Homemade Shea Butter Soap

August 1, 2015

Most of us have heard of the superb qualities of shea butter. I concur that it makes my skin happy! My skin thrives on shea utter‘s endless benefits. Inevitably, my soap muse was awakened. I wasted no time coming up with a shea butter soap recipe.

shea butter soap
Creamy and luxurious shea butter soap

I love making soap and the shea butter bar is my favorite project. This is a great soap for true lovers of natural handmade soap.

About Homemade Soap
Traditionally, homemade soap recipes call for 3 to 5 or oils (fats) to balance the properties of the final bar. However, as you begin to grow as a soap-maker you experiment and tweak recipes to your liking. For this shea butter soap, I wanted to allow the shea butter to do its thing. A couple of ounces of cocoa butter has only improved the skin healing properties of the soap. Shea butter is full of unsaponifiables that are not chemically broken down during the saponification process.

Brambleberry Soap Making Lye Calculator
If you are new to cold process soap-making, visit here.
To learn about my soap-making journey, read more here.

My shea butter bars are made without additional essential oils for scent nor did I add herbs to the recipe. The formula is fairly simple and makes for a good bar of skin loving soap. I prefer to use organic oils and butters but this is optional. Refined oils and butters are just as efficient for making soap.

Shea Butter Soap Recipe:

2.5 oz. organic castor oil
2.5 oz. organic cocoa butter
5.0 organic coconut oil
7.5 0 oz. organic olive oil
7.5 oz. organic unrefined shea butter
3.535 oz. sodium hydroxide (lye)
8.25 oz. water (your choice of liquid)
.5 oz. melted organic cocoa butter for superfatting (optional)
Yields about 36.79 oz.

I carefully poured the soap into a wooden mold and insulated with a large towel. I allowed the soap to reach gel phase, giving that slightly transparent look. I removed the log from the mold, cut, and set them to cure for 6 weeks. The area should be aerated and the bars should not stick to one another. The water needs to evaporate during curing so it is important that the bars are separated.

About That Shea Butter Scent
The natural scent of shea and cocoa butters give the final bar a vaguely chocolate but  mostly nutty aroma. If the natural scent of shea and cocoa butters is repelling, this soap is not for you. The scent of both butters were once a nuisance, but the natural scents organically grew delightful to my senses. The healing properties did facilitate this change.

Shea Butter Soap is Moisturizing
Shea butter soap also makes a great shaving soap that my husband loves. The creamy lather rests nicely on the skin. The cocoa butter enriches the moisturizing properties. This recipe for shea butter soap alleviated my sensitive skin issues. I have used it as a shampoo bar and it left my hair feeling clean, not stripped. This is one of my favorite bars to make. I’m almost positive that if you begin making and begin using shea butter soap you and yours will enjoy this bar.

*Please do not use this soap or the raw ingredients if you have nut allergies.

Where I shop for ingredients:
Mountain Rose Herbs | From Nature With Love | Amazon

Where I shop for lye (sodium hydroxide):
Essential Depot (food grade)