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  • Writer's pictureModern Hippie

Homemade Healing Shea Cream

True unrefined, organic, raw, shea butter is often hard to find, as many manufacturers either contaminate it with other oils and dyes, or it's not in fact, shea butter at all, but a similar, less expensive product called Kpangnan Butter (pronounced "painya"). Real Shea butter is an off- white or ivory-colored fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa). Kpangnan Butter is yellow in color and comes from the African Butter Tree (Pentadesma butyracea). It can be refined, bleached, and deodorized to resemble shea butter, and has similar fat properties, making it still good for skin, but not as good as shea.

Shea butter is a triglyceride composed primarily of a monounsaturated fatty acid - oleic acid (Omega 9) (40-60%), and a saturated fatty acid - stearic acid (20-50%). These components make it melt around body temperature, and absorb well into skin. After trying shea butter, I can say that it is absolutely wonderful. I've used it straight as a moisturizer on my hands, as a body lotion after showering, to clear up a family member's eczema, and as a soothing after-shave for my husband. I also applied it to my hair on the ends for a super moisturizing hair treatment, and used it as a natural sunscreen.

Shea butter should be very smooth, with a firm, Play-Doh-like consistency. It should have a light nutty smell and not smell strong or offensive. I made a homemade body lotion using shea butter as a base and it came out perfectly.

Homemade Healing Shea Cream

{I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.}

Makes 1 pint or 16 ounces



Warm all ingredients EXCEPT the essential oils in a double boiler, just to melting. You can also use a glass bowl over a sauce pan filled with water. Remove from heat and let cool. If you use a glass bowl, you can put it right into a cold bath to cool.

Add the essential oils when cooled enough to comfortably touch.

Emulsify with a hand mixer or immersion blender on high until uniform in consistency.

Transfer to smaller jars like these, for convenient use and travel.


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