Shea Butter Products

The benefits of raw Shea butter have been known to people for ages. It is not only used as a moisturizer for rejuvenating skin and hair, but is also known for its medicinal, anti-inflammatory properties. Read on to know more...

Imagine a product that makes your dry skin soft, your hair smooth and lustrous, reduces stretch marks and rashes on you body and protects your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun. No, I am not imitating the advertisement of some cosmetic costing hundreds of dollars but rather telling you about some of the benefits of raw Shea butter which is considered as one of the best methods for natural skin care. While you may have just recently heard the name of this natural product, the benefits of Shea butter has been known for centuries to people. It has been used in many parts of Africa such as, Ghana and Mali since ages for protecting and rejuvenating the hair and skin.

What is Raw Shea Butter?

Shea butter or Butyrospermum parkii is also known as Shea-toulou, which literally translated, means tree-butter. It is only found in the tropics of Africa and is extracted from the nuts of the Shea-Karite tree. This tree begins to bear fruit after about 15 years and can thereon, take up to 30 years to bear a quality crop of nuts with a high content of irremovable fatty acid. It is this fatty extract that gives this raw butter its unique healing properties, making it far superior to cocoa butter and other vegetable butters.

The traditional methods of extracting Shea butter included picking the nuts, cracking them, grilling and pounding them. They were then boiled in water for hours until the butter rose to the surface. This was then scooped into gourds and left to cool and set. Since unrefined pure Shea butter is an all natural product, it can vary in quality, its appearance and smell depending on various aspects, most prominent being where it is produced from and how it is extracted. However, raw Shea butter is usually a sort of clay color, taupe or brownish yellowish tan and smells a bit nutty. Its texture is like a salve and on coming in contact with human skin the solid Shea butter liquefies.

Raw Shea Butter Benefits

There are many benefits of this raw butter and it is especially beneficial for dry skin. It works as a moisturizer, an anti-inflammatory and a natural mild sunscreen. It helps nourish the skin with Vitamin A, E and F. Shea butter has also been known to reduce wrinkles, with results showing skin improvement in 4 to 6 weeks of daily use. Apart from facial skin, use this butter for hair. It acts as a natural conditioner and sealant and helps in repairing dry, damaged hair. Here are a list of benefits of this butter.


  • Skin rash
  • Skin peeling, after tanning
  • Blemishes
  • Itching skin
  • Sunburn
  • Shaving cream
  • Small skin wounds
  • Acne Control
  • Skin cracks
    Tough or rough skin on feet
  • Frost bites
  • Stretch mark prevention during pregnancy
  • Insect bites
  • Muscle fatigue, aches and tension
  • Skin allergies
  • Eczema
  • Dermatitis
  • Skin damage from heat for example radiation treatment for certain medical problems

Raw Shea Butter vs. Refined Shea Butter

Many Shea butter lotions and creams have the term splashed prominently on their covers with majority of them claiming this to be natural. However, beware of these claims as only raw or unrefined Shea butter is the purest and the most beneficial. In contrast to that, refined Shea butter found in most retail outlets go through an entirely different production cycle than its natural counterpart. In an effort to minimize the extraction process, increase profits and alter the smell and texture, most manufacturers have adopted a method, where the seed oil is extracted from the kernels using a chemical known as Hexane, which usually remains in the product in trace amounts.

Exposure to hexane has side effects such as dizziness,headache, nausea, weakness, unconsciousness, and abdominal pain. Also, hexane compounds are carcinogens and are classed as hazardous substances. The process of refining the Shea butter also removes its essential fatty acids, proteins and minerals leaving consumers with a uselessly ineffective and potentially dangerous product. Raw Shea butter on the other hand is significantly richer in vitamins, phyto-nutrients and UV absorbing factors. Refined Shea butter is pure white and relatively odorless as compared to the naturally yellow raw butter which has a nutty aroma.

You can order raw Shea butter products online or get it at any store. You need to store it in a dry area at room temperature, or else it will melt away. If stored in an air tight container, it has a shelf life of 12 to 18 months. So what are you waiting for? Use natural, raw Shea butter for great looking skin and lustrous hair instead of spending all that money on expensive counter cosmetics.


Nature has created many bountiful things that heal and help humans. Shea Butter is one of them.

Shea Butter is found in the tropics of Africa. It is made from the nuts of the Shea-Karite tree. The nuts are picked, cracked, pounded and then boiled in water for several hours. The Shea Butter then begins to rise to the surface. This is then scooped and then left to cool and set.
Shea Butter remains solid at room temperature and tends to turn liquid at body temperature, thus making it easy to apply. Natural Shea Butter has a nutty smell. Its color can vary from cream to grayish yellow.
Shea Butter has various benefits. They are:
  • Moisturizing for the skin.
  • Relief from Dry Skin.
  • Moisturizing Dry Scalp.
  • Restoring Luster to Hair.
  • Relief from small skin wounds.
  • Effective Relief from Eczema.
  • Effective as a Sun Screen.
  • Avoiding Skin Peeling after Tanning.
  • Removal of Blemishes and Wrinkles.
  • Preventing Stretch Marks during Pregnancy.
  • Reducing Acne.
There are a variety of shea butter products available in the market today. You can find shea butter soap, shea butter lotion and moisturizers, shea butter body washes and shea butter massage oils and shea butter massage creams.
The best quality African Shea Butter comes from East Africa because it is high in liquid olein and therefore easily absorbed by the skin. However, the West African Shea Butter is rich in Vitamin A which can help with stretch mark reduction.
However, it is important to know that shea butter products begin to lose their effectiveness with the passage of time. Normally, they retain their healing properties for about 2 years. But it still retains the moisturizing properties.
If your shea butter begins to smell rancid, it is best to throw it away. There is no need to refrigerate it, but the bottle needs to be stored in a cool place otherwise the butter will melt. If that happens, though, just stir the butter to mix the liquid properly, and set it in a cool place so that it sets as before.
One can find a variety of shea butter products that use processed or refined shea butter. Refined shea butter often has had the smell removed. Do check what processes have been used for refining the shea butter to avoid allergies.

Written by: Parul Solanki for

Author : Madhavi Ghare