A thick and nourishing honey body butter that you can make with a few ingredients, including cocoa butter, honey, and chamomile essential oil #greenbeauty #skincare
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Handmade Honey Body Butter Recipe for Radiant Skin

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A thick and nourishing honey body butter that you can make with a few ingredients, including cocoa butter, honey, and chamomile essential oil

This is a simple natural skin care recipe that you can make in less than half an hour and with simple and natural ingredients. Honey body butter combines the conditioning properties of cocoa butter and shea butter with the repairing and hydrating properties of raw honey. Gently melted together with sweet almond oil, and scented with skin-soothing chamomile essential oil, it’s simple and nourishing skincare that you can easily make yourself.

Follow the instructions below to make a single pot for yourself, or several to give to friends and family. If you don’t have all of the ingredients or wish to use others, there’s also guidance on how to customize body butter recipes.

A thick and nourishing honey body butter that you can make with a few ingredients, including cocoa butter, honey, and chamomile essential oil #greenbeauty #skincare

Using this Honey Body Butter

The honey body butter that this recipe makes is firm yet creamy and melts on contact with your skin. Though I don’t recommend it for your face, it’s wonderful massaged elsewhere on your body from legs, arms, to knees. It spreads on like butter, and leaves your skin feeling moist and conditioned. This is a luxurious homemade body butter for keeping your body’s skin hydrated and supple. It also adds a radiant glow, thanks to those wholesome butters and oil.

The honey in the recipe is a full teaspoon and on your body, it feels great. Honey is a natural humectant, meaning it draws moisture from the air to itself. In that way, it helps to moisturize your skin, but on the palms of your hands, it may feel slightly tacky. If you’d like to make conditioning oil-based skin care for hands, you could use my Herbal Healing Salve recipe.

A thick and nourishing honey body butter that you can make with a few ingredients, including cocoa butter, honey, and chamomile essential oil #greenbeauty #skincare
The finished honey body butter is firm and creamy and melts on contact with your skin

Honey Body Butter Ingredients

There aren’t many ingredients in this recipe but I want to go through the reasons that I chose them. Shea butter is a conditioning oil that closely emulates your skin’s own sebum. It is also great for skin that is prone to eczema and can help soothe and repair skin that has been damaged by burns, scars, and stretch marks.

Cocoa butter is used for many of the same reasons as shea butter but it also gives a delicious chocolatey scent. That aroma is one of the reasons that I use it in this lip balm recipe. Cocoa butter also contains Cocoa Mass Polyphenol (CMP) which studies have shown could help ease conditions related to overactive immune systems, such as Psoriasis.

Used on their own, these two butters would create a very hard skincare product. That’s why we mix a liquid oil into the recipe, to soften the consistency up. Sweet almond oil is my favorite carrier oil but you could use another if you wish. Although completely optional, you could even macerate skin-healing oils into your carrier oil. Calendula is a fabulous skin healing herb, as is chamomile, which is why chamomile essential oil is in this recipe. The sweet almond oil that I used is infused with comfrey leaves as per these instructions.

A thick and nourishing honey body butter that you can make with a few ingredients, including cocoa butter, honey, and chamomile essential oil #greenbeauty #skincare
Honey is used in skincare to heal and calm inflammations and skin abrasions. It’s also a humectant, meaning it can help moisturize your skin from the outside in.

Benefits of Honey for Skin

As a beekeeper, I may be a bit biased on the benefits of honey. I extract it from the comb every year and I use it in everything from greek yogurt to handmade soap. The evidence for honey’s health and healing properties are vast, though. It’s used as an alternative treatment to heal wounds, in some cancer therapies, and is well-known as a gentle throat soother. Honey is an important ingredient in medicine, food, and beauty as these fifty different recipes show.

In skincare, honey is used because it can heal wounds and skin abrasions, such as those caused by eczema and acne breakouts. It’s also a substance that can attract moisture from the air to your skin. This makes honey useful in skincare recipes aiming to replenish moisture and suppleness to the skin from head to toe.

A thick and nourishing honey body butter that you can make with a few ingredients, including cocoa butter, honey, and chamomile essential oil #greenbeauty #skincare
The honey body butter at a liquidy consistency, just before potting it up

How to make Honey Body Butter

Though the instructions for making honey body butter are simple, I’d like to explain the process a little better. Overheating oils can oxidize them, speeding up rancidification, and it can also change their texture and flavor. If you overheat oils infused with delicate herbs, such as the comfrey-infused sweet almond oil that I’m using, then beneficial properties may be lost. To avoid overheating, we gently melt our ingredients together using a double-boiler, or bain-marie.

Both simply refer to a pan or bowl that’s set inside another dish of hot water. This method indirectly heats the ingredients, melting them at a lower and more even temperature. You don’t have to buy a special device to do this in your own kitchen — simply find two saucepans that fit one inside the other. The photos in the recipe below will show you my set-up.

The other thing to keep in mind is that essential oils, raw honey, and herbal oils should be added at as low a temperature as possible. Doing this preserves the scent and integrity of each.

A thick and nourishing honey body butter that you can make with a few ingredients, including cocoa butter, honey, and chamomile essential oil #greenbeauty #skincare
The honey and the liquid oil should be added just after the solid oils are melted
A thick and nourishing honey body butter that you can make with a few ingredients, including cocoa butter, honey, and chamomile essential oil #greenbeauty #skincare

Handmade Honey Body Butter Recipe

Lovely Greens
A thick and nourishing honey body butter for radiant skin. Use as needed on the body, but this may be too heavy to use on your face. Its mixture of rich oil and nut butter helps condition your skin where it needs softening and smoothing.
This recipe makes just over one 3.38 fl. oz (100 ml) pot of honey body butter using plant-based butters and oil, honey, and essential oil. You can make larger batches by scaling up the recipe, though the cooling time will be longer.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Cooling time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 30 mins
Servings 1 100ml (3.38 oz) pot

Equipment

  • Two stainless steel pans, one being smaller than the other (or a double boiler)
  • Whisk
  • Clean, dry, and sterilized containers. Can be tins or glass jars

Ingredients
  

Herbal Hand Salve Recipe

Instructions
 

  • Measure the shea butter and cocoa butter into a small saucepan. Float this saucepan in another pan filled with simmering water to melt.
  • Once the oils have fully melted, place the pan on a potholder and pour in the sweet almond oil and honey. Gently whisk together. If you notice the oils solidifying, place the pan back in the pan of water until fully melted again.
  • Next, wipe off any moisture from the pan of oils, then place it in the freezer for five minutes.
  • After five minutes have passed, take the pan out of the freezer, add the essential oil, if you’re using it, and whisk together well. Place the pan back in the freezer for five more minutes.
  • Ten minutes in the freezer should have cooled the mixture to a consistency where there’s a thin solid skin on the surface. Underneath this skin, it should still be a little liquidy. Whisk it all together a final time, and you’ll have a beautifully scented and creamy honey body butter that’s easy to scoop out into a container. Work quickly, though, because it will quickly set solid.
  • Scoop the honey body butter out of the pan and into your desired container. It could be a recycled jam jar, a pretty vintage pot, or a cosmetics tin like I’m using. The important thing is that it’s clean, sterilized, and perfectly dry.
  • The body butter’s final consistency is like dairy butter that you’ve taken out of the fridge and has softened a little. It’s firm but easily scooped up. This honey body butter has a shelf-life that’s determined by the shelf lives of any of the ingredients that you used. Check the back of all of the bottles and the closest date is your shelf life. However, once you begin using it and getting your fingers in it, make sure that you use it all up within six months.

Notes

If the honey that you’re using is liquid, follow the steps as described. You may have set honey that’s solid at room temperature, though. If you’d like to use it in this body butter recipe, add it to the pan of oils while they’re melting so that the honey can melt too.
Keyword comfrey, plantain, skin care recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

A thick and nourishing honey body butter that you can make with a few ingredients, including cocoa butter, honey, and chamomile essential oil #greenbeauty #skincare

Customize this Honey Body Butter Recipe

One of the easiest types of natural skincare that you can make is oil-based salves, body balms, and body butters. The basic instructions for making them are simply measuring and melting the ingredients together. When they cool, they solidify into varying consistencies, depending on the ratio of hard to liquid oils. Also, because they don’t contain water, you don’t need to use preservatives, and you can customize them to your heart’s desire.

I’ve already mentioned that this recipe could be a little sticky on your hands, but if you use a little less honey then it won’t be. Want the body butter a little thicker? Use more of the harder oils. Want it to be softer and more ointment-like? Use a higher percentage of liquid oil. Making body butter isn’t a complex chemical process like soapmaking, which means that you can have a little more creative license.

You can use another light liquid carrier oil in place of the sweet almond oil if you wish, including grapeseed, apricot kernel, olive, and sunflower oil. You could alternatively use mango butter, sustainable palm oil, tallow, or lard for the shea butter. The cocoa butter is a hard and brittle oil and gives this body butter its thickness. There’s no direct substitute in that exact amount if you want to maintain the final consistency. You could replace it with a much smaller amount of beeswax or soy wax.

More Honey and Skincare Inspiration

49 Comments

    1. Hi Virginia, I used google translate to try to understand your question: “Hello! What can I substitute for sweet almond oil? Thanks in advance for your reply.”
      You can use any vegetable oil that is liquid at room temperature in place of the sweet almond oil. That includes grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, and olive oil. Choose one that you don’t mind the scent of, and in the case of sunflower oil, I’d recommend a cold-pressed version. Hope this helps :)

  1. Could you tell me the reasoning behind putting it in the freezer (steps 3- 5) when it will all be whisked together/melted anyhow? Thank you.

    1. It cools the body butter and allows you to whip a little air into it, changing the texture, and stops the honey from settling at the bottom. If you simply melted the ingredients and poured them into a container, you’d have a solid body balm on top and the honey would form a layer on the bottom.

  2. I will be trying this recipe soon. Thank you! I’m also a beekeeper and love to use my honey in my soaps however, I thought once you mix it into something such as a salve or butter, you need a preservative to prevent bacteria growth. You said, six months once you use it but, if I sold it, what about shelf life?

    1. Hi Bonnie, you’ll know as a beekeeper that honey in itself doesn’t really have a shelf-life. We have to put one on bottles we sell because of regulations, but in reality, honey can last years, even decades, or longer and does not get colonized by bacteria. The other ingredients in the recipe are oils which also don’t get colonized by bacteria. Bacteria need a wet environment to grow. Shelf-life is explained in step 7.

  3. Can I mix Shea butter, palm kernel oil, honey and little wax for body butter? How does it look after whisk and place under sunlight? Thanks.

    1. Hi Samson and yes you can. You’ll need to work with different ratios of ingredients to create the recipe that you like best though. Trial and error until you get the right consistency.

  4. Mine didn’t turn out well. In the final whipping process (step 5), I wasn’t able to obtain “an opaque creamy white” and it didn’t completely harden in 24 hours. Should I melt all the ingredients and try whipping, again?

    1. Hi Linda — I’d recommend that you remelt and then skip the whipping step. Just pour the contents into a container afterwards. It will firm up like a body balm and you can use it in the same way.

  5. Hi Tanya, I tried making it. The consistency was really very smooth and soft while whipping. But after leaving overnight at room temperature it has hardened. Is it possible to make body butter with creamy and soft consistency that spreads easily?
    Thank you

    1. Yes, you can make honey body butter with more of a ratio of liquid oils to solid. In other words, use less cocoa butter and shea butter, and more sweet almond oil. Doing that will create a softer texture, all the way down to a liquidy ointment.

  6. Hi Tanya, I am a vegan. Can you recommend any replacements for the honey? Or would the recipe be just fine if skip it? Thanks!

  7. please can I mix Shea butter , honey,coconut oil n lemon to get beautiful chocolate skin? please let me know if this remedy is good for chocolate skin.

    1. Lemon juice has water in it so I’d not recommend it for a product that doesn’t have a preservative in it. As for shea, coconut, and honey — they’re great for all skin types.

  8. Hello, I would like to ask how big is this batch? is it just a jar or more? Thanks!! I am thinking to try it later today

    1. Absolutely! Play with the quantities but it might work well to replace the Shea Butter with Coconut oil as far as firmness goes. But if you want to keep the Shea, work the coconut oil in by replacing some of the liquid oil and Cocoa Butter.

  9. Hello I try your body butter but I think I overloaded with honey and it is now sticky. Do you know any way to repair the damage please ?

    1. The shelf-life is dependent on the exact ingredients that you used. Look on the labels to see when their best-by dates are — the closest date is your body butter’s best-by date. Once you begin using it, it needs to be used within six months.

      1. Will this butter last longer than 6 months if a clean spatula is used instead of fingers to remove from container each use? Also, can this be whipped to be fluffier?

    1. You could try but I have a feeling that the resulting cream would still be too hard. Shea butter is one of the softer 'hard' oils but it still would be difficult to scoop out of a tub once it had hardened. If you don't have any of the fancier liquid oils at home then I'd suggest picking up an inexpensive bottle of grapeseed oil the next time you're grocery shopping and use a bit of that to the recipe.

    1. 5 stars
      Thank you! I made some today and it came out great. I was looking for something without all the crazy chemicals- I especially don't want them to rub off me onto my new baby!

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