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Soap Making Forum > The Soap Making & Craft Forum > Beginners Soap Making Forum > Shea vs Cocoa
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Old 09-16-2015, 03:25 PM   #1
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Default Shea vs Cocoa

Ok, so what are some opinions on which is better between Shea and cocoa butter and why do you feel that way? I really like cocoa butter, but have never had the opportunity to see or work with Shea butter.


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Old 09-16-2015, 03:37 PM   #2
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Not much different for me. They both lend a creaminess to the lather, just the CB bars feel little more luxurious. Also, Shea bars make my hubby break out while the CB bars don't. No one else has that issue though.


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Old 09-16-2015, 03:44 PM   #3
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If I had to pick only one - cocoa for shelf life. Seriously...5 + years and still go. But when it comes to lip balms and lotions, they both bring something different to the party. Soap...kind of meh. I only use them when I am making an all-veg soap, and I don't care for palm. I am a lover of the lard.

In lip balms, lotions, lotion bars - cocoa has a higher melt tip and its harder. It doesn't absorb as well. It is good for forming a barrier, so good for winter lip balms since it sits on top of the lips for longer. Also, prime pressed cocoa butter smells AWESOME. Great natural chocolate scent/flavor. (In lip balm - won't survive CP.)

Shea has a lower melt temp. Absorbs better. More neutral odor.

I think shea butter and mango butter are fairly interchangeable...but I don't think there's anything else like cocoa butter.
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Old 09-16-2015, 03:46 PM   #4
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I like shea better. It makes creamier lather and doesn't make my bars overly hard/brittle like CB can. I like shea better in body butter too.
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Old 09-16-2015, 03:48 PM   #5
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Thank you for the replies! I have been considering ordering some Shea butter just to try it out. I still may, but I'll move it down on my want to try list since I already know I like the cocoa butter. Btw, I found some little cocoa butter sticks, 1 oz each, at the dollar store that are perfect for my small batches of soap!
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Old 09-16-2015, 03:49 PM   #6
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Default Shea vs Cocoa

Obsidian, is there a certain smell to Shea butter as well that contributes to the scent of body butters, etc?

And is the creamier lather in soap extremely noticable?
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Old 09-16-2015, 03:55 PM   #7
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A couple months ago I was wondering the same thing so I made two batches - one with 10% shea and one with 10% cocoa butter. Otherwise (apart from two different fo's) they were identical. I found that the shea lathers easier and the cocoa butter lather is richer, but a little more work to get the bubbles to come out. I might try a combo next....
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Old 09-16-2015, 05:20 PM   #8
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Thanks, BlackDog!
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Old 09-16-2015, 05:23 PM   #9
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Like the others, I don't find so much difference when used in soap. But straight up on my skin, I just love cocoa butter. I don't know, there's just something about it that I love.
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Old 09-16-2015, 05:47 PM   #10
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I tend to use Shea in a lot of my body products and as part of the superfat in my shaving soap. I also use some cocoa, but tend to turn to Shea if I am picking freely between the two, unless there is something specific needed like with the winter lip balms mentioned already


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