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:

Mountain Rose Herbs

They have beautiful site with extremely large choice of organic natural products from all over the world. Quality of their shea butter and cocoa butter is very good and you can easily find all other ingredients for different homemade recipes. They have very good shipment service.

From Nature With Love

They have great choice of ingredients for natural skin care. FNWL are wholesalers, but you can order small quantities as well. They ship internationally. Even if you are not interested to buy their butters and oils, you can learn a lot about natural skin care on their site.

Essential Depot

They are soap making ingredients supplier. However, you can find amazing choice of good quality unrefined butters and essential oils for your home-made creams at a very good price. They ship internationally.

80 Responses to Shea Butter

  1. Sue says:

    Thank you for this lovely site – there’s so much useful information here.
    Recently I visited Croatia – it’s one of the most beautiful places. You’re lucky to live surrounded by such beauty. By the way – your English if fine – very few mistakes (I used to be an English teacher).

  2. Patricia Koenig says:

    I am wanting to order Some SHEA BUTTER to make my own scented creams, for many differnt issues.

    • mohamed says:

      call to order 646 320 3664

    • dakie says:

      i need seriouse buy for our goods. We can supply hight quantities of raw shea nuts in Burkina Faso. if your are intersting for this products plese contact us , we can give you our best price.

    • Gbenga Otakoya says:

      If you don’t mind, I can supply an unrefined grade A Shea butter as quantity as possible without delay or disapointment,hav alot them available.

  3. hassan says:

    nice 1. we also export unrefined shea butter from Nigeria. u can email: kconsult123@yahoo.com or call: +2348179567622

  4. Ramz Al Jamal says:

    we sell row shea butter from Gana,
    please send sms tp 00971505380580

  5. Sharonda says:

    is it possible to mix with unscented lotion… I want that extra benefit of shea butter because my son has eczema and I have psoriasis.

    • Deji Ajayi says:

      SheaMapo packaged unrefined shea butter that is pure and additives free is all you need. We ship worldwide and you contact us for your order. We now have agent in SA and Zimbabwe for your premium grade shea butter.
      Badeji01@yahoo.com / +2348138719973

  6. lebogang says:

    Hi
    Im in Pretoria south Africa and l would like to purchase some shea butter oil for my skin(face) for blimishs and acne?
    lease advice where in Pretoria and how much will it cost me?

    • Deji says:

      You can contact me for your unrefined/raw shea butter. We can ship to you directly.
      badeji01@yahoo.com
      +2348053199126

    • Omar says:

      Dear Sir,

      NTT CO LTD base at Abidjan cote d’ivoire want to cooperate with you and supply you the following product ; copra, palm oil,cashew nut,shea butter,flesh ginger,red and black pepper, orange,white maiz.

      Hear from you
      Marketing Manager.
      Mr Omar

  7. Natalia says:

    I would like to know where i can purchase shea butter and other essential oils from lebanon?thank you in advance

    • Deji Ajayi says:

      SheaMapo packaged unrefined shea butter that is pure and additives free is all you need. We ship worldwide and you contact us for your order. We now have agent in SA and Zimbabwe for your premium grade shea butter.
      Badeji01@yahoo.com / +2348138719973

  8. may says:

    pls i want to buy shea butter for my shine and hair but i don’t know where to find it…. can you help me find one i live in italy…

  9. tas says:

    please i want to buy shea butter but dnt know where to buy???????????….. please help me i am from pakistan.

    • Zulfiqar Ahmed says:

      Hi
      I can get u shea butter from ghana or nigeria. It depends how much u want.

      Zulfiqar

    • rini siddiqui says:

      hi,
      i m married to pakistani. you can buy pure shea at
      “http://www.theorganicsheabutter.com”
      “www.baseformula.com”
      “http://www.theorganicsheabutter.com”
      these website ship internationally to all countries

    • Niamke kouame says:

      Dear Shea Butter Buyers

      I am hereby looking for shea butter interesters to be my friend and come to me and buy the shea butter in our country and give me commission to support my youth evangelism ministry in Ivory coast.
      Thanks and hear from you to build good business to support the youth, serving Christ ,serving the poors.
      Yours faithfully
      Niamke kouame
      Mobile 00225 05421088
      Skype: niamke225
      niamke22@yahoo.fr

  10. Aidan says:

    I am trying to find a place I can buy shea butter in Cairo.

  11. Gene says:

    Lebogang,
    I always purchase my shea butter from KZN together with essential oils

    • alwaba says:

      Wher 2 buy unrefined shea butter or mango butter in cape town

    • dee says:

      Hi Gene,
      I am in KZN and looking for unrefined Shea Butter…..where do you get it from – please advise!

    • Linda says:

      where do you buy shea butter in kzn?

  12. I like what you guys tend to be up too. This kind of clever work and exposure!

    Keep up the good works guys I’ve added you guys to blogroll.

  13. Ifeoluwa Olawale says:

    I would like to know where to buy this product in nigeria

  14. Ifeoluwa Olawale says:

    I would like to buy in nigeria

  15. I appreciate, result in I found exactly what I used to be taking a look for.
    You’ve ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  16. Good information. Lucky me I came across your blog by accident (stumbleupon).
    I’ve book marked it for later!

  17. Mayanka Khetarpal says:

    Hi I am from India and would like to buy shea butter. Where will I get in Pune, India?

  18. Mr. Shea says:

    one of the best places to get 100% pure unrefined Shea butter and Shea products is in Ghana.
    allpurenature.com
    for exports and bulk purchase contact, osmart100@yahoo.com

  19. omotosho says:

    I can supply any quantity of unrefined Shea butter from Nigeria is actually sold 3kg per one..contact me to discuss further with the price,this is my number : +2348164432801.

  20. Indira says:

    Pretty great post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to mention that I’ve truly loved surfing around your weblog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing for your
    feed and I hope you write once more soon!

  21. Abraham says:

    We are supplier of shear butter in Nigeria. we into exporting of the item…contact us: olatoyin Enterprises, +2348076417381, engrolamide@gmail.com

  22. Niamke kouame says:

    Dear Shea Butter Buyers

    I am hereby looking for shea butter interesters to be my friend and come to me and buy the shea butter in our country and give me commission to support my youth evangelism ministry in Ivory coast.
    Thanks and hear from you to build good business to support the youth, serving Christ ,serving the poors.
    Yours faithfully
    Niamke kouame
    Mobile 00225 05421088
    Skype: niamke225
    niamke22@yahoo.fr

  23. DENNIS says:

    PLEASE ADIVISE ME WHERE I CAN BUY SHEA BUTTER IN TORONTO ON CANADA
    THANK YOU

  24. Maryann says:

    Hi, kindly advice and or reffer me using contacts on where i can get the east african shea butter in Kenya

    kind regards,

  25. stephen brown says:

    I am a regular supplier of sheabutter .I have a lot in stock .I am in pretoria southafrica contact me 0783064529

    • Renee says:

      Hi, Stephen. I am based in Cape Town and am really keen to buy some raw shea butter. Do you have any contacts this side? If not, do you sell the raw or defined version of shea butter? Thanks,

  26. CID Ghana says:

    We have Organic an refined shea butter in bulk quantities and our women can produce large order of quantities at good price and quality for more in formation you can contact me by mail on awal@cidghana.org and by phone 0233541345991/0233249009751/0233372024261
    and we can give you the best deal.
    Thank you

  27. Via-Dolorosa says:

    hello,
    i sell Shea butter in Large quantities from Ghana and Nigeria,i am looking for genuine leads abroad to export…thank you . you may call +2348026900440.thank you

  28. Grace says:

    Hello I am in need of unrefined sheabutter I am based in Zambia kindly help please please !

    • JOHN YORKE says:

      We shea Butter Sellers Producers and Sellers Mandate working under our registered company in Italy. Kindly contact jkyorke@hotmail.com t ostrike a deal.
      Thanks.
      John

  29. julia says:

    please help me where can i buy shea butter in melbourne victoria help please i am in need on that.

    kind regards! :)

  30. olawale johnson says:

    am a supplier of shea butter i need buyers in south africa contact:+2348064349197

  31. irene says:

    I would like to buy Shea butter and don’t know where to get. I’m in Nairobi Kenya

  32. irene says:

    I love your info on Shea butter. where can I get it. I’m in Nairobi Kenya.

  33. ahmad ghawi says:

    I sell raw and unrefined Shea Butter in bulk from Guinea, Conakry. Min order is 1ton. I export to any location. If interested please contact me on my e-mail: ahmadghawi@gmail.com

  34. Deji Ajayi says:

    My company is into raw sheabutter processing in Nigeria. We supply to local cosmetics companies in Nigeria and also to foreign buyers packed in 1kg and 5kg size containers.
    If you are interested please call or send sms to this number: +2348053199126
    badeji01@yahoo.com

  35. Florence says:

    I love your site. Where can I buy shea butter, im from Nairobi Kenya

    • Chauhan says:

      You contact Mr. Noor Hassan in Nairobi. He is owner of restaurant in hotel Embassy, CBD

  36. shireen says:

    iam from chennai, india, where can I buy shea butter in india, or can anybody supply it to me, iam a soaper.

  37. Gery Faroh says:

    I am impressed to find an honest site like this. All the information as near accurate as possible. My family has been producing and using the different varieties and blends of shea butter for generations. We process,blend and preserve it in on our own and pass the tradition down to the next generation. Nobody should be denied the experience of using this miracle. For the cost of shipment alone, I will send free samples of my family’s Total Healing Shea, an unmitigated combination with the complete benefits,to the first 50 persons who requested from this site. Just send your details to wellifenig@gmail.com.

  38. KWAME says:

    We are capable and ready to supply any quantity of pure, quality organic shea butter from northern Ghana. contact us on +233 24 353 1874.

  39. Jig naturals says:

    Hi guys, this is a fine piece of information. I live in Ghana and I really got to know the best part of shear butter when my second child had eczema, I tried lots of products to no avail. My pediatrician recommended shear butter and now my son’s skin is fabulous. The whole family started using it and it’s been so helpful. Now it’s my new business . I supply to hair saloons mothercare shops and Beauty shops as well. I also export to the uk, and south Africa. For supply to all over the world pls contact me on +233266932640. Email. Jigbodyessentials@gmail.com. My brand name is jig naturals shear butter.

  40. JOHN YORKE says:

    we are Shea Butter producers and Sellers Mandate working under our registered company in Italy. kindly get to us for a regular supply with good offer.
    John

    • Vilma says:

      Where in Italy can I find your shea butter and at waht price? Thank you.

  41. FuzzyWazz says:

    Beautiful site with losts of information on where to purchase this great product…thanks you so much. I am looking forward to contacting some of these supplies. I will say though that having a website really helps to make the decision easier as we can also see the pictures of the products.

  42. sinyar says:

    Hi
    I’m looking for supplier Raw Unrefined Shea Butter grade A ,Yellow or White , from Africa or US

  43. fiddausi says:

    hi Sinyar i can meet ur requirment. callme 2348160122729

  44. Brenda says:

    We are a small home cottage industry in Uganda that processes shea butter to Grade A quality. if interested in 100% natural quality shea contact us at qualityshea@gmail.com

  45. mercy speaks global investment limited says:

    Want shea butter both refined and unrefined state feel free to contact for your orders regardless of the quantity, you can get moringa oil and plantain flour all available at any quantity and at reasonable and affordable price. Export Is made to basically Usa.

    • viviane LOUCOU says:

      please send me a mail, if you are interest to buy a natural shea butter who come from Ivory Coast , Ghana and Burkina Faso.I’m living in Philadelphia.

      Best Regards

  46. Asiedu Edmund Joshua says:

    Mabeldex Limited, its a working company that supplies Shea butter to many other countries, i would like to know if you are interested in raw unrefined shea butter, no matter the quantity.contact us on tanshallom@yahoo.co.uk

  47. Mike says:

    I am looking to purchase bulk, unrefined light colored shea butter in Southern California. Please contact me with information.

  48. Abimbola says:

    Please, i want to know if sheabutter will enhance d growth and thickness of my eyebrow and eyelashes, if yes, how do i get the unrifined one. i stay in yenagoa , bayelsa state. nigeria. thank you.

  49. Abdullah says:

    Thanks for the post. Very informative

    Kindly advise of reliable suppliers from East Africa and/ or West Africa.

    Thanks

    • Patrick Adou says:

      Greetings Abdullah.
      I am a sales representative for a group of women from Burkina Faso. We supply pure Shea butter to interested parties. We can supply quantities varying from 100KG to 2 metric tones.
      Don’t hesitate to contact me for further information at my email address kanian77.2@gmail.com.
      Regards.

  50. jasmine says:

    Where can I fine african shea butter 100% organic in italy (milan)yellow and white……please help….

  51. LaNue says:

    To all eczema and psoriasis sufferers, our company offers an eczema/psoriasis cream that provides significant relief without all of the other chemicals that the products on the market have. If you would like to receive a sample please feel free to email me at `info@itsanewyou or call 404-981-5403.

  52. Lemberdzsekk says:

    Hi,
    I’d like to buy shea butter, I live in Hungary (Europe).

  53. My brother recommended I might like this web site. He was entirely right.
    This post truly made my day. You cann’t imagine simply how
    much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  54. meetali says:

    hii .. where can i buy unrefined shea butter grade A in india ??

  55. Hassan says:

    We just recently started the shea butter business we yare looking for good partners who interested in bulk supplies.

  56. lisa says:

    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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