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Nuts about Shea Nut Butter

Nuts about Shea Nut Butter

Making your own natural soaps is not only fun and economical, but, it gives you the option of creating soaps that meet your specific skin needs.


Once saponified, different fats contribute unique properties to your soap. Hardness, lather consistency, trace time, moisturizing and conditioning properties, are all determined by the fats you choose.


Most soap makers have one base recipe they work with. Now that you have entered the wonderful world of soap making, you will most likely experiment with many recipes before perfecting your own formula.


Shea butter and nuts in bowlsShea Nut Butter is one of my favorite additions to a recipe. It adds both hardness and conditioning to your soaps. Keep in mind when designing your soap that shea nut butter does tend to speed up trace a bit. Due to trace acceleration, you will want to keep shea nut butter at 25% or less in a recipe until you are comfortable working with it.  Shea nut butter is not 100% saponifiable, which means a portion of it remains in your soap as butter. This creates a luxuriously, creamy, hard bar of soap with tons of skin-loving properties.


Shea nut butter protects the skin from both environmental and free-radical damage. Shea nut butter contains cinnamic acid, which helps protect the skin from harmful UV rays. It contains vitamins A, D, F, and E, and has demonstrated both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Vitamin A and E are also known to fight the signs of aging. Vitamins A, E and F all help hydrate the skin. Since it is rich in those vitamins, it helps minimize the appearance of scars and stretch marks when you use it consistently over time.


The Vitamin A has natural healing abilities that help damaged skin heal faster and the Vitamin D helps replace the old skin cells with new ones quickly. One of the best benefits of Shea nut butter is that it enables your skin to absorb moisture. This soothes the dryness and irritation that come with Dermatitis and Eczema because your skin holds moisture in longer. Use it after shaving; not only does it provide relief from any irritation, but it makes your skin feel silky and smooth. Moisturizers that are present in shea nut butter are highly similar to those produced by the sebaceous glands, so it will not clog pores.


However, this information is not intended treatment or medical advice, keep in mind that you should always consult a physician or dermatologist about serious or persistent skin problems. Shea nut butter is not recommended for people with nut or latex allergies.


Debbie Shivvers is the owner of Plott Hollow Farm, dedicated to preserving endangered breeds of livestock and poultry. She is an experienced soap maker and member of The Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild. Find her farm and products at

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