Shea Butter

  • Vegetable Fat
  • INCI: Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter
  • Melting point: 28-38 °C (82 – 100 °F)
  • Comedogenicity: 0
  • Composition: Oleic acid (up to approx. 55 %), stearic acid (up to approx. 50 %), linoleic acid (up to approx. 8 %), palmitic acid (up to approx. 7 %), unsaponifiable (up to approx. 11 %), tocopherols, vitamin A, triterpenes.
  • Cosmetic use: Dry, chapped skin.

Amuzujoe [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This yellowish-white fat is obtained from the shea nut, the fruit of the Karité tree (Vitellaria Paradoxa). In general, unrefined, native shea butter is considered more effective because it contains more natural nutrients than the refined variant. The refining process gives the shea butter a pure white color and deprives it of its odor-intensive ingredients. However, other important ingredients are also lost in the process. Unrefined shea butter has an aromatic, spicy odor that is often perceived as unpleasant. Shea butter is therefore also available in an unrefined, deodorised (odourless) version.

Shea butter is firm at room temperature and becomes supple when warmed in the hand and can be applied to the skin. The unsaponifiable ingredients of shea butter are considered skin-friendly and nourishing with protective properties. The butter has replenishing, moisture-regulating and smoothing effects. This makes it an excellent care agent for dry, low-grease, scaly skin. Shea butter can be applied pure or used in lotions.