Shea butter and nuts in bowl

Shea butter is the natural fat extracted from the nut of the shea tree. The oil is rich in vitamins A and E, and is an ingredient in many creams, conditioners and moisturizers. In its raw, unrefined state, shea butter can be used as a carrier oil for homemade lotions and creams. Emulsifying shea butter gives it a smoother texture and allows for the addition of fragrance and water-based additives to make a personalized moisturizer.

Melt shea butter and beeswax or soy lecithin in a microwave or double boiler. Let the melted ingredients cool for 10 to 15 minutes, but not enough to solidify. Other oils, like tea tree, almond, or jojoba, can be combined with the shea butter at this stage, depending on preference and the purpose of the cream.

Heat water in the microwave. Other water-based ingredients, such as honey, rose water, or aloe vera juice, can be added at this stage.

Slowly pour the hot water into the melted shea butter, using a hand-held mixer to blend the ingredients until smooth.