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The Aromahead Blog - Aromatherapy Education and Resources

How to Melt Shea Butter for DIY Body Products

How to Melt Shea Butter for DIY Body Products

Melt shea butter, cocoa butter, and more for perfectly textured body butter!

Following a recipe is important when you’re creating a product that you want to replicate.

But by understanding how to melt shea butter and other natural ingredients, you’ll be able to get more creative. There’s no end to the variety of custom body products you can make!

And you can use tools you probably already have in your kitchen. 

I’m going to share one of my most popular recipes, and walk you through the process of melting shea butter with several other natural ingredients—without getting a grainy texture in your final product.

Let’s start with the recipe!

This melted shea butter recipe comes from one of my most popular YouTube videos:

  • 2 oz (56 g) Cocoa butter (Theobroma cacao)
  • 2 oz (56 g) Coconut oil (Cocos nucifera)
  • 1 oz (28 g) Beeswax (Cera flava
  • 1 oz (28 g) Shea butter (Vitellaria paradoxa/Butyrospermum parkii)

You’ll also need some supplies:

  • Three 2 oz (60 ml) glass jars
  • Several small bowls (to measure your ingredients)
  • Kitchen scale
  • Glass stirring rod (or a stainless steel spoon)
  • Pyrex measuring cup
  • Cooking pot that can hold the Pyrex

Body Butter Base - How to Melt Butters

The simplest way to melt shea butter is to make your own “double boiler.”

Fill your cooking pot about ¼ with water. Bring it to a gentle boil. Place your Pyrex in the pot, and hook the handle of the measuring cup over the edge of the pot. You might be surprised at how cool the handle stays as you melt your ingredients!

I’m going to add the shea butter LAST, since it’s heat sensitive. (That’s one reason that melted shea butter products can sometimes feel grainy when they solidify.)

Check out the YouTube video of this recipe to make it with me step by step!

(My body butter videos are usually exclusive for students of Aromahead’s online Body Butters and Lip Balms class, but I want to share this one for free. Knowing how to melt raw, natural butters is such an important part of blending.)

Let’s add the natural ingredients one by one.

First, melt the beeswax.

Measure 1 oz (28 g) using a small bowl and your kitchen scale, and add it to the Pyrex measuring cup in your pot.

Beeswax adds firmness to the texture, and helps keep the other butters and oils blended together. 

The texture of your body butter depends on the ratio of beeswax, to other butters and oils. In this blend, I’m going for a spreadable, softer texture, so the ratio is 5:1. (5 parts natural butters and oils, to 1 part beeswax.) I also sometimes use 6:1 for a super-soft texture.

Let the beeswax melt, and then…

Add the coconut oil.

Coconut oil can withstand a lot of heat, so it’s okay to add it to your Pyrex early in the melting process.

Add the cocoa butter.

Cocoa butter can also withstand heat. Add it to your Pyrex and stir as it melts, using your glass stirring rod, or the handle of your stainless steel spoon.

Add the shea butter.

As I mentioned, shea butter doesn’t like high temperatures. It tends to get grainy if it gets too hot and then cools too slowly. 

So you can either lift your Pyrex measuring cup off the stove before adding the shea butter, or simply move your pot off the heat, stirring the blend until all the chunks of shea butter are melted.

TIP: Break your shea butter into small pieces before adding it to the Pyrex. Smaller pieces will melt more quickly.

That’s it for this recipe!

Pour your melted shea butter blend into the glass jars and let it cool. It should be completely cool and solidified in just a few hours.

If you want to add essential oils, you can do it in several ways…

  1. Add a single blend of oils to the whole batch of melted butter, after you remove it from heat.
  2. Add a unique blend of oils to each jar of melted butter after you pour it, so you can customize each one. Be sure to stir each jar gently with your glass stirring rod.
  3. Leave the essential oils out altogether, and keep your jars of body butter in storage. When you need a specific therapeutic blend (maybe you want to make a muscle massage butter), simply re-melt your body butter and add the essential oils. This works great!

Melting Other Natural Butters and Oils

Let’s say you want to swap out some ingredients and make a different recipe.

No problem!

You can customize this blend for specific skin issues, or based on the ingredients you have. 

Just remember a few main points:

  • The consistency of each ingredient – If you don’t have cocoa butter, swap it out for something with a similar firm, chunky texture. Kpangnan butter would work!

  • How much heat it can withstand – For example, if you want to use rosehip seed oil in your product, treat it like shea butter, and add it at the very end so it’s not exposed to much heat.

  • The therapeutic intention for your product – Want to make a scar butter? Use tamanu oil instead of coconut oil. Or a joint care butter? Try kombo butter!

Making Body Products is an Art!

Master the skill of making luxurious, perfectly textured body butters every time, in one of our most popular classes…

Body Butters and Lip Balms!

You’ll make decadent recipes as you learn to use 14 unique natural butters and oils, including:

  • Shea butter
  • Beeswax
  • Cocoa butter
  • Kpangnan butter
  • Trauma Oil
  • And more!

Learning to make your own body products doesn’t have to feel like a trial-and-error process. Join us in the class and get your recipes right every time!  

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Have fun blending!

Founder at Aromahead Institute
Andrea Butje is an internationally-recognized Aromatherapist who has changed the educational paradigm through her inspired approach to teaching essential oils and Aromatherapy Certification. Check out her book, The Heart of Aromatherapy, at Aromatics International!

Topics: coconut oil, kpangnan butter, aromatherapy carriers, Recipes and Blends, beeswax, Body Butters, carrier oils, cocoa butter, shea butter, Trauma oil, essential oil body butter, diy body butter, how to melt butters, natural body butters, diy products

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