Shea butter benefits for skin and hair - and homemade recipe for a facial moisturizer

Updated on April 26, 2013
Use Shea butter for healthy, beautiful and delicious skin!
Use Shea butter for healthy, beautiful and delicious skin! | Source

Mmm...butter! So we all know butter tastes delicious. Even vegan butter is delicious. So when I heard of Shea butter's infinite benefits and how Shea butter is good for skin and hair, I had to try it. I figured if I liked butter that much, my skin would love it. I could imagine my skin getting drunk on the delicious, creamy, buttery taste of Shea butter, while blissfully yelling "this is the best day of my life!" I was a bit disappointed when my skin didn't start talking, but I was super happy to see the results that Shea butter had on my skin.

As a side note, I want you to know that Shea butter doesn't taste that good, but it has great benefits for your skin and hair. (Cocoa butter, on the other hand, doesn't taste great either, but smells better than shea butter and also has wonderful benefits for hair and skin.)

Keep reading to find out the many benefits of shea butter.


  • Shea butter contains natural latex. Those with latex allergies should try Shea butter on a tiny section of their skin to check for any allergic reactions before applying to large areas. Just to be sure...
  • Shea butter is only edible if the label says it is. Don't eat Shea butter meant to be used on skin.

Benefits of shea butter

Shea butter has been used for years by women in Africa to hydrate, regenerate, firm and heal skin and hair. Some of its many benefits include:

Makes skin more flexible

Deeply hydrates and protects the skin - Shea butter leaves a very thin film on your skin that protect it from dehydration, sun, wind and drastic changes of temperature

Protects from UVB and UVA - it also has a SPF of 6 which is always beneficial and can help prevent premature aging.

Vitamins - contains vitamins A, D and E

Fatty acids - contains vitamin F, which is not precisely a vitamin. The name vitamin F has been to refer to a group of fatty acids that include Omega 3, Omega 6 and linoleic acid, which are necessary for proper functioning of cell nucleus and membranes.

Anti-irritant - great against eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis

Reduces and prevents stretch marks

Prevents premature aging - Shea butter will keep those wrinkles at bay. Shea butter has the nutrients your skin (and hair) need to keeping looking beautiful, healthy and young.

Antimicrobial - helps heal injuries, wounds and pimples.

No pimples - even though it is greasy, shea butter is non-comedogenic and it won't clog pores. So just because it's greasy, it doesn't mean it's going to give you pimples. Click here to read more on the causes of acne.

Hypoallergenic - Shea butter is so gentle that it can used by babies and adults.

Absorbs quickly - so no greasy face! yay!

How to use shea butter

Shea butter can be used in a variety of ways. Try all of these for healthy, nourished, beautiful, youthful skin. (I sound like a commercial...)

Three perfect ingredients for beautiful, healthy skin.
Three perfect ingredients for beautiful, healthy skin.
Homemade moisturizer with Shea butter, coconut oil and tea tree oil.
Homemade moisturizer with Shea butter, coconut oil and tea tree oil.

Home made Facial moisturizer

Shea butter is not like your regular face creams. It is not smooth and it may be a bit difficult to apply. The process of applying is very much like applying coconut oil to your face. What you need to do is grab a little Shea butter on the palm of your hand or between your fingers, and rub until it melts. Once it melts it can be easily applied to face and body.

*Don't use external heat to melt the butter. This means don't use your hairdryer or your microwave (AAHH!). Use your hands and that's it!

For an added extra boost of gloriousness and nutrition, I like to combine my Shea butter with coconut oil and tea tree oil. It makes a wonderful moisturizer that will leave your skin asking for more. Here is the simple recipe:

  • 1 tbs of coconut oil
  • 3 tbs of Shea butter
  • 3 drops of tea tree oil

Mix the coconut oil and Shea butter together. I like to use a spoon and just stir and stir until everything is well mixed. Once again, don't use any heat to melt the oils. Let the stirring do all the work.

After the coconut oil and the Shea butter are mixed together, add the tea tree oil and mix again.

And there you have the perfect face (and body) moisturizer. I only use it on my face, because it would be kind of expensive to use it all over the body. For an all natural body moisturizer I use coconut oil.

Use shea butter to add shine and strength to your hair
Use shea butter to add shine and strength to your hair | Source

Hair treatment

Apply Shea butter at night before washing hair. Massage the butter on the scalp and continue all the way to the ends. You can leave it on for 30 minutes and then wash, or leave it all night for a more nutritious effect.If you choose to leave it on all night, wear a shower cap to protect your pillow from getting greasy and buttery (MMMM!)

Coconut oil is also a great, natural oil to make your hair healthy and beautiful.

*Word of caution: Don't apply too much or it will be really difficult to rinse it out.

More uses for Shea butter

Lip balm - simply apply a small amount on Shea butter directly on your lips.

Aftershave - makes a soft, silky and nutritious aftershave that will not cause irritation.

Eyelids - to prevent those eye wrinkles, combine Shea butter with rose hip oil to a great anti-aging effect.

Types of shea butter

To get all the benefits that Shea butter has to offer, make sure you get the unrefined, 100% natural and organic Shea butter. Here's why...

Refined shea butter

Refined Shea butte is extracted through chemical processes using bleach, petroleum solvents, toxic substances and overheating. This causes the butter to lose all its properties and worst of all, it could have traces of those harsh chemicals and substances. So stay away from refined Shea butter. The final product of refining Shea butter is a creamy, white substance with no smell.

Unrefined shea butter

Unrefined Shea butter is obtained manually or mechanically. This means the fruit goes through a grinding process and then boiled in water until the fat rises to the surface. The fat is then collected, left to cool and solidify. The final product is a yellowish butter with a nutty smell. This kind of Shea butter retains all its properties! So use unrefined Shea butter if you want to experience all its benefits.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


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    • profile image 

      3 years ago

      Thank you for writing an excellent hub about how to mix the oils for the skin and hair. Also, thank you for the recommendation of the possibilities of having an allergic reaction by using certain oils including the shea butter.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      4 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Silver Q, this was an interesting hub on shea butter benefits for your skin. I would love to try it out sometime. Voted up!


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