I embarked on this little project last week when I was interested in finding a natural body moisturiser that was more effective than most reasonably priced decent brands, not to mention better cost-wise. The outlay for the shea butter was my biggest spend (bought at Ceres, though I've since found somewhere cheaper to buy it - www.gonative.co.nz - so many good things here).
I made this recipe (a half batch) a few days ago, which I found here:
Homemade Shea Body Butter Recipe
2 cups of shea butter
3/4 cup olive oil
1 ½ teaspoon vitamin E oil
2-3 drops jojoba oil
2-3 drops lavender oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch (for binding)
1/2 ounce Vanilla extract (if desired)
For this shea body butter recipe, start with melting shea butter. You can add it in an appropriate size saucepan and put over low heat. Wait till it melts and immediately remove from heat. Make sure you do not overheat or burn shea butter. To the liquid shea butter, infuse olive oil and allow to settle for about 30 minutes. Before it solidifies completely, add vitamin E oil, jojoba oil, lavender oil, cornstarch and vanilla extract. Using a blender, whip concoction till it turns light and fluffy. Transfer shea body butter into an air tight container and keep in a cool place.
I've actually been using this same concoction as a body moisturiser, a hair pomade, a facial treatment and a hand moisturiser! It's quite nice to put a bit on at night instead of my regular facial moisturiser. As it's mostly shea butter and olive oil it's very rich and nourishing. It could also be a pre-wash hair treatment too.
I'm not sure whether it's the cornstarch I added but it does feel ever so slightly gritty when I scoop a bit out of the jar though this disappears quickly. Whether this recipe even needs the cornstarch in it I'm not sure.
All in all I am quite pleased at my first attempt with shea butter, and with all its uses I've probably been enjoying it most as a hand cream and night facial treatment.
I think I will be trying this recipe next, which appears to be more scientific in its production and which I am guessing will produce a better result.