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Grainy Shea Ain’t Great: Let’s Fix Pronto!

[POSTED ON: 28th November 2018]

Grainy Sh*a Happens!  Nobody likes it! But there is something we can do!

Why does grainy shea happen?  It’s a cooling off thing – too slowly and it can crystalize.  No big deal though.  Simply remelt and recool (faster!)

Grainy shea is especially unfortunate in products like lip balms as it can be an irritant. It happens to the best of us.  Not a big deal, and nothing to do with the quality of the shea butter.

Why does grainy shea happen?  It’s a cooling off thing – too slowly and it can crystalize.  No big deal though.  Simply remelt and recool (faster!)

Crystallization occurs when shea butter melts, either intentionally or accidentally during warm conditions, and then cools back down too slowly. As it re-cools, some butters, most particularly Shea Butter, can crystallize or become grainy. Fortunately, this does not impact the quality or usability or effectiveness of shea butter.

To eliminate crystallization, carefully heat your shea butter to the point where it fully melts. We highly recommend the double boiler method for this process and we discourage the use of a microwave. Most butters melt at 113°F (45°C). You do not want to overheat the butter.

For Shea Butter, we recommend heating it to 175°F (80°C) and allowing it to remain heated at this temperature for 20 minutes.

The key to success is to ensure that you put measures in place to cool down the shea butter rapidly once it is poured into jars. Our Baraka Shea Butter co-founder and hands-on creator, Gifty finds that working in a cool space when she melts and pours Baraka Shea Butter has helped avoid the grainy shea butter challenge.

The simple message is not to overheat shea butter and not to cool too slowly.

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