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:

Acne

Eczema

Dry skin

Stretch marks

Wrinkles 

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

Comments

Shea Butter Recipes — 134 Comments

  1. People love my sheabutter recipes the only complaint is the scent does’nt stay long what can i do to make the scent laat longer?

    • If you want scent to last longer you must use fragrance oils. Essential oils are volatile and evaporate quickly when exposed to air. Unlike essential oils which may have a health benefit, fragrance oils only scent. Start with 1/4 of 1 % or .25% and test. Don’t go higher than 1%. If scent is still not strong enough, find a better supplier for your fragrance oils.

  2. Hello. And thank you for an informative guide to making Shea butter. I have a base oil (extra virginia olive oil), a EO Tasmanian Lavender. & thr unrefined Shea butter but no mixer…
    Just to clarify I can use a fork?? Right??
    Thanks again

  3. Hello!
    I tried your recipe today though I DID melt it down as I have no electrical mixer. However, half an hour with a fork and arm muscles paid off. There is just one problem; no matter how much essential oil I put in, it still smelled like shea butter. I am pretty sure there is WAY too much EO in now, but I still only smell the lemon and orange very very faintly under the earthy smell of shea. Is lemon and orange just naturally very weak scents or is something completely wrong here? I bought the oils on Amazon where they had gotten great reviews.

    Also, I am not used to using body butter, but how long should you expect the oily feeling to stay on your skin?

    • In my experience, sometimes letting it rest will do the trick. A day or two and all of a sudden it’s what you wanted. Natural shea butter has a characteristic scent, work with it. Lavender, bergamot and lemon do well for me. Try the refined version, basically the same, just processed to remove the scent, if you are having too much trouble. Base notes work very well I find, I put a bit of Vetiver in once, and that was all I could smell, even with loads of lavender and bergamot. Much like the problem you are having now. Try using more base or middle notes to cover the natural scent. I believe you are only using top notes (lemon and orange?), which evaporate fastest. Then you are left with only the shea butter scent. I have to really work it into my skin, but once it’s there I am good for the day, more work than a lotion, but remember you are using straight oils.

    • Shea’s smell should not be that strong. I have ordered mine directky from Ghana and it’s smells good and light. 3-4 drops of lavender eo is enough.

  4. Ive been making my shea butter with this recipe and has been going great , and now when i make it , it turns out grainy and i dont even melt it, i use coconut oil andffragrance oil like always, and its grainy now , does anyone know why its turning gainy without melting it ?

    • Hey Rhonda,

      Raw shea butter is generally a bit grainy or gritty on it’s own. We prefer using it raw, but the only way to REALLY mask that is to add other ingredients.

      Most oils are thinner in texture compared to the raw shea butter, so you may be almost “diluting” it to much with only oils. You may be able to thicken it with something like a beeswax. It could also be the brand of shea butter you’re using…

      Hopefully that helps.

  5. I love the recipe for making the unrefined whipped shea butter , I just started my own little business at home making scented unrefined shea butter without melting the shea butter and just use coconut oil and scented oil and turns out great every time ! Its so easy to make and turns out nice a fluffy , so far everyone loves it and i make with yummy smelling fragrance oils

  6. Akoma is into the production of high shea butter for export. Our cooperative is made up of more than 500 women with over 200 standing by to join. We produce certified fairtrade and organic butter in addition to conventional butter. We also has faritrade/organic butter all at very competitive prices.

  7. Thank you! I love it. Made it and it came out so nice.

    I do have a question, I made a recipe and it solidified. I melted my ingredients in a double boiler (almond oil, coconut oil, beeswax and shea butter) and once it cooled down, it is way too solid. I can’t do anything with it. What can I do to make it creamy. I can’t even it spread or rub it. Can I remelt it and ??? Thanks for your help.

    • This might be due to the beeswax. When I make homemade deodorant I use a recipe that calls for beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter, baking soda, arrowroot and essential oils.
      Best wishes to you!

    • The Beeswax is solidifying it. Take it out or use very little of it.

  8. Hello i’m new to all of this very helpful information here, trying to start out a home base business any assistance will be helpful ..

    • Margaret, have you checked Susan Barclay-Nichols site – aka swiftcraftymonkey on blogspot?

      What she doesn’t know, isn’t worth knowing and you could spend several months in there finding answers to almost every question you could ever ask.

  9. I would like to ask you all who are doing business for whipped shea butters.. What is the shelf life of these whipped creams? What do you commit to your customer for the life of the product?
    Info will be very much grateful.
    Thanks in advance.

    • The shelf life of any product will only be as long as the shortest lived oil/butter in your product.

      I’d be checking your supplier’s suggested use-by dates on each and every ingredient for accurate info.

  10. I don’t hv electric mixer ,what other alternatve can I use in mixing my cream. Can I add coconut oil to it.where in edo state can I get lavender oil

    • You could use an imersion blender (aka ‘stick blender’) if you have one.

      Failing that, an electric hand mixer isn’t expensive and you could probably pick up a new one for $20 or thereabouts.

      Yes, you can add coconut oil to your body butter. Any oil, in fact.

      Various types of Lavender essential oil are available online from any essential oil, cosmetic and/or soap supplier.

      Just Google “essential oil suppliers”.

    • I asked if I could use Musk Oil (perfume, but it’s oil) in my shea butter. I haven’t gotten a reply. Anybody out there know?

    • Sandy, there’s absolutely no reason why you couldn’t use any fragrance oil, essential oil or absolute in your body butter formula.

      Musk oil sounds like a wonderful addition.

      I’d include it in the cool down phase – or when the batch is < 40C.

    • If you Google “essential oil suppliers” or “essential oil supplies”, you’ll find a LOT of suppliers listed.

      All that remains then is to check their prices to find a supplier that suits your needs.

    • I don’t see why not, Dima, but you’ll also want to add some wax in the mix, or you’ll end up with a liquid – which is fine if you’re making a roll on lip gloss (might want to add some castor oil in it for shine, in that case).

  11. Hi I would like to start a shea butter skin care business, how do I reduce the row shea butter smell

    • You could add a little essential oil or fragrance oil to help mask the smell of raw shea butter.

    • It would.

      Remember that when you whip your butter, it will double in size, so 4oz of shea butter, once whipped, will amount to 2 x 4oz jars or 1 x 8oz jar.

  12. Excellent information. My daughter is using natural products for her hair and now has me using them. We are using Shea butter as a moisturizer, mixed with different oils and it is multipurpose (which I love), but I would like to have a creamier version. I will try the recipes indicated and return to the site with the result. Great for feet in sandals …absorbs quickly and keeps the feet looking great all day.

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