Refined vs unrefined shea butter?

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cmzaha

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I personally like un-refined shea since any butter that has been refined is going to lose a lot of it's goodness. I also use unrefined in my lotions
 

narnia

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For soap? I should have specified that I am using in HP soap.
 

lsg

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I use unrefined in soap.
 

kchaystack

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I don't personally believe there is much difference in the 2 after you mix with other oils and add a heap of lye.... the different between the 2 is that refined will have a lighter color, and less smell. Also unrefined could also contain bits of shell, twigs, leaves and such depending on if it is filtered.
 

luebella

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I use unrefined. I adore the smell but not everyone does. Can't smell it too much if you use a fragrance. Also is good to strain it. Unrefined I've had bits and pieces in it as well as a flea or two before
 

JayJay

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I have had specks in my Shea butter as well. I always assumed that they were plant materials. But now that I know that you found fleas... . Yikes, I will check more carefully when making soap.

I can't seem to cover the smell of unrefined with FO So I use refined when the scent and color are important.
 

Arimara

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I use unrefined. I adore the smell but not everyone does. Can't smell it too much if you use a fragrance. Also is good to strain it. Unrefined I've had bits and pieces in it as well as a flea or two before
I have never bucked up on a flea in my unrefined sheas. Thanks for the tip. I might have to be more vigilant since my whips are mostly for my daughter.
 

penelopejane

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I use refined. It's cheaper, it's clean, does not smell and is consistent. The place I get it from do not use chemicals to refine it but they do raise the temp to 90deg F to melt it to strain it.
 
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shunt2011

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I get mine from Soaper's Choice, never had anything icky in it thus far. I don't really notice the scent once scented and done. Body butter, yes you can pick it up somewhat depending on how strong the shea is.
 

narnia

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I spoke with Soaper's Choice yesterday, asking which they recommended for soap making and they said, "refined, because it was less allergenic."

Anyone know anything about this aspect?
 

shunt2011

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I spoke with Soaper's Choice yesterday, asking which they recommended for soap making and they said, "refined, because it was less allergenic."



Anyone know anything about this aspect?

Shea can cause issues with folks with latex allergies. But, with that being said I use unrefined.
 

MySoapyHeart

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I have used unrefined shea at times in soaps, and love it (5% in soaps) But wondering where on earth people buy their sheabutter from, when they find shell, twigs or fleas in it? Wow, Fleas... :silent:

I have never experiensed anything like that in my shea before, and I have used shea for at least 6 years, if not more (not for soap but for skin issues and balms)
I have only purchased from 3 vendors (Coastal Scents, Iherb & Mother Nature Goodies) and never found anything like that in those.
 

cmzaha

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I have used unrefined shea at times in soaps, and love it (5% in soaps) But wondering where on earth people buy their sheabutter from, when they find shell, twigs or fleas in it? Wow, Fleas... :silent:
Because it is as pure as it gets

I have never experiensed anything like that in my shea before, and I have used shea for at least 6 years, if not more (not for soap but for skin issues and balms)
I have only purchased from 3 vendors (Coastal Scents, Iherb & Mother Nature Goodies) and never found anything like that in those.
You are buying from vendors that have most likely melted it and repackaged. What I get is straight from the tribes in Ghana and is not always well filtered, but I love it
 

topofmurrayhill

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I use refined because I don't make B&B stuff and I choose to assume the bioactive goodies in shea butter don't contribute to the quality of soap. We don't know for sure, but that's the way I'm betting because it's just a quick wash and rinse. If I made other stuff I would certainly consider the unrefined.

For soaping, the refined shea butter offers a more consistent quality product and longer shelf life, without the need for additional processing before using it. I also have a research paper that analyses various samples of African shea butter and finds that they have significantly higher levels of free fatty acids than the refined product. This could contribute to faster trace depending on your sample and how much you use.

However, it's not the case that the bioactive goodies (called sterols and triterpenes) are destroyed by lye. They are actually extracted from oil using sodium hydroxide and alcohol. Presumably they do end up in the soap.

If I used unrefined shea butter, I would consider gently melting it up arrival with the lowest heat and for the shortest time practical, filtering it, and adding ROE before storing it in a cold place.
 

narnia

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If I used unrefined shea butter, I would consider gently melting it up arrival with the lowest heat and for the shortest time practical, filtering it, and adding ROE before storing it in a cold place.


What is ROE?
 

shunt2011

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Rosemary Oleoresin. It helps with oxidation. I don't ,let my Shea. I just use it. Never had a problem and don't use ROE
 
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