Winter Citrus Body Cream Recipe

I know I’m not the only person whose skin gets crazy dry once the weather starts to change.  My daughters’ skin starts to get very dry too, especially my eldest who has mild eczema.  Of course, I had to order some shea butter, which is the best butter for dry skin, in my opinion.  I was also going to order some fractionated coconut oil but changed my mind because I wanted to try something new.  I ordered kukui nut oil instead.  Here’s a quick rundown on this exotic, but pretty cheap, oil:

  • a light oil, not dense, clear to light yellow in color
  • penetrates the skin well, so great to pair with a dense butter or oil that does not penetrate well (like cocoa butter, coconut oil, castor oil)
  • leaves minimal oily feeling on the skin
  • been used in Hawaii for many years, mostly as a massage oil. The kukui nut tree is Hawaii’s state tree.
  • should not be exposed to high heat

If you recall from a post I did about picking the right oils for your lotion (click here to read it!), shea butter has medium skin penetration but a heavy oily feeling.  Since shea butter is my go-to winter fat, I wanted to combine it with something with similar penetration and oily feeling to jojoba oil but without the high price.  So I decided to give kukui nut oil a shot.  I’m glad I did! It’s good stuff.  Of course, you can find it at Mountain Rose Herbs.

Look at this yummy cream


It’s so luscious! And moisturizing! And I love the light citrus scent.  It might be the best cream or lotion I’ve ever made.  [If you’re not sure about what the differences between cream and lotion are, click here.]  It will be perfect for fall and if necessary, I can make a few adjustments if our winter is especially cold and dry.  Enough chat, here’s the recipe.

Water Phase

  • 150 grams distilled water
  • 100 grams aloe vera liquid (not juice or gel) or your favorite hydrosol
  • 20 grams raw honey (acts as a humectant which draws moisture to the skin)


  • 250 grams distilled water
  • 20 grams raw honey

Oil Phase

  • 50 grams kukui nut oil
  • 22 grams castor oil
  • 8 grams vitamin E oil
  • 100 grams shea butter
  • 50 grams emulsifying wax

Cool Down Phase

  • 5 grams Optiphen
  • 40-60 drops rosehip seed oil
  • 50-80 drops grapefruit essential oil (for fragrance)

To put this lovely cream together,

  1. You need at least 2 weighing containers, Mason jars are my favorite.  In one container, weigh your water phase ingredients, make a note of the final weight, and heat the container in the microwave for a minute.  The liquid should be very warm, but not too hot to handle.  When it comes out of the microwave, weigh it again.  If some of the water was lost to evaporation, add distilled water very carefully until it’s the same weight as it was before it was microwaved.
  2. In the other container, put all your oil phase ingredients except the kukui nut oil.  Microwave in 30 second increments until the shea butter is just melted.  DO NOT OVERHEAT. If any smoke forms, you will have to discard and start over.  Once it’s all melted, add the kukui nut oil.
  3. In your mixing container, add the oil phase from your weighing container.  Pour the water phase ingredients into the oil weighing container.  Then pour the water phase into the mixing container.  This prevents you from wasting any of your oil phase.
  4. With a long, metal spoon, stir for about 30 seconds.  Using your stick blender, blend for 15-20 seconds.  Keep the blender immersed so bubbles don’t form.  Add the cool down phase and blend for 5 seconds.
  5. Pour into your storage containers.  I use old Talenti gelato and sorbet containers, thoroughly washed and sanitized with alcohol.


I needed 2 containers for this recipe but I don’t fill them to the top.  If you make this, please don’t be alarmed by the initial consistency, which is very much a liquid.  As it cools, it thickens up very nicely and becomes very creamy and light.

Happy lotion making!

5 thoughts on “Winter Citrus Body Cream Recipe

  1. I used sunflower and almond oils ‘cos that is what i had, and cocoa butter instead of shea, with orange, lemon and patchouli essential oils. Was yummy! This has been the best skin treatment I have ever ever ever used! thanks so much! Mine came out thick, which I love – it is so decedent and my skin has never been in this good of shape in these Wisconsin winters! love your blog! thanks girl! ❤

  2. Hi Shani!
    I’m over a year late in reading this post and several other posts on your blog. 🙂 I’m very new to the cream making arena. So new that I’m still in the research phase, that’s when I stumbled upon your blog. Great information and easy cream/lotion recipes.
    My question to you about this body cream recipe, can I substitute the shea butter for mango butter instead? I don’t like the smell of shea butter or cocoa butter for that matter. Also, do I have to use raw honey in this recipe? Can I omit it all together? If not, can you recommend another substitution?


    • Hi!
      Yes you can use mango butter but it will be a bit drier. Also, I strongly recommend keeping the raw honey but if it’s too sticky for you, try honeyquat which gives similar benefits. The honey acts a humectant. If you live in a very dry climate, you could skip the humectant.

      Hope this helps!

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