Your Ultimate Guide To Discovering Premium Quality Shea Butter

Is your Shea all it’s cracked up to be…

As we reach the peak of the natural beauty movement, we’ve been bombarded with a plethora of Shea! If you look at the labeling on your favorite skincare products, most of them would list Shea Butter as the key ingredient. The only problem is all Shea isn’t created equally, so how exactly do you know you’re using the highest quality Shea Butter?

Here’s your ultimate guide to discovering premium quality Shea Butter!


What is Shea Butter?

Shea Butter is a rich emollient (Skin softener), extracted from the nut of the African Shea Fruit. West Africans have used Shea Butter for centuries as a dual healing and beauty balm.

In its natural state (unrefined), Shea Butter is rich in sterols and bio actives, providing penetrating moisture to the skin and hair.

What’s the difference between Unrefined Shea Butter & Refined Shea Butter?

Unrefined Shea Butter has a sizeable quantity of unsaponifiable fats, which contain shea triterpene esthers with anti-inflammatory properties. These natural Shea Butter also provides UV protection because it contains cinnamic acid. You can identify Unrefined Shea by its cream or light yellow color and natural, nutty scent.

Refined Shea Butter is white and odorless. The refining process strips Shea Butter of its natural properties and may require the use of harsh chemicals, such as hexane. Although it may still work as an average moisturizer, Refined Shea lacks the natural benefits of Unrefined Shea Butter.

Despite having an extended shelf life, a white uniform color and no odor, Refined Shea Butter lack the natural moisturizing properties of Unrefined Shea Butter.

Which of the two do you choose?!


What about lotions and creams that claim to be made of Shea Butter? Are they effective?

Pure Shea Butter can be used as a hair and body balm and it can also be incorporated with other ingredients to make lotions and creams.

Moisturizers that claim to be made of mostly Shea Butter, typically have less than 1% of Shea. For best results, Shea Butter lotions or creams should include no less than 5% of Shea. The most effective Shea Butter creams and lotions will contain at least 20% of Unrefined Shea Butter in their formulas.


How do I know I’m buying the right kind of Shea Butter?

Buying the right kind of Shea Butter is as easy as going to your local naturals market or beauty store and looking at the color of your Shea.

Is it too yellow, too white or unnatural looking?!

Most beauty brands won’t list whether or not they’re using Refined or Unrefined Shea Butter. However, you can read the ingredient label to make sure your Shea is free of ingredients that can be damaging to the skin. When in doubt, purchase Shea Butter that is handcrafted and naturally rich in antioxidants to nourish and protect your skin!

Open Unscented Shea Butter

At Shea Radiance, our products contain Unrefined Shea Butter to deeply hydrate and restore moisture to dry skin and hair. By sourcing our Shea from a select harvest of nuts that grow in the park lands of West Africa, our products are free of unnecessary additives, parabens and sulfates. We make everything from scratch in artisanal batches so that we can closely monitor the quality of our ingredients.

Learn more about the Shea Radiance difference here and share this guide with the SR Beauties in your life!