How to Use Raw Shea Butter

by Tiffany Ameh

Shea butter is an emollient that originated in West Africa. It is made by boiling the nuts of the karite, or shea, tree. Shea butter can do a number of things, including treat eczema, even out skin tone, provide moisture and even act as a mild sunscreen. Raw shea butter can be whipped along with oils to make it sweet smelling and delightful for everyday use.

Items you will need

  • Raw shea butter
  • Coconut or olive oil
  • Essential oil such as ylang ylang, peppermint or lavender
  • Hand mixer
  • Mixing bowl
  • Airtight container

Instructions

Step 1

Place raw shea butter in mixing bowl. Begin to whip with hand mixer on low setting.

Step 2

Add in the olive or coconut oil a bit at a time until mixture obtains a soft, mousse-like texture. Add in the essential oil drop by drop until the smell suits your preference. Continue to whip the shea butter for another two minutes in order to aerate it and give it a smooth, creamy texture.

Step 3

Scoop the shea butter into the airtight container. Store in refrigerator for up to two weeks. The hand mixer can be cleaned as usual.

Step 4

To use, rub a bit of the butter between your palms to melt it, then apply to the skin as needed. Shea butter is very thick and rich, so you don't need to use a lot of it at once. Shea butter can also be used to moisturize dry hair. Just rub between the palms and apply to hair after bathing.

Tips

  • Since raw shea butter has no preservatives, it must be stored in the refrigerator to prevent it from becoming rancid.

Warnings

  • Some people are allergic to shea butter, so test it on a small part of your skin first. If you have any adverse reactions while using shea butter, cease use and consult your physician.

About the Author

Tiffany Ameh has been writing articles since 2009. She attended California Baptist University in 2004 and is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in holistic nutrition at El Camino College.