Why has my lip balm/body butter gone grainy?

Our butters are made up of different fatty acids, all of which have different melting points and solidifying points. Sometimes certain harder fatty acids (like stearic and palmitic acid) will harden before the rest of the fats in a product and create extra hard blobs in your product. Ick! Some butters are more prone to going grainy than others—I find shea to be the worst offender, but mango butter (and any other solid butter, really) can also go grainy.

This is pretty simple to fix. The first thing you’ll want to do is bring your mixture to “trace” before pouring (I learned this trick in my Formula Botanica course!). Basically, stir the mixture until it has gained a bit of viscosity before pouring. If you’re making something like a lip balm (something with a fairly high wax content) you can do this at room temperature, but if you’re working with just butters you’ll want to immerse your container in an ice bath to speed things along.

Once you’ve reached trace and poured I’ve found it is best to move everything to the fridge to fully set up.

This post (“So you want to avoid graininess in your butters and balms?”) from Skin Chakra is also fantastic!

Posted in: Troubleshooting

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