When people buy body butter they’re typically looking for the benefits raw shea butter brings. Shea butter is one of nature’s most powerful healing and moisturizing agents, providing 12 to 48 hour moisture while relieving eczema, reducing scars and stretch marks, boosting collagen production and softening skin. It’s no wonder people feel some anxiety about using refined shea butter versus raw/unrefined shea butter. They want to ensure the benefits aren’t lost.

Shea butter has an earthy, nutty scent and a color ranging from beige to yellow. Refined shea butter is processed with high heat, and sometimes chemicals, to remove the scent and lighten the color. In the process some of the natural healing and moisturizing properties of the butter are lost.

Raw shea butter on the left, refined shea butter on the right.
Unrefined shea butter on the left, refined shea butter on the right.

We use refined shea butter in our mixes, if we’re trying to achieve a scent profile that is incompatible with the natural smell of shea butter. But are they significantly less effective than our unrefined shea whips?

Shea butter is fairly new to the American cosmetics market so not a lot of research has been done on the effectiveness of refined versus unrefined. A statement by the African Fair Trade Society says;

“The fact is, whatever it is raw Shea butter or refined Shea butter, the benefits are the same.”

However they do acknowledge that the benefits of refined shea butter are diminished, although no one knows exactly by how much.

Anecdotally speaking, our customers haven’t noticed a difference in the effectiveness of our unrefined shea whipped butters versus our refined shea whipped butters. And whether refined or unrefined shea butter is far better for skin than traditional lotions, which are typically 60 to 80 percent water.

Here are our whipped butters that contain raw/unrefined shea butter, and remember we also sell raw shea butter, un-whipped.

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