STEP-BY-STEP GUIDES TO MAKING LOTIONS, BUTTERS, AND MILKS

“Imagine the security of knowing you’re applying healthy substances onto your skin.

Imagine the pleasure of a soft, smooth and youthful skin.

Imagine the satisfaction of making your own cosmetics.”

– Jan Benham

THE POWER OF BOTANICALS

We have been primping, perfuming, and decorating our bodies since the beginning of time to enhance our attractiveness and magnetism. While we’ve given up practices like face masks made of crocodile manure and lead paint for whitening the skin, natural skin care has always had an enduring attraction. Since Cleopatra’s time, botanical extracts have remained the most important resource for healing and beautifying in the natural world.

Adding botanical extracts such as essential oils in the correct amount to your own handmade creams and lotions allow for customization of your products, contributing to both psychological and physiological well-being.

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BENEFITS OF MAKING DIY NATURAL MOISTURIZERS

The advantage of homemade natural moisturizers is that they can be customized by the producer by using specific ingredients for their inherent properties. Homemade moisturizers that are made with all natural ingredients are full of skin-nourishing minerals and vitamins. Their natural benefits include the ability to hydrate and rejuvenate the skin, the ability to restore damaged skin cells, and the ability to prevent future damage caused by harsh environmental factors by creating protective temporary barriers on skin. Producing homemade moisturizers has the added advantage of being eco-friendly, as the use of natural products means that chemicals are neither being used on the skin nor polluting the atmosphere. Because products can be stored in reusable containers and can be custom labeled for each new product after being sterilized, there is less waste from the disposal of packaging.

There is a large variety of moisturizers, the most popular being face creams, body lotions, body butters, and face milk. They can all be easily produced at home with a few simple natural ingredients that basically need to be melted together and cooled before they are stored in their containers for later use. Creams and lotions are comprised of three things: 1) a “base” or “carrier” oil, which will be a healing and nourishing oil of personal preference, 2) water that is purified of toxins and pollutants, also known as distilled water, although pure floral waters or other water-based liquids may also be used, and 3) an emulsifier (usually a wax, although it can also be a combination of other natural ingredients that provide emulsifying properties once they are combined).

Emulsifiers are the binding agents that keep the water and the oil joined together in a moisturizer because these two components will not combine otherwise; they are a necessary component for creating the fixed and lasting emulsion of oil and water.

Most commercial body butters are actually dense creams that have more wax content in them. A lotion is simply a diluted cream, and milk is a diluted lotion. Each product is slightly more diluted than the one before: BUTTER (thick, heavy, oily) → CREAM (thinner than butter and usually whipped) → LOTION (thinnest, lightweight) → MILK (more liquid than lotion but richer).

TYPES OF EMULSIONS

There are two types of emulsions although both types contain the same ingredients – oil and water. They are Oil-in-Water Emulsions and Water-in-Oil Emulsions.

Oil-in-Water moisturizers are those with more water than oil. These are also referred to as water-based products. The oil or fat droplets simply disperse in the layer of water. These emulsions are used more in moisturizing products (e.g. body lotions and day creams.

Water-in-Oil moisturizers are usually oil-based products used for a fatty feel (e.g night creams and sunscreen and makeup). In this emulsion, water droplets are suspended in the oil layer. This type is the ideal base for dry or sensitive skin, as it is milder and leaves the skin’s lipid bilayer undamaged.

INGREDIENTS FOR DIY NATURAL MOISTURIZERS

CARRIER OILS
A carrier oil will be the main, “base,” ingredient in a moisturizer recipe. The ideal carrier oil is one that is healing, nourishing, rejuvenating, and protecting. Popular choices for oils include Olive and Jojoba. Oils are safe to use, they are effective, and they are free from the chemicals found in commercial moisturizers. They can be custom-picked for their particular skin benefits and to match certain skin types.

EMULSIFIERS
Waxes are the most commonly used emulsifier. Emulsifying waxes are derived from plant-based fatty alcohols. Waxes also thicken a cream – without a wax, creams would have the runny consistency of a salad dressing. The molecular makeup of an emulsifying wax attracts oil particles and absorbs water particles. Because the oil remains mixed in with the water, the wax helps the oil penetrate the skin and replace lost moisture. In the process of producing a homemade moisturizer, the emulsification occurs after the heated oil phase, the heated water phase, and the cooldown phase has been completed.

POPULAR EMULSIFIERS – EMULSIFYING WAXES (“E-WAXES”) AND ALCOHOLS:

  • BEESWAX is not an emulsifier on its own. Beeswax and Borax in combination make a natural emulsifying system, but their consistency will not have the same high quality that emulsifiers made with Cetearyl Alcohols can offer. A very small amount of Borax is required, but using beeswax without it can make a cream or lotion fail. An emulsion can be created with a combination of natural ingredients. These ingredients must always be combined in order to have an emulsifying effect, unlike wax, which works all on its own. A good starting combination for a natural emulsifier is Beeswax, Liquid Lecithin, and Borax. Here is a simple formula for a basic natural emulsion recipe: 80% Beeswax, 10% Borax, and 10% Liquid Lecithin.
  • EMULSIFYING WAX NF (INCI NAME: CETEARYL ALCOHOL (AND) POLYSORBATE 60) can be used to create thin or thick emulsions, depending on the concentration used. The typical usage rates are 3-6% of the total recipe weight. The advantage of using this emulsifying wax for cosmetic preparations is that it does not leave a residue on the skin. It has excellent stability and will not cause the ingredients in a product to separate.
  • (INCI NAME): CETEARYL ALCOHOL is a fatty alcohol that is a combination of Cetyl and Stearyl alcohols. It is known to be a skin softener and conditioner, lending emollience to a moisturizer. The typical usage rates are 1-25% of the total recipe weight. It can be used as a thickener and stabilizer as well. Using 1% will thicken a product to the consistency of a light lotion. For the rich consistency of hand cream, a maximum amount of 25% is suggested. It can be used as a co-emulsifier if used at concentrations of 2% or less.
  • (INCI NAME): CETEARETH-20 can be used on its own or it can be combined with other emulsifiers such as Glyceryl Stearate. It gives a silky, shiny feeling to the finished product. The typical usage rates are 1-6% of the total recipe weight. The maximum usage level recommended is 30%.
  • (INCI NAME): GLYCERYL STEARATE  is both an emulsifier and a stabilizer for emulsions, the latter being a chemical that inhibits emulsions from separating. It helps reduce the surface tension of the substances that are to be emulsified. It works as a lubricant giving skin the appearance of being soft and smooth by forming a barrier on the skin’s surface, thereby slowing the rate of water loss. Usually, it is used in combination with another emulsifier such as Polysorbate 20 or Ceteareth-20. The typical usage rates are 1 – 5% of the total recipe weight.
  • (INCI NAME): CETEARYL ALCOHOL/CETEARETH-20 is not a wax but rather a waxy pellet that is used in lotions. It is especially beneficial for lotions that are intended to be thick and waxy such as those for the tougher skin of elbows and feet. The typical usage rates are 2% or 6% of the total recipe weight. It can also be combined with emulsifying wax.

BEFORE ADDING AN EMULSIFYING WAX TO A MOISTURIZER RECIPE, A FEW FACTORS NEED TO BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION:

  • NATURAL VS. SYNTHETIC EMULSIFIERS: Even the most “natural” emulsifiers need to be extracted, separated, and processed out of plant oils and fats until they become the emulsifiers that are commonly used.
  • CERTIFIED VS. NOT CERTIFIED: A supplier should be able to clarify whether or not an emulsifier is organically certified for those that are strict on using only certified products. Not all “natural” emulsifiers are going to be certified, as there are high costs to become certified.
  • GLOBAL STATUS: Criteria to consider may include the status of the emulsifier being vegan, halal or kosher.
  • SUSTAINABILITY: Some DIY cosmetic producers insist on using only fair, sustainable, non-bioengineered oils for emulsifiers such as palm oil or palm oil derivatives. There are varying levels of sustainability and emulsifiers that are palm-derived do not always carry the name “palm.” Some of the examples of plant/palm-derived ingredients include Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Palm Kernel, Olive, Sunflower, high- and mid-oleic Sunflower, Peanut, and Coconut oils.
  • HLB: HLB stands for “Hydrophilic-Lipophilic Balance.” There is a belief that emulsifiers that are water-soluble (higher HLB value) are best suited for oil-in-water emulsifications and those that are oil-soluble (lower HLB value) are best suited for water in oil emulsification.
  • OPTIMUM OIL PHASE CONCENTRATIONS:  The performance of the emulsifier is affected by the amount of oil used in the products, so it is important to know in which particular oil phase the emulsifier would work best.
  • VISCOSITY RANGE: The type of emulsifier used can adjust the viscosity of the product. The emulsifier selected should suit the desired viscosity range, whether it is that of a body milk moisturizer or that of a thick night cream.
  • REQUIREMENT OF A STABILIZER/CO-EMULSIFIER: Co-emulsifiers are emulsifiers that are not meant to emulsify on their own and are instead used to enhance the activity of an existing emulsifier. Some emulsifiers might require the addition of a stabilizer or co-emulsifier for increased product viscosity and stability. The requirements of the formula should be considered before adding a co-emulsifier. To illustrate, if an emulsifier works only with a synthetic stabilizer, it should not then be used in an organic or natural formula.
  • BEST WORKING PH RANGE: Emulsifiers have ideal pH ranges at which they work best. Departing from this range may cause changes in the texture, appearance, viscosity or stability of the product. It is even more vital to consider the pH range when creating the product’s preservative. To illustrate, if using a weak acidic preservative that works most efficiently at a pH that is lower than the pH at which the emulsifier works, then either the preservative or the emulsifier needs to be changed.
  • ALCOHOL TOLERANCE: Due to their binding and emollient properties and their ability to alter the consistency of liquid products, fatty alcohols that protect and soften the skin are often incorporated in emulsions and are then referred to as “co-emulsifiers,” because they are meant to support the other “main” emulsifier. Alcohol has the power to weaken many emulsions, however. Suppliers can provide more information regarding the alcohol tolerance of a product if alcohols are going to be applied to emulsions.
  • OIL PHASE CHARACTER: It is imperative that the chosen emulsifier suits the ingredients in the moisturizer. Sometimes the oils used will be plant oils, waxes, and butters and at other times they might be fractionated oils, fatty alcohols or monoesters rather than triglycerides (fats and oils.
  • COLD VS. HOT PROCESS: The most commonly used emulsifiers come in the forms of pellets, flakes or powders that need to be melted with the oil or water phases. This can be a disadvantage if heat-sensitive ingredients are also being used, but should be used if ingredients do need to be melted. Liquid emulsifiers are available that allow for a cold blending technique.
  • SHEAR TOLERANCE: Some emulsifiers require a homogenizer, which is a mixer that produces fine particles and droplet sizes, as well as a “high shear” – the rate at which fluid moves between two parallel plates, one being stationary and the other moving at a constant speed. Some emulsifiers cannot withstand high shear and would be destabilized by a homogenizer.
  • APPLICATION DOSAGE: The emulsifier is generally added at approximately 20% of the oil phase, though some work best at lower or higher concentrations. The concentration can be reduced with the addition of co-emulsifiers or stabilizing agents.

ADDITIVES FOR DIY NATURAL MOISTURIZERS

Additives are optional ingredients that may be added to a product for their healing or preventative properties or for the ways in which they boost the qualities of the product itself. Some additives for moisturizers provide extra hydration, boost the hardness or softness of the product, improve its appearance, reduce/prevent/stop skin irritation, and/or promote the growth of healthy cells. Most additives are included in the mixture of ingredients during or after the melting stage of the production process. Regardless of which additives are selected, they should all comply with Health Canada and FDA regulations and be certified for cosmetic use to ensure that they will be safe on skin.

THICKENERS
Thickeners can be natural, synthetic, or semi-synthetic and they are derived from various sources including natural sources. The most versatile thickeners are those that are synthetic. They provide stability and better performance of cosmetic products by enhancing the consistency, volume, and viscosity. Some thickeners allow water to remain on the skin and thus offer a moisturizing property. They are composed of varying molecular structures including polysaccharides, proteins, alcohols, silicones or waxes.

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BUTTERS
For those that prefer their moisturizer to have a thicker, richer texture than oils have to offer, butters are an ideal option, as they have more saturated fatty acids and higher melting points. Some are preferred for their antioxidants, vitamins, and fatty acids, which work to diminish signs of aging and other skin issues. Other butters are preferred for their ability to protect skin from UV damage or from coarse, cracked skin.

Butters can be heated and added to other types of moisturizers during their liquid phases. When incorporating a butter into a lotion, such as to create a “Shea Butter Lotion” for example, the amount to add will vary for each recipe. The recommended ratio is 75% solid to 25% liquid oil. Although the body butter can be used as soon as the base ingredients are blended together, the mixture will be too dense and tough to spread over the skin at this stage. When whipped, however, the air that is incorporated into the mixture creates a lighter consistency that makes the application much easier. This also means less butter is needed at the time of each application, which in turn extends the life of the product.

PRESERVATIVES
Preservatives are natural or synthetic ingredients with anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties that are added to personal care products to keep them fresh and to protect both the product and the user from the negative effects of harmful bacteria. Preservatives are only needed in products that contain water. They work by preventing spores from germinating and producing more microorganisms and by deactivating cells by disrupting their cell membranes. Many store-bought moisturizers contain preservatives that can be harmful to skin whereas producing homemade moisturizers allows for the use of natural preservatives that can help minimize negative skin reactions.

Homemade natural products can also be made without preservatives; however, they will not last as long as commercial moisturizers. There are a couple of solutions to this issue, including the option of creating products in small batches that will be used within a short time period, adding ingredients with antimicrobial properties, or creating anhydrous products, which are products that do not contain water, as introducing water to cosmetic containers is the leading cause for the development of harmful bacteria, mold, yeast, and fungi. This includes ingredients that contain water such as hydrosols/floral water, Aloe Vera, or goat’s milk to name a few popular choices. Any water used should ideally be distilled and boiled before having anything added to it, but generally the less water in the product, the longer it will last. Glass containers are highly recommended for storage, as they can be reused and they eliminate the risk of products being tainted by the harmful chemicals that are commonly found in plastic containers. Product contamination can typically be prevented or slowed down by also using dispensing bottles instead of open mouth jars because the bacteria from fingers can be introduced to the product.

To extend the longevity of a moisturizer, an anti-oxidant is needed, as it will reduce the rate of oxidation. This is a chemical process during which natural ingredients are degraded or damaged due to exposure to oxygen. An oxidized product will develop brown or black spots. An antioxidant can be added directly to oils or added to the oil phase of the moisturizer formula. Naturally preserving additives that are anti-oxidants include Geranium Essential Oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract, and Green Tea Extract, among many others.

To help preserve the moisturizer, an anti-microbial is needed, as it will work to destroy bacteria and other unwanted micro-organisms. Naturally preserving additives that fight bacteria, mold and fungus include Vitamin E oils, Tea Tree Oil, Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil, Olive Oil, Red Raspberry Seed Oil, Green Tea, Aloe Vera or honey.

There are ingredients that boost the capabilities of preservatives but there are also those that interfere with or completely inactivate them. Some of the ingredients that might interfere with them include pigments like ultramarine blue and thickeners like cellulose derivatives and guar gum.

CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING WHEN LOOKING FOR A SUITABLE MOISTURIZER PRESERVATIVE: 

1. Which ingredients are being used? Are they oil-soluble or water-soluble?

2. What will the product’s final pH be?

3. Is it non-sensitizing? In other words, does it have any tendencies to cause allergies or sensitivities?

4. Is it long lasting? Will it continue to work under both normal conditions and less favorable conditions?

5. Does it take rapid action to quickly re-sterilize the product, if it should become contaminated?

6. Is the preservative non-toxic and non-irritating?

7. Is it compatible with all the ingredients in the formula?

8. Does it remain stable under heat? Does it undergo disintegration during storage?
FLOWER WATERS (ALSO CALLED HYDROLATS OR HYDROSOLS)
Floral waters are a byproduct of the essential oil production process. They have similar properties to essential oils but are gentler on the skin and are thus safer to use on the face than essential oils. Floral waters contain therapeutic properties that would not be found in the essential oils of the same floral matter. Popular floral waters used in cosmetics include Rose Water, Lavender Water, and Orange Blossom (neroli) Water.

AROMATIC OILS
Aromatic oils such as synthetic fragrance oils or essential oils can be added to a moisturizer formula for a pleasant scent with therapeutic properties that benefit the user both physically and mentally. The essential oil of choice should be one that would not cause an allergic reaction to the user. The percentage of essential oil to a cream or lotion should never exceed 2%.  Both types of oils can be easily added to a moisturizer emulsion once it has been melted and removed from heat. They should be mixed in thoroughly. The final moisturizer product should be kept in a closed container in a cool area. To prevent any unexpected allergic reactions, a skin patch test is highly recommended.

COLORANTS
Moisturizers can be colored with the use of any water- or oil-based colorants. The following colorants are typically used in moisturizers: LabColours, Micas, Oxides & Ultramarines, Jojoba Wax Beads, Natural Tinting Herbs, and D&C and FD&C Dyes.

  • D&C (Drugs & Cosmetics) Dyes
    These are colorants that the FDA and Health Canada have allowed for use in externally applied drugs and cosmetics. FD&C (Food, Drugs & Cosmetics) Dyes are certified color additives for use in foods in the United States. In North America, these are now referred to by their Color Index (CI) names rather than their former “FD&C” names.

    Some ingredients such as fragrance oils can discolor moisturizers. Usually, the product takes on the same hue or leaves a tint that is the same as the fragrance oil. A fragrance oil such as vanilla would possibly turn the product brown, but if the color is undesirable then it can be prevented with the use of a vanilla stabilizer. Another instance of discoloration, such as when a white moisturizer turns pink or develops green flecks, indicates a contaminated product that needs to be disposed of immediately.

  • D&C AND FD&C DYES
    These are potent synthetic dyes that are available in water-soluble or oil-dispersible varieties. When added to a formulation, they produce bold, vibrant colors but their intensity can be adjusted by incorporating them drop by drop until the desired shade is achieved. These dyes can also be mixed to create new colors.  The disadvantage of these dyes is that they bleed, so if a body butter is made in colored layers, after a few days the colors will leak into the layers and blend together. The dyes also have a tendency to fade with time, most likely over the course of a few months, but this will not be an issue with products that are meant to last for a time much shorter than that.
  • OXIDES & ULTRAMARINES
    These dry powder ingredients produce vivid, dense matte colors. They are not soluble in water but easily disperse in oil, so they must only be added to the oil phases of moisturizer recipes.  After being combined with oil, they can be introduced into an extensive assortment of formulations.
  • PEARLESCENT MICAS
    These are colorants made by crushing natural minerals into a fine powder to add shimmer to moisturizers. Micas are often combined with various synthetic dyes, Oxides, Ultramarines, and natural colorants to create more colors and shades. They are not suited to every recipe, as they come in a wide range of formulations. It is important to check a Mica safety guide and the supplier notes about each one to ensure the correct type is chosen for a recipe to prevent any possible reactions.
  • JOJOBA WAX BEADS
    Made from Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil and D&C Dyes, these colorants are meant to be melted before being added to oil- or wax-based cosmetic formulas such as recipes for body butters, balms, and body oils, to name a few.
  • NATURAL TINTING HERBS
    These powdered herb colorants can add color to lotions or body oils, but although they retain color in containers, there is a chance they will fade over time. The best way to add them to a moisturizer formula is to infuse one of the liquid phases with the chosen herb before the liquids are mixed into an emulsion. If a herb needs to be strained from a warmed oil, a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer can be used. The recommended ratio for usage is 2 tbsp (30 g or 1 oz) of powder per 1 cup (340 g or 12 oz) of oil.

IMPORTANT TIPS

When creating DIY products, it is imperative to prevent the transmission of infection. This can be done by ensuring proper hand washing. It is important to use sterile gloves and a hair net to provide the necessary protection.

Sterilize everything with which the lotion or cream will come into contact; have a spray bottle of alcohol ready with clean sterile jars and towels at hand.

To create a lotion or cream, two ‘phases’ must be produced: an oil phase and a water phase. They both need to be heated to kill any microbial visitors.

All your oils and waxes – including your emulsifying wax – and butters will go into the oil phase and may be taken off the heat as soon as the wax is melted.

All your waters (distilled, or up to 40% floral waters or aloe or witch hazel with distilled water) will be heated just until light steam wafts from the surface and tiny bubbles form on the bottom of the pot. Borax, if you are using it, will be dissolved in your water phase.

Tinctures, actives, essential oils and preservatives will be added after the cream has begun to emulsify.

WHEN THE WAXES HAVE COMPLETELY MELTED (OR THE BORAX IS DISSOLVED), YOU ARE READY TO MAKE THE PRODUCT. YOU CAN DO THIS IN ONE OF THREE WAYS:

  1. Use two pitchers to pour both phases back and forth until they are emulsified and cooled, then pour into sterile containers; this is the traditional method, used since the Middle Ages.
  2. Whip the water phase with a stick blender while pouring a thin stream of the oil phase in, and after all, is blended, continue to whip for another five minutes before pouring into sterile containers.
  3. Put ice in one bowl, and place the second bowl on top – stainless steel bowls of the same size are excellent for this. Begin pouring both phases in while whipping with a whisk; this will cool the cream as it emulsifies, and you will feel this happening as the whisk hits the bottom of the bowl. When it is all emulsified and cold, pour into sterile containers. 

Pour your cream just before it arrives at the thickness you want because as it cools, it will get a bit thicker. Caution: if it is just right in your emulsion for a lotion, and you want to put it into a lotion bottle, you will have to add more sterile water phase now, or it will be too thick to travel up the length of the pump.

MAKING A MOISTURIZER FOR ALL SKIN TYPES

REQUIRED TOOLS

  • A double boiler (or a pot filled with boiling water and a heat-resistant glass bowl that can be placed over the pot)
  • A stainless-steel saucepan
  • A measuring jug – 1 L (approx. 34 oz) size preferred
  • A stirring spoon
  • Measuring spoons i.e., teaspoon (5 ml or 0.16 oz), dessertspoon (10 ml or 0.33 oz), and tablespoon (15 ml or 0.50 oz)
  • A scale that has both imperial and metric measurements
  • Empty glass jars and bottles for a finished product
  • Label (to keep the final products organized)

REQUIRED INGREDIENTS

* Ingredients are measured by weight, in grams, for accuracy

WAXES AND OILS:

  • 28 g (approx. 1 oz)/4 dessertspoons lanette wax (emulsifier)
  • 60 g (approx. 2 oz)/6 dessertspoons Jojoba Oil

WATERS:

  • 200 g (approx. 7 oz) distilled water
  • 50 g (approx. 2 oz) Rose Water

PRESERVATIVE:

  • 1.23 g (¼ tsp) Grapefruit Seed Extract

ESSENTIAL OILS:

  • 12 drops Lavender
  • 8 drops Geranium
  • 7 drops Palmarosa

STEP BY STEP PROCESS

  1. Sterilize all utensils, product containers, and workshop surfaces. Wipe utensils and wipe down surfaces with alcohol.
  2. In a heat-resistant bowl (or in a double boiler), melt the emulsifying wax and oils.
  3. In another saucepan, heat the liquid ingredients (Rosewater and distilled water) until they have reached boiling point.
  4. When the waxes and oils have completely melted, and the water is gently boiling…
  5. Slowly, add the waters to the melted wax and oils, stirring constantly until all water has been added.
  6. Remove the double boiler from the heat source. Continue stirring until the mixture has completely cooled.
  7. Add grapefruit seed extract, plus any essential oils, nutrients, and goodies.
  8. Pour into sterilized jars and bottles.
  9. Label.

MAKING A HOMEMADE LOTION – 237 G (APPROX. 8 OZ)

REQUIRED TOOLS AND INGREDIENTS

  • 120 g (1/2 cup or 4 oz) Almond Oil or Jojoba Oil (or any other liquid oil)
  • 60 g (1/4 cup or 2 oz) Coconut Oil
  • 60 g (1/4 cup or 2 oz) Beeswax/Emulsifying Wax
  • 5 g (1 tsp) Vitamin E Oil (optional)
  • 30 g (2 tbsp) Shea Butter/Cocoa Butter (optional)
  • Essential Oils, Vanilla Extract or other preferred natural extracts (optional) (see the recipe for the ratio)
  • 237 g (8 oz) mason jar or tin

STEP BY STEP PROCESS

  1. Combine Almond Oil/ Jojoba Oil (or any other liquid oil), Coconut Oil and Beeswax/ Emulsifying Wax in a double boiler or a glass bowl on top. If using Shea/Cocoa butter, add it as well.
  2. As the water heats, stir the ingredients occasionally as they melt so that they are fully incorporated.
  3. When all ingredients are completely melted, add Vitamin E Oil (if using) and any essential oils or scents like Vanilla. A 2% dilution of essential oils is the ideal amount to add to a lotion. To make a 2% dilution, add 12 drops of essential oil to every 30 ml (each fl. oz.)
  4. Pour mixture into the 237 g (8 oz) mason jar/tin. The viscosity of this product will not pump well through a lotion dispenser.
  5. Use the final product within 6 months in the same manner as a regular lotion. 

MAKING A BODY BUTTER – 454 G (16 OZ)

REQUIRED TOOLS AND INGREDIENTS

  • 75 g (1/2 cup or 4 oz) Shea Butter
  • 75 g (1/2 cup or 4 oz) Cocoa Butter or Mango Butter
  • 120 g (1/2 cup or 4 oz) Coconut Oil
  • 120 g (1/2 cup or 4 oz) light oil (such as Almond, Jojoba, or Olive Oil)
  • 10-30 drops of preferred Essential Oils (Optional)
  • 455 g (16 oz) mason/glass jar

STEP BY STEP PROCESS

  1. Combine all the ingredients (except the essential oils) in a double boiler or glass bowl.
  2. Stir them constantly over medium heat until all the ingredients are melted.
  3. Once melted, remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool slightly. If including essential oils in the formula, add them now.
  4. Allow the mixture to cool in the fridge for 1 hour or until it begins to harden but still remains somewhat soft.
  5. Using a hand mixer, whip the mixture for 10 minutes until fluffy.
  6. Refrigerate the whipped mixture for 10-15 minutes to set.
  7. Store the final product in a 455 g (16 oz) glass jar with a lid.
  8. Use the butter in the same manner as a regular lotion or body butter.
  9. The butter may soften at room temperature in which case it may be stored in the fridge, but it will remain whipped at a temperature lower than 24 áµ’C (75 áµ’F).

MAKING A BODY MILK LOTION – 1 L (1000 G OR APPROX. 34 OZ)

REQUIRED INGREDIENTS

  • 60 g (2 oz) Beeswax/emulsifying wax
  • 15 g (1/2 oz) Cocoa Butter
  • 45 g (1 ½ oz) Palm Kernel Oil
  • 235 g (8 oz) Coconut Oil
  • 120 g (8 tbsp or 4 oz) Almond Oil
  • 235 g (8 oz) Goat’s Milk
  • 355 g (12 oz) distilled water
  • 15 g (1 tbsp or 0.5 oz) Germaben II

STEP BY STEP PROCESS

  1. Mix together the Beeswax/emulsifying wax, Cocoa Butter, Palm Kernel Oil, Coconut Oil, and Almond oil in a glass bowl.
  2. Microwave or heat the mixture over the stove until melted.
  3. Whisk in the water and Goat’s Milk until the whole emulsion cools. When first mixing the oils and liquids together, the milk may have a strange appearance and it may seem to be curdling, but continuous mixing will help it turn to lotion.
  4. Add the Germaben II to the mixture once it has become lotion. If the lotion is too thick, add more water to thin it out. Re-heating the lotion and mixing again helps it stay emulsified.
  5. If the lotion starts to separate, add more emulsifying wax.
  6. Store the final product inside a 1 L (1000 g or 34 oz) glass jar in the fridge.

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

Pay close attention when heating any mixtures that include oil, as the oil can rapidly overheat. This is especially true for small amounts of oil, which can overheat in seconds. Never leave oil unattended on the stove. If called away from the stove, be sure to remove the pan from the heat.

Avoid overheating the oils. The wax and oil mixtures simply need to be melted, not boiled.

Keep young children and pets out of the way.

After each use, clean all equipment in boiling water, rinse well, and dry. It is best to use these utensils only for making cosmetics and to avoid preparing or storing food in them due to the possibility of cross-contamination.

IN ESSENCE…

    • Botanical extracts have remained the most important resource for healing and beautifying in the natural world.
    • Homemade moisturizers that are made with all natural ingredients are full of skin-nourishing minerals and vitamins.
    • There are only 3 required ingredients for making DIY natural moisturizers: a Carrier Oil, Water, and an Emulsifier.
    • Optional additives can further enrich a natural homemade moisturizer with ingredients such as Thickeners, Butters, Preservatives, Colourants, Aromatic Oils, and Floral Waters.
  • In order to prevent contamination when developing moisturizers, it is important to sterilize everything with which the moisturizer will come into contact.

Benefits and Uses of Shea Butter

All About Shea Butter…

    • The Shea tree has been nicknamed “Tree of Life,” a moniker earned by virtue of its ability to address numerous skin, hair, and health conditions. “Mother Nature’s Conditioner” is a nickname that Shea Butter has earned for its exceptional moisturizing and softening properties.
    • Shea Butter is derived from the kernels of the Shea Tree’s fruits.
    • Used topically, Shea Butter is known to be a “skin superfood” that nourishes skin to promote its clarity and addresses problems such as dryness, blemishes, dark spots, discolorations, stretch marks, and wrinkles without clogging pores.
    • Used in hair, Shea Butter moisturizes and nourishes from root to the tip, protects against dryness and brittleness, repairs damage, and conditions without leaving a sticky residue.
    • Used in massages, Shea Butter supports skin elasticity and suppleness, boosts collagen production, and increases circulation while promoting skin cell regeneration. It can ease joint pain and rheumatism, alleviate pain, and reduce stretch marks.
  • Used medicinally, Shea Butter prevents skin-irritating and acne-causing bacteria from lingering on the skin, relieves nasal congestion, and creates a barrier on skin that protects it from harsh environmental elements, while facilitating wound healing.

 

HISTORY OF SHEA BUTTER

The Vitellaria paradoxa botanical – formerly known as the Butyrospermum parkii botanical, and most commonly known as the versatile Shea tree – is not only the source of Shea nuts from which the well-known Shea Butter is derived; it has also proven itself to be valuable for conserving semi-arid Africa’s delicate ecosystems and for sustaining entire communities. Shea trees can be found growing in the Savanna belt, a region that traders refer to as the “Shea Belt.” This region includes countries such as Senegal, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Togo, Ghana, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Uganda, Sudan and Ethiopia. Of these, the main Shea nut exporting countries are Ghana and Burkina Faso.

The word Shea is derived from the word S’í, the Bambara name given to the tree in Mali. Throughout Africa, the continent of its origin, it goes by many other names, including Kade or Kadanya in the Hausa language, Ori in some parts of West Africa, and Karité in the Wolof language of Senegal. This latter name means “Tree of Life,” a moniker earned by virtue of its ability to address numerous skin, hair, and health conditions.

In some of Africa’s poorest regions, the Shea tree has become important to the economy and to the livelihood. In these places, Shea Butter is most commonly known as ‘Women’s Gold,’ due to the fact that Shea Butter production is the source of income for many women in Africa. The women use Shea Butter to purchase food, clothing, personal items, and to afford an education, among other purposes. For its healing abilities, the Shea tree was recognized as sacred and different parts of the tree were used for various purposes, such as when its wood was used to carve the funeral beds and caskets of kings or respected community leaders.

Although some early records state that European explorers began using Shea Butter in the 1300s, the natural emollient was used long before then by the people of Africa. For use in the harsh desert climates, Shea nuts were crushed, mashed, and boiled into a butter that was used to protect skin and hair from the drying, damaging elements while also being used to relieve insect bites. According to historical sources, the use of Shea Butter has even been traced back to Egypt as far back as the first century at the time of Queen Cleopatra, when it was used largely in skin care products. Ancient accounts tell the story of Cleopatra demanding that large jars full of Shea Butter accompany her on all her travels so that she could apply the smooth, hydrating, soothing, and rejuvenating butter to her skin daily.

In West African cuisine, Shea Butter’s high nutritional value and reasonable price made it ideal for use as an edible oil in culinary preparations as well. It created the base for many soups and, when mixed with onion and pepper, made a popular condiment. When used in chocolate, Shea Butter came to be a popular substitute for Cocoa Butter. Drinks incorporating a blend of Shea Butter, water, millet flour, and spices have traditionally been served at weddings, funerals, and work parties.

Traditionally, Shea Butter was a staple ingredient used for its medicinal benefits in African pharmacology. Local healers used this nourishing butter – often making it the key ingredient – to address health issues such as coughing, bruising, rheumatism, inflammation, minor bone dislocation, and leprosy. Its wound-healing properties made it effective in diminishing stretch marks and regenerating skin that had been cut, especially soothing the uncomfortable results of circumcision. As it spread throughout several of Africa’s regions, it was discovered to have diverse uses for producing various products such as soaps and nasal decongestants. Studies conducted in the 1940s discovered that the African people who used Shea Butter experienced fewer incidents of skin diseases compared to those that did not use it. Some communities in Africa used Shea Butter for larger applications such as to make lamp oils, weather-proof their roofs, and protect their domestic animals’ skin and feet against rough sands and salt.

During the Middle Ages, Shea Butter became a popular global trade item throughout West Africa, including the coastal regions, as well as in the European markets. In some regions such as the UK, Shea Butter is used as a part of hygiene products such as bathroom tissue. “Mother Nature’s Conditioner” is a nickname that Shea Butter has earned for its exceptional moisturizing and softening properties. Since the discovery of Shea Butter’s therapeutic benefits, it has been used as an ingredient in cosmetics for thousands of years.

BENEFITS OF SHEA BUTTER

The main chemical constituents of Shea Butter are: Oleic Acid, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Cinnamic Acid Esters, Allantoin, and Polyphenols (Tocopherol/Vitamin E).

 

OLEIC ACIDS (OMEGA 9) are known to:

  • Maintain the softness, suppleness, and radiance of skin and hair
  • Stimulate the growth of thicker, longer, and stronger hair
  • Reduce the appearance of aging, such as premature wrinkles and fine lines
  • Eliminate dandruff and thereby support hair growth
  • Boost immunity
  • Exhibit antioxidant properties
  • Prevent joint inflammation, stiffness, and pain
  • Impact the hardness or softness of the butter

 

STEARIC ACID is known to:

  • Have cleansing properties that purge dirt, sweat, and excess sebum from hair and skin
  • Be an ideal emulsifying agent that binds water and oil
  • Help products remain potent when stored for long periods of time
  • Condition and protect hair from damage without diminishing luster or making it feel heavy
  • Have exceptional cleansing properties
  • Soften skin
  • Provides the butter with a solid consistency

 

PALMITIC ACID is known to:

  • Have emollient properties
  • Soften hair without leaving a greasy or sticky residue
  • Be the most common saturated fatty acid

 

LINOLEIC ACID (OMEGA 6/Vitamin F) is known to:

  • Moisturize hair and promote its growth
  • Facilitate wound healing
  • Be an effective emulsifier in the formulation of soaps and quick-drying oils
  • Exhibit anti-inflammatory properties
  • Soothe acne and reduce chances of future outbreaks
  • Promote moisture retention in skin and hair
  • Make oils feel thinner in consistency when used in an oil blend, thus being beneficial for use on acne-prone skin
  • Soothe and promote the healing of skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis
  • Slow the look of premature aging

 

CINNAMIC ACID ESTERS are known to:

  •  Have SPF properties that make it act as a natural sunscreen
  • Soothe inflammation, irritation, and redness
  • Contribute antioxidant properties
  • Promote cell regeneration, making skin look rejuvenated

 

ALLANTOIN is known to:

  • Contribute protective and regenerative properties to skin that facilitate wound healing
  • Effectively soften skin and soothe irritation
  • Stimulate cell regeneration, thereby promoting the growth of healthy skin and tissue
  • Be an effective moisturizing agent
  • Be gentle and non-irritating, making it ideal for use on sensitive or irritated skin
  • Increase the water content of cells, making it an ideal ingredient for anti-aging products
  • Enhance skin’s texture, making it smoother

 

POLYPHENOLS are known to:

  • Soften skin
  • Exhibit antioxidant properties that slow the look of aging
  • Protect against harmful UV radiation
  • Boost skin cell regeneration and elasticity, thereby enhancing overall skin quality
  • Promote greater circulation and oxygen to the skin
  • Have antioxidant properties that slow the look of aging and boost circulation
  • Repair scarred and blemished skin
  • Prevent moisture loss from skin and hair
  • Offer soothing relief to skin that has been burned
  • Deeply cleanse pores and balance oil production

 

VITAMIN A is known to:

  • Protect skin against damage caused by UV radiation
  • Slow the appearance of aging by smoothing wrinkles and fine lines
  • Stimulate production of collagen
  • Stimulate cells regeneration to keep skin healthy, strong, and firm
  • Facilitate faster healing of wounds
  • Protect skin against toxins and bacteria and promotes cell production, thus boosting immunity
  • Lighten unwanted blemishes and dark spots, thus balancing skin tone to create an even glow
  • Slow the production of oil in the skin and clears pores, thereby preventing acne breakouts

Rich in Vitamins A, E and F, Shea Butter is a natural emollient that nourishes skin to promote its clarity and health. Its moisturizing, circulation-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties make it a popular ingredient for use in products that address skin problems such as dryness, wrinkles, dark spots, discolorations, stretch marks, and blemishes. Whether skin is dry or oily, Shea Butter balances its oil production without clogging pores. It melts at body temperature and is known to soothe and hydrate mature skin as well as skin that has been damaged by the harsh effects of the elements. Its Cinnamic Acid content provides skin with a degree of protection against the sun, acting as a natural sunscreen. Individuals with acne, eczema, rashes, or psoriasis can use Shea Butter for relief from their skin conditions without experiencing the side effects commonly associated with traditional treatments, which can have abrasive effects on the skin. Gentle enough for the most sensitive skin, Shea Butter has even been used traditionally for baby care.

Used in hair, Shea Butter moisturizes and nourishes from root to the tip, thereby protecting against dryness and brittleness. It can repair, prevent or reduce damage caused by environmental elements or heat styling. As with the rest of the body, Shea Butter rapidly penetrates the scalp to offer to moisturize without leaving a sticky, greasy residue, thereby leaving the scalp free from itchiness, irritation, and dandruff.

Used in massages, Shea Butter’s anti-aging and skin-protecting benefits are known to slow the signs and symptoms of maturing skin by supporting skin elasticity and suppleness. In doing so, it boosts collagen production and increases circulation while promoting skin cell regeneration. Shea Butter’s anti-inflammatory properties can ease joint pain and rheumatism.

Used medicinally, Shea Butter makes an ideal post-sun ointment for skin damaged by UV radiation while creating a barrier on the skin that protects it from harsh environmental elements such as severe winds and cold temperatures. Shea Butter is anti-bacterial; hence, it can prevent skin-irritating and acne-causing bacteria from lingering on the skin. By eliminating germs, it can relieve nasal congestion and sinusitis. The Cinnamic Acid content in Shea Butter can effectively alleviate pain and itchiness on skin afflicted with a rash, cut, scrape, or allergy. It can reduce the discomfort of skin that has become inflamed from conditions such as dermatitis and rosacea, and it is known to soothe burns, reduce the appearance of surgical scars, and diminish stretch marks.

Sheabutter_captionimage_

 Shea Butter is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:

  • COSMETIC: Anti-Inflammatory, Regenerative, Anti-Aging, Hydrating, Skin-Conditioning, Softening, Smoothing, Restorative, Collagen-Boosting.
  • MEDICINAL: Anti-Inflammatory, Regenerative, Anti-Microbial, Anti-Fungal, Stimulating, Restorative, Circulation-Boosting.

 

CULTIVATING AND HARVESTING QUALITY SHEA BUTTER

Shea trees are indigenous to the Savanna regions of West Africa, where approximately 500 million of them grow wild from Senegal to Sudan. Although attempts have been made to cultivate the tree in other regions, the efforts have been ineffective thus far. Shea Trees first begin to bear large, green, plum-like fruit when they are between 10 and 15 years old, reaching full bearing potential when they are between 20 and 50 years of age. Known to have a lifespan of up to 200 years, the tree continues to produce fruits up until this time.

Shea trees begin to blossom in late Winter to early Spring, usually between the months of February and March. The green fruit ripens to a brown color in the Summer months, usually between June and July. Beginning at this time and going into the Fall, usually in the month of September, Shea fruits begin to drop to the ground. This allows for a natural, hand-picking collection system during the time of harvest. 30% of the nuts remain on the ground to germinate and to contribute nutrients to the soil. A Shea tree can yield 15-20 kg of fresh Shea fruit, which will produce 3-4 kg of dry kernels that contain 42-48% oil (butter).

sheafruitpart

Unripe Shea fruits have a light green outer skin known as the Epicarp, which protects the fleshy Mesocarp also known as the Pulp. Inside the Pulp is a relatively hard Endocarp or the Shell, which contains the Shea Nut/Seed. Inside the Nut, is the white, fatty Kernel. Most Shea fruits contain one or two Kernels, although some may have up to three. It is these edible, oil-rich Kernels that are used to produce the extract known as Shea Butter, which is considered to be a vegetable fat. In the wild, the Nuts/Seeds continue to be propagated by wind, rain, animals, and people for the future growth of Shea trees.

HOW IS SHEA BUTTER EXTRACTED?

In the villages of Africa, Shea Butter is extracted primarily by women, whose main source of income is Shea Butter production – hence its name “Women’s Gold.”

There are diverse extraction processes for Shea Butter. Below, the traditional manual extraction method of Africa, as well as the modern, industrial method, will be explained:

Often, after collecting the fallen Shea fruits, their pulps are removed immediately in the area of harvest. This way only the nuts are transported, reducing the weight of the load that is carried back to the co-op where the butter is processed. If left too long under the Shea trees, the fallen fruits will begin to mold. The Shea nuts are inspected to ensure that they are intact and free of mold. Nuts that are broken or damaged are discarded. Other nuts that are unusable for butter are used to create soaps or candles, among other products.

When the Shea nuts are transported to co-ops, the women begin by washing the nuts with water or sometimes with a 5% bleach solution. Washing the nuts reduces contamination caused by microorganisms, thereby preventing mold and yeast from developing. In order to easily remove their outer shells, sometimes the nuts are parboiled for half an hour. Boiling the nuts for longer than 30 minutes may reduce their oil content. Boiling also works to neutralize the germination activities of their embryos and to prevent the final butter’s degradation.

After the nuts have been boiled, they are laid out on a clean, dry surface under the sun to dry. In another cracking method, when the drying nuts rattle inside their shells, they are beaten by hand with sticks or pestles to allow the shells to be easily removed. Alternatively, the shells may be removed by hand by picking them off each individual nut. After the cleaned and shelled nuts have dried in the sun for a second time, the black nuts are removed, as they are of inferior quality and cannot be used.

The useable Shea nuts are crushed with a mortar and pestle. The mass of crushed nuts is roasted for up to half an hour while being constantly stirred, in order to prevent burning. The women are able to tell that the crushed nuts have been roasted for long enough by taking a small sample and sprinkling water on it. When the water sizzles on the crushed nuts, it means that the mass is ready to undergo the next step in the production process.

The roasted nuts are wet milled into a smooth, brown, creamy paste to which water is added. This paste and water mix begins to emulsify into a creamy substance as it is beaten and kneaded by hand for a few hours while more water is slowly added. The emulsified oils from the brown paste float to the top of the water. These curd-like clumps, which are often white in color, are collected into a separate container and may sometimes be washed up to 5 times with water to sanitize them for a cleaner final product.

The emulsified oil clumps are boiled in order to melt them back into a liquid – a “butter oil” – and to purify it by further separating it from any dark brown residue. This boiling process allows excess water to be drawn out of the butter through the steam that is produced. The resultant pure liquified Shea Butter that floats to the top is constantly skimmed off the top with a spoon, placed into a separate container, and allowed to cool. Alternatively, after the pure Shea Butter oils rise to the top of the water, the liquid is poured into a bowl covered with a fabric filter, which serves to trap any sediments and residue from the butter. Once the filtered liquid Shea Butter cools and hardens, this Refined or Ultra-Refined Shea Butter will usually be ivory, off-white, or cream in color. This soft, smooth final product is scooped into containers and packaged. Depending on its processing method, the final color of Shea Butter ranges from whitish to a light shade of green, to yellow.

Raw Shea Butter, also known as Unrefined Shea Butter, will usually be yellow in color, as its traditional extraction method is simpler than the abovementioned process. The production of Raw or Unrefined Shea Butter involves first cracking, then grilling, then pounding the harvested Shea nuts. The ground nuts are boiled until the butter begins to float to the surface, off of which it is skimmed. It is then placed into containers to cool down. In processes like this one without meticulous filtering, the resultant Shea may contain brownish specks.

The industrial processing of Shea Butter is typically done by Cold Pressing or Solvent Extraction, and the resultant butter may also be further refined and deodorized; however, due to the increasing preference for naturally-derived products, there have been industry efforts to implement traditional extraction methods for producing Shea Butter. The equipment used to mimic traditional manual methods may enhance the efficiency by using a motorized mill, thereby reducing the physical effort and time required to wet mill the Shea paste. The introduction of a mechanical or hydraulic press may also increase the oil yield.

In Cold Pressing, the oil-bearing Shea Nuts are placed inside the pressing mechanism. They undergo high pressure and friction in order to release their oils, which seep through small openings at the bottom of the pressing barrel. These openings are small enough to prevent Shea fibers from leaving the barrel. The resultant butter is similar to Refined Shea Butter, in that it is light in color with a fainter scent while it still retains its nutritive value.


 

SHEA BUTTER VARIETIES HAVE BEEN CLASSIFIED INTO 5 GRADES:

 

GRADE QUALITY PROPERTIES
A Raw/Unrefined/Pure/Organic This variety…

  • Is commercial grade
  • Is derived from trees that have been grown and harvested using only natural processes
  • Is the first, the least processed, and the purest
  • Undergoes a basic filtration process involving clays or cheesecloth
  • May contain a few impurities such as brown specks, due to the absence of processing and as a result of being packaged immediately after extraction
  • Retains its vitamins, minerals, and other natural properties due to manual extraction
  • Can be further processed in several ways, in order to produce other varieties mentioned below
  • Is often sold in the form of bars or sticks
  • Extraction Method: Water
  • Color of Butter: Ranges from cream to grayish yellow or light green to the color of rich honey
  • Aroma: Nutty; a scent that is removed in the other grades
  • Appearance: Resembles whipped butter
  • Is naturally high in Vitamin A and E content
  • Contains more antioxidants than Green Tea
  • Is rich in 6 different Essential Fatty Acids
B Refined This variety…

  • Is commercial grade
  • Is the most popular
  • Is processed with care taken to maintain its natural properties; however, nutritional value is reduced
  • Undergoes deodorizing by airing or with chemicals; may have an appropriate scent added to it
  • Undergoes bleaching
  • Color of Butter: Color removed; ranges from white to creamy yellow
  • Aroma: Odorless; sometimes may have a roasted aroma.
  • Texture: Hard; Smooth; Sometimes grainy
  • Extraction Method: (Commercial) Subjected to extremely high heat that extends the butter’s shelf life; naturally occurring essential fatty acids, vitamins, proteins, and other nutrients are eliminated. (Cold Pressed) Nutty, smoky scent is reduced but healing and restorative properties remain
C Highly-/Ultra-Refined This variety…

  • Is commercial grade
  • Is smoother and whiter than other varieties and is thus ideal for use in manufacturing cosmetics
  • Extraction Method: Solvents
  • Color of Butter: Pure white
D Lowest uncontaminated grade
E Contains contaminants

 

USES OF SHEA BUTTER

The uses of Shea Butter are abundant, ranging from medicinal to cosmetic. Its many forms include massage oils and balms, cleansing oils, lotions, creams, facial serums, soaps, lip balms, lipsticks, shampoos and other hair care products, and ointments or salves.

Used topically, Shea Butter protects skin from the harsh, drying, irritating effects of wind, salt, water, heat, and sun exposure. To create a natural sunscreen from Shea Butter, whip ½ cup of the butter until it becomes creamy in consistency. Slowly pour 1/3 cup of Coconut Carrier Oil into the butter. Add 15 drops Carrot Seed Essential Oil and 40 drops Myrrh Essential Oil, whipping them into the soft butter until it becomes fluffy. Apply this to the skin before going outdoors. Shea Butter’s excellent conditioning properties make it an ideal ingredient for manufacturing lip balms, as it soothes and hydrates chapped skin, thereby healing cracks and peeling caused by dryness. To make a natural Shea Butter-infused lip balm that is enhanced with essential oils, first melt 2 Tbsp. Raw Shea Butter, 1 Tbsp. Beeswax, and 1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil in a double boiler. Allow the blend to cool, then add 7 drops of Lavender Essential Oil and 7 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil. Mix the blend thoroughly and pour it into lip balm tins, allowing them to set until they solidify. This lip balm can be applied as required.

For a full body lotion that especially addresses dry, cracked skin on the heels, elbows, and knees, Shea Butter can be applied directly to the affected areas. Raw/Unrefined Shea Butter can be applied directly to skin rashes, insect bites and stings, burns, frostbite, stretch marks, peeling skin that results from overexposure to the sun, acne, and fungal infections such as Athletes Foot. Shea Butter can be applied to the skin as a soap replacement for a silky-smooth shave, or it can be applied afterward to soften the skin, smooth out wrinkles, and reduce the appearance of blemishes. To incorporate Shea Butter into a natural exfoliating scrub, mix it with Coconut Carrier Oil and brown sugar before rubbing it in gentle circular motions on the skin. This will remove dead skin cells and leave skin looking radiant.

Used in hair, Shea Butter adds moisture to a dry scalp and stimulates hair growth. Its anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties eliminate itchiness, irritation, and dandruff. For a conditioner that locks moisture into each strand without leaving it looking or feeling greasy, simply warm Shea Butter until soft or liquified. Rub it thoroughly into the scalp and through the hair, then wrap the hair with a towel for additional warmth and allow it to soak for 20 minutes. Wash out the butter in a regular shampooing regimen. This improves hair’s texture, leaving it looking volumized, soft, and silky.

To nourish the hair and scalp with Shea Butter, it can be used in combination with carrier oils and essential oils. Simply heat 1 Tbsp. of Raw/Unrefined Shea Butter in the microwave for 30-60 seconds. Allow the melted butter to cool slightly. Next, add a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil (this step is optional). Apply the liquefied butter to the scalp and spread it down the entire length of the hair. Leave this mask on for 30 minutes before rinsing it out with a mild shampoo. This conditioning treatment is known to rejuvenate the hair and to facilitate the growth of thicker, shinier strands. By introducing essential nutrients that enhance hair health, repair damage and split ends, and strengthen hair follicles, this mask reduces and prevents hair loss as well as breakage.

Shea Butter also works as a heat protectant when using hair styling tools or when exposed to the sun’s harmful UV radiation. To use make a natural heat protectant and sealant against harsh environmental elements, especially in the colder months, first melt Shea Butter. Next, combine it with a carrier oil that has a high smoke point, such as Grapeseed Oil or Avocado Oil. Apply this blend to the hair in small amounts before applying heat, whether hair is being blown dry or being curled or straightened with a hair iron. Shea Butter may also be added to a favorite shampoo or conditioner for extra moisture.

Used in a massage, Shea Butter boosts skin’s collagen production and elasticity, thereby reducing the signs of aging, such as wrinkling skin and cellulite, without clogging the pores. Shea Butter can be used as a massage balm that not only moisturizes and softens the skin but that also relaxes the muscles, relieves joint paint, and soothes sprains and aches. For a massage butter that offers these benefits with the perfect balance of glide and absorption, melt 1 cup of Raw/Unrefined Shea Butter in a double boiler. Remove it from the heat, then combine it with ¼ cup Jojoba Oil and ¼ cup Rosehip Carrier Oil. Thoroughly mix this combination, then pour the mixture into a wide mouth glass jar and allow it to solidify. For faster cooling, place it in the fridge. This massage balm is ideal for use before or after strenuous exercise, especially for muscular pain caused by swelling, stiffness, and inflammation. Massages with this butter blend are also ideal for those suffering from arthritis, as its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties alleviate pain and swelling that contribute to the condition.

Used medicinally, Shea Butter alleviates cold symptoms and facilitates the healing of wounds, bruising, and soreness. During a cold or flu, it can be applied directly to raw, sore noses to relieve nasal inflammation and to hydrate noses that have become dry from constant blowing. Applying a small amount to the bases of the nostrils can give relief from congestion. The healing properties of Shea Butter, contributed by its high levels of phytonutrients and vitamins, facilitate the disinfecting and healing of wounds, cuts, and abrasions, especially with regular application. With rapid absorption, Shea Butter supplies the deep layers of skin with essential fats and nutrients, accelerating the reparation of cells and increasing circulation.

To heal wounds and prevent or minimize scarring, simply scoop Raw Shea Butter onto clean fingers and gently run it over the wound, leaving the wound covered with moisture. Allow the butter to be absorbed into the skin at its own natural rate of absorption. The butter residue does not need to be washed off. Shea Butter can also be combined with other therapeutic oils to make a salve that soothes skin afflicted with cuts, sores, burns, scaly patches, peeling, cracking, allergies, and damage from heat. In a blender, simply combine 2 Tbsp. Raw Shea Butter, 1 Tbsp. Aloe Vera Gel, 1 tsp. Lavender Hydrosol, 5 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil, and 5 drops Lavender Essential Oil. Blend all the ingredients together into a smooth cream. Scoop this blend into salve tins, and apply the salve with clean hands to the affected areas as required.

A GUIDE TO SHEA BUTTER VARIETIES & THEIR BENEFITS

SHEA BUTTER (POYA BRAND)
Is known to…

  • Be a cream-colored solid at room temperature
  • Have a soft-cream texture and a faint nutty aroma
  • Be an excellent all-natural moisturizer that gives a nourished look to the skin
  • Be rich in essential fatty acids, primarily Stearic and Oleic acids
  • Replenish the skin’s moisture barrier and promote elasticity
  • Penetrate deeply into the skin to keep it well hydrated while leaving it soft and smooth
  • Absorb quickly into the skin, despite its rich texture
  • Soothe dry skin to keep it looking young and radiant
  • Be ideal for use as a body butter or as a moisturizing massage balm
SHEA BUTTER – CRUDE (GHANA)
Is known to…

  • Be unrefined and unprocessed in any way, thus possibly containing tiny bits of impurities and sediment (remnants of the shell, plant fibers, etc.)
  • Have a strong, nutty, pungent, oily aroma that is characteristic of a pure & natural Shea Butter from Ghana
  • Have various natural inconsistencies in color, including darker spots and gray streaks
  • Be solid at room temperature with a rather hard consistency
  • Have a texture that may vary from batch to batch with some possibly being grainier than others in texture
  • Be natural and unprocessed
  • Be handcrafted without the use of sophisticated machinery and therefore, possibly contain some impurities that cannot be removed
  • Contain copious amounts of Omega-9, Omega-6, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and catechins (a kind of antioxidant previously thought only to exist in Green Tea)
  • Not only beautify but also heal, when used in hair, on burns, scratches, scars and bruises, as a lotion, massage crème, or wrinkle reducer, for eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, razor bumps and rashes, or to protect skin from sun damage
  • Have a natural SPF 6
SHEA BUTTER – REFINED – DEODORIZED (GHANA)
Is known to…

  • Have its color, anti-oxidant content, and vitamins removed, in order to make it more usable in the cosmetic process
  • Have an off-white color and almost no odor
  • Be solid at room temperature and creamier than its crude counterpart
  • Be highly moisturizing, though not curative
  • Have the same applications as other Shea Butter types
SHEA BUTTER – ULTRA REFINED
Is known to…

  • Be highly refined and pure white in color with a smooth texture
  • Be exceptionally soft without a discernible scent
  • Be less grainy than other Shea Butters
SHEA ORGANIC BUTTER – CRUDE (GHANA)
Is known to…

  • Be ideal for use in manufacturing cosmetics that require organic ingredients
  • Be natural, unrefined, and unprocessed in any way, thus possibly containing tiny bits of impurities and sediment (remnants of the shell, plant fibers, etc.)
  • Have a strong, nutty, pungent, oily aroma that is characteristic of a pure & natural Shea Butter from Ghana
  • Have various natural inconsistencies in color, including darker spots and gray streaks
  • Be solid at room temperature, sometimes with a hard consistency
  • Contain copious amounts of Omega-9, Omega-6, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and catechins (a kind of antioxidant previously thought only to exist in Green Tea).
  • Not only beautify but also heal, when used in hair, on burns, scratches, scars and bruises, as a lotion, massage crème, or wrinkle reducer, for eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, razor bumps and rashes, or to protect skin from sun damage
  • Have a natural SPF 6
SHEA ORGANIC BUTTER – REFINED (GHANA)
Is known to…

  • Have a mild aroma and a consistent texture
  • Be refined and off-white in color
  • Be solid at room temperature and have a very faint, pleasant scent
  • Be highly moisturizing, though not curative
  • Sometimes have a grainy texture that can be made smoother with reheating and cooling
  • Have its color, anti-oxidant content, and vitamins removed, in order to make it more usable in the cosmetic process

Cosmetic butters are for external use only. Shea Butter should not be ingested and should not be stored within the reach of children, in case of accidental ingestion. As with all butters, a patch test should be conducted on the inner arm or other generally insensitive areas of skin, using a dime size amount of Shea Butter to check for sensitivities. An absence of an allergic response within 48 hours indicates that the butter is safe to use. Individuals with allergies to tree nuts are at a higher risk of developing an allergy to Shea Butter and should avoid its use.

Potential side effects of Shea Butter include hives, itching, rashes, nausea, weakness, dizziness, headaches, and abdominal pain. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent these side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.

Benefits and Uses of Body Butters

All About Butters

    • Natural cosmetic butters are derived from the extracts of natural sources such as seeds/kernels, beans, and nuts.
    • Butters are thicker than creams and lotions because they do not contain water. Their fatty acid profile gives them their solid consistency at room temperature.
    • When added to natural product formulations and emulsions, butters are known to contribute viscosity, stability, and sometimes hardness.
  • The quality of a butter can be determined by its aroma, method of extraction, consistency, and rate of absorption, natural fatty acids and tocopherols, and sun protection factor (SPF), among other characteristics.

WHAT ARE BUTTERS?

Natural cosmetic butters are derived from the extracts of numerous natural sources including seeds/kernels, beans, and nuts. They can be applied to the preferred area directly or after being incorporated into spa, cosmetic, or massage formulations, such as lotions, creams, soaps, lip balms, or salves, among other natural products to which they can be added. Butters melt on contact with body heat, adding additional softness and smoothness to skin and hair to relieve dryness, roughness, breakage, and irritation.

These ideal emollients are composed of varying amounts of active ingredients, fatty acids, solids, and semi-solid fat oils; thus, each butter exhibits distinct activities by virtue of its unique anti-inflammatory, soothing, moisturizing, and antioxidant properties. When added to natural product formulations and emulsions, they are known to contribute viscosity, stability, and sometimes hardness.

COMPOSITION OF BUTTERS

Though not all the constituents listed below apply to all butter varieties, these are the main constituents in most varieties: Essential Fatty Acids, Vitamins, Proteins, Minerals, Antioxidants, Polyphenols, Phytosterols, and Tocopherol.

 

ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS are known to:

  • Produce and maintain the skin’s natural oil barrier
  • Hydrate skin to promote a supple, youthful appearance
  • Nourish cells and eliminate bodily toxins
  • Protect skin by creating an antimicrobial barrier against harsh environmental elements
  • Moisturize skin to prevent the premature signs of aging
  • Reduce water loss through the skin’s surface
  • Enhance the texture and softness of skin and hair

 

VITAMINS are known to:

  • Exhibit anti-aging properties
  • Enhance texture and tone
  • Fade and minimize the appearance of wrinkles and dark spots, such as under-eye circles
  • Smooth roughness
  • Strengthen and tighten skin’s protective outer layer to lock in moisture and protect against irritants
  • Protect against the harsh effects of UV radiation, such as redness, swelling, and dryness
  • Nourish and thicken hair
  • Reduce inflammation of the scalp, thereby preventing hair loss

 

PROTEINS are known to:

  • Repair and generate new tissues and cells
  • Slow the onset of the premature signs of aging, such as wrinkles and thinning hair
  • Contribute to the body’s immunity and to the strength and development of muscles

 

MINERALS are known to:

  • Protect against the stresses and harsh effects of environmental elements
  • Promote exfoliation
  • Balance and regulate oil production and moisture levels, especially for oily and sensitive skin and hair
  • Exhibit antioxidant properties
  • Tighten and smooth for a youthful appearance
  • Promote the growth of stronger hair that is thicker, hydrated, and lustrous

 

ANTIOXIDANTS are known to:

  • Boost circulation as well as cell metabolism, thereby calming inflammation
  • Tighten and tone the skin to prevent the appearance of wrinkles, blemishes, and scars
  • Plump out skin to smooth the look of fine lines and to blend in the newly developed skin
  • Improve the health of the damaged skin by encouraging the growth of new cells for a rejuvenated look
  • Strengthen hair and maintain its health to prevent hair loss

POLYPHENOLS are known to:

  • Exhibit antioxidant activity
  • Increase hair growth
  • Show anti-aging properties, especially by reducing effects of UV-related damage
  • Exhibit photoprotective properties that help guard against UV radiation, harmful bacteria, oxidative stress, and harsh environmental conditions
  • Facilitate the renewal of skin cells
  • Prevent the breakdown of collagen, thereby restoring skin elasticity
  • Increase moisture levels for smoother skin and hair

 

PHYTOSTEROLS are known to:

  • Maintain cell structure, repair skin, and promote cell regeneration
  • Facilitate healing of dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, scars, sunburn, wind chapping, and wounds
  • Exhibit photoprotective properties / reduce photosensitivity
  • Facilitate skin cell metabolism and collagen production
  • Exhibit anti-inflammatory properties
  • Prevent itching and irritation
  • Boost immunity
  • Reduce hair loss and increase hair growth

 

TOCOPHEROL is known to:

  • Protect skin and hair against pollutants and harmful UV radiation
  • Tighten skin for a firmer look that diminishes signs of aging
  • Show natural preservative properties in skin care cosmetics and formulations
  • Moisturize and condition
  • Exhibit anti-inflammatory activity, which slows the look of aging
  • Facilitate the faster healing of wounds

EXTRACTING BUTTERS

Natural cosmetic body butters are blends of various oils that are made from beans, nuts, or seeds/kernels. The two main components of a butter are the minerals from their natural ingredients and the oils that carry the minerals to the areas of application. The combination of minerals and oils creates a barrier against harsh elemental factors that have drying effects. Butters typically do not contain water. If butters contained water, they would be emulsions, which are commonly known as “lotions.” A lack of water content also prevents the butters from needing synthetic chemicals to work as preservatives. The resultant texture of a butter can vary from soft and whipped, to semi-solid, to hard and solid.

CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR BUTTERS

Cosmetic butters should not be ingested and should not be stored within the reach of children, in case of accidental ingestion. Before the application of any butter, a patch test should be conducted on the inner arm or other generally insensitive areas of skin, using a pea size amount of the butter to check for sensitivities. An absence of an allergic response within 48 hours indicates that the butter is safe to use.

Some butters may have adverse effects on skin that is prone to sensitivities, such as acne, as they tend to have a thicker, heavier, oilier, and longer-lasting finish on the skin compared to other emollients. Accordingly, body butters are best suited to skin that is dry, chapped, or broken. Individuals with allergies to the natural sources from which butters are derived are at a higher risk of developing an allergy to the butters themselves and should avoid their use. For example, individuals with nut allergies should avoid using butters sourced from nuts.

Potential side effects of cosmetic butters include skin irritation, hives, itching, rashes, swelling, and adult acne. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent these side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.

QUALITY OF BUTTERS

Organic butters are most commonly perceived to be of the highest quality, but even these will eventually go rancid over time. The quality of a butter can be determined by the following factors: Aroma, Method of Extraction, Consistency, and Rate of Absorption, Natural Fatty Acids and Tocopherols, and Sun Protection Factor (SPF), among other characteristics.

 

AROMA Typically, butters are either odorless or they have mild, distinctive aromas that are faintly nutty, sweet, and/or characteristic of the plant material from which they are derived.

 

METHOD OF EXTRACTION The ideal butter for use in natural products is a Raw, Organic, Unrefined butter. Butters that are unrefined will have been filtered to eliminate dust or small particles (with few exceptions) without compromising the oil’s nutrients, vitamins, and fatty acids. Conversely, many cosmetic formulations require butters that are odorless so as not to interfere with the scents of the fragrance/essential oils that are added. For this purpose, Refined/Deodorized butters would be suitable.

 

CONSISTENCY AND ABSORPTION The consistency of various butters can be either thick or thin (hard or soft). The choice of either viscosity is a matter of personal preference. The intention of using the butter will also be a determining factor in preference for consistency. For example, a light butter with fast absorption and an absence of a greasy residue would be a high-quality butter for oily skin or hair, as it would penetrate the skin and hair quickly without clogging pores. On the other hand, a rich, thick, deeply moisturizing butter is of better quality for treating severely dry and damaged skin or hair.

 

NATURAL FATTY ACIDS AND TOCOPHEROLS Butters contain beneficial and restorative fatty acids that lend the butters their nourishing and moisturizing properties. These are the constituents that offer regenerative and stimulating properties to promote the look and feel of younger, fresher, and healthier hair and skin. Tocopherols, such as natural Vitamin E, act as natural preservatives. Some butters have a high nutrient content but are too rich to use on their own or their scents are too overpowering. In these situations, they can be diluted in other emollients (e.g. Richer butters can be combined with lighter, odorless natural products). To customize and create the ideal butter, several butters can be blended to also change or combine their therapeutic properties before application.

 

SUN PROTECTION FACTOR (SPF) Some butters are naturally comprised of components, such as particular minerals, that offer protection against the sun’s UVB radiation. By reflecting or scattering UV rays, they prevent the rays from penetrating and burning the skin. When skin is damaged due to overexposure to the sun, this leads to premature signs of aging, such as wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, and a leathery texture to the skin. Although it is not advisable to use cosmetic butters as replacements for other sun-protective agents, they can be used in combination with other products as part of a larger strategy to prevent photodamage.

STORING BUTTERS

Butters that are high in unsaturated fatty acid content will generally have a shorter shelf life and can last up to 6 months, whereas butters with a longer shelf life can last for at least 1-2 years. Natural cosmetic butters should be stored in the same manner as carrier oils; to maintain a butter’s quality and maximize its shelf life, it should be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Butters with natural antioxidant properties, such as those with high Vitamin E content, have longer shelf lives, as these constituents either prevent oxidation or slow down the process.

TYPES OF BUTTERS

Butters can be categorized by their solidity, which ranges from Hard to Soft

SOLIDITY  BUTTER  PROPERTIES 
Hard Suggestions…

  • Cocoa – Pure Prime Pressed/Crude
  • Babassu – Refined
  • Murumuru – Refined
  • Sal Seed – Refined
  • Shea – Crude – Ghana
  • Cupuacu – Ultra Refined
This type of butter (is)…

  • Firm
  • Does not melt easily on skin contact
  • Not easily absorbed
  • Brittle
  • Similar to wax in texture
  • Needs to be chopped rather than scooped
  • Requires more exertion to be rubbed in, compared to a typical emollient with a soft, creamy texture
  • Will not dehydrate skin
  • Does not require preservatives to stop the disintegration
Semi-Hard/Medium  Suggestions…

  • Kokum – Refined
  • Cocoa – Organic
  • Cocoa – Ultra Refined – Deodorized
  • Shea Organic – Crude – Ghana
  • Shea Organic – Refined – Ghana
This type of butter (is)…

  • Not hard, not soft
  • Softer than Cocoa Butter
  • Melts on skin contact
  • Slightly firm texture
Semi-Soft  Suggestions…

  • Shea – Refined – Deodorized – Ghana
This type of butter (is)…

  • Softer than Cocoa – Pure Prime Pressed/Crude and Mango
  • Firmer than Soy
Soft Suggestions…

  • Shea
  • Shea – Ultra Refined
  • Soy
  • Mango – Ultra Refined
  • Cocoa
  • Tucuma – Refined
  • Ucuuba
This type of butter (is)…

  • Spreadable
  • Melts quickly and readily on skin contact
  • Smooth and creamy

BUTTER PRICES

Butter prices depend on the types of plants from which they are derived, whether the plants are endemic or exotic, their botanical names, their therapeutic values, whether they undergo organic processing, the quantity being purchased, and the supplier it is purchased from.

USES & BENEFITS OF BUTTERS

Butters each have distinct combinations of properties that make them unique in form and function. The common factors shared by all butters include their high emollience and their versatility, which allows them all to be used in a wide range of ways – massage, cleansing, softening, soothing, moisturizing, wound healing, protecting – on various parts of the body – hair, face, hands, and feet.

All butters can be applied to the skin directly or in blends to address issues of dryness, rashes, peeling, blemishes, wrinkles, itching, blistering, wound healing, cracking, roughness, stinging sensations, inflammation, aching, and fatigue, among other conditions. Butters is reputed to promote skin and hair health while contributing rejuvenating and regenerative properties.

For direct application to the skin, the ideal time to use butters for optimal absorption is when skin is damp after a shower. Additionally, butters can be applied to skin just before sleeping, as the length of the sleep cycle will allow the butter to penetrate into the skin more effectively for better hydration. Most natural butters melt on skin contact and will be absorbed quickly into the deep layers. Often concentrated, butters do not need to be applied in large amounts. Rather, it is best to begin by smoothing a pea-size amount of body butter across the preferred area of skin before gradually applying the same amount to other areas.

Natural butters can be added to cosmetic formulations as a base for moisturizers, or they can be added to other body butters to add more luxurious moisture. To ensure that they have been thoroughly incorporated, they should be vigorously stirred into formulations rather than simply shaking their containers, as butters have thicker consistencies than creams; thus, the additional essential oils and carrier oils should be folded into the butters just as cake batter is folded in on itself for optimal mixing. The recommended usage rate is 30 drops of essential oil and 5% carrier oils per 100 ml (3.40 oz.) of body butter base.

When the butters being used have strong scents, it is recommended that their Refined varieties be used to prevent the final product’s scent from being overpowered by their natural fragrances. Otherwise, Unrefined varieties are recommended for their beneficial constituents. Butters is already suitable for most, if not all, skin types; however, with the addition of a few drops of carrier oils and/or essential oils, they can be further customized to individual preference.

A GUIDE FOR USING BUTTERS

Cosmetic butters may be used in several inventive ways; however, the comparison chart below highlights the more common types of butters and suggests ways in which they can be used on a regular basis.

BUTTER TYPE/MAIN CONSTITUENT  BENEFITS  BUTTERS 
Nut Butter  This type of butter is reputed to (be)…

  • Hydrate thirsty skin
  • Reduce the appearance of blemishes, scars, and cellulite
  • Soothe acne, eczema, insect bites, sunburn, frostbite
  • Soften and smooth the skin
  • Condition hair to leave it soft and lustrous
  • Ideal for any skin type
  • Boost skin’s collagen production and elasticity
  • Ideal for use in face masks
  • Ideal for use on any skin type
  • Have a wide range of uses, including skin care, dry rash care, massage creams, and sun protection
Look for…

  • Shea
Seed Butter/Kernel This type of butter is reputed to (be)…

  • Moisturizing without being greasy
  • Promote the look of plump and firm skin
  • Facilitate the regeneration of skin
  • Rejuvenate the skin by reducing the signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines
  • Ideal for use on dry, itchy, flaky skin
  • Offer skin protection against the harsh effects of environmental elements such as UV radiation
  • Soothe skin afflicted with irritation caused by bites, stings, blisters, and rashes
  • Have antioxidant effects
  • Balance skin’s oil production
  • Stimulate hair growth
  • Ideal for use on all skin types, especially oily skin
Look for…

  • Mango
  • Babassu – Refined
  • Kokum
  • Ucuuba
  • Cupuacu
  • Murumuru
  • Sal Seed
  • Tucuma
Bean Butter  This type of butter is reputed to (be)…

  • Nourish, soften, and moisturize skin
  • Reduce discoloration and even out skin tone
  • Protect skin against the harsh effects of environmental elements
Look for…

  • Cocoa
  • Soy

 

ABSORPTION RATES OF BUTTERS

 

ABSORPTION RATE FINISH ON SKIN BUTTERS
Fast These butters…
Are light, soft and quickly absorbed by skin but leave a smooth, silky finish.

Skin will feel moisturized rather than greasy.

These butters are ideal for use as/in cleansers.

Suggestions…

  • Kokum – Refined
  • Cocoa
  • Cocoa Organic
  • Cupuacu – Ultra Refined
  • Shea – Crude (Ghana)
  • Shea – Crude (Ghana) Organic
  • Shea Organic – Refined (Ghana
  • Shea – Refined – Deodorized (Ghana)
  • Shea – Ultra Refined
  • Tucuma – Refined
Average  These butters…

Leave a silky feeling on the skin

Suggestions…

  • Mango – Ultra Refined
  • Soy
  • Cocoa – Ultra Refined – Deodorized
  • Murumuru – Refined
  • Sal Seed
Slow  These butters…

Tend to feel heavy on the skin. They may leave a thick and oily moisturizing barrier on the skin and are not recommended for those with skin sensitivities such as acne. Alternatively, some may leave the skin feeling velvety without the greasy residue (e.g. Babassu, Shea) These butters are all absorbed by the skin eventually.

Suggestions…

  • Cocoa – Pure Prime Pressed – Crude
  • Babassu – Refined
  • Shea
  • Ucuub

 

WHERE TO BUY BUTTERS

Natural cosmetic butters can be purchased just about anywhere – at health food stores, grocery stores, cosmetics shops, online through the website of a preferred vendor, and directly from essential oil companies. When purchasing, it is a good idea to consider the purpose of using the butter and the grade required for the intended purpose. Reputable companies that distribute quality butters are highly recommended.