenish natural oils in your skin so your skin produces LESS over time. Face oil has never caused me to break out either (it’s all hormones for me). I find my skin texture and oily tzone have balanced out after switching to face oil. I just use oil blotting sheets throughout the day to take down excess, sometimes a translucent powder. I’ve heard of many acne cases being managed with oils too. I think you should give it another go! 🙂 (I use an oil blend from Nabele, the company closed but the owner is going to keep providing skin care advice, especially for people with problem skin.)
I made my own lotion with Shea butter before and loved it! However after I got pregnant with our 3rd, I couldn’t stand the smell of Shea butter so it’s back to straight coconut oil. Maybe I will try again after November. 🙂
I’ve never made my own lotion, but I’d like to try this. I usually use oils rather than lotion. They don’t seem to dry my skin out, or leave it too slippery or heavy feeling. I’m particularly fond of a blend of coconut, olive, jojoba and vitamin e oils.
Thanks for the suggested recipe!
Love love love reading your recipes. Wonder how coconut oil and shea butter would pair. Hmmm….
I make my own lip balm and those are 2 of my ingredients 🙂 they pair beautifully together !!! I am wondering if you can use this lotion on your face BEFORE you put make up on…not a lot but a bit to get the skin moisturized. I’m gonna try it 🙂
I’ve whipped Shea butter with olive oil and coconut oil. I put mango butter in my hair and when I was low I though why not add the last of the mango butter to my Shea mix! And I’m glad I did! The mixture is creamier and easier to apply to my dry legs. You ladies should give it a try!
I have heard Coconut oil or butter has a natural sunscreen in it – is this the similar case with shea butter? what do you recommend in this case to add a sunscreen to this cream?
I love this. I use oil and wondered if it was drying my skin out. I will look forward to making this. Thankyou.
Thank you so much for sharing! I think I’ll add lavender essential oil when I’ll be making this!
Do you need to refrigerate the finished cream?
Nope! It’s actually creamier at room temperature.
One little bit of feedback (green beauty/skincare nerdddd over here!). I was a huge fan of using straight coconut oil or an olive oil-based store-bought makeup remover to get all of my eye makeup off, but I just had an appointment with my contact lens “person” and got totally busted for that. She looked at my eyes with the microscope-type instrument they use and immediately said, “What are you using to remove your make-up? The little ducts that provide moisture for your eyes are completely plugged shut.” She said oil was a huge NO for removing eye make-up for this reason. I’ve been using the greenest make-up wipes I can find since then to remove my eye makeup. I don’t like it as much, but don’t like the idea of my little eye ducts being clogged! Just wanted to pass that on since I hear so many people in the green beauty/health world talk about oil as a great eye make-up remover. Those who don’t regularly go see a contact lens professional or optometrist might not know this is happening.
Oh no! Thanks for sharing that. While I’m bummed (cuz I was just about to do a post on it), I’m glad to know it before it’s too late. So what do we use??
I honestly haven’t found a great alternative yet. I’m currently using some unscented, green-ish “Everyone Face” make-up removing wipes from Whole Foods. There are still a few slightly questionable ingredients in them, but they’re fairly clean and alcohol-free, oil-free, fragrance-free. For me, removing my eye make-up is just Step 1 before I actually wash my face so I’m not too worried about it. I DO miss the oil though because it was so quick and easy– the make-up is harder to get off without oil. 🙁 If you come up with any alternatives I’d love to know!
I used Norwex microfiber cloths to remove my face makeup now. I actually don’t wear anything except eyeliner, mascara, and eye shadow on occasion—but I switched to the Norwex cloths after using coconut oil for years. I like it better!
Megan–thanks for posting this recipe! I’ve been using raw shea butter for a year and a half now (since my last pregnancy)…but I’ve never melted it to make it creamier and easier to apply. WILL DO! Thanks!
Most eye make up removers have mineral oil in them though, even the green ones. I reckon if you used a fairly hot ( as hot as you can handle) face washer/ flannel to ‘steam’ the oil off you would be ok:)
Yeah – true. As I mentioned in my reply to Jess above, I’m currently using some make-up removing wipes I found at Whole Foods that are relatively clean and alcohol-free, oil-free, fragrance-free. I only use them to get my eye make-up off and then I actually wash my face (or jump in the shower). When I was using coconut oil, I was wiping it off (gently) with a hot wash cloth and then showering so I would have thought that should be enough steam, but apparently not (for me at least). 🙁 Still going strong on oils for my face, though! I’m a huge oil fan!
I use Huggies unscented baby wipes and have for years. Even waterproof mascara comes off quick and easy
Totally agree that the oils clog the tear ducts, as my eye dr found the same issue. I actually needed surgery to reopen them. Be cautious.
I switched to KoGenDo, which apparently only has floral essences. I use that to wipe my eye make off.
I’m not sure if they only use floral essences, but my ducts don’t clog. Trade offs.
I’ve done a little research on coconut oil. Quite a few bloggers have complained of it clogging the pores. After hearing that, I asked a dermatologist, and he told me coconut oil can clog the poors and isn’t good for people with oily skin. I’ve been using olive oil as a face wash for the past 4 years. I just rub it all over my face while in the shower and let the hot water rinse it off. In addition, I’ve been using just African shea butter as a moisturizer all over my face and eyelids. I just had an exam for contact lenses , and my optomologist said everything was healthy. I’m pretty sure it was the coconut oil clogging your tear ducts. I used it once and broke out from it. I tried it on my hair, and it dried it out. If anyone wants to try coconut oil, I’d try it on a small patch of hair or skin.
I don’t have much experience with shea butter….is is heat stable IE on my bathroom shelf in summertime? Thanks:)
Wow, that looks incredible. I’d love to make that an add some essential oils to it.
I LOVE this!! I love how beautiful the shea butter looks when whipped! Can’t wait to try this 🙂
Can u substitute coconut oil for the olive oil?
I actually experienced the same eye issue. I was using a natural oil based facial cleanser by “philosphy” called “purity made simple” which I was thoroughly enjoying. It took 2 different ophthalmologists to tell me the cause was phlebitis, an oil duct clog. The first tried to make me think I had a huge devastating health concern because I was going blind since I couldn’t see. That’s when I realized the problem arised a short time after I changed my facial cleansing routine (because I changed to a non water based mascara since I was tired of the flaking). I discontinued the oil based facial cleanser which was doing wonders for my eye area (no wrinkles) and was no longer using an under eye hydrator. The physician recommended using only non oil based makeup removers. Thought I had dry eye because I couldnt see out of that one eye. Back to water only for me.
You are awesome!!
Does this have a strong smell? I don’t know why olive oil products as moisturizers smell strong to me…and I’m always afraid they will go rancid
Can you use coconut oil instead of olive oil?
Is this for the day too or just night. I need a day cream and not sure if this is too greasy for that. Thank you.
Thanks, Megan! Can’t wait to try this. I think I will try coconut oil for smell and antibacterial properties. Says somewhere it helps eczema so this may be perfect for my Hubbs too…
Why will water spoil the lotion? Distilled water won’t have germs in it.
If I use my oils in it, will it spoil as well?
Is there a workaround to avoid the clogged ducts in the eyes? Thank you. This lotion looks so easy to make ad’s looks lovely.Thank you.
Distilled water might be an option, but water in general will create a moist environment which can promote bacteria growth. You can help prevent contamination by always ensuring that your hands are clean before using the lotion. I don’t think adding essential oils would be any different than adding olive oil, though, so that should be fine.
I’ve never had an issue with clogged eye ducts myself, but if that’s been a problem for you, I’d probably just avoid using this cream around that area. I’ve also heard that using steam after the lotion can help prevent clogging. Please let us know if you come up with any other solutions in the future!
Also had the problem with the oil in ducts, but it’s only some oils. Oils that have a high comodogenic rating. I’ve been using oils like hemp and grapeseed added to witch hazel and distilled water. That is my makeup remover and it doesn’t clog up my pores anymore.
Also, where can I order what you used in your
I ordered this brand from Amazon with free shipping: http://amzn.to/1kTOWMW
I’m excited to try this! I’ve been using olive oil to clean my face and it’s worked well, except that my face is realty dry if I ever go a day without using oil. Hopefully this will help:)
Love watching your page from Sydney, Australia and have tried many recipes.
Would love to know if the Lorion will leave my hands with a greasy residue as I would love to use it as a hand cream as well as a body lotion. I do too much craft to have greasy hands!
Will this lotion clog my pores?
Shea butter is non-comedogenic, so it shouldn’t clog pores.
Hey Megan great post as always. I was wondering do you have a good recipe for a good facial cleanser?
At the moment, I just use coconut oil or olive oil as a facial cleanser. You just massage it into your skin and then cover your face with a steamy hot towel to help steam it off.
Whipped shea butter! I have some of this at home from my favorite skin care line. Have you see Evan Healy’s products at your Whole Foods or Sprouts? They are the best, pure products for the skin. I love her whipped shea butter with olive leaf extract, but its expensive. I had gotten burned out making my own skin products, so out of convenience I turned to Evan’s stuff. But this recipe is so easy, next time I’ll make it myself 🙂
Hey there, so you’re no longer washing your face with oil?
I made this the other day…well, sort of. I used coconut oil instead of olive oil, and I don’t know if that was what caused it, but my lotion turned into quite a solid body butter *L*. It melts on my skin but I do have to use a little bit of muscle to work it in. Still, I am absolutely loving it so far. I have KP on my arms and thighs and I have been looking for a natural alternative to regular lotion to help alleviate it. It’s looking better already! I also used this on my face overnight once and my skin felt very good when I woke up. Not sure I’d use it on my face every night, but if I’m feeling particularly dry, I will.
It is very rich, but not extremely greasy. Don’t use it if you’re in a hurry to put on skinny jeans…*L*
Mine also turned from whipped to solid. Not as bad as the original, but I wish it had lasted “whipped”!! I also have KP (HATE it) but I didn’t think to try this lotion on my arms. I find this quite greasy but I don’t care if my skin is improving! Just put it on at bed time. 🙂
Thanks Megan! I just whipped up a batch of this and LOVE! My skin feels super creamy and is GLOWING:) awesome recipe!!
Can’t wait to try this! I also had problems with blocked ducts, and finally found an eye doctor who solved the problem for me….baby shampoo! The no tears formula makes it safe for the eye area, and it removes even my waterproof eyeliner. I’ve used it for years.
In case you want to improve the smell of the product and make it a little more water based, you could add a couple of teaspoons of rose-water to it. It will make the product smell good and I’m thinking the amount of shea butter will also emulsify the water… As is, rose-water is used in many households in India as a natural coolant…
wow! Thanks for sharing the recipe! I’m super excited to try this! I have a couple questions though! Is there an expiration date for the lotion? Also, if you don’t have a hand mixer are there other options for mixing the two ingredients?
I do much the same but also mix in apricot kernal oil and some aloe vera and favourite essential oils. 500 grms of shea butter lasts ages and the oils apart from the essential can be bought in the cooking or health food aisles. Love it..
Hey! I love your oven safe bowl! What brand is it or where did you get it, thanks!
Bonjour Megan 🙂 A GREAT moisturizing oil for the delicate eye area (and all over the face) is Sweet Almond Oil. Many of our customers (we are a small natural cosmetics company in SA) use it as a make-up remover because it is so beautifully mild and you would have the added benefits of VIT E and D.
It also specifically works well if the skin is prone to oily breakouts.
Have you tried replacing the Olive Oil in your formulation with SWA before ?
I find it helps to use the whipped shea butter on wet or moist skin – especially while you’re still warm in the shower. It spreads and soaks in so much easier and the essential oils really bloom. You really don’t want to add water of any kind to your shea butter recipe…just incorporate as needed at application. In a pinch you can apply a little shea butter on your skin then moisten your hands from the faucet to finish rubbing it in.
Thank you! I will try this. I’ve been making a similar recipe with Shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil and vitamin e oil. The only 2 complaints I have is that it’s a little greasy and the Shea butter has a less than beautiful smell 🙂 But perhaps taking out the coconut oil and using minimal olive oil will help with the greasiness. And I’ve been using some vanilla essential oil to affect the scent. My other great recipe is to combine some cocoa butter with the Shea butter and some olive oil. I love the smell of the cocoa butter, and if you use a little orange blossom essential oil (as long as your skin isn’t sensitive to citrus), it smells delicious!
My husband bought me a super fancy $120 eye cream for my birthday – and then I made this..Hands down the very best, most effective skin cream I’ve ever used!
oops, I forgot – definitely 5 stars!!
This recipe looks wonderful! Can I replace the shea butter for cocoa butter?
I’m willing to make this cream and use it. The only question I have is, what is the “shelf life” of it … how long will it last before it gets rancid? Or, doesn’t it matter?
Can this be used on the hair & scalp ? If yes what would be the advantages ?
If No Will it have any adverse effects
Can this be prepared using Refined & Ultra Refined Shea butter. Can we get the same effect ?
I use a magic mitt to remove my eye makeup, and it works well. I typically use alcohol-free witch hazel as a toner and I rarely have any residue. If I do have any eye makeup that isn’t coming off, a q-tip and some coconut oil seem to work just fine. Maybe if you only use it occasionally it won’t clog those ducts?
Hi Megan, could you whip this up in the Vitamix? X