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What is the Difference Between Shea and Cocoa Butter?

Avatar • Aug 11, 2018

A question I’m often asked is the difference between shea, cocoa and mango butter. From my experience as a product creator I would say it mostly comes down to texture, smell and feel.

Shea butter has a very dense sticky texture when raw, a nutty smell and an absorbent feel. Cocoa butter has a hard texture when raw, smells like chocolate (yum!) and an oily (but not greasy!) feel.

As far as their effect on skin, I always tell people that they both do the same thing — regenerate, soften and heal. However shea butter in my opinion does a better job of softening and moisturizing hair than cocoa butter.

I came across this article on Better Shea Butter that breaks things down. Check it out;

The key difference between Shea butter vs cocoa butter is their source. Cocoa butter is extracted from cocoa beans, while Shea butter is extracted from the nuts of the Shea tree. Both trees grow naturally in different areas of the world. The cocoa tree, also known as the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao), is native to the tropical regions of South and Central America. The Shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa) grows only in Africa. Both Shea and cocoa butter are actually natural fats. They have slightly different properties, but their uses are similar.

Both shea and cocoa butter are extracts from the fruit of their respective trees. This is done through pressure, but in different ways. Shea nuts are lightly boiled and then sun-dried prior to grinding into a paste. The fat is then extracted from the paste and turned into butter through churning. Cocoa butter is removed from the beans by the use of an expeller, a hydraulic press or extrusion.…

Shea butter vs cocoa butter – both are highly concentrated in fatty acids which melt at body temperature. This means that they absorb when you apply them to skin.

So what do I recommend for customers?
Decide whether you want a butter mainly for skin or one for both hair and skin and just go with whatever scent you love most!

If you just want a butter for skin, all of them are going to do the trick! If you want a butter for hair and skin, stick with the sheas and mangos and if you want a cocoa-infused butter, try a blend!

Click here to try our whipped butters.

Click here to try our raw butters.

Raw Butters Sample Pack -- PICK 2

Click here to try our authentic African black soap.

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