Shea butter is a fantastic beauty aid. It's a natural alternative to lotions and creams, has anti-inflammatory and skin nourishing properties, and works great as a leave-in conditioner or hydrating wrap for you hair. However, if you’ve never bought pure shea butter before, you should know it comes in solid form and is not very spreadable. To use shea butter, you can either heat it up in the microwave and use it in its pure form, or you can soften it by whipping it!
What is Whipped Shea Butter?
Whipped shea butter is kind of like thick, smooth whipped cream for your skin. It consists of shea butter and oil and is super easy to make yourself. The best part is, since it’s an anhydrous product (i.e. does not contain water), it does not require preservatives or additives to remain shelf-stable.
Whipped shea butter has a wonderful texture that is smooth, soft and spreadable. It can be used as a moisturizer for your skin or a leave-in conditioner for your hair. As an added benefit, it’s also rich in natural fats that can help trap moisture in the skin and the hair. I use whipped shea butter as an aftershave to help reduce razor burn, and on sunny days for after sun moistening.
You can alter the health benefits and feel of the butter and by using different oils. You can also use two different oils to better balance the butter.
Sunflower seed oil is a lighter oil and will help counter the heavy greasy feeling of the shea butter. Borage oil has high levels of the fatty acid GLA, which may be helpful for those with eczema and damaged skin. Argan oil is a rich and nourishing oil that is known for its anti-aging and moisturizing properties.
DIY Whipped Shea Butter
As previously noted, whipped shea butter is just a blend of shea butter and oils, with most recipes calling for 80% shea butter and 20% oils. Personally, I like to add a little more oil (about 25-30%) because it makes the moisturizer softer and easier to spread. Adding more oil also lowers the melting point, so if you live in a hot climate, you may want to add a bit more butter to keep the blend solid.
To make your whipped shea butter, follow these 3 simple steps:
First, melt the butter and oil mixture in a double boiler. You can use a pot with a glass bowl in it as a double boiler.
Then, move the glass bowl from the boiling water to an ice bath (a larger bowl or pot containing ice).
As the mixture cools over the ice bath, you whip it with a whisk (or other mixer).
That’s it! You now have whipped shea butter. If you want more in-depth directions check out this article.
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