Shea Butter

What is Shea Butter

Shea butter is a slightly yellowish or ivory colored and nutty, smoky scented natural fat extracted from the seed of the African shea tree. It is often referred to by its French name as karite tree, which originally (ghariti) means the tree of life. The tree got this name due to its exceptional healing properties.

In its pure unrefined state, shea butter is also edible and has been used for centuries in Africa as cooking oil, as a waterproofing wax, for hairdressing, for candle-making, as an anti-inflammatory for sprains and arthritis, and to sooth dry skin.

From practical point of view, shea butter is supreme natural moisturizer with exceptional healing properties for the skin. Handcrafted, unrefined shea butter is by itself ready for direct application to the skin, without any need for further processing. Mixing it with other natural ingredients such as essential oils and other butters, you can make it even more appealing and convenient for particular application.

Shea Butter Benefits

Except as a superior moisturizer, shea butter is used to treat various skin problems including:

  • eczema
  • dermatitis
  • stretch marks
  • dry skin and hair
  • insect bites
  • psoriasis
  • acne
  • cracked skin
  • itchy skin
  • muscle fatigue and tension
  • rheumatism
  • arthritis
  • sunburns
  • skin allergies and rashes
  • scars and dark spots
  • skin blemishes
  • wrinkles

According to the W.G. Goreja, shea butter’s unparalleled moisturizing property is due to several natural moisturizers present in the cream. The moisturizers in Shea Butter are the same moisturizers produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin. In addition to this moisturizing fraction (saponifiable fraction), shea butter contains a large portion of healing fraction (nonsaponifiable fraction). Comparing to the other seed oils, where the healing fraction is in the range of 1% or less, shea butter healing portion ranges from 5% up to 17%.

Shea butter is extremely rich natural source of two important vitamins, namely vitamin A and E. According to the before mentioned source, vitamin A in shea butter is important for improving a number of skins conditions, including blemishes, wrinkles, eczema, and dermatitis. The same source states that, although the exact benefit and function of the Vitamin E in human being is not entirely clear, it has been described as effective in a number of conditions or circumstances. These benefits include being anti-aging, an anti-free radical agent, and exerting a positive effect on increasing the micro-circulation.

Refined vs. Unrefined Shea Butter

Confusing thing about shea butter is various sorts and shea butter attributes marketed by different producers and distributors, like ‘pure’, ‘refined’, ‘unrefined’, ‘grade A’ and ‘premium’. I will try to shortly describe how i understood it.

Unrefined shea butter simply means it is extracted and prepared without the use of chemicals or preservative. In other terms, that means it is produced the same way African people do it for centuries. And this is what really counts, because only unrefined shea butter keeps all of its natural healing properties. On the other hand, refined shea butter has usually been extracted with hexane or other petroleum solvents and some antioxidants or preservatives may also be added. Unfortunately, amazing shea butter moisturizing and healing properties are significantly reduced or completely removed in this process.

To cut it short, differences between unrefined and refined shea butter are the scent, color and benefits.  Unrefined shea butter maintains its nutty scent, beige color and its healing properties.  Refined shea butter has been chemically altered to remove shea butters natural scent, is bleach white in color and retains only a small portion of its natural healing properties. The end result of refinement is an odorless, white butter that may be aesthetically appealing, but lacks the true moisturizing, healing, and nutritive properties of true traditional shea butter.

The other meaningful term is shea butter grade. Commercial shea butter is classified into five grades: A – raw or unrefined, extracted using water; B – refined; C – highly refined and extracted with solvents such as hexane; D – lowest uncontaminated grade; E – with contaminants. Grade A shea butter retains the most natural vitamins, especially vitamins A and E, which are partially lost in the other grades.

Where to Buy Shea Butter

We usually buy unrefined shea butter and other ingredients for my personal homemade recipes online. The choice is really large and sometimes it isn’t easy to decide where to buy it. With a little effort you can find supreme quality butters and oils for a very fair price. When we started our own shea butter adventure i bought small orders from different distributors, just to check if i like their products and overall quality of their service. Maybe it is just my prejudice, but i discarded in advance sellers who didn’t have appealing or at least professional web site.

Most of the shea butters i bought online were fine and here are few suppliers I really like:

Cleopatra’s Choice

They have yellow and ivory color grade A organic shea butter. Great price, especially if you need larger quantity of high quality shea butter. They offer free shipping on orders over 29$, and 3 month money back guarantee. You can get 10% off Shea Butter with coupon code CLEO10

Adwi Organics

They sell grade A ivory color unrefined shea butter in a nice UV protected jar. Very good choice for home made creams. You can buy safely their shea butter on Amazon.


Naissance’s shea butter is Soil Association Certified Organic and in my opinion it is a very good choice, especially if you live in Europe. You can choose from 100g, 250g, 500g or 1kg packages. You can buy their organic unrefined shea butter on Amazon UK.

 Learn how to whip shea butter and make your own creams.



Shea Butter — 192 Comments

  1. HI . I’m in South Africa and would like to know where unrefined shea butter is available for purchase?

    • Hello filicia am a supplier of unrefined shea butter, cocoa butter and black soap kindly contact me on +233 244667978

    • Hi mac,

      I am a business woman in nigeria, who needs UNREFINED SHEA BUTTER. how can I get it in large quantity n how much do u sell.

      Thank you.

  2. I need unrefined yellow shea butter in karachi pakistan please contact as we are conducting r&d trials for upcoming product.

  3. Hi,

    I and my husband have Shea Butter that is raw and untouched form for sale. The raw Shea Butter will be coming out of Ghana which is in West Africa. Where looking for Maufacturing companies who wants to purchase tons of the Shea Butter. We are also willing to sell to customers who want for their own personal use too. If you are interested please call me (260)467-0193 or email me at

  4. Hello,

    Im looking for organic high grade shea butter, coconut, castor,avocado and olive oils to buy in bulk at good prices.Please contact me if you have any

    • We grow our own castor beans, and make our castor oil using the traditional method Jamaicans have used for centuries!
      You may contact me at:, for further discussion.


      Harvey Reid
      Jamaica, West Indies

  5. I would like to purchase bulk of shea butter, mango butter and alata soap- could you please tell me how much on average will it cost me and breakdown the shipping fees please – I’m in the uk

  6. A good afternoon to you all. We export East African Shea butter from Southern Sudan/Northern Uganda to Britain. We are interested in expanding our market access so eager to have some discussions about possibly working together with other companies around the world. Drop me a message on for an informal chat. East African Shea butter is better for cosmetics purposes as it is softer and better absorbed by the skin (owing to it’s higher olein content) fact you need not rub it between your hands as it melts at human body temperature. Liz Earle in the UK use it in their Superskin Body cream because of that reason. It is rare compared to Shea butter from west Africa because of civil strife where it grows.

    • i m interested in your products for USA market, let’s discuss more in detail if you like. Where are you located?

    • Sharon hello, Zimbabwe is nearer the source than you think. Leave me message on for an informal chat about this. We export it from Uganda

  7. Please send me a sample of real shea butter. I’d like to try first to see if I would like to buy.

    Toni Wesley
    2479 Abner Terrace NW
    Apt 332
    Atlanta GA 30318

  8. Hello All,

    we want open a new business In Saudi Arabia and we want to be partners for any oversea companies manufacture and supplier Shea Butter plz provide me your number and email plus your website

    Best Regards,

    • Hi, my name is Aliyu living in Nigeria, I am into sheabutter biz and I produce quality sheabutter. These is my contact. Phone no +2348034531925 and my email

    • good day
      I can supply shea butter ,honey and cinnamon mix for health benefits ,coconut oil ,aloe vera and hyaluronic acid serum for anti aging.

      Kindly contact me should you be interested I am in South Africa and have started a company and i need to grow it to be able to employ more people and uplift the poor community in my town.

    • I am responding to the unrefined pure shea butter request. I am resident in Saudi Arabia but a native of Nigeria where shea butter can be gotten from.

      Do get back in touch.

    • Hello

      Tola and Nomsa Smith provide me ur email or number can i connect u >>>….

    • I am responding to your request regarding sheabutter. I am located in Ghana. Bulk supplier. Contact me at +233264167788 or +233576033614 or mail me at tobiivestmentcogh

  9. I am looking to buy raw unrefined Shea Butter and African Black Soap.Please contact me with information on price and minimum order quantities. Regards

    • Hi Colette, please leave me a message on for an informal chat about your requirements for Shea butter. We ship from Uganda which is nearer you. Ours is Shea Nilotica and it’s beter for Cosmetics use.

  10. Hi,am from Benue state Nigeria.we have 100%natural organic Shea butter to sell local and international good affordable prices both in bulk and small scales.for your supplies contact me on 08134509307.Mrs S.Danielle Tsav.

  11. We sell pure Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter and Mango Butter from our own facility in Ghana, West Africa. We also manufacture Soaps based on the above. Our manufacturing unit is in India (Bangalore, Karnataka State).

    • Hi.. Do you have refined or unrefined shea butter?
      Can u contact me on 9871436358.

  12. EuGenia Shea is the best place to buy 100% organic Shea butter cream for Skin, body & hair. EuGenia is providing African Unrefined Shea Butter making by homemade products.

  13. We have a local women groups in Northern Ghana who can produce natural unrefined organic shea butter in large quantities. we are currently looking for buyers please get in touch with us for a good price and best quality shea butter.
    Thank you

  14. A lot of websites make crazy clames about Shea Butter but yours don’t and is put together in a way that is very easy for people to understand. One thing I often see from sellers of Shay butter is the claim of grades, the fact is either it’s a virgin/un-refined or it’s not, it is that simple. I feel doing that is an unnecessary claim and there’s no real reason for doing that other than trying to say that somehow yours is better than what is on the market, we have been importing Shea butter for years and claiming a particular grade Shea butter is something we will never do.

  15. We export 100% Organic Shea Butter oil from Ghana, West Africa to all parts of the world. We can supply up to 20,000 tonnes per month of 100% natural organic shea butter oil for cosmetic and pharmaceutical use, etc. Our prices are very attrative. Get in touch for best offer.

    JOHN ON : 0730247302

  17. For your unrefined shea butter request/need in SA please contact the following distributors carrying sheamapo product:
    +27 82 803 5557
    They stock unrefined shea butter produced by sheamapo packaged and bulk)
    For further details pls contact sheamapo ( )

  18. Thanks for all the information on Shea butter. It is quite useful knowledge on Shea butter which can guide me in purchasing the right grade of Shea butter.

  19. my name is akuka iddrisu from northern ghana. i want to be a local supplier of shae butter to your outfit. than you.

  20. Hello buyers! I am an honest producer of Sheabutter. I deal with grade A unrefined shea butter. So I seek for reliable buyers that i can be supplying either home and abroad. I am in nigeria. If you need it from other countries i can export it to you. You can enquire me on whatever you want on this. My contact: 2348069387799 or or add me on whatsapp/facebook with that number. Pls only trustees are to contact me. Thanks

  21. I like that your site is simple with lots of GREAT information and appreciate that you have put your effort into information not being another ’empty’ pretty face! Your site is very easy to use, lots of absolutely GREAT information, and I wouldn’t change anything… Just excited that I have found you!!! Thanks!!!!

  22. I appreciate this interractive website and thank you for the post.

    Oyebanji Kikelomo

  23. I am looking to buy shea and mango butter in bulk and need a supplier that ships to the east coast in the US. please reply. thank you

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