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Grainy Shea or Mango Butter?

Sometimes, finished products that contain either shea or mango can feel grainy or bumpy. This is because these two butters are both high in unsaponifiables and if heated incorrectly can develop crystal-like granules of fat as they cool.

Although they do eventually melt upon skin contact (with the assistance of massage), the initial 'grainy' feel can be disappointing, especially when the user is expecting a smooth formulation.

However, if you are finding this a problem, the following method will remove the grains and restore smoothness.

  • In a double boiler, heat your shea or mango to 170-185 degrees F (don't worry about spoiling the properties of the butter, this is not hot enough).
  • Maintain this temperature for 15-20 minutes to ensure all fat crystals are completely melted.
  • After 15-20 minutes allow to cool (rapid cooling will reduce the chances of crystals reforming - using a bowl of ice-water will speed the cooling process).
  • This process can be repeated if any crystals reform after cooling and solidifying (can happen if heat is not maintained at right temperature or for long enough).
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