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Posts Tagged ‘shea butter grains’

I recently received a question from a fellow soap maker that asked about graininess in products that contain shea butter. From time to time I have experienced shea butter grains in a lotion, cream, or whipped shea butter product myself.

Research the shea butter grains issue on the internet and you will find a plethora of explanations:
-used unrefined shea butter in product
-used refined shea butter in product
-heated the shea butter to an excessive temperature and then cooled it too quickly
-used shea butter that was too old in product
-used shea butter that had gone through a temperature change (too hot or too cold in shipment)

I get best results from unrefined shea butter (not bleached or deodorized). I also never overheat the shea (not to exceed 150 degrees). Heat it only enough to allow it to begin to melt, then remove it from the heat source.

When I produce products that contain shea butter I always watch for the tell-tale signs of shea butter grains. Watch the sides of the mixing container, for example. Grains definitely like to cling there. What do I do when a product turns out grainy? I use it myself, or a friend gets to use it. The thing is, an occasional shea butter grain is going to happen. It may look and feel strange, but it does indeed melt on contact. Normally, though, where there is one grain, there are a lot more, and the product doesn’t fit into the creamy or smooth category when it feels like it has small particles in it.

I hope this helped with your question. I am sure there are a lot of explanations, and there definitely is a lot of conflicting information on the internet to sift through. This post outlines what works for me.

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