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Homemade Whipped Shea Butter Body Scrub

I am already beginning to ponder my gifts for the upcoming holiday season.ย  I remembered thinking to myself last year that I wish I had begun in August, so I could relax more during December!ย  Last year, one of the gifts I gave my gal pals was a Homemade Pumpkin Pie Body Scrub and this year it will be a Whipped Shea Butter Body Scrub.

I cannot even adequately describe to you how much I love this stuff (and I am 100% positive it is gluten-free!).ย  I live in an arid climate at high altitude and if one is not careful, you can easily begin to resemble one of the many species of reptilian critters that live in my backyard (or in my house).

Meet Quincy, my 10 year old Australian Bearded Dragon (she loves to look at herself on the computer). ๐Ÿ˜‰

This scrub has been my favorite, hands down and I thought I would share it with you!ย  I found the recipe over at Homemade Bath Products. I will put Lori’s recipe here, so I can list my notes in bold violet).ย  Lori has a lot of great looking bath recipes and I encourage you to check them out.ย  The holiday season is quickly approaching and these make fun gifts for your friends or for yourself! ๐Ÿ˜€

Homemade Whipped Shea (or Cocoa) Butter Body Scrub

1/2 Cup Raw Shea Butterย 

1/3 Cup Carrier Oil (Sweet Almond, apricot Kernel, Avocado, Hemp Seed, Hazelnut, Camellia, Evening Primrose, Borage, or Olive Oil infused with Calendula or Chamomile are all good choices) (I use Safflower Oil)

1/8 tsp. Rosemary Extract or Vitamin E Oil (optional but will help to prolong the life of the oils) (I do add Vitamin E)

1 tsp. Corn Starch (optional…makes the butter feel less greasy) (I substitute Arrowroot for the Cornstarch, which is good for corn allergies).

Essential or Fragrance oil (optional)ย  (I use Pure Essential Oils: Lavender, Grapefruit, Peppermint and Rosemary are my favorites, just not all mixed together).

1/2 – 1 Cup Sugar (other choices include Salt, Finely Ground Nuts, Coffee Grounds…anything that provides a gentle scrub) (I use 1 full cup of either salt or sugar.ย  Salt can be a little harsh though on freshly shaved legs, so be careful!)

  • Place the Shea butter in a mixing bowl and begin to beat with a stand mixer or electric hand mixer until the butter is creamy.
  • Have patience…it may take awhile for the friction of the beaters to soften the butter.
  • If the butter is too hard, soften slightly in the microwave for about 15 seconds but do not melt.
  • Gradually add the carrier oil a small amount at a time and blend completely between additions. This is important or you will get lumpy butter.
  • If you are adding Rosemary Extract or Vitamin E oil add it now.
  • Blend in the cornstarch and then the fragrance or essential oil.
  • Slowly start to mix in the sugar a little at a time until you achieve the desired consistancy.
  • Spoon into a couple of wide mouth jars.

I began buying Cocoa and Shea butter a few years ago to help with Luke’s severe eczema (I slather him with it every night and it has really helped to relieve the inflammation and itching!).ย  I just recently bought my first batch of bulk Shea butter on Amazon and I have been doing some research on raw, unrefined Shea Butter (since I bought the above batch).ย  I must say that I am not convinced that what I got was pure Shea butter…

According to The American Shea Butter Institute (yes, you read that right, there is an institute for Shea butter):

At room temperature, Premium Shea Butter is a soft uniformly beige colored creamy solid that readily melts in the hands and is quickly absorbed by the skin.ย  Shea Butter is not yellow, green, gray, dark brown, or white. Shea products with these colors are modified substitutes sometimes bearing the name 100% Shea Butter.

Unless my iron overload has suddenly made me color blind, my shea butter was definitely yellow!ย  Live and learn, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

100% Pure & Natural Shea Butter is an all-natural vitamin A cream. Shea Butter has shown to be asuperb moisturizer, with exceptional healing properties for the skin.ย  We now have a growing list of skin conditions where 100% Premium Shea Butter has been shown to be effective.

Vitamin A in Shea Butter is important for improving a number of skins conditions, including blemishes wrinkles, eczema, and dermatitis. Additionally, Premium Shea Butter cream has properties to treat skin allergies, insect bites, sunburns, frostbites, and a number of other conditions of the skin. (Click here to continue reading).

Raw Shea butter before whipping it up (above photo).

Shea butter after whipping and adding the carrier oil, Vitamin E and arrowroot (above photo).ย  The consistency changes dramatically!

After this step, all you need to do is add the exfoliator and essential oil(s) of your choosing.ย  I put the scrub in mason jars for gift giving:

(for my own personal use, I just re-use my Earth Balance tubs once they are empty.ย  This is really helpful in the event it falls off the shelf in the shower…no glass!).ย  Caution: Don’t leave your Earth Balance tub of body scrub in the kitchen, lest your unfamiliar hubby spreads some on this toast, LOL!ย  ๐Ÿ˜€

I also want to share a couple other homemade recipes that I am making for myself and as gifts.

First, I am in the process of brewing my own homemade vanilla extract using Shirley’s recipe on Gluten Free Easily.ย  I found some cute glass bottles at The Container Store a couple of weeks ago that will be perfect for gift giving.

I am also using a vodka that is distilled from grapes (I did this just for the fun of it, but any plain vodka will do, as they are all gluten-free).ย  Shelley Case has a great article on this subject titled, “Are there any alcoholic beverages that are gluten-free?” on

Just to settle your mind, there is alcohol in store-bought vanilla extract, 35% in Tone’s (Cรฎroc is 40% alcohol):

One week into my 6 week “brewing” process for homemade vanilla extract (this is too cool!):

Another product I am making is Lexie’s (Lexie’s Kitchen) homemade (and non-toxic) deodorant (I will reserve these for my sisters and close friends who won’t be offended when I give them deodorant as a gift, LOL)!

I found a site that sells empty push-up deodorant containers, so I am going to buy a few of those!

Do you make homemade gifts for the holiday season?ย  If so, I would love to hear about it! ๐Ÿ˜€


  1. I have had shea butter that was yellow too. Guess that wasn't the real deal. I am going to give this recipe a try once I get my hands on some shea butter.

    I have also been wanting to make my own vanilla too.

  2. love the shea butter body scrub. I have been buying jars and sugar already. Just need to decide what kind to make. I was thinking a vanilla type scrub. How much did you end up making/spending per gift? I am trying to figure out what I can afford. =0) Thanks for thinking of Christmas in August. =0)

    • Hi Kelly!

      It is hard to say what these cost (since I already had most of the ingredients). Depending on the size of container you put the scrub in, I estimate my scrub to cost less than $5.00 each. Pretty darn good if you consider many store-bought scrubs cost $20-$40 each! ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Wow, what a cool post, Heidi! Just full of good stuff and info. Quincy is a very neat guy. ๐Ÿ™‚ The last couple of years I have not been good about preparing for Christmas. Honestly, I'd like to give up the gifts completely and just get together with folks and celebrate with food and drink. But, I do make the vanilla extract for my mom, sister, and some girlfriends (not all cook) every couple of years. I recycle jars from one salad dressing that I have not yet stopped buying. Your bottles look very cool. Thanks so much for the shout out! Now I need to go look at my shea butter and see what color it is … I think it's white.. Thank goodness I didn't leave it in the kitchen. LOL



    • Thanks Shirley! Quincy is quite the character and very popular among Sam and Luke's friends!

      I agree on preferring to spend quality time with friends over food and drink over the stress of gift giving, I'm just always afraid of showing up empty handing then being handed a gift! Recycled bottles are a great idea too, even buying inexpensive antique bottles (if you can manage to clean them out well).


  4. Great idea for a post, Heidi! I think I have just come up with my holiday gifts this year!! All of these are perfect. Now if I could only just find about 20 more hours in my day….. On that note, though, guess where the boys are today? Yup! First day of SCHOOL!! ;0) I feel like a mean mommy, because as I was driving away from dropping them off this morning, I had a big smile on my face.

    Thanks for these great tips! Looking forward to some gift-making now!

  5. Oh, Heidi I am soooo excited to try this!! I would love to make my own holiday treats and have ventured into the world of homemade shampoos/massage oils/perfumes, etc. before but with very little success….thanks so much for sharing, as I am an early planner for Christmas, too!! LOL!

  6. OK, Heidi. You officially RULE! And, I am the official of officially ruling in my household. I actually sat up straighter in my chair because I am so excited about this.

    I love homemade products for gifts. All of my in-laws are so hard to buy for. They either have everything or don't like "stuff." We are all about the consumables and homemade. Now, I have so much more to add between Lexie (I love the idea of homemade deodorant because my husband and I have very sensitive skin.), Shirley and you. Yay!

    I have been making cookies for everyone for about 15 years, now. Had to take a few years off while I was trying to figure out how to make gf ones. It got to the point that people expected the cookies. They would be asking weeks before Christmas what ones I would be making.

    Last year, I added a really easy, fast homemade fudge recipe from Nigella Lawson. Just melt dark choc. chunks, condensed milk, butter, and nuts. Spread and freeze. Chop. Done. It's not dairy free, but might be adaptable. I haven't tried it yet.

    I have to go write all of these ideas down. I'm starting Christmas presents early this year. Thanks!


    Tia ๐Ÿ˜›

    • Hi Tia! I like your title, "Official of Official Ruling," I think I will be adopting it for myself, LOL!

      I agree with you on buying adult gifts, I know when I want/need something, I just go out and buy it. I also think homemade gifts mean more, there's that sentiment behind it.

      I make some homemade GF baked goods too, but with the cost of GF flours, I don't do as much of those anymore (there's also those people who still think if something is GF, then it must taste weird, like my mom!). I like making fudge, naturally gluten-free! I know dairy-free fudge is possible, a friend of mine makes it for her son (I will have to get her recipe). I also like making homemade preserves and pickles (just made some Dilly Beans!).

      Another easy scrub to make is to take sugar or salt, add the oil of your choice to make a paste-like mixture, then add your favorite essential oil(s). Easy Peasy!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. I love you and that is all!

  8. Wow, I'm impressed. Making your own body scrub? This is something I'd love to try. It sounds divine and I've already lifted the recipe from your blog. =) Love the color, warm and creamy. Thanks!


  9. Hiya Heidi! My dry skin is crying out for some of this scrub. At 6000 feet it needs all the help it can get ๐Ÿ™‚ Sure love your blog and your indepth reviews. Super, super helpful!



    • Thanks Lexie and I hear ya on that high altitude, we are at 6,000 feet too! I'm making your Cinnamon Pom glaze tonight to put over pork chops, can't wait!


  10. I am so sold on this…but might be tempted to eat it, too. Lol, it looks like a rich pudding or frosting. ๐Ÿ™‚ Sooo, questions are, where do you buy your essential oils, just at the health food store? Also, what is the shelf-life of this product? Could I make it in the next month and gift it in December?

    Also, do you use granulated or raw sugar? I wonder if raw sugar would be too harsh? Maybe a mix of both?

    Okay, very excited! Thanks for posting about this; now I've got to find a shea butter source. If you find a good one, please let me know ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks!!

    • Hi Jenn!

      Good question on shelf life! I can't say officially the maximum amount of time it stays fresh for, but I have had batches last several months (I think 4 months is the longest I have managed to keep some on hand (I go through a lot!). So yes, I would say if you made some between now and October, it will be good to go through December – February (possibly longer but I cannot attest to that).

      I have bought essential oils at Whole Foods, but I just got my order from Amazon and it seemed like a great deal. I am not an expert on essential oils but the batch I got from Edens Gardens says "Therapeutic Grade," and I've been happy with it so far.

      I have used granulated sugar and raw sugar, the granulated sugar is easier on the skin, but I bet you could pulse some of the raw sugar in a food processor to make it a finer consistency!

      I am looking for a good source of shea butter, so I will be sure to report back when I find one! ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Great job on the Whipped Shea Butter! I was reading through the comments and there was a question regarding the shelf life of shea butter. Shea butter has a shelf life of 1 year. I always consider how long the shea butter has been sitting on their shelf, so I would say at least 6 to 8 months, depending on where you buy it.



  11. Where can I find the raw shea butter?

  12. I was wondering if you ever figured this recipe using oz or grams?

    Did you pack your shea in the half cup or just put in chunks? and approximate?

    Sorry to be fussy, but it is much easier for me to recreate something if my recipe is an exact science.



  13. hi,

    since i don’t have a electric hand mixer, can i make the body butter using a food processor or a vita-mix?


    • Hi Jennie,

      If it were me, I would try the food processor but I would be too nervous about breaking my Vita-Mix to risk it since it's much more costly to replace! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • thanks for your response. ๐Ÿ™‚ vita-mix is almost always unbreakable, almost.

        i was watching a few videos on youtube on making home-made butters, and many used a mixture of shea and cocoa butter. what do you think of cocoa butter? is it necessary? should i buy one, or both?

  14. Hi! I am curious if you have ever run into issues involving mold growth in your bath products? I understand that if water is not used in the process then mold can be eliminated, however how long is the shelf life? I would hate to give a gift that would go bad! Great idea though. I love your blog ๐Ÿ™‚



  15. Hi,

    I'm very sensitive to gluten and can only eat brand like orgran or others with like 3-5ppm of gluten products.

    Does this vodka Cîroc will be good for me?

    If you are sensitive too, please give me your comments after testing ^^ thanks a lot.

  16. In response to alot of the inquiries about your shea butter being yellow – that is its natural coloring. If you want to have a white shea butter you need to order refined and deordorized which means the color and scent have been removed.

  17. Jessica Diaz says

    Love your blog! I will have to try the scrubs, deodorant and the vanilla extract! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing!!

  18. caroline -- says

    So exited about finding this recipe! I’ve been looking for something to make as presents for a group of gals i work with. Do you think your recipe will make enough for 15 gals? Or will i need to increase the amount? (I assume I need to increase but not sure by how much) thanks in advance!!

    • Hi Caroline!

      I would definitely recommend increasing this recipe for making 15 gifts, but by how much will depend on how large a container you plan to use. I’d personally start with multiplying the recipe by 5 and go from there.

  19. The unrefined shea butter from Coastal Scents is heavenly. I read you were looking for a good source. It is a little expensive because it is a Fair Trade item but to me that was even more reason to purchase it. I absolutely love it. And I’m looking forward to trying your body scrub recipe with cocoa butter that I also purchased from Coastal Scents. Thanks so much.

  20. I’m about to make something similar to this with one of my bearded dragons on my shoulder. Good to see someone else who lives where the weather sucks the moisture out of everything – who also loves beardies and butters.

  21. Lesley Carleton says

    Just curious if you could make this into a shea lotion by leaving out the sugar/salt? Thanks!


  1. […] of my favorite bloggers to get ideas for making Christmas gifts. (I am already planning on using Heidi’s [of Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom] idea of homemade body scrub and Shirley’s [of Gluten-Free Easily] idea of homemade vanilla extract.) I love to make […]

  2. […] beauty products are more your style, I am also thinking of trying body scrub from a recipe that my friend Heidi at Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom posted a couple of months ago. It looks easy and will be much appreciated by certain people I […]

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  4. […] of my favorite bloggers to get ideas for making Christmas gifts. (I am already planning on using Heidi’s [of Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom] idea of homemade body scrub and Shirley’s [of Gluten-Free Easily] idea of homemade vanilla extract.) I love to make […]

  5. […] have had this recipe for Whipped Shea Butter Body Scrub bookmarked in my “Things To Post On” folder for many weeks now. […]

  6. […] the recipe I use (I got it hereย from Heidi of “Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom”): 1/2 Cup Raw Shea Butter (sometimes I […]

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