SHEA BUTTER-Butyrospermum Parkii Butter: Shea butter is extracted from a nut tree, Magnifola’s fruit seeds.
It’s an oil with high humidifying properties. Used as a traditional ointment in Africa to heal rheumatism, muscle pains, burns or light wounds.
Softens and nourishes skin, believed to have antioxidant and cell renewing properties.
Effective mainly in renewing the sun and wind damaged skin.

Product Name    Shea Butter
CAS No.    91080-23-8 / 194043-92-0
EINECS No.    293-515-7
INCI Name    Butyrospermum parkii (Shea) Butter

Skin conditioning
Viscosity controlling
CAS Number    194043-92-0

INCI: Butyrospermum parkii (shea) Butter
N°CAS: 194043-92-0 / 91080-23-8
N°EINECS/ELINCS: 293-515-7

Shea butter is extracted from the kernels of Vitellaria
SHEA BUTTER is pure, without any chemical treatment.
SHEA BUTTER has Yellow/ivory colour with characteristic smell.
SHEA BUTTER has several therapeutic properties such as moisturizing, regenerating, anti-aging, protecting and anti-inflammatory.

Shea butter is an excellent and popular skin care product. It is moisturizing and the contained fat byproducts protect the skin. Shea butter improves the consistency of lotions and creams and is easy to mix.

The soothing quality of shea butter makes it perfect for dry or damaged skin. Shea butter is universally applicable and a good base fat.

Product: Shea Butter, Refined
INCI Name: Butyrospermum Parkii Butter
CAS No: 91080-23-8

Shea Butter is obtained by cold pressing of the fruits (seeds) of the karite tree followed by a full refining process. During the pressing of the butter, a liquid fraction appears as Shea Oil which offers an exceptional skin feel. It is well known to assist cutaneous dryness, dermatitis, dermatoses, eczema, solar erythema and superficial burns. This product is recommended for creams, lotions, and balms.

Shea butter is Triglyceride fat made up of predominantly Stearic and Oleic fatty acids, apart from other fatty acid like Palmitic, Linolenic and Arachidic acids. The percentage of saturated fatty acid is around 46% and that of unsaturated is around 53%.

Stearic acid in the Shea butter is responsible for the texture and melting characteristic and useful applications in the Confectionary industry. Cocoa butter Equivalent (CBE) and Cocoa butter Substitute (CBS) from Shea Stearin. Shea Olein or Oleic acid has tremendous emollient properties and widely used in the Cosmetics for the manufacture of Hair and Skin Care products.

It is an excellent ointment base mainly used in cosmetic industry .It has high content of unsaponifiable matter which enhances in improving skin texture. Shea butter is an excellent skin conditioning agent with good spreadability & non oily skin feel . It is widely used in cosmetic industry for skin care, hair care products & in medicinal ointments.

Shea butter is derived from the fats of the Shea fruit and it is the ultimate goodness your skin and hair can get. It is rich in vitamins A, E and F and is off-white to ivory in colour. It has a smooth consistency making it easy to spread on your skin. It is very good for collagen building, UV protection and the nutrients your body needs for nourishment. The high amount of fatty acid it contains makes it the perfect choice for smooth and soft skin. It also has many anti-inflammatory and healing properties. It is used in many countries to sooth/condition the skin and improves skin colour/texture.

Shea butter is slightly yellowish or ivory-colored fat extracted from the nut of the african shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa),is a triglyceride (fat)derived mainly from stearic and oleic acid.it is widely used in cosmetics as a moisturizer ,salve or lotion.Shea butter is used in food preparation in Africa and also as prophylatic.

Use: Natural shea butter is extracted from the pit of a fruit that grows only on the magnifolia tree in Central and Western Africa. Shea butter has been used for centuries in Africa for its unsurpassed ability to maintain and protect the skin from environmental damage and for cosmetic and food purposes. It is used externally to protect the skin from sunburn, eczema, as skin rejuvenator, and for its exceptional healing qualities in scalp and hair care.

Use: Our shea butter is cold expeller pressed and carbon treated to remove the impurities. It is not solvent extracted, but mechanically extracted. This unrefined shea butter does not go through extra carbon treatment steps as our refined shea butters do. There are no impurities left whatsoever. Shea is extremely moisturizing and gentle to the skin. In soaps, it gives a very luxurious feel to the finished product. It can also be added to creams and lotions or used alone for massage, skin cream, applied directly on small skin burns or applied to hair.

Use: Shea Butter (refined) sustainable is obtained from the nuts of Butyrospermum parkii. Shea butter kernels used for our product are harvested from shea trees wild growing in Northern Ghana. After harvesting of the ripe shea nuts the butter is obtained by mechanical pressing and following physical refining. The main steps of the production process of shea butter like harvesting, cleaning, drying, crushing, roasting, milling, kneading, boiling and filtration are mainly done by rural women. Fair prices for the Shea Butter enable the women in the rural area of Ghana a reliable income.

Shea butter is obtained from the crushed kernels (seeds) of the shea nut tree (Butyrospermum parkii) by pressing and then refined. Due to the high content of stearic acid, shea butter has a high melting point and is therefore particularly suitable for the food and cosmetics industry.

Application: Emollient, Hydrating Agent
Dosage Form: Solid Orals, Liquid Oral, Oral Care & Topicals
Cas No: 194043-92-0

CAS number
Trade name
Butyrosermum parkii butter extract
Butyrosermum parkii oil
Lipex Shea Tris
Lipex Shea-U

Shea tree, ext. Synonyms:

Shea tree, ext.
Shea tree extract


INCI Name: Butyrospermum Parkii unrefined Shea Butter CAS#: 68920-03-6

Physical State: Buttery material
Color: White to off-white
Odor Characteristic-fatty
Specific Gravity Not determined
Boiling Point: No data
Freezing Point: No data
Melting Point: 32-45°C
Flash Point: > 250°C
Density: No data
Solubility: Insoluble in water



Shea Butter can provide relief from everything from just dry skin to many minor dermatological diseases (if you have a serious skin condition, you should see a doctor). It has been clinically shown to provide benefits.

Here are some of the benefits of Shea Butter for the skin:
• Daily skin moisturizer (face and body)
• Dry skin relief
• Dry scalp
• Skin rash- including diaper rash
• Skin peeling, after tanning
• Blemishes and wrinkles
• Itching skin due to dryness
• Sunburn
• Shaving cream to reduce razor irritation
• Small skin wounds
• Skin cracks
• Soften tough skin on feet (especially heels)
• Stretch mark prevention during pregnancy
• Minor burns
• Eczema
• Sun and wind protection
• Even skin tone
• Reduce blemishes and scarring
• Eliminating scalp irritation from dryness or chemical processing
• Preventing bumps after shaving
• Reducing acne
• Absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy residue
• Helps restore elasticity to skin
• Restores luster to hair

Unrefined shea butter can vary in shades of ivory or gold, and it has a slightly smokey and nutty scent that is caused by the roasting process it goes through. Unrefined Shea Butter will feed and heal your skin, it will nourish it and will make a big difference in your beauty routine.


Refined or Ultra refined shea butter is white and unscented. This is achieved by using a variety of solvents, bleaches and other chemicals that strip the shea butter down to a simple, white butter. While this butter is easy to work with and still works as a skin moisturizer, it has lost most of its original vitamins and antioxidants. So to the question of which one is best, the answer is up to you

Raw Shea butter is widely used in Creams, Lotions,Soap,Baby Care,Skin care , Sunscreens, Hair Conditioners, Shampoos, Body wash ,Facial cleaner,Lipsticks, Make-ups, Mascaras, Stick Pencils, Slimming Products, Massage Products and Ointments.

Shea butter
P.N. Lovett, in Specialty Oils and Fats in Food and Nutrition, 2015

Other local uses
Shea butter, and its by-products from processing, has also been used in making traditional cosmetics and other widespread cultural practices; for example, African black soap, skin moisturizers, for muscle sprains treatment (often functioning as an emollient with medicinal herbs), as wedding gifts, for moisturizing newborns (including removal of the umbilical cord), lubricating moving parts (hinges, bicycles, etc.), waterproofing houses (usually as the residue), as an accelerant for fire lighting, and as a traditional oil lamp (shea butter candles are common at traditional funerals).
Most notably it is liberally applied on the skin after twice daily ablutions, particularly during the Harmattan period; that is, when the dusty Saharan wind blows from Tchad’s Bodélé depression during the driest season and humidity levels regularly fall below 5%.


100% pure organic unrefined shea butter available for bulk sale. Our product is ready for individual use or can be used directly in the cosmetic industry. It is also well suited for production of skin care products, hair care products and soaps

butyrospermum parkii fruit butter
jarplex SB-FCC
jarplex SB10
jarplex SB15
jarplex SB30
jarplex SB30-O
jarplex SB35
jarplex SB45
jarplex shealatum
lipobutter refined organic shea
lipobutter refined shea
phytoconcentrole    shea butter (Symrise)
shea butter (organic)
shea butter – east african organic
shea butter – west african organic
shea butter ghana organic
shea butter organic
shea fruit butter

Skin care products with a rich feel have a special, nurturing appeal.
Based on the semisolid fat of the Shea nut, SHEA BUTTER gives sunscreens and body butters a luxurious and exotic touch.
The natural emollient has the added benefit of supporting sunscreening effects, due to its high content of unsaponifiable matter.
It is perfect for baby sun care as well as moisturizing and anti-aging products.

SHEA BUTTER is exotic, waxy emollient with slow spreadability with high content of unsaponifiables for all skin care products.


MAIN BENEFITS: Hydrating, antioxidant, soothes irritation

Shea butter is the fat extracted from the nut of Africa Shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa).

Shea butter is used in cosmetic formulations and as a substitute for Cocoa butter in chocolate industries.
Shea butter is edible and used cooking fat in Africa.
The saponifiable fraction of Shea butter is composed primarily of stearic and oleic acids with lesser amounts of palmitic, linoleic and arachidic acids while the unsaponifiable fraction of Shea butter is composed of bioactive substances that are responsible for Shea butter’s medicinal properties.
Shea butter is a solid at room temperature and melts at body temperature.
Shea butter is therefore useful for skin care as it has sun screening properties and acts as an emollient and skin moisturizer.
Topical use of Shea butter has also demonstrated anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties.
Dietary intake of Shea butter has hypocholesterolemic effect and reduces serum and organ protein concentrations.

After Sun
Baby Care and Cleansing
Body Care
Color Care
Face Care
Personal Care
Self Tanning
Sun Protection

Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa).
It is ivory in color when raw and commonly dyed yellow with borututu root or palm oil.
It is widely used in cosmetics as a moisturizer, salve or lotion.
Shea butter is edible and is used in food preparation in some African countries.
Occasionally, shea butter is mixed with other oils as a substitute for cocoa butter, although the taste is noticeably different.

The English word “shea” comes from s’í, the tree’s name in Bambara.
It is known by many local names, such as kpakahili in the Dagbani language, taama in the Wali language, kuto in Twi, kaɗe or kaɗanya in Hausa, òkwùmá in the Igbo language, òrí in the Yoruba language, karité in the Wolof language of Senegal, and ori in some parts of West Africa and many others.

Shea butter is fat that’s extracted from the nuts of the shea tree.
It’s solid at warm temperatures and has an off-white or ivory color.
Shea trees are native to West Africa, and most shea butter still comes from that region.

Shea butter has been used as a cosmetic ingredient for centuries.
Its high concentration of vitamins and fatty acids — combined with its easy-to-spread consistency — make it a great product for smoothing, soothing, and conditioning your skin.

Shea butter is a seed fat that comes from the shea tree.
The shea tree is found in East and West tropical Africa. The shea butter comes from two oily kernels within the shea tree seed.
After the kernel is removed from the seed, it is ground into a powder and boiled in water.
The butter then rises to the top of the water and becomes solid.

People apply shea butter to the skin for acne, burns, dandruff, dry skin, eczema, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

In foods, shea butter is used as a fat for cooking.

In manufacturing, shea butter is used in cosmetic products.

How does it work ?
Shea butter works like an emollient.
It might help soften or smooth dry skin.
Shea butter also contains substances that can reduce skin swelling.
This might help treat conditions associated with skin swelling such as eczema.

Organic Shea Butter produced from shea nuts whose Latin name is Vitellaria paradoxa.
It contains stearic acid, oleic acid(Omega 9), linoleic acid(Omega 6).
Thanks to content of vitamin E, it has numerous benefits for hair and skin. It protects the skin from the harmful effect of weather conditions and ultraviolet rays, repairs to scars and stretch marks in the skin. Also it has anti-aging property. It can be used as an aid in thetreatment of eczema, skin allergies and bite insects

The common name is shísu (lit. “shea tree”) in the Bambara language of Mali.
This is the origin of the English word, the primary pronunciation of which is /ʃiː/ (rhyming with “tea”), although the pronunciation /ʃeɪ/ (rhyming with “day”) is common and is listed second in major dictionaries. The tree is called ghariti in the Wolof language of Senegal, which is the origin of the French name of the tree and the butter, karité.

The shea tree grows naturally in the wild in the dry savannah belt of West Africa from Senegal in the west to Sudan in the east, and onto the foothills of the Ethiopian highlands.
It occurs in 21 countries across the African continent, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya and Guinea.

Composition and properties
Shea butter extract is a complex fat that in addition to many nonsaponifiable components (substances that cannot be fully converted into soap by treatment with alkali) contains the following fatty acids: oleic acid (40–60%), stearic acid (20–50%), linoleic acid (3–11%), palmitic acid (2–9%), linolenic acid (<1%) and arachidic acid (<1%).

Shea butter melts at body temperature. Proponents of its use for skin care maintain that it absorbs rapidly into the skin, acts as a “refatting” agent, and has good water-binding properties.[10]


Shea butter soap
Shea butter is mainly used in the cosmetics industry for skin- and hair-related products (lip gloss, lip stick, skin moisturizer creams and emulsions, and hair conditioners for dry and brittle hair).[11] It is also used by soap makers and massage oil manufacturers, typically in small amounts, because it has plenty of unsaponifiables, and higher amounts result in a softer soap that has less cleaning ability.
Some artisan soap makers use shea butter in amounts to 25% – with the European Union regulating the maximum use around 28%, but it is rarely the case in commercially produced soap due to its high cost compared to oils like palm oil or pomace (olive oil).
It is an excellent emollient for dry skin.
No evidence shows it is a cure, but it alleviates the pain associated with tightness and itching.

In some African countries such as Benin, shea butter is used for cooking oil, as a waterproofing wax, for hairdressing, for candle-making, and as an ingredient in medicinal ointments.
It is used by makers of traditional African percussion instruments to increase the durability of wood (such as carved djembe shells), dried calabash gourds, and leather tuning straps.

Shea butter is sometimes used as a base for medicinal ointments. Some of the isolated chemical constituents are reported to have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, emollient, and humectant properties.[citation needed] Shea butter has been used as a sunblocking lotion with an estimated SPF of 3-4 and some of its components “have limited capacity to absorb ultraviolet radiation”.

In Ghana, shea butter locally known as Kpakahili (Eng. trans. raw cream) in Dagbani, nkuto (Akan) or nku (Ga), is either used as a food product or applied as lotion to protect the skin during the dry Harmattan season. The shea nut tree itself is called tááŋà (pl. táánsì) and the fruit is called táánì (pl. támá).
The current northern regional capital Tamale, derives it names from a combination of the words “tama” and “yili”, meaning “the town of shea fruits”.

In Nigeria, shea butter is used for the management of sinusitis and relief of nasal congestion.
It is massaged into joints and other parts of the body where pain occurs.

The United States Agency for International Development and other companies have suggested a classification system for shea butter, separating it into five grades:

A (raw or unrefined, extracted using water)
B (refined)
C (highly refined and extracted with solvents such as hexane)
D (lowest uncontaminated grade)
E (with contaminants).
Commercial grades are A, B, and C.

The color of raw (grade A) butter ranges from cream (like whipped butter) to grayish yellow.
It has a nutty aroma which is removed in the other grades. Grade C is pure white.
While the level of vitamin content can be affected by refining, up to 95% of vitamin content can be removed from refined grades (i.e., grade C) of shea butter while reducing contamination levels to undetectable levels.[19][20]

1. It’s safe for all skin types
Shea butter is technically a tree nut product. But unlike most tree nut products, it’s very low in the proteins that can trigger allergies.

In fact, there’s no medical literature documenting an allergy to topical shea butter.

Shea butter doesn’t contain chemical irritants known to dry out skin, and it doesn’t clog pores. It’s appropriate for nearly any skin type.

2. It’s moisturizing
Shea butter is typically used for its moisturizing effects. These benefits are tied to shea’s fatty acid content, including linoleic, oleic, stearic, and palmitic acids.

When you apply shea topically, these oils are rapidly absorbed into your skin. They act as a “refatting” agent, restoring lipids and rapidly creating moisture.

This restores the barrier between your skin and the outside environment, holding moisture in and reducing your risk of dryness.

3. It won’t make your skin oily
Shea butter contains high levels of linoleic acid and oleic acid. These two acids balance each other out. That means shea butter is easy for your skin to fully absorb and won’t make your skin look oily after application.

4. It’s anti-inflammatory
The plant esters of shea butter have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties.

When applied to the skin, shea triggers cytokines and other inflammatory cells to slow their production.

This may help minimize irritation caused by environmental factors, such as dry weather, as well as inflammatory skin conditions, such as eczema.

5. It’s antioxidant
Shea butter has significant levels of vitamins A and E, which means it promotes strong antioxidant activity.

Antioxidants are important anti-aging agents. They protect your skin cells from free radicals that can lead to premature aging and dull-looking skin.

6. It’s antibacterial
A 2012 study suggests that oral doses of shea bark extract can lead to decreased antimicrobial activity in animals.

Although more research is needed, this could indicate possible antibacterial benefits in humans.

Because of this, some speculate that topical application may decrease the amount of acne-causing bacteria on the skin.

7. It’s antifungal
Shea tree products have been established as powerful ingredients to fight skin infections caused by fungi.

While shea butter may not be able to treat every kind of fungal infection, we know that it kills spores of the fungi that causes ringworm and athlete’s foot.

8. It may help prevent acne
Shea butter is rich in different kinds of fatty acids. This unique composition helps clear your skin of excess oil (sebum).

At the same time, shea butter restores moisture to your skin and locks it in to your epidermis, so your skin doesn’t dry out or feel “stripped” of oil.

The result is a restoration of the natural balance of oils in your skin — which may help stop acne before it starts.

9. It helps boost collagen production
Shea butter contains triterpenes. These naturally occurring chemical compounds are thought to deactivate collagen fiber destruction.

This may minimize the appearance of fine lines and result in plumper skin.

10. It helps promote cell regeneration
Shea’s moisturizing and antioxidant properties work together to help your skin generate healthy new cells.

Your body is constantly making new skin cells and getting rid of dead skin cells. You actually get rid of anywhere between 30,000 to 40,000 old skin cells each day.

Dead skin cells sit on the top. New skin cells form at the bottom of the upper layer of skin (epidermis).

With the right moisture balance on the surface of your skin, you’ll have fewer dead skin cells in the way of fresh cell regeneration in the epidermis.

11. It may help reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scarring
It’s thought that shea butter stops keloid fibroblasts — scar tissue — from reproducing, while encouraging healthy cell growth to take their place.

This may help your skin heal, minimizing the appearance of stretch marks and scarring.

12. It may help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
By boosting collagen production and promoting new cell generation, shea butter may help reduce what researchers call photoaging — the wrinkles and fine lines that environmental stress and aging can create on skin.

13. It offers added sun protection
Shea butter can’t be used by itself as an effective sunscreen.

But using shea butter on your skin does give you some added sun protection, so layer it over your favorite sunscreen on days you’ll be spending outside.

Shea butter contains an estimated SPF of 3 to 4.

14. It may help prevent hair breakage
Shea butter hasn’t been studied specifically for its ability to make hair stronger.

But one 2017 study found that a chemically similar West African plant made hair significantly more resistant to breakage.

15. It may help treat dandruff
One way to treat dandruff (atopic dermatitis) is to restore moisture to your dry and irritated scalp.

One 2018 review found that shea butter, when used in combination with other moisturizers, could help decrease dandruff flakes and reduce risk of flare-ups.

More research is needed to determine how effective shea is when used alone.

16. It may help soothe conditions like eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis
Shea’s anti-inflammatory properties help soothe skin and relieve itching. This may prove especially helpful for inflammatory skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis.

Shea also absorbs rapidly, which could mean quick relief for flare-ups.

ResearchTrusted Source even suggests that shea butter could work just as well as medicated creams in treating eczema.

17. It may help soothe sunburn and other skin burns
Research suggests that oils may be beneficial for superficial (first-degree) skin burns, such as sunburn.

Shea’s anti-inflammatory components may reduce redness and swelling. Its fatty acid components may also soothe the skin by retaining moisture during the healing process.

Although the researchers in this study established that the use of shea butter, aloe vera, and other natural products is common, more research is needed to assess their efficacy.

18. It may help soothe insect bites
Shea butter has been traditionally used to soothe bee stings and insect bites.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that shea butter may help bring down swelling that bites and stings can cause.

That said, there isn’t any clinical research to support this.

If you’re experiencing severe pain and swelling from stings or bites, consider seeing a health professional and stick to proven treatments.

19. It can help promote wound healing
In addition to reducing underlying inflammation, shea is also linked to the tissue remodeling that’s crucial for treating wounds.

Its protective fatty acids may also help shield wounds from environmental irritants during the healing process.

20. It may help relieve arthritis pain
Arthritis is caused by underlying inflammation in the joints.

A 2016 animal study on shea oil concentrate suggests that it can help reduce inflammation while also protecting joints from further damage.

Although this study focused on knee joints, these potential benefits could extend to other areas of the body.

21. It may help soothe muscle soreness
Muscles that have been overextended can be affected by inflammation and stiffness as your body repairs muscle tissue.

Shea butter may help sore muscles in the same way it may help joint pain — by reducing inflammation.

22. It may help relieve congestion
A 1979 study suggests that shea butter may help alleviate nasal congestion.

When used in nasal drops, shea butter may reduce inflammation in the nasal passages.

It could also help reduce mucosal damage, which often leads to nasal congestion.

These effects could be beneficial when dealing with allergies, sinusitis, or the common cold.

The benefits of shea butter come from its chemical makeup. Shea butter contains:

linoleic, palmitic, stearic, and oleic fatty acids, ingredients that balance oils on your skin
vitamins A, E, and F, antioxidant vitamins that promote circulation and healthy skin cell growth
triglycerides, the fatty part of the shea nut that nourishes and conditions your skin
cetyl esters, the waxy part of the shea nut butter that conditions skin and locks in moisture
Keep in mind that the exact makeup varies according to where the shea nuts are harvested from.
You may also find shea butter mixed with added ingredients, such as tea tree oil or lavender oil.

How to use shea butter
On skin
You can apply shea butter directly to your skin. Raw, unrefined shea butter is easy to spread.

You can use your fingers to scoop a teaspoon or so of shea butter from your jar, and then rub it onto your skin until it’s completely absorbed.

Shea butter is slippery and can keep makeup from adhering to your face, so you may prefer to apply it at night before bed.

On hair
Raw shea butter can also be applied directly to your hair.

If your hair is naturally curly or porous, consider using shea butter as a conditioner.
Make sure your hair has absorbed most of the shea butter before rinsing and styling as usual.
You can also use a small amount of shea butter as a leave-in conditioner.

If your hair is naturally straight, thin, or fine, consider using shea butter on the ends of your hair.
Applying shea butter to your roots may cause an oily-looking buildup.

Shea butter should be stored slightly below room temperature, so that it stays solid and easy to spread.

Possible side effects and risks
There are no documented cases of topical shea butter allergies. Even people with tree nut allergies should be able to use shea butter on their skin.

That said, discontinue use if you begin experiencing irritation and inflammation. Seek emergency medical attention if you experience severe pain, swelling, or difficulty breathing.

Products to try
If you want to get the most out of your shea butter, purchase it in its raw and unrefined form. The more that shea butter is processed, the more its amazing, all-natural properties are diluted.

For this reason, shea butter is classified by a grading system from A to F, with grade A being the most pure form of shea butter you can buy.

Buying shea butter that’s raw and unrefined also helps more of your purchase count toward supporting the communities that actually harvest and grow shea nuts.
You can go a step further by purchasing grade A shea butter that’s labeled “fair trade.”

Here are a few products to try that support the West African communities producing most of the world’s shea tree nut supply:

Shea Yeleen Lavender Honeysuckle Body Cream
Shea Moisture Fair Trade 100% Raw Shea Butter
Alaffa Fair Trade Passion Fruit Shea Butter
Nubian Heritage Raw Shea Butter Bar Soap
The bottom line
Shea butter is packed with essential nutrients that can enhance your natural complexion and help you glow from the inside out.

Although it’s considered safe every skin type, many products containing shea butter have other ingredients mixed in.

If you experience any side effects that you suspect are connected to a shea butter product, discontinue use and see a doctor or other healthcare provider.
They can help determine what’s causing your symptoms and advise you on any next steps.

Shea Butter for Your Face: Benefits and Uses
Benefits for your face
How to use
Side effects and risks

Shea butter is fat that’s been extracted from shea tree nuts. It’s off-white or ivory-colored and has a creamy consistency that’s easy to spread on your skin. Most shea butter comes from shea trees in West Africa.

High concentrations of fatty acids and vitamins make shea butter an ideal cosmetic ingredient for softening skin. Shea butter also has anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Using shea butter on your body, especially your face, can condition, tone, and soothe your skin.

Benefits of shea butter for your face
Anti-inflammatory and healing properties
Shea butter has been proven to have extensive anti-inflammatory properties. Redness and swelling on your face may be calmed by applying shea butter products.

Emollient properties
The rich tree-nut oils in shea butter can soak into your skin, creating a smooth and soft barrier that seals in moisture. This moisturizing effect can last several hours.

Anti-aging properties
Shea butter has also been reported to have anti-aging properties. If true, the exact mechanism isn’t well-known and may be related to promoting collagen production or decreasing the breakdown of collagen that’s already present.

How to use shea butter on your face
The easiest way to use shea butter for your face is to purchase a cream that includes shea butter from a health food store, pharmacy, or online retailer.

Shea butter can be applied directly to your face before you go to sleep.
Applying cream with shea butter as part of your skincare routine in the morning might take some getting used to.
The fatty acids and oils in shea butter may make applying makeup on top of it difficult.

You can also make a facial mask using shea butter and several other ingredients. Wash your face first with a cream cleanser or warm water.

To make your own mask, mix together:

1 tbsp of raw honey
3 to 4 drops of grapeseed oil
1 tbsp of pure shea butter
Mix well and spread out over your face. Leave the mask on for 10 to 12 minutes before gently cleansing your face with warm water and a soft washcloth for best results.

Take care with these facial masks as it may promote acne if you are prone to it.

Side effects and risks
Shea butter is an incredibly low-risk topical ingredient. Allergic reactions to shea butter are rare.

Even people who are allergic to tree nuts, the family that shea nuts belong to, have a low risk of reaction to shea butter on their face.
Researchers believe this is because shea nuts contain little of the tree-nut proteins that trigger allergies.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any risks to using it.
Given the consistency of shea butter, it’s likely to be comedogenic.

Some websites on the internet claim that shea butter is non-comedogenic or has a “low comedogenic rating.”
It’s not clear where this evidence is derived from since there are no available studies to support this claim.

The American Academy of Dermatology supports the idea that shea butter can clog your pores and cause acne.
This is especially true if you have acne-prone skin.

Shea butter is a proven moisturizer for your skin. There are plenty of skincare products, at a variety of price points that contain shea butter as one of the main ingredients.

Shea butter has soothing and anti-aging properties that may make skin appear smoother and reduce aging.

However, pure shea butter on your face could lead to breakouts. Even using some products that just contain a smaller percentage of shea butter may lead to acne.

Shea butter is a skin superfood that comes from the seeds of the fruit of the Shea (Karite) tree.
It may offer mild UV protection (up to SPF ~6) and provides the skin with essential fatty acids and the nutrients necessary for collagen production.

Shea butter has been used in Africa and many other locations for years to improve skin and hair.
It also has a long history of medicinal use, such as in wound care and even treating leprosy.

It’s also not uncommon in that part of the world to eat shea as well, much as we use palm oil in products.
There’s differing opinions on whether or not it’s healthy to eat, and since some studies suggest that ingesting shea butter may interfere with the digestion of other proteins, I use it externally only.

Shea Butter Benefits
Moisturizing: The concentration of natural vitamins and fatty acids in shea makes it incredibly nourishing and moisturizing for skin.
It is often used to remedy dry skin and to help protect the skin’s natural oils.
Reduces Inflammation: A 2010 study found that due to its cinnamic acid and other natural properties, shea butter was anti-inflammatory. One compound in particular, lupeol cinnamate, was found to reduce skin inflammation and even potentially help avoid skin mutations. This also makes it beneficial for some people with acne.
Skin Smoothing: Shea aids in the skin’s natural collagen production and contains oleic, stearic, palmitic, and linolenic acids that protect and nourish the skin to prevent drying.
With long-term use, many people report skin softening and strengthening as well as wrinkle reduction.

Ways to Use Shea Butter
Shea butter uses and benefits for healthy hair and skin:
Some of our favorite uses for shea butter:

By itself for face and body as a natural moisturizer
In a shea butter lotion bar stick for easy use
After sun or beach exposure to replenish skin
Alone or in a pregnancy salve to ward off stretch marks
As a natural cuticle cream
As the best under-eye wrinkle remover and bag-reducer
As a massage butter
In homemade velvety soft whipped body butter
On sore/raw noses during a cold or flu
Added to basic homemade lotion
On scars to naturally help collagen production
As a base for homemade deodorant
By itself for low-grade sun protection
Whipped into magnesium body butter
As a natural baby-care product (alone) or ingredient in baby care recipes
By itself on the lips or in homemade lip balms
In a homemade shimmer lip balm
On the eyelids before applying makeup to make it last longer
To improve skin elasticity (some even say it helps with cellulite)
On the hair or scalp (in mixture with other natural ingredients)
In homemade liquid creme foundation and makeup

Shea butter is an amazing moisturizing all-rounder.
People across Africa have been using shea butter for thousands of years to protect their skin from drying out due to the hot climate in the sub-Saharan countries.
Due to its outstandingly caring, naturally nourishing properties, shea butter has become indispensable in today’s body care and cosmetics products worldwide.
This high-quality butter is also a vital ingredient in many Beiersdorf products – it is used in our lip balms and body lotions, for example.

Shea butter is a naturally renewable raw material and is mainly sourced from the West African countries of Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Benin, Nigeria, Togo, and the Ivory Coast.
The only region in the world where the shea nut or shea tree grows naturally is the “Shea Belt” that stretches right across Africa south of the Sahara.
A shea tree can live to be over 300 years old and can take 15-20 years to bear fruit for the first time.
The shea nuts grow on the branches of the tree, which can grow up to 20 meters high.
Shea butter is extracted from the nuts in complex steps.
The special thing about the shea tree is that it is difficult to cultivate – there are no shea plantations to date.
New trees are the result of a targeted regeneration process controlled by farmers that supports the “accidental” germination of shea tree seedlings.
This means all nuts from wild-sown, widely scattered shea trees on the savannah and on arable land are gathered by local people.

African woman
The harvesting and production of shea butter has traditionally remained firmly in the hands of African women.
This is why in Africa shea butter is also called “women’s gold” and is one of the few products on the continent that is economically leveraged by women alone; it is estimated that 16 million women earn their living in the shea supply chain.
They possess the knowledge, passed down through generations, to produce shea butter in the traditional way.

The increasing global demand is enabling women in rural and often very poor areas to improve their living conditions.
They organize themselves into women’s collectives to be able to present themselves confidently to partners and buyers, and to form a secure negotiating base. Through their sales they now make a substantial contribution to maintaining their families and can invest in the education of their children. At the same time, their status in their communities is improving. Our aim at Beiersdorf is to further promote these women’s independence and autonomy.

1. Shea butter moisturizes skin and hair

Some experts say that shea butter is even better for your skin than coconut oil.

Shea butter moisturizes hair, too.
By conditioning the scalp, it can also reduce dandruff, and it can make hair stronger and help prevent future breakage.

2. Shea butter is good for sensitive skin
If you have sensitive skin, consider ditching the fancy lotions and potions—which may be making your skin even more irritated—and reach for shea butter instead.

3. Shea butter is soothing
Thanks to the fact that it contains both vitamins E and A, shea butter is also beneficial in treating irritated skin, sensitive or not.

4. Shea butter eases inflammation
If you struggle with chronic skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis, the fatty acids in shea butter will help ease inflammation.

And because shea butter penetrates the skin quickly, you’ll feel relief sooner rather than later.
One study showed that shea butter could be equally as effective at treating eczema as medicated creams, so it’s worth checking out.

5. Shea butter makes you look younger
The vitamin A and E in shea butter can do more than soothe skin.

Side effects of shea butter
Contrary to the rumors out there, shea butter won’t clog your pores.

Shea butter is a product of the African shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa).
Shea butter is the fat extracted from the shea kernel.
Shea nuts are a wild-growing, natural ingredient that have been harvested and processed in West and East African countries for centuries.

Unrefined shea butter—the type of shea butter Karité uses—has no additional chemicals or preservatives added during the extraction process.
This allows us to create shea butter that retains all of its incredible natural properties.

Raw shea butter is ivory in color, but you may have seen shea butter products that are white.
White shea butter products are a result of processing during production.
When shea butter is refined, it loses its natural ivory color.

Unrefined shea butter has a natural, nutty aroma that processed shea butter does not.
Additionally, further processing of the butter can remove up to 95% of its natural vitamins!

What is shea butter made of?
Shea butter naturally contains beneficial compounds like Tocopherol, otherwise known as vitamin E, and catechins, which act as antioxidants

Vitamins A and F, which have pro-aging and moisturizing properties

Oleic, stearic, linoleic and palmitic acids are just some of shea butter’s fatty acids.
These are excellent for the skin’s barrier and allow the butter to meld seamlessly with the natural oils on your skin.

Shea butter benefits
With a myriad of therapeutic benefits for the skin, shea butter has been used for thousands of years.
In addition to being an exceptional moisturizer, this all-natural ingredient has antioxidant, pro-aging and anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe and heal the skin.

It’s full of antioxidants thanks to the tocopherol and catechins.

It prevents signs of aging. Shea butter also contains lupeol, which inhibits the enzymes that degrade the skin’s supportive proteins.

It reduces inflammation. The triterpene alcohols found in shea butter have anti-inflammatory properties.
Shea butter has been shown to help with skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, as well as arthritis.

It has antimicrobial properties. People in West Africa have used shea butter as a natural remedy to treat wounds and other ailments for centuries.

It has UV protection. Seriously! The cinnamic acid esters in shea butter have been shown to absorb a limited amount of UV rays.
Unrefined shea butter has the equivalent of an SPF between 3 or 4.

It’s incredibly hydrating and moisturizing without the greasiness that comes from other moisturizing ingredients.

Just remember: When you use refined, processed shea butter, you won’t see most of these incredible benefits!

Uses for shea butter
Shea butter is a versatile ingredient that can help with all kinds of issues and ailments.
From the skin and hair to sun protection and collagen production, it’s no wonder that shea butter is found so many different products.
The therapeutic nature of shea butter makes it effective for repairing the skin’s barrier, which in turn provides relief for those suffering from dry skin, eczema and other conditions.

Here are some uses for shea butter:

As a regular, daily hand and body moisturizer

To relieve dry or itchy skin or eczema

To reduce the appearance of stretch marks or scars

As an effective acne treatment

As a moisturizing lip balm

To help alleviate skin rashes, burns, and insect bites

To reduce skin inflammation

To help soothe razor burn

As a low-grade sunscreen, and to replenish the skin after sun exposure

As a moisturizing hair and scalp mask

And there’s so much more! It’s pretty magical stuff.

Once you try shea butter creams from Karité, you’ll see what we mean!

Extracted from the nuts of the shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa) that is native to Africa, shea butter is a fatty oil that exists as a solid at room temperature.

The Karite tree bears the fruits, and the nuts inside the fruits are of prime importance.
These nuts are crushed, boiled, and manipulated to extract a light-colored fat, which is commonly referred to as shea butter.

The main components of shea butter include oleic acid, stearic acid, linoleic acid, etc.
It gets absorbed quickly into the skin as it melts at body temperature.
Its moisturizing and healing properties prove beneficial for many skin issues.
It also has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties (to a certain extent) that can be utilized to treat many ailments.
Its similarity to many vegetable oils makes it suitable for ingestion

The shea tree has naturally inhabited West Africa for centuries, stretching from Senegal to Sudan and up to the foothills of Ethiopia.
African history documents mention jars of a rich butter used for skin and hair care being transported during Cleopatra’s reign. Even the Queen of Sheba is said to have used it!

The tree was used to make coffins for the early kings in Africa, and the butter extracted from the nuts was used for its healing and skin care properties.
The tree is also considered sacred by many tribes in Africa.
It is still extensively used in Africa to protect the skin and hair from the harsh sun and dry winds. While kneading the extracted oil with the hand was popular earlier, advancements in technology have led to different methods, such as clay filtering and using hexane for the final extraction of shea butter. A few tribes also blend it with palm oil and use it for cooking purposes. This is mostly seen in Northern Nigeria.

Shea butter is often used in moisturizers, creams, lotions, and other emulsions for the skin and hair.
It is rich in fats that make it an excellent emollient and skin moisturizing agent.
Experiments also showed it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
These can help reduce inflammatory skin diseases and the damage the skin and hair have undergone due to free radicals.

It also contains vitamins A and E, which not only keep the skin in optimal health but also protect it from being damaged by the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation.
These components give shea butter a mild sun protection factor (SPF).
Vitamin E also soothes dry skin and improves the skin’s elasticity, making this butter a good anti-aging agent

Refined vs. Unrefined Shea Butter
Shea butter may be refined or unrefined. Unrefined shea butter is the purest form of shea butter, which is the most natural and the least processed.
Since it is extracted manually, it is able to retain its vitamins, minerals, and other natural properties.
It is subjected to a basic filtration process using clays, cheesecloth, or other methods.
These can slightly alter the butter’s color, scent, and texture.
It is melted, set into molds, and sold in the form of bars or sticks.

Unrefined shea butter is further categorized into grades ranging from A to F, with grade A being the best quality.

Refined shea butter, on the other hand, is the processed form.
Apart from the filtration process, it also undergoes a deodorizing process by airing or usage of chemicals.
It is also bleached to make the butter whiter.
Addition of additives is common to add a suitable scent and increase the shelf life (preservatives) of the butter.
All of these processes make the butter white and very smooth.
A major disadvantage of using the refined version of shea butter is that all the processing it goes through reduces its nutritional value.

This refined version can be refined even further, which implies the involvement of more processes to make it even more smooth and white.
This is often done when shea butter needs to incorporated into cosmetics or skin care products.
Quite a few of the nutritional benefits get destroyed after so many refining processes.
This type of shea butter is often referred to as ultra-refined or highly refined shea butter.

Some companies also market their shea butter as being organic.
This is the unrefined version that has been grown and harvested using natural processes only.
The healing and moisturizing properties of shea butter can be attributed to its nutritional value

Shea butter contains UV-B absorbing triterpene esters, such as cinnamic acid and tocopherols.
In addition to these, it also has a high percentage of phytosterols, triterpenes, and hydrocarbons such as karitene. I
t also contains:

Fatty Acids: Shea butter contains five principal fatty acids namely palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, and arachidic acids, with a higher proportion of stearic and oleic acids that together accounts for 85-90% of fatty acids. Stearic acid provides a solid consistency, whereas oleic acid influences the hardness or softness of the shea butter.
Phenolics: Phenolic compounds are known for their antioxidant properties.
Shea butter contains 10 phenolic compounds, 8 of which are catechins.
Traditionally extracted shea butter has higher phenolic levels than that extracted with hexane.
In fact, the catechin content of shea butter is higher than the total phenolic content of ripe olives.
The overall concentration and relative percentage of the shea kernels vary from region to region, depending on the level of environmental stress endured by the trees (3).
Vitamin E: Tocopherol is otherwise known as vitamin E.
Different versions of this are found in shea butter, but their concentrations fluctuate depending on climate and some other factors like the butter extraction method (4).
Vitamin A And Vitamin F: These are also found in shea butter naturally.
They can aid in the treatment of skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis, and even slow down premature aging.
Shea butter is considered as a superfood for the skin as it is rich in unsaturated fats, with a large proportion of non-saponifiable components, essential fatty acids, vitamins E and D, phytosterols, provitamin A, and allantoin. It has been used since time immemorial for skin care, baby care, and consumption. Given below are its various shea butter benefits for the skin.

Benefits Of Shea Butter For The Skin
Incorporating shea butter into your regular skin care routine will work wonders.

1. Moisturizes Dry Skin
Shea butter is an excellent moisturizer for the face and the body.
Its fat content is responsible for its emollient and humectant properties (6).
It locks in the moisture in the skin and keeps it hydrated for long.
Dehydrated and dry skin becomes rough and scaly.
Certain areas of the body can even develop skin cracks due to dryness.
Shea butter can nourish the skin with its fat content.
It can also help to soften the skin on your hands and feet and make it supple.
It penetrates the skin easily, without clogging the pores, and is effective for dry skin.

Use shea butter to heal cracked heels, dry cuticles, and rough patches on your skin.
You can also use it to simply moisturize your skin during the colder months.

2. Treats Acne And Blemishes

Shea butter is known for its healing properties, which can be attributed to the presence of several fatty acids and plant sterols such as oleic, palmitic, stearic, and linolenic acids.
These oil-soluble components do not undergo saponification or convert into soap on coming in contact with alkalis.
Shea butter is more non-saponifiable than other nut oils and fats, thus imparting it great healing potential.
Raw, unrefined shea butter is effective in curing skin rashes, skin peeling after tanning, scars, stretch marks, frost bites, burns, athletes foot, insect bites and stings, and acne.

3. Reduces Skin Inflammation
Shea butter has several derivatives of cinnamic acid that exhibit anti-inflammatory properties.
These properties make it beneficial for the improvement of skin conditions that result from an increase in inflammatory compounds.
Generalized inflammations from conditions like dermatitis and rosacea can be alleviated by using shea butter on the affected area.
Sunburns, rashes, cuts, and scrapes that can result in swelling can also be treated using this butter.

4. Anti-Aging And Anti-Free Radical Agent
Shea Butter Benefits

Shea butter is considered as one of the best anti-aging agents for the skin.
It stimulates the production of collagen, the youthful scaffolding protein in the skin.
The vitamins A and E found in this butter keep the skin supple, nourished, and radiant.
If used regularly, it reduces wrinkles and also prevents premature wrinkles and facial lines.
Its anti-aging properties can also be attributed to its ability to increase circulation to the skin and promote cell renewal.

These vitamins, along with catechins, also exert an antioxidant effect against free radicals that damage the skin.
These free radicals are often found in our environment in pollutants and irritants.
The sun’s rays can also increase the free radicals in our skin, which can easily damage the skin cells.
The cinnamic acid esters in the shea fat prevent damage from these compounds by giving your skin an antioxidant boost.

5. Provides Relief To Itchy And Peeling Skin
For itching skin, both the moisturizing and the anti-inflammatory properties of shea butter prove to be beneficial.
Dryness can cause your skin to start peeling and/or become flaky. It can cause the skin to itch.
The moisturizing fatty acids of shea butter can provide relief by supplying the skin with the oils it needs.
If the itching is due to a skin condition like psoriasis, the anti-inflammatory activity of shea butter works really well to alleviate it.

6. Restores The Elasticity Of The Skin
The non-saponifiable matter and vitamin F in this butter are vital ingredients for maintaining the skin’s elasticity.
Shea butter also improves the production of collagen in the skin.
Thus, its application restores the natural elasticity of the skin besides hydrating, softening, and beautifying it.
Restored elasticity also ensures reduced wrinkles and blemishes.

7. Reduce Razor Irritation And Bumps
Shaving hair using razors can often leave your skin irritated and itchy.
At times, it might even develop bumps post shaving as a result of the irritation.
Shea butter can help reduce this as it moisturizes and soothes the irritated skin. You can also apply the butter a day prior to shaving to smoothen the skin and hair.
This will make the shaving process easier and faster and doesn’t leave any irritated spots behind.

8. Reduces Stretch Marks
Shea Butter Benefits

Shea butter is often used as a base in ointments or creams prepared commercially for stretch mark treatment.
This is because it can dramatically help prevent and reduce stretch marks formed during pregnancy due to weight gain and/or weight loss.
These marks are formed when the skin stretches beyond its elastic capacity.
The application of shea butter will restore the natural elasticity of the skin and also improve collagen production.
It is a natural emollient. Daily massage of the affected area with this skin healing butter can lighten stretch marks.

9. Helps Soothe Skin And Baby Diaper Rash
Unrefined shea butter is an excellent natural moisturizer that is devoid of chemicals.
Thus, it is ideal for baby care as besides being gentle and soft on the skin, it is specially adapted for the delicate and sensitive skin of babies.
It can be applied after a bath and also used for healing eczema or diaper rash on the skin of babies and toddlers.

10. Excellent Lip Care
Shea butter is easily absorbable and provides extra moisture and nutrients that the lips need during the cold season and dry weather conditions.
Thus, it acts as a perfect lip balm and is also effective for treating dry and chapped lips. When applied, it forms a barrier on the lips and retains moisture in the skin.

After this extensive list of how shea butter can benefit our skin, let us now discuss its benefits for the hair.
It is considered as a natural conditioner for the hair, thanks to its moisturizing and healing properties.

Benefits Of Shea Butter For Hair
Let’s also delve deeper into some of the benefits of this miracle butter for your hair care.
Some of the numerous shea butter benefits for hair are given below.

11. Repairs Damaged Hair
Shea Butter BenefitsSave
Image: iStock

A number of chemical treatments like straighteners, perms, and curlers are responsible for stripping off the natural moisture from the hair.
Shea butter can help restore this lost moisture. It also protects the hair from harsh weather conditions and the harmful free radicals in the air and water.
Moreover, shea butter has a low SPF that is sufficient to protect the hair from sun damage caused due to exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
It repairs the damage that has already been caused by the harsh weather and the sun.
This is largely due to the fact that once absorbed, shea butter coats the hair shaft so that it is protected from a heat tool or any other damaging material being passed along the hair.
This is particularly beneficial for processed or colored hair. It also protects the hair against salt and chlorine when applied before swimming.

Here is a simple way to include shea butter in your hair care regimen:

Take a tablespoon of raw or unrefined shea butter and melt it in the microwave for 30-60 seconds.
Once the butter cools down slightly, add a few drops of lavender essential oil.
This step is not compulsory.
Make small sections of your hair and apply the liquefied butter to the scalp and entire hair length.
Leave it on for half an hour and then rinse your hair with a mild shampoo.

12. Prevents Hair Loss
The fatty acids of shea butter condition the scalp and hair.
It also provides many essential nutrients that improve both scalp and hair health.
These, in turn, will make your hair follicles stronger and reduce hair fall and hair loss.
Another important property of shea butter that can prevent hair loss is its anti-inflammatory properties.
Scalp conditions can be treated by these compounds, thus reducing hair loss.
Your hair will grow thicker and have a natural shine when you use shea butter.

13. Soothes Dry And Itchy Scalp
Shea butter is effective in soothing a dry, itchy scalp or dandruff.
It possesses anti-inflammatory qualities and rich fat that get absorbed into the skin without leaving a greasy residue behind or clogging the pores.
Hence, it is extremely effective in providing relief from a dry scalp, scalp psoriasis, and other scalp conditions.

14. Treats Split Ends And Breakage
Shea butter exerts moisturizing and regenerative effects on the hair and scalp.
This strengthens the hair strands and reduces breakage.
Also, being rich in vitamins A and E, it soothes dry hair and mends split ends.

15. Effective Natural Conditioner
The presence of vitamins A and E makes shea butter an excellent choice to moisturize your hair from the roots to the tips.
It can be used as a natural conditioner.
It is highly effective in locking in moisture, without leaving the hair greasy or heavy.

16. Keep Rebel Curls In Place
Shea butter is great for softening and revitalizing brittle hair.
Due to its non-greasy nature, it helps to control and spread the excess oil in the scalp. Massaging the hair with generous amounts of shea butter can give you soft, silky, and luscious tresses. This benefit of shea butter is applicable for dry as well as fragile, curly hair.
Shea butter should be applied twice a week for hair growth.
This will improve the hair texture and moisturize the hair.
It has wide usage in curly hair treatments due to its emollient qualities.

So, this was all about the hair and skin benefits of shea butter.
However, this rich butter also possesses some more benefits that make it more versatile.

More Shea Butter Benefits For Health
Except as a superior moisturizer, shea butter is used to treat various health issues too.

17. Soothes Muscle Aches

Muscular pain often results from an inflammation at the affected site due to exertion or a muscular ailment.
Traditionally, shea butter has been extensively used in Africa to relieve muscle aches and soreness.
Even though there is no concrete proof for this, feedback from people who have used shea butter to massage the affected site showed that they noticed a reduction in the swelling as well as the pain (26).

18. Rheumatism
Rheumatism is often characterized by joint pain, inflammation, and stiffness.
The pain and swelling can also be present just in the muscles or the fibrous tissue.
It is used as an ointment on the parts of the body affected by rheumatism to relieve the swelling and pain.
Its anti-inflammatory properties are of key importance here as rheumatism is basically an inflammatory disease.

19. Arthritis
A chronic joint disorder that is often associated with increasing age, obesity, and trauma, arthritis can be very painful for people who suffer from it.
The pain is almost constant and disrupts basic movement and the quality of life in an arthritis patient.
The unsaponifiable material of shea butter is primarily composed of triterpenes.
These compounds have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Its usage by arthritis patients has shown excellent results in alleviating the swelling and pain.
The exact mechanism of action is still unknown. However, the triterpenes are considered the main contributing factor for these results.

20. Nasal Inflammation And Nasal Congestion
The next time you experience nasal congestion, all you need to do is apply some shea butter in your nostrils using your finger.
This might sound weird, but it works. Nasal congestion is often a result of inflammation of the inner linings of the nasal passages.
The anti-inflammatory compounds of shea butter can reduce this inflammation and clear your nostrils.
In a study conducted to test the efficacy of shea butter, the participants experienced nasal congestion clearance in just 90 seconds.

21. Lowers Cholesterol
As we mentioned earlier, shea butter is edible and is used by many people in Africa for food preparation.
An unknown advantage of adding shea butter to your diet is its ability to lower cholesterol in the blood.
This butter is rich in stearic acid, a type of saturated fatty acid that was shown to reduce lipoprotein and plasma cholesterol levels in a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (31).

22. Helps Treat Diarrhea
Diarrhea is a symptom of many ailments and can also occur just by itself.
It can be treated using a wide range of medicines and herbal concoctions.
There is increased demand these days for the addition of shea butter to dietary-aid products that are being formulated for diarrhea treatment.
This is based on the traditional usage of shea butter for its anti-diarrheal properties (32).

A few other uses of shea butter are discussed in the next section.

Shea Butter Uses
Shea Butter has innumerable uses! Find out how this butter is used in a variety of ways.

23. Wound Healing
Shea butter has skin moisturizing properties, and these are accompanied by healing properties because of the wide variety of phytonutrients it contains.Wounds, cuts, and abrasions are healed quickly with regular application of shea butter. It gets easily absorbed into the deeper layers of the skin, where it supplies all the essential fats and nutrients while enhancing the cell repair function by increasing microcirculation (33).

24. Insect Bites

Due to its high content of vitamin A, it promotes healing and disinfection and soothes skin allergies like poison ivy and insect bites.
The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties accelerate the healing process (35). Insect bites are often prone to developing an infection, and this can be prevented by using shea butter on it.

25. Dermatitis, Psoriasis, And Eczema
Conditions like dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema cause the skin to become dry, flaky, patchy, scaly, and/or itchy. And to treat them, we need an ingredient that works as a deep moisturizer and alleviates the inflammation. Shea butter suits this profile perfectly. It is considered as an excellent moisturizer for eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis because of its efficacious emollient and humectant properties. The anti-inflammatory properties of this thick butter can be employed for lessening the swelling and itching (36, 37, 38). Doctors often recommend shea butter to people suffering from these skin ailments as it is safe and well tolerated.

26. UV Protection
Shea butter acts as a natural sunscreen by providing protection against the ultraviolet radiations of the sun, though the level of protection offered may be variable.
Cinnamic acid, found in shea butter, is a compound that provides UV protection, and the SPF ranges from 6-10 depending on the butter’s quality.
It is not recommended to use shea butter alone as a sunscreen as its SPF is considered to be low to provide ample protection from the harmful rays. Shea butter is best used after sun exposure to soothe the skin and also reverse the oxidative damage caused by the sun (39).

27. An Alternative To Coconut Oil, Butter, Or Olive Oil In Cooking
Healthy fats, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds – all of these make shea butter a viable and better option than regular butter or even coconut oil and olive oil.

Selection And Storage Tips
Keep these pointers in mind when buying shea butter:

Look for the raw or unrefined version of shea butter.
Ensure that the butter has come from a reliable source or company that believes in ethics, fair trade, and is environment-friendly.
Check the shea butter’s smell. It should be a little nutty or earthy. Any plastic-like or chemical scent indicates that it is not an unrefined version.
If possible, try on a small amount of shea butter on your arm. It should be soothing and moisturizing.
As far as the color is concerned, it ranges quite a bit when it comes to the unrefined version. Make sure the butter you are planning to purchase is not ivory-colored as a lighter color indicates that it has gone through the refinement process of bleaching.

How To Store Shea Butter
The best way to store 100% shea butter is to store it in a cool environment in an airtight container.
Keep it away from the sun. Quite often, vitamin E is added to shea butter to increase its shelf life. On an average, 100% shea butter has a shelf life of two years. If you sense an acidic/rancid smell, it might be time to throw it away.

Here are some simple recipes of shea butter for skin care that you can concoct at home with shea butter.

Shea Butter Recipes
1. Body Butter Lotion

You Will Need
1 cup raw shea butter
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup almond oil
Melt the coconut oil and shea butter in a double boiler.
Mix well and let it cool down for a couple of minutes.
Add almond oil and mix well.
Place this in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. The oils should start to solidify a little.
Once the natural solidification process has started, whip the oil blend using a hand mixer or a kitchen aid mixer until you get a thick, creamy consistency.
Transfer this to an airtight container and keep it aside. Allow it to set.
Use as and when required to moisturize the body.
You can also add essential oils of your choice in the almond oil step.

2. Lavender Mint Lip Balm
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Image: iStock

You Will Need
2 tablespoons raw shea butter
1 tablespoon beeswax
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
6-7 drops lavender oil
6-7 drops peppermint oil
Melt the shea butter, beeswax, and coconut oil in a double boiler.
Let them cool down slightly and then add the essential oils.
Mix thoroughly and pour the concoction into small jars or lip balm tins.
Leave aside until the contents set.
Use once or twice a day as a regular lip balm.
You know a lot about shea butter now. Let us help you a little further by suggesting some good brands in the market and where you can find them.

Best Brands For Shea Butter
1. Better Shea Butter
Their unrefined shea butter is fairly popular. It is 100% pure and handmade. This is one of the brands with the best customer reviews.

2. Radha Beauty
This brand is cruelty-free and offers an unrefined version of shea butter at a reasonable price.

3. Molivera Organics
They sell Raw African Shea Butter that comes in a UV protected tub. This is an excellent advantage as the light is kept out and cannot hinder the beneficial compounds present in the butter.

4. Mary Taylor Naturals
This company imports its shea butter from Ghana, Africa. It is a 100% natural and organic brand that does not include any additives, scents, or preservatives in its shea butter.

5. Sky Organics
The butter comes in a convenient tub and does not leave a sticky residue, which is seen with some other brands.

While it is important to know how a particular ingredient can benefit you, it is equally important to know its side effects. For shea butter, these are listed below.

Side Effects Of Shea Butter
These side effects can result from topical application or ingestion of shea butter:

Itchy rashes
Abdominal pain
If you experience any of the above symptoms, stop using shea butter immediately and consult a doctor. An allergy to shea butter is not so common, but it is better to be safe than sorry. If you have never used shea butter before, it is best to do a small patch test on a small area on the upper forearm.

Here are answers to a few questions received from our readers about shea butter.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
Why is shea butter called ‘women’s gold’?

In Africa, many women earn their livelihood by working in the shea butter industry, giving it the name ‘women’s gold’.

What is shea butter’s shelf life?

The average shelf life of shea butter is two years, but it can fluctuate depending on the brand.

Is shea butter natural?

Yes, shea butter is extracted from the nuts of the shea tree, which grows naturally in West Africa.

What kind of shea butter is best?

Always look for raw/unrefined and organic, the unrefined, raw version is considered the best for usage. This is because its nutritional qualities are still intact. Opt for a grade A version if possible.

What does shea butter smell like?

Unrefined shea butter has an earthy or nutty smell. It can have a little smokey smell as well.

Are all shea butters the same?

No, they are not! Shea butter is available in different varieties, depending on the processing undergone. The unrefined and refined versions are the most popular.

Is shea butter vegan-friendly?

If you are purchasing 100% shea butter, it is vegan-friendly as it is a pure plant-based product. Products that contain shea butter may not be vegan-friendly due to the additional ingredients present.

Is shea butter safe for people with nut allergies?

Even though shea butter comes from a tree nut, not nut allergies have been reported to it so far.

Shea butter is an off-white or ivory-coloured fat extracted  from  the  nut  of  African  Shea  tree  (Vitellaria  paradoxa  formerly  Butryspermum  paradoxum,  B.parkii  and  B.  paradoxa)
Shea tree grows naturally in the wild of the dry savanna  belt  of  West  Africa,  from  Senegal  in  the  West  to Sudan  in  the  East  and  onto  the  foot  hills  of  the  Ethiopian  mountains.
The West African trees are classified as the subspecies  “paradoxa”  and  the  East  African  one  as  “nilotica”.
It  is  considered  a  sacred  tree  by  many  communities and ethnic groups and plays important roles in  religious  and  cultural  ceremonies  where  is  also  believed  to  have  some  spiritual  protective  powers.

It  has  been claimed to possess potentials to improve nutrition, boost food supply  in  the  annual  hungry  season  [10],  foster  rural  development, and support sustainable land care.
Different parts of the plant including leaves, roots, seeds, fruit and stem bark have been used in the treatment of enteric infections such as  diarrhea,  dysentery, helminthes  and  other  gastrointestinal  tract infections, skin diseases and wound infections.
The bark is used to suppress cough and also to treat leprosy.
Shea  nut  contains  about  60%  fat  (Shea  butter),  and together with the oil palm serve as sources of edible oil for many  households  in  many  parts  of  the  Sahel  Africa,  particularly Northern Nigeria.

Shea  butter  is  renowned  for  its  use  as  a  component  of cosmetic formulations and as a substitute for Cocoa  butter  in  chocolate  industries,  although  the  taste  is  noticeably different.
Shea butter is used by local healers as a treatment  for rheumatism, inflammation of the nostrils, nasal congestion, leprosy, cough, and minor bone dislocation.
It  is  also  used  as  raw  material  for  the  production margarine, soap, detergent and candle.
Low quality butter  and  by-products  of  processed  nuts  are  smeared  on  earthen  walls  of  houses  as  a  waterproof  to  protect  walls  during  the  rainy season.
Shea butter has also been used for soothing and  accelerating  healing  after  circumcision,  and  for preventing stretch marks in African pregnant women and as an insect  repellent,  providing  protection  against  Simulium infection.
There are no reports of allergic reaction owing to  consumption  of  Shea  butter  or  its  produce.
The United States Agency for International Development, Gassel Consulting,  and  many  other  companies  have  suggested  a classification  system  for  Shea  butter  separating  it  into  five grades:  A  (raw  or  unrefined,  extracted  using  water),  B (refined), C (highly refined and extracted with solvents such as  hexane),  D  (lowest  uncontaminated  grade),  E  (with contaminants)
Large  quantities  of  Shea  butter  are produced in West Africa though the exact production figures are not known.
This work reviews the effects of topical and dietary use of Shea butter on animal system.

Chemical Composition of Shea Butter
In  addition  to  a  stearic  and  oleic  acids  rich  saponifiable fraction,  Shea  butter  contains  an  unsaponifiable  fraction composed  of  bioactive  substances  that  are  responsible  for Shea  butter’s  medicinal  properties.
With  regional variation in concentrations, the unsaponifiable fraction of Shea butter is composed  primarily of triterpene alcohols, with some hydrocarbons, sterols, and other minor components such  as  vitamin  E.
The  saponifiable  triglyceride fraction of Shea butter constitutes about 90% by mass of the butter and is composed primarily of stearic and oleic acids with lesser amounts of palmitic, linoleic and arachidic acids.
The  triacylglyceride  fraction  is  made up of fatty acids (acyl chains) attached to a glycerol backbone.
Since different  fatty  acids  are  present  in  Shea  butter,  different combinations  of  fatty  acids  attached  to  the  glycerol  are possible.
In Shea butter, the most predominant combination is SOS  (S-Stearic,  O-oleic)  making  up  to  40%  of  the  total triacylglycerol  molecules,  followed  by  SOO  (27  %),  POS (P-palmitic,  6%)  and  POP  (1%)  [36].
Di  Vincenzo  and co-workers however concluded that SOO, OOO, and SOS were  the  major  triglycerides  in  Shea  butter  with  regional variation.
Shea  butter  contains  relatively  high  amount  of saturated  fatty  acids  compared  to  other  plant-sourced  lipids including:  grape  seed  oil  (total  saturated  fatty  acids: 10.4-14.3 % of total fatty acids), olive oil (12.7-16.2 %), and canola oil (5.5-7.7 %) which are all, in contrast to Shea butter, liquid at room temperature and have saturated fatty acids less than 20 % of total fatty acids.
Shea butter fatty acid composition  has  been  found  to  vary  across  the  African countries.
Maranz  and  co-workers,  as  shown  in Table 1, nevertheless presented ranges and mean values of the fatty acid compositions.
Table 1. Fatty Acid profile of Shea Butter
Fatty Acids  Mean (%)  Min (%)  Max (%)
Palmitic (16:0)  4.0  2.6  8.4
Stearic (18:0)  41.5  25.6  50.2
Oleic (18:1)  46.4  37.1  62.1
Linoleic (18:2)  6.6  0.6  10.8
Arachidic(20:0)  1.3  0.0  3.5

3. Effects of Shea Butter
Sun-screening function: Sun-screens absorb or reflect some of  the  sun’s  ultraviolet  (UV)  radiation  reaching  the  skin exposed  to  sunlight  and  thus  helps  protect  against  sunburn, preventing erythema and reducing further risk of sun-induced skin-cancer.
The major cause of photocarcinogenesis is UVB radiation (290-320 nm) since it directly interacts with cellular DNA,  forming  cyclobutane  pyrimidine  dimers  and  thymine glycols.
Cinnamate esters of triterpene alcohol which are the main constituent of Shea butter’s unsaponifiable fraction are known to have strong absorbance of UV radiation in the wavelength range at 250-300 nm, which make the addition of

Shea  butter’s  unsaponifiables  into  sunscreens  provide synergistic  sun-protection  by  increasing  absorption  of  UVB radiation.
However, the effectiveness of the triterpenes is somewhat  doubted  since  studies  using  double-fractionated

Shea  butter  with  20%  of  triterpene  esters  found  that  this triterpenic  fraction  only  provided  the  sun  protection  factor (SPF) of 3-4 .

As an emollient and skin moisturizer: Due to its semi-solid characteristics  and  buttery  consistency,  Shea  butter  is  great emollient  and  moisturizer  for  the  skin,  scalp  and  hair  even without  further  processing.  However  Shea  butter  is
usually found as active component of processed moisturizers.
In  addition,  fractionated  Shea  butter  especially  olein fraction  is  easily  formulated  in  creams  or  surfactant  based products  such  as bath products and shampoo  to  provide the  skin,  scalp,  and  hair  with  well-maintained  or  increased moisture.
Shea  butter  melts at body temperature, acts as a “refatting” agent, has good water-binding properties
and  absorbs  rapidly into  the  skin;  making it  useful  for  skin care.
In  an  article  titled ‘Winter  Itch’,  Shea  butter  was  recommended  for  repairing  dry  inflamed  skin  caused  by  dermatitis and as a night time moisturizer for hands and feet.

Also,  in  a  study  by  Poelman  and  co  workers,  a cream  containing  5%  Shea  Butter  versus  a  placebo  cream were  applied  to  the  forearms  of  10  volunteers.
Short-term moisturization  was  observed;  it  peaked  after  1  hour  and persists  for  8  hours.
For  all  subjects,  a  daily  application maintains a very good moisturization of the superficial layers of the skin.
Shea butter has also been shown to be superior to mineral oil at preventing transepidermal water loss (TEWL).

In a test where participants’ arms were washed in ethanol, it was found  that Shea butter  was able to help the skin totally recover from TEWL within two hours.
One study showed  that it worked as an emollient for eczema.
Using a scale from zero  to  five  —  zero  denoting  clear  and  five  denoting  very severe disease — Shea butter took a three down to a one, while
Vaseline only took a three down to a two.
Anti-aging properties: It has been revealed that Shea butter has  UV  anti-erythemic  activity,  which  helps  tissue  cell regeneration and softening of the skin.
In a clinical study involving 30 volunteers, Renard reported that Shea butter diminished various aging signs.

In another clinical study by the same author  for  studying  dry, delicate  or aging skin,  49 volunteers applied twice a day either 15% or pure Shea Butter and discovered that Shea butter prevented photo-aging.
Also, in a study with rats, Shea butter was shown to boost collagen production.

Collagen and elastin are the major structural proteins  providing  skin  with  toughness  and  plumpness  and α-amyrin  and  lupeol,  the  triterpenes  found  in  the unsaponifiable  fraction  of  Shea  butter,  were  found  to contribute  to  the  inactivation  of  proteases  such  as metalloprotease (e.g., collagenase) as well as serine protease (e.g.,  elastase).
The  anti-aging,  potentially collagen-boosting effects were attributed to its unsaponifiable components.

Anti-inflammatory  properties:  The  anti-inflammatory effects  of  Shea  butter  have  been  demonstrated  through inhibition  of  Inos,  Cox-2,  and  Cytokines  via  the  Nf-Kb
pathway in Lps-Activated J774 Macrophage cells [58]. Loden and Andersson also showed that Shea butter will reduce reaction to skin irritants.
Hee found α-amyrin to be the  most  dominant  triterpene  in  Shea  butter’s  unsaponifiable  fraction.

Bioactivities  of  α-amyrin  have  been  studied especially  with  α-amyrin  extracted  from  Protium  kleinii,  a plant  used  in  Brazillian  folk  medicine  belonging  to Burseraceae  family.

The  anti-hypercholesterolemic  effect  of  Shea  butter  was ascribed to the presence of saponins in it by Akinwale and co workers.
Saponin which is present in the unsaponifiable fraction of Shea butter has been reported by several authors to lower serum cholesterol by forming mixed micelles with  cholesterol  and  bile  acids  in  the  intestine  thereby  inhibiting its absorption and increasing its excretion [65-69].
Allergy: Although, Shea nut is distantly related to Brazil nut which  cross-reacts  with  almond,  hazelnut,  walnut,  and peanut, there are no reports of allergy reaction owing to the topical or oral use of Shea butter.
Furthermore, Kanwaljit and  co  workers reported  that  Shea  butter  contains  no IgE-binding soluble proteins and reassures that Shea butter is safe for use even for individual with nut allergy.
Conversely, Wiedner found  that  pharmaceutical  composition  containing  at  least  5%  of  Shea  butter’s  triterpenes  such  as butyrospermol, lupeol, parkeol,  germanicol, dammaradienol,
24-methylene-dammarenol, and α, and β-amyrins effectively suppresses hypersensitivity reaction such as Immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated allergic reactions and autoimmune reactions  in mammals.

In  summary, there  is  enough  evidence  to  substantiate  the claims of the health benefits of the topical use of Shea butter.
The dietary use of Shea butter, though has the advantage of anti-hypercholesterolemic  actions,  is  suspected  to  interfere with protein digestion

Shea butter is mostly used for moisturizing the skin, including those tired feet. It is extremely beneficial because it will nourish and moisturize your skin at a deep level. Vitamins, A, E, and F and fatty acids in shea butter give the skin what it needs making it clear and supple. You can use it on your cuticles, on chapped lips and overall to soothe dry or itchy skin. Shea also has low levels of sun protection but we do not recommend using it as a substitute for sunscreen. Shea also has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to help soothe skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Cetiol SB 45 (Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter)|Cetiol SB 45 (Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter)
Chemical Function: Emollient
Product Applications: Acne Care, Baby Care, Blushes, Body Care, Cream Rinse, Eye Shadows, Face Care, Foundations, Fragrances, Hair Conditioning, Hair Styling, Hair Treatment, Hand & Nail Care, Hydration / Soothing, Lipstick, Mascara, Masks, Natural Cosmetics, Pet Care, Shaving, Skin Care, Sun Care

Shea butter is obtained from the nuts of Shea tree, which contain magnesium, potassium, and protein. Increasing demand for coco butter alternative and growing consumption of chocolate and bakery products are expected to drive the market. In addition, widespread usage of shea butter as a substitute for edible vegetable oils and fat in various food applications is likely to spur the demand.

Bakery and confectionery manufacturers widely use it as an alternative for cocoa butter due to high prices of cocoa as a result of limited supply. Moreover, high product demand in personal care & cosmetics industry will also boost the market growth. Shea butter contains essential fatty acids, such as stearic and oleic acids, and unsaponifiables, such as sterols and phenols, which have moisturizing and conditioning properties.

It has a better absorption rate than coco butter and is suitable for all skin types, which increase its demand in personal care & cosmetics industry as well. In addition, extensive R&D by cosmetics manufacturers to introduce innovative and more effective shea butter-based products will drive the demand in this sector. Thus, the personal care & cosmetics application is expected to be the largest segment over the forecast period.

However, food and beverage is projected to be the fastest-growing application segment from 2019 to 2025. Based on region, Middle East and Africa is the leading market due to high production as a result of abundant raw material supply and availability of cheap labor. However, easy availability of cheaper substitutes, such as mango butter, shea oil, avocado butter, and cupuacu butter, may act as a restraining factor for the overall market growth.

Application Insights
On the basis of application, the shea butter market has been segmented into personal care & cosmetics, food & beverage, and others. Personal care & cosmetics is the largest segment. This growth is attributed to the high product demand in this sector. Moreover, cosmetics companies are investing more in R&D to introduce new and more effective products containing shea butter. This is also likely to have a positive impact on the segment growth. Increasing demand for anti-aging and skin conditioning products will boost the segment growth further.

Food and beverages is the fastest-growing application segment. Increasing demand for bakery and confectionery products is the key factor fueling the segment development. Moreover, demand for cocoa butter alternatives due to high costs of cocoa will also boost the segment growth. Shea butter is used as a raw material in the production of shortening and margarine for several bakery products like puff pastry. It is stable at room temperature and eliminates the process of hydrogenation, preventing the generation of trans unsaturated fatty acids, acting as a healthy alternative for margarine production.

The shea fruit is a non-timber forest product that is native to the ecosystems of the semi-arid regions of Western Africa. Shea butter (Butyrospermum parkii) is the fat derived from the nuts/kernels of the shea fruit, also known as Vitellaria paradoxa. Shea butter finds use as an alternative to vegetable oil in various applications such as food processing, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and retail.

In terms of value, the global shea butter market is expected to reach a market value of US$ 3,566.1 Mn by the end of 2028, with an expected CAGR of 5.2% over the forecast period.

The key factors driving growth of the shea butter market include the growing demand for cocoa butter alternatives in chocolate and confectioneries, increasing consumption of chocolate and bakery products, rise of product premiumization in the food and beverages industry, and soaring shea butter consumption by cosmetics and personal care products manufacturers.

Cocoa butter is used in chocolates and confectioneries as a fat source, to give the products luster, texture, and snap. The demand for cocoa butter is increasing with the growing demand for chocolates and confectioneries. However, cocoa butter is witnessing supply constraints due to the declining yields of cocoa in major producing countries. Therefore, the price of cocoa butter is increasing rapidly, which is compelling manufacturers of chocolates and confectioneries to opt for other alternatives or equivalents to cocoa butter.

Shea butter is being increasingly used by manufacturers as a potential replacement for the costlier cocoa butter for application in chocolates and confectioneries. Leading manufacturers such as The Hershey Company and Mondel?z International, Inc. are using shea butter as an alternative source of fat to replace cocoa butter.

Increasing Chocolate Consumption to Fuel the Growth of Shea Butter Market
The consumption of chocolate follows dichotomy in world regions due to its Western origin. While some regions present timid demand for chocolate, growing economies and globalization have increased its consumption in the recent past. Over 50% of chocolate consumption occurs in Europe, and around 20% in the United States.

Asian countries are emerging as significant chocolate consumers due to changing socio-economic demographics. The growing demand for chocolate is fuelling the demand for fat sources such as shea butter. Shea butter is used to provide and enhance the texture, consistency, and other properties of chocolate, and thus, is anticipated to witness proliferating demand with the ever-growing chocolate market.

Growing Application of Shea Butter in the Bakery Industry Is a Strong Booster
Shea butter is used as a raw material for margarine and shortening for the manufacturing of several bakery products such as dough, puff pastries, croissants, and others. Margarine is nothing but a copy of butter made from vegetable oil and water.

The production of margarine requires solid fats. Hence, manufacturers have used the process of hydrogenation to harden vegetable oil. However, the hydrogenation of vegetable oil results in the generation of trans unsaturated fatty acids, which have a negative impact on cardiovascular health. This is pushing manufacturers towards using shea butter for the processing of margarines and shortenings.

Shea butter is stable solid at room temperature, and hence, it eliminates the need for hydrogenation, and also prevents the generations of trans unsaturated fatty acids. Thus, it is a healthy alternative for margarine production and for application in the bakery industry. Hence, the growing bakery industry is expected to boost the demand for shea butter.

Growing Premiumization of Food and Beverage Products Fuelling the Demand for Shea Butter
Urbanization and modernization in emerging economies have strengthened the food and beverage industry. The concept of ‘premiumization’ has caught on in the food and beverage industry, ranging beyond pricing to include far-fetched quality and a superior experience. Premiumization has driven consumer taste for high quality and value-added products with good superiority ingredients that promise enhanced health benefits.

Consumers are ready to pay a premium price for products offering perceptible health benefits – the only criterion being the potential of a unique offering that meets their basic dietary and health needs. Premiumization is leading to the growing demand for bakery and confectionery products, and thus, is proliferating the growth of the shea butter market. Besides, manufacturers are turning towards shea butter with the aim of provide consumers with better quality ingredients and products.

Growing Demand for Cosmetics and Personal Care Products is Assisting Growth of Shea Butter Market
Cosmetic companies have begun to harness the power of shea butter to bring a level of diversification in the largely staid cosmetics industry. Growing consumer consciousness regarding the use of products that provide multiple benefits and nourishing qualities to attain the perfect skin and body is boosting the demand for shea butter in the cosmetics and personal care industry.

Shea butter is used in skin care, hair care, color cosmetics, baby oil, lotions, and other products due to its multiple functionalities. Shea butter acts as bioactive, emollient, and surfactant in various cosmetics and personal care products. Through continuous research and development, manufacturers of cosmetics and personal care products are trying to capture the skincare industry with the introduction of new products containing shea butter.

Rising Incorporation of Improved Anti-aging Ingredients into Cosmetics Is Paving the Way for High Shea Butter Sales
The increasing aging population continues to push up the demand for anti-aging products. Besides, the growing demographic of individuals longing for better appearance is expected to drive the growth of the anti-aging cream and ingredient sector. Unrefined shea butter is used as a prominent ingredient in anti-aging creams due its moisturizing and skin healing properties.

Shea butter heals skin conditions such as wrinkles, blemishes, acne, and eczema, and makes the skin smooth and lustrous. Besides, it is used to prevent dark spots and sagging skin, making it a vital ingredient for anti-aging creams. Hence, the growing demand for premium skin conditioning and anti-aging products is anticipated to bolster the demand for shea butter.

Rapidly Progressing Online Retail to Push Prominence of Shea Butter in Cosmetics
Online retail is credited with the easy availability of cosmetic shea butter products such as lotions, creams, hair care products, and others, along with the ease of comparing the prices of various cosmetic products on the same platform. This is resulting in the easy access of shea butter among consumers. In addition, the increasing market penetration of shea butter products through online-based retailing is expected to fuel the growth of the shea butter cosmetic products sector.

Methods and Technologies Related to Shea Butter Chemophysical Properties and to the Delivery of Bioactives in Chocolate and Related Products
Orit Segman, … Leonid Yarmolinsky, in Cocoa Butter and Related Compounds, 2012

Unsaponifiable Fraction
Shea butter is popular in skin care and cosmetic product formulations in part due to the unusually high level (5–15%) of nonsaponifiable lipid (NSL) constituents in the fat, which is a potentially rich source of vitamin E (a natural antioxidant).

About two-thirds of the vitamin E found in shea butter occurs in the form of Alpha-tocopherol, a component that has the highest antioxidant activity among the tocopherols in most of the cases; followed by δ (15%), γ (14%), and β (7%) tocopherols (Maranz & Wiesman, 2004).

Shea butter NSL also contains relatively high total levels (up to 6%) of phytosterols (generally regarded as cholesterol reducing nutritional factors): campesterol, stigmasterol, α-sitosterol, and α-spinosterol, triterpenes alcohols in the form of 4,4′-dimethylsterols: cinnamic acid esters (oryzanols), α-amyrin, beta-amyrin, parkeol, butyrospermol, and lupeol; hydrocarbons such as karitene and phenolic compounds (Peers, 1977; Itoh et al., 1980; Crews et al., 1997; Di Vincenzo et al., 2005; Krist et al., 2006).

The phenolic profile of shea butter is composed of catechin family compounds similar to those found in green tea, which has gained wide attention recently as an antioxidant-rich health beverage (Maranz et al., 2003). The most prominent component in shea kernels was gallic acid (27% of the mean total content of the nine catechin family compounds cited here) followed by: Gallocatechin (23%), epigallocatechin (16%), epigallocatechin gallate (13%), gallocatechin gallate (7%), and catechin, epicatechin, and epicatechin gallate (3% each). Quercetin was present only in trace amounts, averaging 0.1% of the total phenolic compounds (Maranz & Wiesman, 2004). However, the authors revealed that considerable loss (90-98%) of these components occurs, after the extraction of the butter.

Henceforth, by the application of shea butter as cocoa butter equivalent and improver, the chocolate industries can enhance the bioactive components such as natural antioxidants and vitamins in the final product. As a consequence, increased stability and longer shelf life can be attributed to the latter.

SHEA BUTTER is obtained from the maturenut of the Karite tree (Butyrospermum Parkii) found in the African Savannah. SHEA BUTTER has been used for centuries in Africa for its ability to maintain and protect the skin from environmental damage and for cosmetic and food purposes.
Africans use SHEA BUTTER externally to protect the skin from sunburn, eczema and for its healing qualities in scalp and hair care.
And it is usedinternally as a natural source of antioxidants and vitamin E.
SHEA BUTTER is part of the traditional pharmacopoeia of Senegal. It is
recommended for sprain muscles and rheumatism.
The moisturizing and soothing properties of SHEA BUTTER are due to the high content and composition of the essential fatty acids, unsaponifiables and waxy esters.
The unsaponifiable fraction is the most interesting part of SHEA BUTTER which is mainly composed of phenols: tocopherols, triterpenes, steroids and the polyisoprenic hydrocarbon kariten.

Due to its unique fatty acid composition, SHEABUTTER is a very attractive emollient for skin care applications.
SHEA BUTTER is highly regarded in the cosmetic field because of its high emolliency and moisturization capacities, but also as an occlusivity lipid replacement.
SHEA BUTTER is designed for all kinds of cosmetic products from rinse-off to leave-on, showing a great compatibility with all cosmetic ingredients.
Due to its richness in cinnamic acid and other components, SHEA BUTTER can be used in the formulation of sun products against UV rays, skin lotions and shampoos.
The unusually high content in unsaponifiables also makes SHEA BUTTER an excellent fatting agent in soap making. INCI Name: Butyrospermum parkii butter
CAS No: 91080-23-8
EINECS No: 293-515-7