How to Make Shea Butter Hand Cream

Written by crystal bench
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How to Make Shea Butter Hand Cream
Shea butter helps heal the cracks caused by extremely dry skin. (hand and cracked earth image by AGITA LEIMANE from

Shea butter cream is full of benefits for the skin, including reducing blemishes, healing cracks and small wounds, and treating rashes due to poison ivy or oak, according to the American Shea Butter Institute. The low melting temperature of shea butter causes it literally to melt into the skin, so the oils in shea butter can penetrate easily and moisturise your skin without clogging pores. This natural shea butter hand cream contains no preservatives and has a shelf life of about a month.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Kitchen scale
  • 56.7gr shea butter
  • Double boiler
  • Candy thermometer
  • 29.6ml sweet almond oil
  • 3 drops vitamin E oil
  • ½ tsp cornstarch
  • 3 drops essential oils
  • Oven mitt
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Ice water
  • Hand mixer
  • 113gr empty container

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  1. 1

    Fill the bottom pan of the double boiler with enough water so that the top pan barely touches the top of the water in the bottom pan.

  2. 2

    Set the bottom pan of the double boiler on the stove and bring the water to a boil.

  3. 3

    Place the shea butter in the top pan of the double boiler and set the top pan in the bottom pan of the double boiler. Reduce the heat to medium.

  4. 4

    Stir the shea butter regularly and use the candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. Clip the candy thermometer to the side of the double boiler with the tip in the melted shea butter. The shea butter should melt within a few minutes as the melting temperature of shea butter is approximately 32.2 degrees Celsius.

  5. 5

    Adjust the heat on the stove as necessary to raise the shea butter temperature to 79.4 degrees Celsius, and keep it at that point for 20 minutes. Do not allow the temperature to rise above that point. Subjecting shea butter to higher temperatures than 79.4 degrees Celsius will destroy the nutrients in the shea butter.

  6. 6

    Use an oven mitt to remove the top pan of the double boiler and turn off the heat.

  7. 7

    Add the sweet almond oil, vitamin E oil, cornstarch and essential oils quickly, before the shea butter cools, and stir well.

  8. 8

    Place the top pan of the double boiler in a large mixing bowl; add several inches of ice water to the mixing bowl.

  9. 9

    Set the hand mixer to a high setting and whip the shea butter mixture until it has the consistency of whipped cream. Leave the top pan of the double boiler in the ice water while whipping. This should take approximately 20 minutes.

  10. 10

    Spoon the shea butter cream into the 113gr container.

Tips and warnings

  • Use any combination of essential oils to create your personal scent.
  • Immediately after adding the essential oils, the mixture may not reflect the final scent of the shea butter hand cream. You will have to finish the process before knowing exactly what the hand cream will smell like. It may take several batches of shea butter hand cream before you perfect your personal scent.
  • Store your shea butter cream in a cool place.
  • The American Shea Butter Institute recommends that those with nut allergies avoid all shea butter products.
  • Shea butter is flammable. Do not leave hot shea butter unsupervised.
  • The hot mixture will burn if it comes in contact with your skin. Take care when handling hot materials.

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