Grainy Shea Butter?

Nobody likes grainy and hard shea butter, but it happens. It can happen to all shea butter grades, organic or not, refined or unrefined. Yup, even our awesome Shea Butter can fall pray to graininess.

The more shea butter you buy throughout the year, the most likely you will be to run into some shea with  “grains” or little hard balls within it. Or you may find that the wonderful whipped shea body butter you made a month ago is suddenly showing grains in it – but was so fluffy and wonderful when you first made it.

Is this an outside contaminant or something besides shea, or did the shea butter go rancid? No way Jose! Grainy shea butter has nothing to do with contaminants, mold, rancidity – nada.

Grainy butter is simply a result of temperature malfunctions and is very easy to handle.


What causes grainy Shea Butter?


grainy shea butter in all its glory

Skin butters like shea, mango, and cocoa all have different melting points. They contain fatty acids and vitamins throughout, which is what our skin loves about them. Shea butter has a rather low melting point, and eventually cools down at room temperature.

Sometimes, summer temperatures causes shea butter to melt while it’s being shipped to you. As it is cooling slowly, the fatty acids start to become solid faster than the shea itself.

Shea butter also contains stearic acid, which actually has a high melting point. This is where the grains come in to play. They can be frustrating, and harder to whip. It can also make your skin care creations have a less than desirable texture.

How do you fix grainy Shea Butter?

The fixing part is actually the easiest part of all. Melt down your shea butter using the double boiler method, and wait until all of the grains are melted too. You should have completely liquified shea butter, and it may take longer to melt than usual. That’s normal, and it’s because of the grains having a higher melting point.

Once completely liquified, freeze it. If you have a jar or two, 1 hour in the freezer is enough, you just want the butter at freeze temperatures long enough to quickly turn solid.


What do you do once it’s fixed?

Once your shea butter or whipped body butter has solidified in the freezer, simply take it out and keep it stored in a cool place.  Be sure to keep it away from heat and moisture, and if the temperature gets above 75F, storing the shea butter in the fridge (not freezer, that’s only to do the grainy trick above) is the best way to go.


shea butter that has been cooled quickly in the fridge

You can keep the shea wrapped in plastic and inside our resealable kraft pouch, or you can put it in one or more containers, glass or plastic alike.

With this trick, we invite you to jump right in and fix any grainy shea or other butters you may have, then have fun making skin care creations like:

Grainy Shea Butter happens, but don’t stress it, just fix it 🙂

We would love to hear your feedback on this subject, please comment below if this blog helped you, and let us know your experience with your shea butter creations!