The 10 Best Shea Butters

Updated February 08, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Shea Butters
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 44 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Shea butter is fast becoming one of the most popular beauty products available, and it's easy to see why. This soothing cream can bring relief to sufferers of eczema and psoriasis, reduce the appearance of stretch marks, treat minor burns, and soften wrinkles. If you experience any of these issues, or if you simply have dry skin, you'll want to give one of the products in this list a try. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best shea butter on Amazon.

10. Key West Health and Beauty

The Key West Health and Beauty is made from certified organic ingredients and does not include any artificial fillers. It is packaged in a stackable, FDA-approved plastic container with a safety seal for optimal protection and freshness.
  • ethically sourced
  • excellent for hair treatments
  • takes a while to fully absorb
Brand Key West Health & Beaut
Model pending
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. Cleopatra's Choice Premium

For a pure, unrefined option, look no further than Cleopatra's Choice Premium. It's decently priced for one pound of wholesome goodness and the resealable container is very easy to open. This one isn't the best-smelling pick of the bunch, though.
  • great for expectant mothers
  • texture is smooth
  • leaves greasy residue
Brand Cleopatra's Choice
Model pending
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. Perfect Body Harmony Raw

The Perfect Body Harmony Raw is a suitable all-natural solution for a multitude of ailments, including flaky, peeling skin and even diaper rash. This product absorbs quickly, so you can complete your beauty routine in record time.
  • cap screws on securely
  • black jar prevents light damage
  • texture is on the grittier side
Brand Perfect Body Harmony
Model pending
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. The Body Shop Nourishing

The Body Shop Nourishing is an indulgent option that will keep you moisturized for up to 24 hours thanks to two key ingredients: cacao seed extract and beeswax. This lotion glides onto the skin effortlessly, but is a bit pricey considering the size.
  • available in many scents
  • repairs cracked heels
  • lid can be hard to tighten
Brand The Body Shop
Model KBH0807
Weight 9.6 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. Sky Organics Ivory

Treat your skin to luxury without spending a fortune with the highly-rated Sky Organics Ivory. This item supports the skin's natural collagen production and revitalizes the complexion with vitamins and fatty acids for youthful, glowing results.
  • does not leave sticky residue
  • no chemicals or additives
  • scent is somewhat strong
Brand Sky Organics
Model SHEA16
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

5. FairTaleGhana Grade A

The FairTaleGhana Grade A is a purchase that you can feel good about making. This choice is made from only the purest ingredients by women in West Africa, and is equally as effective as its competition when it comes to moisturizing.
  • arrives with handwritten note
  • completely vegan
  • less processed than others
Brand FairTaleGhana
Model B01J29G7Z6
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

4. Better Shea Butter Unrefined

The Better Shea Butter Unrefined is a unique product in that it can be customized. Use it on its own or in combination with other natural ingredients, such as coconut oil or essential oils, to make one-of-a-kind lotions tailored to your skin type.
  • bonus ebook with recipes
  • helps to reduce redness
  • natural spf properties
Brand Better Shea Butter
Model pending
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. L'Occitane Hand Cream

The premium award-winning L'Occitane Hand Cream contains an ultra-nourishing blend of coconut oil and honey and almond extracts that works to soften cracked, dehydrated skin. It's a must-have, especially during the harsh winter months.
  • non-greasy formula
  • a little goes a long way
  • scent is light and pleasant
Brand L'Occitane
Model 01MA150K16
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Sans Pareil Naturals

If you're looking for a product that is appropriate for use on the skin of adults and babies alike, the Sans Pareil Naturals might be the right selection for you. It has an exceedingly smooth texture and a subtle nutty scent that isn't overwhelming.
  • mason jar-style lid
  • fair trade ingredients
  • 30-day guarantee
Brand Sans Pareil Naturals
Model pending
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Raw Apothecary Top-Grade

The Raw Apothecary Top-Grade is a smart choice for individuals who want to keep their skin looking healthy and radiant. This treatment can be used on a daily basis as a moisturizer or to address specific issues, like rashes or itching.
  • reduces insect bite irritation
  • can be used as shaving cream
  • contains vitamin a
Brand Raw Apothecary
Model 322
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Shea Butter: A Surprisingly Versatile Substance

Anyone with even a passing interest in products from the health and wellness sector -- or those concerned with skincare and matters related to age and beauty -- is aware that shea butter is one of the most popular health, beauty, and skincare products available today. We will discuss the actual substance and the production process of shea butter below, but first and foremost we shall discuss how and why to use this versatile substance.

Shea butter is prized primarily for its excellent moisturizing abilities. It can be applied to everything from painful cuticles on the fingers to cracked and calloused heels and toes. Shea butter can be rubbed into the scalp to provide relief from dryness and flaking, and it can be rubbed all over the skin to alleviate the itching, pain, and other symptoms that come with conditions like eczema. By infusing dry, irritated skin with lasting moisture, shea butter works as well as some medicated products in treating the symptoms associated with such conditions. (Be aware that it will not treat underlying causes, and frequent reapplication may be necessary for appreciable results.)

Shea butter is also prized for its ability to reduce the prominence of wrinkles and help minimize the visibility of *stretch marks associated with pregnancy, weight loss, or simply with growing and/or aging. With regular application during a pregnancy, shea butter may even help prevent the formation of abdominal stretch marks. Consistent application of this soothing substance slows the deepening of wrinkles and can delay their initial formation. While shea butter cannot make extant wrinkles disappear, it can soften their appearance.

This product is also a wonderful choice for easing the many annoyances and pains associated with the winter months. It makes a deeply-hydrating lip balm, and can be slathered under the nose when a cold and sneezes have left the upper lip and philtrum raw and uncomfortable. A bit of shea in a thin cream form can also soothe the rash a baby develops in his or her diaper, season notwithstanding.

Shea butter is also an excellent massage oil; it allows a masseuse's hands to glide smoothly over all types of skin while moisturizing and nourishing the client's flesh in the process. Unlike many thinner oils, it does leave a thick residue that often necessitates bathing following a massage session, though.

Note that some people claim that shea butter can be used as a sunblock, but this assertion is of little merit from a scientific standpoint. If shea butter provides any benefit as a sunscreen, it is too minimal to be considered true protection. Shea butter can be infused with zinc oxide powder to make an effective homemade sunblock.

Choosing the Right Shea Butter

Most shea butter products contains just one ingredient: shea butter. A few are infused with other ingredients and these are, by in large, beneficial and safe. Examples of added elements include safflower oils that add more moisturizing capability and vitamin e, which can help heal damaged skin. However, if you have sensitive skin or are worried about any allergic reactions, stick to pure shea butter.

Even when you have decided on pure shea butter as your choice, there are still considerations to be made, such as how thick or thin a given option may be. Many thicker shea butter solutions are ideal for treating wrinkles, stretch marks or cuticles -- for targeting specific and isolated areas of the body, e.g. -- but are slow to absorb and leave behind lots of residue. For a shea butter you want to apply all over large sections of your body or to use as a massage oil, consider a thinner formula that will absorb more quickly. Thinner shea butters are also better for use on the scalp.

Many people who create their own cosmetic, health, and massage products at home choose to incorporate shea butter into the formulas they use. Shea butter readily blends with other ingredients, such as essential oils, while adding excellent moisturizing properties and helping to dissolve and bond together powdered products. Those interested in using shea butter in artisan products should consider 100 percent raw and unrefined options. These usually come in solid blocks, which can be readily melted for blending. Eschewing a shea butter that has been mixed with other ingredients or processed into any sort of reformed state allows you to maintain total control of your own product's ingredients, which your customers will appreciate.

What Is Shea Butter, Anyway?

Simply put, shea butter is fat. To be more precise, it is the triglyceride fatty product sourced from the nut of the vitellaria paradoxa, or shea tree, a tree native to Africa. Shea butter is extracted from the brownish-red nuts (technically called seeds, as they come from the inside of a small fruit) by first physically crushing the nuts, traditionally using a stone mortar and pestle, but usually completed with mechanical devices in the modern era.

The crushed shea nuts are then roasted slowly while being constantly stirred, a process that breaks the fatty nut down into a thick paste to which water is usually added. This paste is then worked steadily to blend evenly, and then again subjected to slow and steady heat. This final heating further separates the water and oils, boiling off most of the former and allowing the refined oil to float and be carefully collected. This refined oil is cooled into raw shea butter, and is often then packaged as-is, or may be blended with other ingredients and/or processed into different types of creams, lotions, and other products.

While primarily used for skincare products, shea butter is indeed edible and is used in food preservation in some parts of the world. It is also sometimes used in place of cocoa butter in making certain confections and baked goods, and imparts a pleasant smoky flavor to the foods in which it is found.

For many years, shea butter production was a job largely relegated to women and children working in harsh conditions, and unfortunately this is still the case in some places. Take care to ensure that any option you buy is certified as fair-trade, or has otherwise been vetted by a trusted organization.

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Last updated on February 08, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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