What is Body Butter?

Victoria Blackburn

Body butter is a type of skin moisturizer used by many for dry skin. It is heavier than creams and lotions, as it has less water in it. Due to the fact that it is made from nutrient-rich ingredients, it is used to hydrate and protect the skin. Most use a seed or nut oil as their base ingredient to produce the most hydrating formula possible.

Shea butter is a good skin moisturizer.
Shea butter is a good skin moisturizer.

To create the protective and hydrating lotion, the seed or nut of choice is ground up to release its oil. The ground nuts or seeds are often cooked to help release as much oil as possible. The oil is then extracted from the pulp and mixed with other ingredients, such as fragrant essential oils. While there are many brands available for purchase, the product is quite easy to make at home.

Mango seeds are used to made body butter.
Mango seeds are used to made body butter.

The desired results are what often determine the type of nut or seed that is chosen as the base of the body butter recipe. Shea butter, created from Shea nuts, has high levels of vitamins A, E and F. These vitamins help to keep the skin moisturized and clear, plus they help to protect and rejuvenate the skin. Shea butter can reduce fine lines and wrinkles and is beneficial for many skin complaints, including sun-damaged skin and some skin conditions, such as eczema.

Cocoa beans are high in antioxidants and minerals, and often used in restorative body butters.
Cocoa beans are high in antioxidants and minerals, and often used in restorative body butters.

Other examples of seeds and nuts used for body butter are cocoa beans, mangoes and kukui nuts. Cocoa beans are high in antioxidants and many minerals, such as iron and potassium, so they are often used for protective and restorative body butters. The seed of a mango is high in vitamins E and A and beta carotene, so it is used to moisturize and heal skin. Finally, kukui nuts are used because they have a high level of vitamins and fatty acids, making them especially beneficial to the skin.

Body butter is used for intensive moisturizing.
Body butter is used for intensive moisturizing.

There are many different benefits to using body butter, when compared to creams and lotions. Natural body butter is made using only natural ingredients, which are better for your skin and your body in general. It contains a higher level of emollients, which are absorbed into the skin and keep it moisturized. Body butter forms a protective layer over the skin, helping reduce the effects of the sun and hot and cold air. Many find that their skin is much softer and less prone to cracking or becoming inflamed when they use body butter.

A spa may offer massage treatments that incorporate emollient body butters.
A spa may offer massage treatments that incorporate emollient body butters.
Body butter can be used to moisten and protect the skin.
Body butter can be used to moisten and protect the skin.

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Discussion Comments


I personally have found an awesome little shop called Butter Me Up Colorado. I live in Colorado and she drops them off to me and they are organic and all natural. I have loved the Vanilla Bean baby and I think they have a Eucalyptus one that people use instead of Vicks. She said she ships to other states and you should see the jars she makes I wish I could post a picture. Body butter has replaced my lotion cabinet and I will never go back.


I love body butters but I hate all the chemicals and additives that's why I make my own or buy Nourish Organic's stuff. They're 100 percent organic and really affordable -- definitely worth trying them out.


I prefer body butters with very little scent. They usually have fewer additives as well, which makes them more effective, I think. I also try to find body butters with all natural ingredients whenever possible.


How can anybody not like body butter? I am a total body butter addict, whenever I see a store put theirs on sale I stock up. My all time favorite is satsuma body butter, but in the winters I also like to alternate with a good vanilla body butter.

Of course now I don't use nearly as much of it as I used to -- I used to live in an area where the air was just super-dry all year round, so I used to go through a tub of body butter about every month. One thing I did learn doing that though, is that of all the body butters, olive oil body butter seems to be the most moisturizing, at least for me, so that's what I would use to save money back in the day.

Anyway, what are you all's favorite body butters? Are you citrus people like me, or do you have other favorites?


I have to say, I have never been the biggest fan of scented body butter. I know, I know, all those Body Shop fans out there are going to kill me, but seriously, I just fail to see the appeal.

I have tried several body butter lotions before, including a cocoa body butter, but to me, every time I use it it just seems to make my skin really greasy and slimy, like I can never make it soak in.

I don't know if it's just because of my skin type or the type of body butter I tried, but it just never worked for me. I really don't know why though, since I don't have particularly greasy or dry skin, so you would think that having average skin would be good for a unbiased skincare experience.

Anyway, you all can keep your mango body butters and whipped body butter creams; I'll just stick with my good old Vaseline lotion.


Oh, I love body butter -- there is seriously nothing better in the winter for my skin than a nice coconut scented body butter; it is just such a pick-me up.

Of course, if I don't have body butter then cream will do, but there's something about the way that body butter just soaks into your skin the feels so much nicer than regular lotion, especially if you have really dry skin like I do.

And with the coconut scent, it's just like being in summer...my own mini-vacation every time I put it on!

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