Shea Butter Recipes

Here are general guidelines which are applicable for almost all shea butter recipes on this site. Learn how to make scented shea butter cream, how to melt shea butter, how to whipp shea butter and how to store shea butter.

How to Make Scented Shea Butter Cream

If you want to make simple hard shea butter cream, you basically need shea butter, some base (carrier) oil and some essential oil. Actually, adding base oil is optional, simple combination of shea butter and essential oil(s) will do as well. Cream made with base oil(s) will be little bit softer and easier to apply than pure unrefined shea butter.

Exact choice of base and essential oils depends on:

  • targeted purpose of a shea butter cream (wrinkles, dry skin, stretch marks, eczema)
  • scent preference

Technology is simple: melt shea butter on the steam using a double pot. Put some water in a bigger pot, let the water boil and put the smaller pot with shea butter above the steam. Add base oils and essential oils and mix it.

Important thing is not to overheat shea butter or any other ingredient ‘cause they will loose most of their healing effects. The only reason to heat shea butter is to melt it so you can easier blend it with other oils. Never heat it above 175 F (80 C). Add essential oils when temperature decreases at lowest possible level on which you can still mix it.

If you don’t intend to make whipped cream, you can mix it by hand. No need to mix it with electric mixer.

Probably the most important thing when making homemade cream is quality of ingredients. For best effect, always choose unrefined butters and oils.

Regarding quantity and proportions of ingredients, I only try to keep fixed proportion of total butter part (4/5) and total base oil part (1/5) in shea butter recipes. I prefer smaller proportion of base oils ‘cause i personally like less oily creams even if they are a little bit harder. Regarding essential oil, adding 5 drops of it on 1 oz. of fat total (butters and base oils) will result in approximately 1% dilution which is suitable even if you are pregnant. Keep on mind that not all essential oils are suitable for use during pregnancy. In general, it is not recommended that essential oils exceed 2.5% of total cream.

Regarding total quantity, be aware that these homemade shea butter recipes don’t contain any preservatives. So, don’t make more cream than you can use in few months.

How to Make Whipped Shea Butter Cream

With this method, you can whip shea butter in few minutes and make it creamy and fluffy.

In its original state unrefined Shea butter can be very hard and sometimes not so easy to apply on a larger skin area. If you want to make it creamier, softer, fluffier and more alike fancy commercial creams, you can make a whipped shea butter cream. Whipping shea butter won’t change its chemical structure. Its texture will be more appealing and volume will be increased.

While making whipped shea butter cream, you can also add some other base and essential oils according to targeted purpose of your cream and your scent preferences.

As opposite to making a simple shea butter scented cream, making a whipped shea butter cream is little bit more demanding and requires some practice and trial and error effort. So don’t be disappointed and discouraged if you don’t make a perfect whipped cream from a first attempt.

We tried few different recipes for whipping shea butter and most of them suggest melting shea butter. They are usually complicated, time consuming and sometimes do not give the expected results.

With method I prefer, you shouldn’t melt your shea butter. I prefer this method because:

  • It takes only few minutes.
  • There is no risk shea butter cream will become grainy, what sometimes happen in case of melting.
  • All temperature sensitive ingredients will be completely preserved.

So, what do we need?

  • 4 oz. unrefined shea butter
  • 2 tablespoon base oil; for example extra virgin olive oil
  • 10-20 drops essential oil(s); optional, for example you can use lavender oil
  • mixing bowl
  • electric whisks mixer
  • one clean empty 8 oz. jar, or two 4 oz. jars, because volume will be increased

Steps for making whipped cream

  1. Before you start to prepare whipped shea butter, make sure your unrefined shea butter is on a room temperature. Do not melt or heat it! Put your shea butter in a bowl and mash it with a fork. The same way you make a mashed potato.
  2. Add base oil(s) and mash it little bit more.
  3. Put the mixture into the mixing bowl. Mix it on a high speed with electric mixer for approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Believe it or not, this is it! Optionally, you can add chosen essential oil(s) and mix it few minutes to blend it with your whipped cream.
  5. Put whipped cream in a clean jar(s) and close it. Keep it in a dry, dark and cool place. Room temperature is fine.

Check my example recipes customized for different purposes:



Dry skin

Stretch marks


Sunburns & Sun protection

Shaving and few of my favorite

Storing Shea Butter

Shea Butter’s shelf life is approximately one to two years. It should be kept in dark, cool place on a room temperature.

You will find on internet many recommendations to keep it in the fridge, but this isn’t necessary. Best temperature to store it is 20 to 24 degrees Celsius (68 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit). Lower temperatures won’t harm it, but it can cause the shea butter to get grainy. On higher temperatures it will become liquid. This also won’t harm it, but after shea butter re-solidify from melted state it may also become grainy.

You should keep your shea butter or shea butter creams in closed glass or heavy duty plastic containers.

If you don’t want to put any preservatives in your homemade shea butter creams, never put any water into the cream. Protect your cream from absorbing humidity from the air by keeping it always firmly closed.

Wash your hands every time before you are using shea butter or shea butter cream, because you are contaminating it every time you touch it. This will prolong its lifetime.

If your shea butter or cream gets unpleasant rancid smell, it is a sign it is rotten and you should throw it away.

Learn more about shea butter, what it is good for and where to buy it.

Measurement Units Conversion

Sometimes it is really confusing and time consuming to figure out and compare different shea butter recipes from different authors. It seems everyone has her own favorite measurement units. Cups, ounces, milliliters, teaspoons, tablespoons and drops… what a mess! For easier orientation here is conversion list for units frequently used in homemade cream recipes:

  • 1 oz. = 30 ml
  • 1 oz. = 6 teaspoon
  • 1 oz. = 2 tablespoon
  • 1 oz. = 1/8 cup
  • 1 oz. = 456 drop
  • 100 ml = 3.38 oz.
  • 100 ml = 0.42 cup
  • 100 ml = 7 tablespoon
  • 100 ml = 20 teaspoon
  • 1 ml = 15 drop
  • 1 cup = 8 oz.
  • 1 cup = 237 ml
  • 1 cup = 16 tablespoon
  • 1 cup = 48 teaspoon
  • 1 cup = 3648 drop
  • 1 tablespoon = ½ oz.
  • 1 tablespoon = 14.78 ml
  • 1 tablespoon = 1/16 cup
  • 1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoon
  • 1 tablespoon = 228 drop
  • 1 teaspoon = 1/6 oz.
  • 1 teaspoon = 4.93 ml
  • 1 teaspoon = 1/50 cup
  • 1 teaspoon = 1/3 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon = 76 drop
  • 100 drop = 0.22 oz.
  • 100 drop = 6.49 ml
  • 100 drop = 0.027 cup
  • 100 drop = 0.44 tablespoon
  • 100 drop = 1.3 teaspoon


Shea Butter Recipes — 233 Comments

  1. Has anyone tried using bayberry wax in body butter to stiffen it for use in warmer climates? I’ve only seen mention of using beeswax so far and wondered if there was any reason not to use bayberry. I have a good quantity of it already and thought this might be a good way to put some to use. Thanks, have been enjoying all your comments, recipe ideas and sharing here.

  2. Has anyone tried or considered using bayberry wax to stiffen shea for use in warmer climates? So far all I’ve seen is mention of using beeswax. I happen to have a good quantity of bayberry wax already and was wondering if there is any reason not to use it. Thanks! Have been enjoying everyone’s comments and recipe ideas here.

  3. I have been using shea butter liquid, but am looking to switch up to shea butter, what i am wondering is are the measurements going to be equal? For example, if i were using 1 oz of the liquid butter oil, would I use 1 oz of the solid butter, more or less? TIA for any helpful information

  4. As for vegetable glycerin: Vegetable Glycerin – has strong humectants properties; meaning it is able to retain moisture. As a product that draws moisture from the air, it makes for a great moisturizer! It helps to soften the hair follicles, allowing moisture to enter into the hair shaft.

  5. I’m wondering if you can help me with what essential oil would be best to add to my 100% African unrefined shea butter to tighten skin, or for burns from a fire and lastly just overall healthy one for all purposes. I love the feel of the shea butter but I’m very sensitive to smells and the original smell of shea butter does not mix with me. Thank you so much.

    • Lavender is a basic oil that will definitely benefit the conditions that you mentioned. Personally, I use an essential oil called Helicrysum. It is extremely helpful when it comes to burns, scars, bruises, etc. Here is a website that you can order these oils from. These oils are high grade and therapeutic. I use them on a daily basis. I hope this helps.

  6. I started mixing Shea butter with my body cream and I started getting darker can I mix it with glycerin?

  7. hi there, I love your site! Thanks to you, I’m making shea + coconut oil body oils and I had a go at your whipped cream (shea with olive oil). I didn’t heat it, but mashed it as you suggested before I whipped it using a Kenwood blender (for 5 mins total, on max). The resulting cream is very nice, but has grains of shea – which melt as you apply it to the skin – but it doesn’t feel nice initially. How can I remove the grains without heat treatment?
    Many thanks for any advice.

  8. Are there any essential oils that act as a natural preservative? I want to make some hand cream and would like to ad something to make it last longer without becoming rancid but only if I can use something safe and natural.

  9. I’ve got to say. I’ve been looking up the easiest way to make Shea butter and options. Your way and words has been the best and most simplest way to describe. Also what you can actually do with it..Everywhere else looking online has been very complicated and not much explanation at all..I’m now very confident to work with Shea butter for the first time from reading this… Amazing thank you so much…

  10. I import raw pure 100% organic shea butter from Ghana without any bleaches or chemicals added . It is packaged in calabash and plastics. I live in southafrica currently. Am looking for buyers anyone who is interested get in touch with me for more details.

  11. How do you get the shea butter out of its container if you do not heat it to make it soft enough to dish some out of the original container. My shea butter is so hard I could not get it out of the container.

    • Actually I got it out of its container.

      It is very greasy. I mixed it with some coconut oil and a little bit of olive oil.

    • actually I whip it using a stand mixer then add any fragrance essential oil and put it in a clean jar.
      this shea butter is so nice.

  12. I want to make a cream for growing pains in my young grandson. The essential oil states mix at 4%. What would 4% be for say..2oz of Shea Butter? 24 drops is 4% dilution with 1oz of carrier oil…is Shea butter the same?

  13. I made whipped shea butter cream with sweet almond oil and lavander, and I love it! Cured my cracked hands and chopped lips right away!

  14. Thank you for this simple recipe. The recipes that came with the shea butter were complicated and not fully explained.

  15. Is it possible for me to store shea butter in the freezer? I bought some in bulk but I don’t want it to go off. Thank you!

  16. Does anyone know what the advantages and disadvantages are of using vegetable glycerin with shea butter? I’ve heard that it helps with absorption, but I’ve also heard that it makes shea butter more likely to go bad. Thanks.

    • Hi yes you can but not for long….that’s what we do here in Africa… It is not available in its pure form in the cities so we get relatives to bring it from the rural areas in bulk and store it..but not for too long…divide it into batches..preferably in sizes you tend to use and wrap them individually in plastic wrap then place all the balls in zip bags in the freezer.. remove from freezer and let it come to room temp naturally when you need it to the lady said ..try to touch it as little as possible so as not to contaminate it cos it will reduce its shelf life…hope this helps..Jambo!!greetings for Africa!

  17. Hello, thanks for sharing your recipe :)
    I would like to ask if I can use coconut oil (quite solid) instead of olive oil.
    Thank you for your reply!

    • Yes, I tried it and it worked great. I am going to try and mash the shea and coconut more before I whip–my lotion had little beads. They would melt when I rubbed the lotion on my skin, but I seemed to get them on the floor. I live in Minnesota, so it is cold and dry.The lotion was excellent on my dry itchy skin.

  18. I made the Shea butter recipe with coconut oil and francense essential oil for Christmas presents. I used 2 cups of Shea butter and adjusted the other ingredients accordingly. The problem is that the butter is too greasy for use in humid Queensland Australia. So my question is – what can I use to make it less greasy, or more easily absorbed into the skin?

    • You could add a dry or thin oil, like rosehip, which cuts the greasiness of the shea butter. It’s also very good for your skin

    • You can slurry in starch. Mix a tablespoon of oil(any) and add arrowroot starch to it before adding to butter to whip. It will not be greasy at all

  19. i tried your recipe with whipped shea butter and hemp seed oil. Turned out pretty great. I’ve never seen anything this moisturizing before…not even my expensive creams from the makeup counter. Thanks for sharing.

  20. I started a home base business making Shea butter cream. Is there any way to keep the Shea butter creamy?

    • Hi I live in England and I would like to start a home based business selling to friends and family and neighbours. Please all advice to help me get started will be appreciated.

  21. I wonder if anyone can help. I have made lovely shea butter products with essential oils but I live in a very hot climate and my products melt. Is there a way I can prevent this. Beeswax perhaps ?

    • I currently have coconut oil (organic extra virgin 100% Certified Organic & Pure) and Sweet Almond Oil (also 100% Pure) & I recently purchased Organic Beeswax . The Beeswax I purchased is not a big block, but small grains..I don’t know if it’s because it was filtered. But anyway, I was going to add a small amount to my Shea butter just to experiment with the consistency. I think it’s a little trial and error to see which works best for you and climate. I will be outdoors a lot this summer, so I think it may help keep it from becoming too thin.

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