Active Ingredients: Shea Butter

Rachel Gibbons Beauty Expert
Active Ingredients: Shea Butter

There's more to Shea Butter than what meets the eye. Here's everything you need to know about Shea Butter and why your skin will love it.

Shea butter is definitely an ingredient everyone has come across at least once. Be it in skincare, body care or any other beauty product, especially when it comes to helping moisturize the skin. However, is moisturizing the only benefit to shea butter, apparently not. It seems to cover quite a spectrum of skin concerns, ranging from aging skin to dehydration.

Shea butter is derived from the African shea tree nuts and is actually pronounced (shay) not (sh-i-a). Shea butter is a plant lipid that is rich in fatty acids (stearic, oleic acid), vitamins (vitamin A, E) and antioxidants (polyphenols). It’s skin-benefitting components are what makes shea butter so suitable and beneficial for practically every skin type and any skin concern.



Extremely, very hydrating

  • One of the main and most well-known benefits of shea butter is its ability to hydrate the skin and protect the skin from damaging or cracking in cold climates.
  • Shea butter also forms a protective barrier on the skin to prevent moisture loss and keeps the skin from being dehydrated.
  • Due to its moisturizing and emollient abilities, you can find shea butter in plenty of other products like lip care, hair care and body care. 

Repairs the skin

  • Shea butter contains many skin healing properties like essential fatty acids, vitamin A, E and allantoin that help to relieve skin irritations and inflammations.
  • Soothing not only skin irritations, shea butter can also be used by those with sensitive and chronic skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

Fades scarring

  • By helping to soothe and repair the skin, some say that shea butter can reduce pigmentation from scarring (acne, wounds, burns, cracks) as it calms the inflammation and aids the skin’s healing process.

Slows down aging skin

  • Shea butter contains antioxidant properties that neutralize free radical damage and environmental stressors that are known to trigger premature aging.
  • Vitamin A and E not only repair the skin, but they also promote cell regeneration. By doing so, it can help reduce fine lines, wrinkles and age spots. 

Won’t clog your pores

  • Shea butter is sometimes avoided by oilier skin types as its thick consistency is believed to clog pores, however, shea butter is non-comedogenic and won’t clog your pores, unless it is found in a product that features other comedogenic ingredients.
  • The fatty acids in shea butter actually closely mimic the oil produced in our skin and can help regulate sebum production over time.


What to note?

  • Shea butter is a relatively gentle ingredient that can be tolerated by all skin types. However, those with allergies to tree nuts may want to avoid or conduct a patch test with permission of your doctor.
  • As with all new ingredients and products, we advise to conduct a patch test 24-48 hours prior to application.


Products we recommend and where to find them

The INKEY List SPF 30 Daily Sunscreen

the inkey list SPF 30 Daily Sunscreen

Sunscreen is a must, no matter where you are. This SPF 30 sunscreen offers broad spectrum UVA and UVB and is vegan, cruelty-free, sustainable and reef-safe. It uses 22% non-nano zinc oxide, 1% PolluStop to help protect the skin from pollutants and prevent premature ageing and 2% shea butter complex to help moisturize and calm skin.

Commonlabs Triple Vita Hydrating Facial Cream

commonlabs Triple Vita Hydrating Facial Cream

Containing ceramide, squalane, shea butter and manuka honey extract to protect and strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier to prevent dehydration. It also features vitamin B5, C and E to brighten the skin and improve the skin’s elasticity for plumper, clearer looking skin.

Dear, Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream 

dear klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream

This moisturizing cream is an all-year round moisturizer that is formulated to hydrate the skin throughout all seasons. For drier skin, it restores hydration, while for heated skin, it helps to lower the temperature to reduce redness. It is infused with yeast-derived beta glucan that supports the skin's barrier and overall health, as well as containing shea butter as one of its main emollient ingredients. 

Pixi Hydrating Milky Lotion

pixi hydrating milky lotion

Suitable for both face and body. This all-over body lotion provides instant, long-lasting hydration with its unique blend of coconut oil, cocoa seed extract and shea butter that optimizes the skin’s health.

Nacific Fresh Herb Origin Cream

nacific fresh herb origin cream

This cream moisturizer is jam-packed with antioxidants from anastica extract and shea butter that keeps the skin hydrated for up to 24 hours. It prevents moisture loss and helps balance out uneven skin tone for a more radiant glow. 

Hada Labo Gokujyun Hydrating Light Cream

hada labo Gokujyun Hydrating Light Cream

Formulated with 4 types of hyaluronic acid and shea butter, this moisturizer promises to deliver intense hydration and forms a protective barrier to prevent environmental pro-irritants. It also contains sakura extract and botanicals to even out the skin and promote a radiant complexion. 

Simple Regeneration Age Resisting Night Cream

simple Regeneration Age Resisting Night Cream

You can never go wrong with Simple. This PM moisturizer contains a blend of ingredients that revitalizes and restores the skin overnight. It contains Pro-Vitamin B5, Vitamin E, Shea Butter and Green Tea Extract as some of the skin-loving ingredients.

Cetaphil Baby Advanced Protection Cream

cetaphil Baby Advanced Protection Cream

Safest of the safest. Gentlest of the gentlest. This baby cream helps to soothe irritation and relieve discomfort that is the result of dry or chaffed skin. It is enriched with organic calendula, allantoin and shea butter to replenish and strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier. It is hypoallergenic and contains 0% paraben, mineral oils and animal origins.




Body Care


Shea butter may seem like a one benefit type ingredient but there's a reason why its been so loved and constantly used by brands and customers everywhere. It suits all skin types and has a hand helping almost any skin concern you've got. If you have any questions, leave a comment down below. 

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