Difference Between Whipped Shea Butter and Whipped Coconut Butter

Posted on: October 14th, 2013 by
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Whipped Aromatherapy Body Butters: Photo credit, ISP

Whipped Aromatherapy Body Butters: Photo credit, ISP

If you are new to making bath and body products, you might be confused by the various types of products which you can make. Whipped butters are a popular products in the bath and body world but not every whipped butter is the same – or the same method is used to make all butters. This post briefly examines the difference between whipped shea butter and whipped coconut butter.

What is Shea Butter?

Shea butter is obtained from the karite or shea (Vitellaria paradoxa, Butyrospermum parkii) tree. The shea tree is native to many countries in Africa, particularly those in the West African savanna region; it is a perennial tree that has nuts like plums.

You obtain shea butter by cold pressing the nuts; the nuts are roasted, pounded, and boiled in water before the shea butter is expressed in the form of a liquid that solidifies to a hard fat at room temperature.

What is Coconut Oil?

Coconut oil is extracted from the fruit of the palm tree. The large drupe, or fruit, has a hard endocarp. The endocarp and the seed are the two parts of the coconut which are of interest commercially. The seed contains the copra and the solid coconut oil; it is this oil which is used as coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil is considered superior to other types of coconut oil, as discussed in a previous post.

Making Whipped Shea Butter

Whipped shea butter is lighter in texture than a regular body butter. However, perfecting the exact recipe to make whipped shea butter can take time and practice – with a little bit of experimentation. One of the defining points in perfecting a good whipped shea butter is the length – and process – of your heating and cooling period, during the melting and whipping stages of the exercise. You may add in additional ingredients, such as carrier oils, to perfect the recipe. I also add in a “secret” ingredient to give the butter texture – one you can learn about if you take the Sedona Aromatherapie Basic Butters, Balms, Creams and Lotions home study course!

Key points for whipping shea butter include:

  • temperature control during the melting process

  • timing during the melting process

  • timing during the cooling process combined with intermittent whipping.

Making Whipped Coconut Butter

Coconut oil is solid at room temperature (heat it up a bit, and it becomes liquid). Whipping coconut oil into a whipped butter or cream (the terminology is not definitive – it depends on your preference) is a lot easier than whipping shea butter. Basically, all you need is a hand whisk and the coconut oil. There is no heating and cooling involved – simply whip for a minute or two (depending upon your original quantity) and you will end with a light and fluffy butter or cream.

Making Your Own Whipped Butters at Home

If you would like to learn more about making bath and body products, such as whipped butters, consider taking a home study aromatherapy course with Sedona Aromatherapie! If you are looking to make a specific product, you can contact me first to make sure that the course you are considering covers that particular product.

Enjoy!

References:

  • Author is a certified aromatherapist with her own business

  • Price, Len, 1999, Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy and Massage, UK: Riverhead

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