Taken from the seed of the shea tree, shea butter has become a firm favorite with natural beauty enthusiasts.
It’s a natural moisturizer which can be used on the whole body and hair.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 for face, skin, and hair that’s available on the market today.
These are our top rated selections:
The Best Shea Butter Brands
*All links lead to Amazon
Why You Should Use Shea Butter For Your Skin And Hair
Shea butter has a number of beneficial properties 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 to keep it looking and feeling young, smooth, and supple.
It contains fatty acids such as linoleic acid that can penetrate the skin and improve the barrier that prevents the loss of moisture, thereby keeping the skin well hydrated.
Shea butter contains 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.
UV related damage is largely responsible for the formation of lines and wrinkles on the skin and regular topical application of antioxidants can help to minimize their appearance.
It also contains a large amount of a triterpenoid called lupeol which helps to protect the skin and maintain good skin texture (3). Lupeol is a key ingredient in a number of anti-aging creams.
Traditionally, people have used shea butter to treat a variety of skin problems due to its anti-inflammatory properties, vitamin content, and moisturizing properties.
These skin problems include dermatitis, eczema, acne, and psoriasis.
Shea butter helps to moisturize crinkly, dry, and lifeless hair and dry and itchy scalps. A big advantage it has is that it’s easily absorbed by your scalp and doesn’t leave your hair feeling greasy. It can also be easily washed off.
How To Choose The Best Shea Butter
When choosing the best shea butter for skin and hair care there are a number of important things to consider:
When buying shea butter it’s best to choose a product that’s raw and unrefined.
Refined shea butter is widely available, but is often extracted from the seed of the African shea tree by using chemical solvents such as hexane.
It’s also often bleached and its fragrance removed.
The process of refining it causes the reduction of many of the beneficial properties that shea butter has.
The unrefined product is extracted without chemicals or preservatives.
Shea butter that has been cold pressed has been extracted without excessive heating that can destroy the nutrients and phytochemicals that it contains
This will help to ensure you get all the benefits that the product has to offer.
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 as then you can be sure that you are getting the highest quality without contaminants and unwanted ingredients.
Following on from the selection of unrefined over refined shea butter, you should choose a butter that is ivory or pale yellow in color. This is the color it comes in when it’s unrefined.
Refined shea butter is usually white in appearance.
Shea Butter Cream
You will commonly 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 then you will see that shea butter is just one of the ingredients listed in the cream.
If you are looking for a moisturizing cream with shea butter in it then this could be of interest to you if the other ingredients it’s mixed with are desirable. Shea butter lotions still contain a good amount of it. But, be aware that it’s not pure shea butter.
The Best Shea Butter For Face, Skin, & Hair Reviews
This is the selection of our favorite shea butter brands:
The Best Shea Butter Brands
Plant Origin Unrefined Shea Butter
This shea butter by Plant Origin comes in a 16 oz sealable package.
It’s 100% pure and natural, and Ecocert and USDA certified organic. It doesn’t contain any parabens, chemicals, or additives.
It’s unrefined and has been been extracted by cold pressing and certified by the American Shea Butter Institute as a premium grade A shea butter.
It’s animal cruelty free and suitable for vegans, and is also fair trade certified.
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 skin conditions such as eczema and acne.
It works well on the hair and scalp and moisturizes without leaving it feeling greasy when used in moderation.
It has a nice ivory color and a slight nutty smell.
Organic Shea Butter By Sky Organics
This shea butter by Sky Organics comes in a 16 oz jar.
It’s 100% organic and unrefined. It’s also been certified grade A, and has been cold pressed..
It doesn’t contain any added chemicals, is BPA free, and is a cruelty free product.
People report that it’s good 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.
Molivera Organics Shea Butter
This shea butter from Molivera Organics comes in a 16 oz dark plastic jar.
It’s 100% pure, raw, unrefined, and cold pressed. It has been certified by the American Shea Butter Institute as grade A.
It is absorbed easily by the 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 and that quickly disapears after you put it on.
Shea butter is great for moisturizing the skin, and many people report its usefulness for treating skin problems, and keeping their skin looking young, smooth, and supple.
It can be used on its own and is also excellent to include in homemade soaps, creams, and natural hair care preparations.
When choosing a high quality product it’s important to look for shea butter that 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 that you can find. However, our top rated choice to buy for the best shea butter for face, skin, and hair can be seen on Amazon here: