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
- 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.
- Add base oil(s) and mash it little bit more.
- Put the mixture into the mixing bowl. Mix it on a high speed with electric mixer for approximately 5 minutes.
- 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.
- 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:
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