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Grittiness in products with butters

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geniash

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Have you experienced a grittiness in the products (lotion bars, lip balms, etc) when using cocoa butter or shea butter? How do you prevent them?
 

dixiedragon

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Yes. You can google "grainy shea butter" and "grainy cocoa butter" for more info. basically, when you cool slowly, the stearic acid in the butters starts to harden up and seperate out, leaving those little grains. Supposedly you can temper the butter and you'll never get grains again, but I haven't found that works for me.

What works for me:

Product needs to be thoroughly melted and hot. if you have a rim of solidified product on the sides of the container, or left behind on the side of the container after you pour, it's too cool.

When product is melted and totally clear, pour into your container. I like to put my containers on a baking tray with a sheet of wax paper. That way I can scrape up a spill, reheat and re-pour. Once poured, containers go in fridge or freezer.

When making whipped shea butter, I do the thorough melt, pour into a silicone individual soap mold and stick in the freezer. I unmold the frozen shea butter pucks (about 4 oz each) and keep them in the fridge. I chop into pieces and whip them from their, adding liquid oils as I go.
 

DeeAnna

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I've had lip balms that were nicely smooth to begin with that got grainy as the balm warmed up and cooled down over time. The product doesn't need to actually melt to get grainy again, just as a bar of chocolate doesn't need to melt to create a white "bloom" on the surface of the bar.
 

geniash

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I've had lip balms that were nicely smooth to begin with that got grainy as the balm warmed up and cooled down over time. The product doesn't need to actually melt to get grainy again, just as a bar of chocolate doesn't need to melt to create a white "bloom" on the surface of the bar.
This is exactly what prompted my question. My lip balms are nice and smooth out of the shop but overtime develop the grittiness. Not a big deal but doesn't look very professional. I am thinking of changing the formula and getting rid of butters.
 

DeeAnna

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That's the direction I went too. My lip balms are made of wax (beeswax is my preference) and liquid fats. I've used some of these balms for several years with no change in texture.

Unrelated tip -- I include jojoba as part of the liquid fats, and that has helped a lot with the shelf life. The first batches of balms I made didn't have jojoba, and they would eventually go rancid.
 

geniash

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Thank you DeeAnna and dixiegragon!
 

geniash

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Awesome - thank you! I'll give it a try,
 

Megan

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Grainy shea in my lip balms has been plaguing me for months now...they are beautiful at first, but then they get warm in the car, or in my pocket, or whatever...I think one batch was left on a store shelf in indirect sunlight (it was either this or the person who transported them left them in the car in summer ::facepalm) and they went grainy. Tempering is always a good start, but it will not change the fact that if they go through temperature fluctuations, that they will go grainy again.
 

paillo

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I stopped using shea butter in lip balms and lotion bars dues to grittiness. I use babassu or mango butter, beeswax, avocado/jojoba, vitamin e and sweet orange or lavender essential oil mostly, and never have had that problem again even after 6 months to a year.
 

marehare

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Have you experienced a grittiness in the products (lotion bars, lip balms, etc) when using cocoa butter or shea butter? How do you prevent them?
Never had a problem with using shea, or cocoa butter. I only use one oz of each in my recipes and use only organic oils. Perhaps it's the quality of the oils you're using.
 

AliOop

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Never had a problem with using shea, or cocoa butter. I only use one oz of each in my recipes and use only organic oils. Perhaps it's the quality of the oils you're using.
Hi @marehare :)

Any Shea butter of any quality can become grainy depending on how it is heated and cooled. And using it in soap is entirely different than lip balms or body butters; those go through repeated heating and cooling cycles due to their lower melting point than soap, as well as storage conditions (purses, cars, pockets, bathrooms). So if you've never had grainy shea in your non-soap body products, it means that you have been heating and cooling it correctly, and storing it in very stable conditions. :)
 
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