Refined shea vs unrefined

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Johnez

What if I....
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WSP has a sale on Shea again, and I'm curious if there is any other difference between the refined and unrefined shea butters beside smell and color. Specifically performance differences in soap. I got unrefined Shea my last order and holy moly that is some woody/earthy scent! I may try using the smell as a "note" in a soap one day. Anyway, "ultra refined," high melt seems to be the most expensive, and unrefined and ultra-refined have about the same cost, weirdly unrefined is slightly more expensive. I know with some oils and fats there are "unsaponifiables" that are contributors to performance, I'm wondering if refinement has an affect there.
 
Me neither. Not in soap at least.

Here though unrefined is about 25% more expensive than refined. I happen to love the scent of unrefined shea and it adds label appeal, and since I use it for my lotion bars I use the same in soap coz I didn't think I wanted to be bothered by two separate kinds.

I've always thought I might do it but since I get a good price for my unrefined I haven't changed lol

I cannot describe the difference in my lotion bars though... They just "glide on and stay on differently" is the best I can come up with this early in the morning, sorry haha
 
Here though unrefined is about 25% more expensive than refined.

Reminds me of the days of Leaded and Unleaded Gas. Gas is naturally 'unleaded', yet it was always more expensive to purchase.
 
I once had a jar of ED unrefined shea that traced faster for me in a side-by-side comparison with SC refined shea. I only did that one test, so YMMV. It wasn’t a big problem, just a bit faster. As I recall, the test recipe was highish palm, which may have played a role. I mostly use refined now because I buy it in bulk at Soapers Choice (and store it in the refrigerator).
 
I just use straight unrefined shea butter. I don't use heaps of it so I get it from Amazon usually. Sort of a greenish khaki color, but it never affects to final color of my soaps, even my shave soaps.
 
Unrefined has a more cream / yellow color than refined in soap. Other than that, no difference.
 
I use 20% shea in my soap. I prefer refined due to the coloring. I've never noticed a difference in how it feels to the touch.
 
It's pretty funny reading the reviews over at WSP for unrefined Shea. Apparently it smells like baby poop or pickles to some. For me it was a earthy woody smell, almost like pulling out an old drawer from an antique chest. Very natural and I imagined would have been a neat fit into a natural petrichor/mossy/forest sort of scent but alas none of it's smell came through after saponification.
 
It's pretty funny reading the reviews over at WSP for unrefined Shea. Apparently it smells like baby poop or pickles to some. For me it was a earthy woody smell, almost like pulling out an old drawer from an antique chest. Very natural and I imagined would have been a neat fit into a natural petrichor/mossy/forest sort of scent but alas none of it's smell came through after saponification.
I'm really hoping this holds true for me, because I bought some unrefined and can not stand the smell. I can't even give words to describe that smell but it is unbelievably unpleasant. I also tried unrefined cocoa butter for the first time in that batch and could still smell the cocoa butter at a mere 5% even after cure so I literally tossed the batch, which I've never ever done before. If the shea smell at 10% was still present, I couldn't tell because it was overpowered by the cocoa butter. I'm nervous to try shea again for fear of the smell lingering post cure, so I hid the tub shea behind every other item in my soaping arsenal possibly never to be seen again!

I understand this thread was about Shea butter, but I have the same question regarding coconut oil. Unrefined is far less expensive and wondering how soapers have found they differ in cold process soaps. I am new to all of this.
p.s. please advise if I should have started a new thread for this.
I haven't noticed a difference in performance between refined vs unrefined that I can buy locally. I don't personally care for the smell of unrefined, but the smell disappears as soon as it's turned to soap.
 
I'm really hoping this holds true for me, because I bought some unrefined and can not stand the smell. I can't even give words to describe that smell but it is unbelievably unpleasant. I also tried unrefined cocoa butter for the first time in that batch and could still smell the cocoa butter at a mere 5% even after cure so I literally tossed the batch, which I've never ever done before. If the shea smell at 10% was still present, I couldn't tell because it was overpowered by the cocoa butter. I'm nervous to try shea again for fear of the smell lingering post cure, so I hid the tub shea behind every other item in my soaping arsenal possibly never to be seen again!
OH no, next time I'll pay for postage so you can ship me the smelly cocoa butter soaps and the smelly shea butter. I love them both!!
 
Refined shea butter has lost most of the good benefits that are found in the shea nuts: antioxidants, vitamins etc. That's why I only use unrefined shea butter handmade by the women I know. I can also be certain that the benefits of the shea trees go to the local women in African countryside who are otherwise struggling to make ends meet, and not to big companies harvesting the nuts and making refined shea in factories. The unrefined shea I use has a pleasant nutty smell and ivory/light yellow colour. Makes a great natural moisturizing soap and body butter. :)
 
There's a huge difference in unrefined and refined oils and butters.... Refined loses up to 75% of their bioactive nutrients so doesn't have the same health benefits for your skin and also if you go down the refined rabbit hole you will see anything refined actually has a negative effect....
It matters more than we realized what we put on our skin...


I used unrefined in my chapsticks and creams amongst other things because they are healthy and have vitamins naturally and I don't have to add vitamin E or anything else to them.
I have not had any issues so far with refined vs unrefined. It really makes no difference in soap making because of the saponification process and because soap is a wash on/rinse off product. And when it comes to other products...the reason why many choose refined vs unrefined is because of the odor, NOT because of the 'health benefits' because...at least in the US...that requires licensing and FDA approval.

And I don't add Vitamin E because of 'health benefits', I add it because it helps to prevent rancidity.
 
I use unrefined yellow from Better Shea Butter and I buy it in bulk so it’s less expensive. I use it in my body butters already, so since I have it on hand I’ve used it in my soaps. I’m still a newb, so my soaps aren’t pretty, but they work great on sensitive skin! I’m not familiar with all the different brands. Who is WSP, et al? Thank you.

Edited to add. I like the raw, natural fragrance of shea butter! Maybe it’s just the brand I use. I like Baraka Shea Butter too, and it specifically comes from African women so they can support themselves. The shipping is prohibitive so I only bought it once. But it is an added value feel-good benefit if you can afford it.
 
Who is WSP, et al? Thank you.
WSP - Wholesale Supplies Plus
NS - Nurture Soap
NG - Nature's Garden
BB - BrambleBerry
RE - Rustic Escentuals
BS - BeScented
MM - Mad Micas

These are just a few that I can think of off hand...I think there is a post somewhere that has a list of acronyms like "PPO" (per pound of oils).

As I mentioned, I haven't notice any performance or quality issues between using 'refined' vs 'unrefined' ingredients. And to add to that when you consider that ingredients vary from supplier to supplier, not to mention that the ingredients in themselves with vary depending on growing and processing conditions.

I generally go with unrefined simply because it's cheaper than refined. About the only time I use 'refined' is because the natural odor overwhelms the scent I am using.
 
WSP - Wholesale Supplies Plus
NS - Nurture Soap
NG - Nature's Garden
BB - BrambleBerry
RE - Rustic Escentuals
BS - BeScented
MM - Mad Micas

These are just a few that I can think of off hand...I think there is a post somewhere that has a list of acronyms like "PPO" (per pound of oils).

As I mentioned, I haven't notice any performance or quality issues between using 'refined' vs 'unrefined' ingredients. And to add to that when you consider that ingredients vary from supplier to supplier, not to mention that the ingredients in themselves with vary depending on growing and processing conditions.

I generally go with unrefined simply because it's cheaper than refined. About the only time I use 'refined' is because the natural odor overwhelms the scent I am using.
Thank you! I’ve read the acronyms list but it’s been a minute. That’s very helpful. ☺️
 

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