Taken from the seed of the shea tree, shea butter has become a firm favorite with natural beauty enthusiasts.
It’s a wonderful moisturizer for your body and hair.
And it contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant phytochemicals that help to protect the skin and soothe irritation.
But, not all shea butter that you can buy is created equal.
We’ve conducted a search for the best shea butter brands available on the market today.
These are our top rated selections:
- Organic Shea Butter By Sky Organics
- Plant Origin Unrefined Shea Butter
- Better Shea Butter
- Premium Nature Virgin Shea Butter
- Molivera Organics Shea Butter
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You can read our reviews beneath the buying guide.
Buying Guide: How To Choose
When you’re looking for the best shea butter there are several important things to consider:
Is It Unrefined?
When buying shea butter it’s best to choose a product that’s raw and unrefined.
You see, there are a number of problems with refined shea butter that make it a poor choice.
Firstly, it’s often extracted using chemical solvents such as hexane. Which could leave traces in the butter.
And if you’re like me, you’d rather avoid any unnecessary chemicals that could be absorbed by your skin.
And secondly, it’s often bleached and has its fragrance removed.
This process of refining causes the reduction of many of the beneficial properties that shea butter has.
Meaning that it won’t be as good for your skin or hair.
The unrefined product is extracted without chemicals or preservatives. And with all the shea butter goodness intact.
What color Is It?
Following on from the above, there’s a general rule of thumb that can help you tell the difference between unrefined shea butter and refined.
Unrefined varies in color from ivory or off-white to pale yellow. Whereas refined shea butter is usually white in color.
So if in doubt, stick to shea butter in shades of cream or yellow.
Is It Cold Pressed?
For a similar reason, we also recommend getting shea butter that’s been cold pressed.
Because shea butter that’s cold pressed has been extracted without excessive heating.
You see, heat can destroy the precious nutrients and phytochemicals that it contains.
Leaving you with a lifeless butter that’s stripped of the very things that make it so good.
If the shea nuts are cold pressed you can
What’s The Grade?
The American Shea Butter Institute test and grade shea butter to confirm that it reaches a certain standard.
The best shea butter is grade A.
We recommend buying a product that’s certified grade A to be sure of the highest quality, without any contaminants or unwanted ingredients.
Shea Butter Cream
It’s common to find products available for sale that are labeled as shea butter cream.
This usually contains a mixture of shea butter with water, oil, butter, emulsifying waxes and a variety of other skin care ingredients.
If you look at the ingredients list you will see that shea butter is just one of the many listed in the cream.
These products often contain a good amount of it. But, be aware that it’s not pure shea butter.
The Best Raw Shea Butter Brands
This is the selection of our favorite shea butter brands:
Organic Shea Butter By Sky Organics
This shea butter by Sky Organics comes in a 16 oz hard plastic jar (BPA-free).
It’s unrefined and cold pressed. And it’s certified grade A.
This is a popular and reputable company that produce a wide range of organic skincare products.
And this one is no exception:
It’s 100% organic and doesn’t contain any added chemicals. And it has USDA certification to prove it.
We really like this brand, and recommend many of their products.
People report that this is perfect for very dry and cracked skin, and makes a good lip balm to keep your lips well moisturized.
It has a very light nutty aroma that most people find pleasant and is easily hidden when mixed with other aromatic ingredients.
Plant Origin Unrefined Shea Butter
This raw shea butter by Plant Origin comes in a 16 oz sealable package.
It’s 100% pure and natural, and doesn’t contain any parabens, chemicals, or additives.
Unlike many other brands, not only do they claim this product is organic, but they have Ecocert and USDA certification as well.
And that’s not the only certification it has.
It’s certified by the American Shea Butter Institute as a premium grade A shea butter.
And it’s nice to know that it’s certified as a fair trade product.
It also satisfies the rest of our buying criteria, it’s:
- Cold pressed
- Ivory in color
This is a very high-quality African shea butter that provides deep and long-lasting moisturization.
It’s great for sensitive skin. And people report success using it in the treatment of complaints such as eczema and acne.
It works well on your hair and scalp and moisturizes without leaving it feeling greasy when used in moderation.
And people enjoy it’s slightly nutty smell.
If you’re like me, you’ll also be interested to know that this is a cruelty-free product and vegan friendly.
Better Shea Butter
This popular brand comes in a resealable food-grade plastic pouch. It contains 8 oz of shea butter and is also available in a 16 oz weight.
It’s a pure and unrefined shea butter from Ghana. With every care taken in its production to ensure its high-quality.
It’s imported in small batches to the US, where it’s sent for testing to confirm that it’s grade A.
These batches are then filtered and packaged for sale. The use of small batches at a time makes sure that the product you buy is as fresh as possible.
It has a slightly nutty, smokey scent. Which is what you’d expect of raw shea.
And the color ranges from off-white to pale yellow.
Although the company claims it’s organic, they don’t have USDA certification.
It can be rubbed easily into your skin and is absorbed quickly. And customers enjoy using it in homemade lotions. It also makes a perfect body butter.
A downloadable ebook of recipes is also provided with the purchase.
Premium Nature Virgin Shea Butter
This product by Premium Nature comes in a 16 oz resealable packet.
It’s 100% pure, unrefined ivory shea butter. Cold pressed and organic, but not certified.
It whips perfectly and goes well in body butters and lip balms.
And it’s good at relieving itchy and dry skin conditions like eczema. As well as moisturizing cracked heels and hands.
Many customers say that it smells great and has a light nutty aroma.
Molivera Organics Shea Butter
This shea butter from Molivera Organics comes in a 16 oz dark PET plastic jar.
It’s a 100% pure, raw shea butter. That’s also unrefined and cold pressed. And has been certified by the American Shea Butter Institute as grade A.
Similar to the product above, it’s organic, but not USDA certified organic.
It’s absorbed easily by your skin and leaves it feeling soft and smooth.
Some people also report finding it useful for fading stretch marks.
It has a very light scent that some people find almost unnoticeable, which quickly disappears after you put it on.
Why You Should Use Shea Butter
Raw unrefined shea butter has a number of cosmetic and health benefits that make it great to use on your face, body, and hair:
Most people use shea butter for its reputation as an effective moisturizer (1) that can be applied to the whole body to soothe dry and itchy skin.
Helping it to look and feel young, smooth, and supple.
Who doesn’t want that?
You see, it contains fatty acids such as linoleic acid that can penetrate the skin and improve the barrier.
This prevents the loss of moisture, keeping it well hydrated.
Good shea butter brands contain a large number of antioxidants, including catechins, trans-cinnamic acid, and vitamin E (2).
These antioxidants can protect the skin from damage by UV light from the sun.
As you probably know, UV related damage is largely responsible for the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
And the regular topical application of antioxidants can help to minimize their appearance.
And that’s not all:
It also contains a large amount of a triterpenoid called lupeol which helps to protect the skin and maintain good texture (3).
Lupeol is a key ingredient in a number of top quality anti-aging creams.
Traditionally, people in Africa have used shea butter to treat a variety of skin problems.
This is due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, vitamin content, and moisturizing ability.
These problems include dermatitis, eczema, acne, and psoriasis.
Shea butter helps to moisturize crinkly, dry, and lifeless hair. As well as dry and itchy scalps.
One of its big pluses is that it’s easily absorbed by your scalp and doesn’t leave your hair feeling greasy.
It’s also worth buying quality. I’ve found that the best shea butter for hair is easily washed off.
Pure unrefined s
Not only that, but many people also report its usefulness for treating problems like acne and eczema.
If you want, you can use it on its own. But, it’s also excellent to include in homemade soaps, creams, and natural hair care preparations.
When choosing good brands, there are a number of important things to look for.
Make sure the shea butter is unrefined, cold pressed, pure, grade A, and an ivory or slightly yellow color.
With those criteria in mind, all of the products listed above are among the best brands that you can find.
However, our top-rated choice of the best shea butter brand for face and hair is Plant Origin.