How Do You Make Whipped Shea Butter? (Complete Guide)

Shea butter has dozens of health benefits, including fighting acne, scars, and more. Whipping the shea butter makes it much easier to apply and soak into your skin. All you need is a handful of supplies, and you can make DIY whipped shea butter at home!

To make whipped shea butter, melt the shea butter chunks in a double boiler, add essential oils, rosewater, carrier oils, or Vitamin E, and whip the liquid ingredients. Place the butter in the fridge, wait until it solidifies, and whip it again. Store the whipped shea butter in airtight containers.

In this post, I’ll show you a step-by-step process to quickly and efficiently make whipped shea butter from scratch. I’ll also answer any questions you have about how long it takes, why it’s not whipping, and how you can prevent it from hardening too quickly.

Gather the Supplies and Ingredients

Do your best to get everything you need before starting. Making whipped shea butter often requires quick adjustments and actions, such as when you have to whip it right out of the fridge or store it before it melts too much. Below, I’ll dive into two lists of every ingredient and supply you need to make whipped shea butter at home.

Whipped Shea Butter Ingredients

  • Shea butter. Better Shea Butter sells their Unrefined African Shea Butter in a block you can grab for a budget-friendly price. The one-pound bar (also sold in an eight-ounce block) is easy to cut and melt while providing more than enough shea butter for several containers.
  • Essential oils. You can add many essential oils to your whipped shea butter recipe, including lavender, tea tree, lemon essential oil, and more. Remember, the essential oils you choose will affect the whipped shea butter’s health benefits and scent.
  • Carrier oils. Rosehip oil, argan oil, olive oil, and many other carrier oils will improve the shea butter’s texture. A little bit of carrier oil goes a long way, so don’t add more than a few drops per batch of whipped shea butter.
  • Rosewater. Rosewater softens and loosens your whipped shea butter recipe, allowing it to be applied like a lotion rather than a cream. It’ll absorb into your skin much easier and smell wonderfully pleasant with floral undertones. However, it’s unnecessary if you prefer whipped shea butter’s natural texture.
  • Vitamin E. According to Neutrogena, Vitamin E can protect your skin from dangerous free radicals, early signs of aging, scarring, and more. Much like the rosewater mentioned above, it might not be necessary, but many people love the additional health benefits.

Supplies for the Recipe

  • Double boiler. The double boiler will melt the shea butter, making it possible to whip it for the soft, creamy texture. Some recipes make whipped shea butter using a blender, which naturally adds heat and whips it. However, it’s not the same consistency.
  • Whisk. The whisk is perhaps the most important tool because it adds air and whips the shea butter to the desired texture.
  • Mixing bowl. Ensure the bowl is big enough to hold all of the ingredients mentioned in the previous list.
  • Storage containers (sealed jars, cups, etc.). Most people prefer mason jars since they’re easy to achieve an airtight seal. Whichever container you choose, make sure it doesn’t let air or water inside.

Once you’ve chosen your favourite ingredients and decided between cold or hot whipping, you can head to the next step. To cold whip shea butter, all you have to do is dice it into chunks, blend it in a blender, and add the essential oils. However, it’s not as efficient as melting the shea butter because it doesn’t blend the ingredients as well.

Use a Double Boiler to Melt the Shea Butter Chunks

Double boilers are the best way to melt your shea butter because they don’t get too hot on the bottom. Using a pot or pan on the stove can burn the shea butter and make it crust on the bottom of the pan. Below, I’ll show you how to melt your shea butter with a double boiler perfectly so it’s ready to whip. 

  1. Turn the double boiler to a low-heat setting. Better Shea Butter explains high-heat modes are prone to burning the butter, leaving some of it liquified and the rest unusable. You’ll need to practice patience on this step, but the good news is shea butter melts rather quickly once it gets warm enough.
  2. Dice the shea butter into small chunks. While you’re waiting for the double boiler to rise to the desired temperature, dice the shea butter block into one-inch blocks. This setup will make them melt much quicker and prevent it from heating unevenly. It also lets you fit more shea butter into the boiler.
  3. Boil the shea butter until it’s completely melted. There shouldn’t be any chunks of hardened butter left in the boiler before proceeding to the next step in the process. It’s best to keep the batches small if you want to speed it up. Less butter melts and whips much faster!
  4. Add Vitamin E or carrier oils. This is an optional step. If you enjoy the health benefits of these ingredients, now is the best time to add them. Vitamin E and carrier oils don’t burn or evaporate when they’re mixed into warm, melted shea butter. That being said, the essential oils shouldn’t be added until later.

Now that you’ve melted your shea butter and potentially added Vitamin E and carrier oils (neither are necessary, but both are welcome ingredients), it’s time to add your essential oils. If you’re not sure which essential oils to use or are considering rosewater and olive oil, read on for more helpful information.

Add Essential Oils, Rosewater, or Olive Oil

Turn off the double boiler if you haven’t yet, then wait for it to cool down. Once it’s not too hot, you can add various essential oils or rosewater. These ingredients will be tampered with and ruined if you add them while the shea butter liquid is excessively hot.

Here’s what you should know before adding these ingredients:

Essential Oils Can Be Added When the Shea Butter Cools Down

Once your shea butter cools down to room temperature, you can add the essential oils. Healthline explains how essential oils can improve your mood, energy levels, skin condition, reduce headaches, and more. Whichever essential oil you add to your whipped shea butter recipe will yield new results. You can choose various combinations to make a different recipe for every batch. Stick to no more than five drops of each essential oil.

Rosewater Adds a Unique Texture to the Whipped Shea Butter

Beauty Munsta described rosewater as ‘cooling and soothing,’ making it the perfect go-to ingredient to make your whipped shea butter even better. If you don’t like shea butter’s thick texture, rosewater will make a significant difference. It also comes with a nice floral scent you won’t find anywhere else. Two tablespoons will do the trick.

Olive Oil Softens the Shea Butter

Much like rosewater, olive oil is used to soften the recipe’s texture. However, it won’t add the same nutrients or scent. Many people use olive oil in their whipped shea butter because it’s readily available and helps hold the essential oils on your skin for a longer time. It would help if you didn’t use more than a teaspoon of olive oil in the recipe. You can add it before or after it cools.

Olive oil is a carrier oil, which means you can add it while the liquid is hot. However, adding it once it cools down will preserve the thick texture. It’s up to you to decide if you want the oil to soften or remain in the denser state that it comes in. When you’re done adding the final ingredients, get ready to whip the shea butter!

Whip the Liquified Shea Butter

You can’t whip shea butter if it hardens too much, so make sure you start whipping it before it gets too cold. If you live in a cool climate, it’s not a bad idea to wrap everything in towels when you’re done making it.

Here’s the 3-step whipping process:

  1. Use a whisk to whip the shea butter until it thickens. Using a whisk will blend air into the mix, fluffing the liquid shea butter and letting you turn it into a creamier texture for topical purposes. You should whisk the shea butter until it’s light and fluffy, which could take up to five or ten minutes.
  2. Let it cool in the fridge or freezer until it hardens. It’s crucial to let it harden completely before whipping it again since it allows the texture to soften. However, leaving it in the fridge or freezer for too long will remove some of the scents, so check it once every 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Whip the shea butter for a final time. Much like you did in the first step of the page, use a whisk to whip the hardened shea butter. It’ll slowly liquify, so it’s okay to wait for a few minutes until it softens at room temperature. Once it’s thoroughly whipped, you’re completely finished making the whipped shea butter!

Right when you’re done with this step, head to the next subheading. I recommended setting timers or an uninterrupted block when you can focus solely on the project. If you wait too long in between steps, you might have to do everything again.

Scoop the Whipped Shea Butter into Containers

If you’re unsure what to use, a wooden spoon will get the job done. The scoops don’t have to be perfect since the whipped shea but will settle gradually. You can tightly pack it in the containers if you want to fit as much as possible. Consider the following suggestions when storing the whipped shea butter.

  • It’s important to scoop and seal the whipped shea butter as soon as possible. If it gets too warm from the ambient temperature in your home, it’ll melt and lose its texture. If it gets too cold, it’ll harden and become very difficult to scoop or apply to your skin. When you notice it’s good to go, seal the jars, and you’ll be all set.
  • You can use mason jars, sealed cups, and more. Never leave your whipped shea butter exposed to open air. It can catch debris or succumb to the temperature in your home. Either result is undesirable, so ensure you can achieve a tight seal to protect your new topical treatment.
  • Don’t store it in the fridge or in a warm location. Perhaps the best place to store whipped shea butter is in an airtight container under your bathroom sink, in a cabinet, or in a tub. These places won’t get too warm or cold, regardless of that outside temperature. It also protects clear containers from light exposure that can damage the shea butter.
  • Use a pea-sized amount of whipped shea butter. A little bit of shea butter goes a long way, so there’s no need to scoop handfuls of it to make your skin look glowing. As you could imagine, one batch of whipped shea butter can last quite some time if you follow these measurement recommendations.

Shea Butter, raw shea butter, whipped shea butter

Can You Whip Shea Butter By Itself?

You can whip shea butter by itself to make a lightly-scented formula. Shea butter naturally smells a bit nutty, but it won’t be too noticeable once it’s whipped and applied to your skin. Note that you can’t add oils once it’s whipped and stored.

How Long Does It Take to Make Whipped Shea Butter?

According to Loving Essential Oils, it takes between ten to fifteen minutes to whip cold shea butter with a blender. It often takes a little over an hour to whip it with a whisk and double boiler but can yield better results. Both solutions should be stored in airtight containers.

Why Is It Not Whipping?

If it’s not whipping, you’re probably getting a bit annoyed. The two main reasons your shea butter isn’t whipping are as follows:

  1. It’s too hot, which means it’ll stay in a liquid form.
  2. It’s too cold, which means it’ll stay hardened without whipping.

Another possible reason is you might’ve added too many essential oils, rosewater, or carrier oils. These ingredients are great in moderation, but anything over a teaspoon can often alter the shea butter’s consistency.

How Do You Keep Whipped Shea Butter From Hardening?

To keep shea butter from hardening, don’t let it get too cold. Shea butter is very sensitive to fluctuating temperatures, which means it can melt or harden quickly. To prevent this from happening, proceed from one step to the next in rapid succession and don’t leave it in the fridge for too long.

Conclusion

Making whipped shea butter at home can save quite a bit of money while letting you know every ingredient in the treatment. Instead of worrying about harsh chemicals, plastic waste, or paying for product markup, you can have the satisfaction of freshly whipped shea butter wherever you go.

Remember to keep your shea butter at or below room temperature to prevent it from melting. Much like coconut oil, shea butter has a low melting point.

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