Unrefined Shea Butter is the only moisturizer I use for my severely dry skin. It soaks right in, doesn’t clog pores, and is free of synthetic preservatives. One of my children has very sensitive skin as well, so we use this as a lotion when he gets small little scaly patches of skin. Buying it at health food stores is expensive though (I’m all about saving a buck!), and since we use so much of it I’ve learned how to buy it raw and filter myself. Raw, unrefined shea butter is gluten and dairy free, making it perfect for the other kid that can’t tolerate dairy.
Things you’ll need:
■Raw, 100% unrefined shea butter. I buy mine from Shea n More but you can find other suppliers online or on e-bay.
■A double boiler. I use two stainless steel pots but any double boiler method will work.
■A lid for the smaller (insert) pot.
■A thin mesh strainer. I use stainless steel because it’s non-corrosive but you can use whatever you have on hand.
■If you want the Shea Butter completely free of particles, you’ll need cheesecloth or a paper towel.
Stainless steel mesh strainer
An extra container, anything to pour the melted Shea into. Just make sure the strainer is a good fit. Mine’ s not, which is why I secured it with a pipe cleaner!
■A stick blender. Walmart has them for around $10.
■I use Avery 8160 address labels.
Tips & Warnings:
■If you let the shea pill, you might actually like this consistency. It is easier to get out of the container but a bit harder to get all the pills to melt during use. It certainly saves time because you can pour directly after melting!
■ If you are planning to sell your shea butter, your customers expect a creamy butter.
■Shea butter is quite hard at room temperature. Keep a popsicle stick nearby so you don’t have to use your fingernails toget it out of the container. If you sell your butter, be sure to add a popsicle stick with the order, your customers willappreciate it.
■If you want your shea butter to be more of a creamy consistency and easier to use at room temperature, consider adding small amounts of 76 degree melt point Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Safflower Oil, Jojoba Oil, etc.
■If you don’t like the sweet, campfire scent of Unrefined Shea Butter, consider adding essential oils (more natural and true aroma therapy oils) or fragrance oils (synthetically processed but less likely to cause allergic reactions in my family) that will compliment the existing scent. Just remember, if you start adding fragrances, you are also adding possible irritants so test small batches until you are sure you can tolerate the addition. Over time, you will probably grow to love the raw scent as much as I do!
■Shea butter has a long shelf life but if you don’t know how long it has been since it was first processed, keep your extras in a cool place, or even in the refrigerator.You CAN remelt your butter, but after a few melts, it can get tired. It’s best to melt and pour smaller batches, keeping your original raw butter cold until you need it.
Read more about raw unrefined shea butter and the Fairtrade initiative.