Tag Archives: shea butter

Shea Butter v. African Butter

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I don’t use shea butter a lot, but it is a natural product that I incorporate into my hair regimen in a couple of ways. When I first started experimenting with it in 2010, I found it was too heavy and waxy to use as a sealer for my ends. It just sat on top of my hair like wax and made it look dull and ashy. Coincidentally enough, it just sat on top of my skin as well. My skin would be shiny …and  it would just come off on my clothes and chairs!!! So, I started using shea butter by mixing it with Eco Styler Olive Oil gel to smooth and control my edges. And, it works great for me using it that way.

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I also include it in my coconut oil whip that I use mostly for my hair now (it wasn’t doing much for my skin, which had become more and more miserably dry and cracked with natural remedies … had to go back to the old school stuff with water and parabens!! But, I haven’t given up on natural entirely yet. Just haven’t had time to research a new “formula!).

Anywho, above is the shea butter that I use. Nothing special … no name brand. Just “Raw African Shea Butter.” Wei picks it up for me from the vendors in Harlem!! It says 100% natural … but, doesn’t say 100% raw shea butter … so who’s to say if it is? BUT, I think it is shea butter because it’s off white and very solid. Some “shea butter” that is sold is yellow/amber in color and the reason I’m writing this is to share that yellow “shea” may not actually be shea butter. A couple of years ago, I watched a YouTube video by DuchessGabrielle wherein she shared that the yellow butter is from a different tree and is actually called African butter. She explained that both butters are beneficial, but that they are not the same. So, just wanted to share her videos on shea butter and African butter for those of you who are interested in knowing the differences between the two and the benefits!

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Shea Butter 101: Off-White Shea Butter

Shea Butter 102: Yellow Shea Butter

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Do you use “shea butter?” If so, which one do you use, off-white or yellow, and how do you use it? If you use both, do you see any differences?

Coconut Oil Lip Balm

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So, y’all know that I’ve been on a coconut oil induced mixtress binge as of late after discovering this great page, 25 Magical Things to Make with Coconut Oil. Well, my latest endeavor was to try my hand at making a coconut oil lip balm. You see, I’m a Chapstick/lip balm addict! I MUST have something moisturizing for my lips on me at all times! But, I know that Chapstick and many other lip balms contain parabens, which is an ingredient that I’ve been trying to get away from as much as possible. So, when I saw this recipe (which requires minimal ingredients and effort), I decided it was worth giving a try.

via Passionate Homemaking

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons beeswax (about 1 oz)
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
2 Tablespoons shea butter
12 lip balm containers
dropper

Directions:

1. Melt beeswax in a small pan or crockpot over low heat. Add coconut oil and shea butter until all ingredients a melted. Add a few drops essential oil if desired. I did not use any essential oil and it is smells wonderfully like honey!
2. Using a small medicinal dropper, pour the melted liquid into your lip balm containers. Add a few extra drops to the top after filling each container as the ingredients will shrink as they cool.
3. Cool completely to harden. Cover with cap and decorate or label as desired.

Well, first I had to get a couple of the “ingredients.” I had the coconut oil and the shea butter, but needed the beeswax and lip balm containers. The article on Passionate Homemaking had links to a seller, but I decided to check out Amazon, since I had reward points available, also wanted some coco butter and could potentially get free Super Saver shipping ;). So, I hopped on Amazon.com and purchased a bag of five 1 oz. bars of beeswax for $6.35 and a pack of 10 clear .15 oz. lip balm containers for $11.97. Not bad, but learned from a reader, Cheryl, that I could have done better on the lip balm containers by using “Amazon Prime” in my search terms and digging a little further in the results. She found 25 black containers for $13.97!! Live and Learn!!

Anywho, yesterday I got home and my Amazon shipment was at the door! I was sooooo tired because I’d been on the road for several hours, stuck in horrendous traffic on the turnpike as I was returning home from south Jersey. But, after changing and chilling for a bit, I couldn’t resist taking a stab at the lip balm recipe. And, let me tell you, it was soooo easy and quick!!! I grabbed an eye dropper from a hair product and cleaned it with some soapy water, then grabbed my Maychang essential oil and got to work!

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I decided to throw the balms into the fridge after finishing them last night. However, that was NOT a good idea! LOL!! The contents got too hard and I wasn’t able to turn the knobs to make the balm rise out of the container. But, when I placed one of the containers high over a burner to allow it to warm a little, it worked like a charm. So, in the future, I know to just let them cool at room temperature.

I used the balm last night and today and it’s very smooth and silky feeling. It doesn’t feel as thick or hard as chapstick, but it feels moisturizing and not at all waxy so far! So excited to have a natural and paraben free lip balm that is so easy to make!!

Finally, next time that I have extra, I’m going to try the hard lotion bars! At the end of the recipe post, the author indicated that leftovers can be poured into an ice cube tray to make hard lotion bars!! LOVE it!! Shoot, why wait for next time and leftovers?!?! I just might make another batch of the balm today!! I’m guessing that I can just store the hard lotion bar in a sandwich bag!

smooches

Smooches!

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Are you a Chapstick addict? Would you ever try making your own? If you’ve made your own lip balm, what ingredients do you use in YOUR recipe?!? Any tips or tricks to share?