What is body butter?

It’s true, we owe a lot to our famous Body Butters, and to you for helping them reach cult status. We love that you love The Body Shop heroes and have voted for them in beauty circles. But if you’re new to us, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. It's important to say first off, it’s the thousands of women in Ghana who help bring our Body Butters to you, who are the real heroes. All our Body Butters contain Community Fair Trade shea butter from Ghana. Our founder Dame Anita Roddick first discovered shea butter in Ghana in 1992, used there for its intense moisturising abilities.

Model applying body butter to arm

What makes a good body butter?

Forget any association you may have with butter you smear on your toast in the morning. If you’re wondering what you do with Body Butter, let’s just say it’s one of the best things you can smear on your limbs, tum and bum for that body-popping feeling every day.

Our epic range of Body Butters include the highest quality, naturally inspired ingredients from around the globe. And we can tell you, there are some serious body-grooving vibes in every pot! But a special mention goes to the Community Fair Trade shea butter we lavish in every variety. This intensely creamy hero is derived from the shea nut, and is stuffed full of the vitamins and fatty acids all skin dreams of.

Let’s look at the science. What is it about our Body Butters that helps get limbs so deeply hydrated and ready for dancing more than your average pot? Well, a good Body Butter contains fatty acids like linoleic, oleic, stearic and palmitic, which are lapped up by your skin in a flash, helping hydrate and smooth skin. Then they form a protective layer which seals in mega-moisture for 96 hours. This also means that our joyful Body Butters are friends to almost all skin types. We have creamy tubs specially formulated for sensitive, normal, dry and very dry skin in our enthusiastic dance troupe-like range of Body Butters.

And what of this band of creamy hydrating merriment? We’ve gone to great lengths to bring you Body Butters with all your favourite ingredients and fragrances. We know your snozzle is the gateway to beginning the relaxation process and getting your groove on, so we reckon we have something for every nose. Here’s a teaser – imagine the sweet smell of strawberry at a quintessentially British tennis tournament, the alluring aroma of coconut – not the clippity-clop variety, more the endless white beach, Samoan ones. Or perhaps the nutty notes of shea, all the way from feel-the-African-beats Ghana, or the delicate floral fragrance of moringa from Rwanda. Your senses will be making their way to the dance floor before you can open the bathroom door.

Find the one for you
Mango body butter with '2021' written in green text below it

The evolution of our body butters

We’ve come a long way since the humble beginning of our first ever Mango Body Butter which was launched in 1992. In fact, the first Body Butter was created in Dame Anita Roddick’s kitchen, and was given its name by her daughter who, while making a piece of toast, said “it’s like butter…for your body”. Clever.

Our Body Butters look a little different from when they first hit the shelves, but their legendary status has never faltered. And they just keep on getting better. In every new tub, there’s at least 95% natural-origin ingredients, including Community Fair Trade shea butter from Ghana – one of our most famous ingredients (and for good reason).

Delivering 96 hours of intense moisture, these creamy, dreamy new Body Butters give you and your skin that dance-around-in-your-pants feeling. And did you know they’re all now registered by The Vegan Society? That’s a gold standard in vegan certification. So all you plant-based people can enjoy your favourite Body Butter without compromise.

Just when you thought they couldn’t get better, each Body Butter comes in its most sustainable packaging yet. Every tub is made with an aluminium lid and 100% recycled plastic, including Community Fair Trade recycled plastic collected off the streets of Bengaluru, India, through The Body Shop’s trade partnership with Plastics for Change. The new design helps reduce the amount of virgin plastic used by 241 tonnes every year.* What’s not to love? Seriously.

Pick from 12 nature-inspired scents, from Strawberry to Shea, or find a tub for your skin type, whether that’s sensitive or ultra-dry. Get your hands on the best tub for you, slather it on and give that beautifully unique body some serious love.

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Model applying body butter to skin

How to use body butters

Getting into the flow of how to use Body Butters is as intuitive as getting your groove on. Dance like no one is watching you. But, just in case you want to settle any first dance nerves, here’s a step-by-step guide to getting skin so soft and supple, you’ll be the envy of all the crew as you strut your stuff.

Step 1: scoop it out

Dive into our creamy Body Butter tubs with your fingers, scoop out a small dollop of Body Butter. Top tip: these are rich pots of our skin’s favourite nutrients, so a little goes a long way.

Step 2: spread it on

Then take a deep breath and start enjoying spreading your favourite creamy Body Butter all over your happy body, you might even hear your skin gratefully slurp up the goodness as you go.

Step 3: massage it in

Using soothing circular motions, massage the Body Butter into your skin with enthusiasm. No need to rub too hard, these buttery beauties are formulated to absorb super-easily. Be sure to get your dry bits, elbows and knees love an extra rub.

Step 4: let it absorb

Take a few minutes to admire your fine work and give your freshly moisturised body a little wiggle. By the time you’ve done that, our easily absorbed Body Butters will have sunk right in, leaving you to get your silky-smooth bod ready for any kind of action the day has to offer.

Selection of body butters with the lids off

What is the difference between body butter and body lotion?

It’s all about you really. Depends what your bum, tum, boobs, moobs and limbs are asking you for. Are they tingling for a proper slathering of nourishing creaminess or are they dashing out of the door – pausing briefly for a quick once-over with some easy-breezy moisture?

Both Body Butters and lotions are super moisturising, but the consistency of lotions and Body Butters is a little different. Lotions feel lighter and have more water content, containing less concentrated oils. Whereas Body Butters which are infused with oils feel less light and a lot richer on the skin.

When you slap on a dollop of Body Butter you’re committing to a good rub-a-dub-dub, which feels gorgeous and is deeply nourishing, helping your skin feel silky-smooth whatever the weather. If your skin has been exposed to the elements, and is on the dry or sensitive side, you may find our thick creamy Body Butters more soothing and protective. If your skin is on the oily side or your daily routine is rushed and you need to just whack on some quickly absorbed moisture, get dressed and dash off, then our lotions might be the easy-come, easy-go ones for you.

Common Questions About Body Butters

Close up shot of models legs

How long will your body butter last?

Depends a little bit on the shape of your moves. Our Body Butters are full of nutrients, and less is definitely more in the case of these creamy little groovers. If your skin is dry and you’re a super-slatherer you may go through a tub faster, but as a general rule, a small luxurious dollop will get to work across your entire body and one tub should last you several months.

Shea body butter resting on models knee

How should you store your body butter?

Our Body Butters are pretty low maintenance, but as with any hydrating number, always put the lid back on after you’ve used it to keep moisture in. And pop away in a cool dry cupboard to keep away from any sources of intense heat. That way, it will only be your disco partners who can feel the sizzle.

Close up shot of models legs

Can body butter expire?

Our Body Butters will eventually go past their best but they do have a helpful symbol on the tub – a slightly opened pot with the number of months you have to use it once it has been opened. But we’re fairly sure you and your Body Butter won’t be able to leave each other alone for long, and all that body goodness will get soaked up well before the use by date.