Unrefined Shea Butter


66 reviews

90% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.7

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.7

Price: $$


Shea buttah.

on 3/28/2011 9:39:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Oily, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I used organic unrefined ivory (as opposed to yellow) shea butter as a night-time moisturizer for three days, and on the morning of the third day, I noticed I had quite a bit of cystic acne brewing under the surface. Nothing else in my routine changed, and I never have cystic acne. I considered this might be a "purge" period, similar to using the Oil Cleansing Method, but I have no patience for a purge period right now.

I will never put shea butter on my face again! However, I recommend it because it's worth a shot. I believe everyone's skin is different, and shea butter might be a miracle worker on someone else's skin. I also lovely the natural, nutty, smoky smell of shea butter.

Shea butter is wonderful night-time body moisturizer though, especially on my dry heels. I will continue to repurchase for that. I haven't tried it on my hair.

Also, I use shea butter as an ingredient for my handmade, all-natural soaps, and it makes my soaps feel very moisturizing, so I will always continue to purchase shea butter.

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

on 11/13/2010 6:22:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Dark, Warm

Hair: Brown, Relaxed, Other

Eyes: Brown

Shea butter is a staple in my skincare routine. I love the stuff and refuse to be without it. It doesn't work as well in my hair but some women swear by it. It's very moisturizing and soothing after I wash my face. I simply take a small amount, rub it between my hands and smooth on to my face. I've been doing this for years. My face is always so soft and toned. SOmetimes I get a batch that has a bit of a strong smell, other times I don't. If you get the container that smells weird, just remember that the scent fades away after a few minutes upon application. A little goes a long way.

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

on 8/3/2010 11:14:00 AM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Green

When I made the switch to natural skincare I thought my skin could not absorb oils very well, and that I could never use them alone as a moisturiser.

However this all changed when I found an article about creams on the internet and read that a moisturiser is a combination of oil and water (and an emulsifier to stop separation) and therefore my skin was only missing the hydration/water element of a moisturiser (and not the conditioning element that comes from the type of oil used).

So I decided to experiment with using an oil and some water in a spray bottle. This provides my skin both with the correct amount of moisturisation (meaning my skin got hydration AND conditioning). This allowed me to experiment with oil and hydrosols to find my perfect moisturiser.

For me, at night time, raw shea butter is the best moisturiser for my dry, oily, and acne-prone combination skin. It provides an excellent amount of moisture if combined with a hydrosol, or just plain water.

I take a 50p size amount and melt it between my hands. This melting step is very important as I find that unmelted butter can drag the skin too much, creating unneccesary irritation. I then distribute it and massgae gently into my face, starting with my dryest areas first and TOTALLY avoiding the eye area. I do the eye area separately as find I need more product in this area and going back afterwards is an easier way to distribute the correct amount of butter I need! I treat it like a separate eye cream.

After it is all distributed, I generally then liberally spray my face with water (or a hydrosol like rose water) and GENTLY massgae the oil in further until the water is absorbed.

I personally love the smell of my 100% raw shea butter (I think it smells deeply woody, nutty and natural). But I can see how the scent might be offensive to those more used to synthetic fragrances. I am allergic to many of those, and so it is a relief to smell something so natural.

It is, in my opinion, much better value for money than normal moisturisers as you experience a higher concerntration of this great ingredient than you would if it was included in high end creams etc.. It also lasts for absolutely ages too. I have had a 250g pot of shea butter from Akoma Skincare for almost 3 years now and its still going strong!

The only disadvantages is that it is a slightly longer process then using a cream to moisturise- but the superior moisturising powers and fact it doesn't break me out and seems to stop the annoying dry pimple patches I can get, means that this far outweighs this disadvantage.

I would not advise this oil/butter for use under makeup as it leaves a protective layer over the skin which takes about 4-5 hours to sink in! It is a great alternative to vaseline if you hike in really cold places though. Or just if you walk regualry in the winter, as this layer stops that raw wind-bitten feel your face can get.

I often use this as a lip balm too. I often get really dry cracked lips in the winter, and one application of shea butter overnight helps soothe and almost magically heals them.

Its also great on dry skin on the body too- especially cracked heels! I did at one point use this on my keratosis pilaris on my arms, (which did work well), but I prefer to use Extra Virgin Coconut Oil there now.

So, all in all an absolutly fantastic product for dry skin. Although my skin is acne prone, this may be too heavy for some acne prone skins, so I would advise a patch test first or diluting it with another oil- eg: jojoba or coconut- both great acne oils too.

23 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

on 7/3/2010 1:23:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Dry, Olive, Warm

Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I wanted very much to like unrefined shea butter but just can't get into it. I try to use minimally-processed products with as few synthetic components as possible and often use simple products (sugar, honey, rice bran/avocado/macadamia oil on my skin, coconut/olive/avocado oil, egg on my hair, etc.) so I was excited to try this. I have chronically dry skin and had high hopes that the shea butter would remedy this issue. As many other reviewers noted, unrefined shea butter has a strong rancid scent that I couldn't cover up with essential oils. The butter felt very heavy and greasy on my skin, and I felt like it was doing a good moisturizing job. But other than when it was actually on my skin (leaving oil stains on everything I touched), it didn't have any effect. As soon as it sank in, wore off, or was washed off, my skin was just as dry as ever. I tried this on my hair and didn't notice any particularly positive or negative effect; I'll probably go back to coconut/avocado/olive oil.

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

on 6/1/2010 11:54:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Normal, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I melt this down and mix with avocado oil and whatever essential oils I have. Then, I put it all over my hair and scalp, and leave it in as long as possible. Love love love it. Takes a couple washings to get out, but my hair is always full of volume and really soft after I use it.
I also use this on my body and occasionally, my face.

Melt shea down slowly, or it will become grainy. I use a double boiler on the stove top, then add other oils once off the burner.

Totally worth the effort!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

on 4/29/2010 7:03:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I use unrefined shea butter on my hands and feet- its the first moisturizer I've used that has actually stopped the cracks I get on the sides of my fingers in winter! I also use it on my legs, if they are feeling really dry. I love the fact its called 'women's gold' because its such an important source of income for the women who harvest it in Africa.

I've found the trick is to scoop up a bit onto your fingers (you don't need much- a pea sized amount does both feet) and then wet you hands, and rub the butter between your palms until it warms up and melts. Then apply where needed. I think the fats in the butter help trap the water where it's needed.

Edit: after using this for a while, I noticed that this seemed to be making my skin drier! I think I need more hydrating products, but this is OK as a 'sealant'

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

on 4/26/2010 10:32:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

Another HG! Finally I can go all natural with my hair (except the color ;-). It's unbelievable how awesome shea butter is! I've been hesitant to try it - while most conditioners aren't strong enough, I just pictured the shea butter turning it into greasy strings, since it really is an oil, after all. It really does only take the tiniest bit (this from someone who goes through conditioner by the gallon normally). Maybe a dime-size piece? Warm it up in my hands and spread it through the ends and that's it. It drinks it up like crazy and after only 3 days, my hair already looks healthier than it has in weeks, even though it really needs a cut/color. It really brings out the natural curl. And it is so soft, and no tangles! Can't stop running my hands through it. There doesn't seem to be any buildup either, which is surprising since that's always the main problem for me with the CO method. I also switched (at the same time) to the Chagrin Valley Shampoo bars, which you must try if you want to go natural. I am concerned about if this combo is going to strip my color after it's done again (Flame red, which is a nightmare to maintain already), but the results are so good that it's worth trying just to see. I'm tossing all my other hair products, I don't need them anymore. I might just switch to another color if I have to, it's that good.

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

on 2/9/2010 8:43:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

I was interested in creating my own natural body moisturiser so bought some shea butter off e-bay. Very cheap. I heated some up in the microwave with olive oil to thin it out and a tiny bit of tea trea oil to 'freshen up' the fragrance a bit. Well i must say i am totally in love. I have very dry legs so i like to add a fairly thick layer to them about once a week (making sure i'm wearing some short shorts and putting my legs up on the coffee table so as not to make things greasy!) Rubbing a dollop in your hands will warm it up and allows it to spread easier. After about half an hour or so it will have absorbed quite a lot but the effect the day after is nothing short of spectacular! It's the only moisturiser i've used that actually seems to keep on moisturising after i've had a shower the next day! If this method seems a bit daunting i've noticed there are lots of recipes available online to make a thinner and less greasy moisturiser so i'm looking forward to experimenting! It's also awesome as a lip balm, very similar texture and feel to Vaseline but it absorbs better making it a perfect base for lipstick, plus by using this you will not be putting on your lips a by-product of the petroleum industry, i think that's what you call a WIN WIN!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 2/2/2010 2:38:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

With this product, I must join in and sing the praises of the choir. I love this product. Now that I have found it, I don't know how I had lived without it in the first place. I buy it online at Coastalscents.com. It's at a good price. It comes in plastic bag and a ziplock bag over the plastic baggy. I leave it in the bag until I need it. I rated the packaging a 2 but I don't think I've really paid for the paging at $8+ shipping for 1lb of shea butter. At the same site, there is a recipe on making whipped shea butter. I've made it 3x now. I first made some for Christmas as presents for my friends. I loved it and so did they. I have changed the recipe a bit to suit myself. I will definately by buying this again.... probably for as long as I live.

I have never used this type of shea butter on my hair before. I do have a spray made of shea butter but it makes my hair feel crunchy for some reason. It is shiny but it feels dried out. I don't think I'm going to use this on my hair either but I have a good hair product so I don't care.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

on 1/23/2010 10:56:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I realized a few months ago that oils DO NOT work on my skin. I wish they would because I love the idea of using a natural moisturizer like olive or jojoba oil. Unfortunately, they are just not for me :( I get really bad cystic acne whenever i use them.

Thankfully, my quest for a natural moisturizer led me to shea butter. I used the perfect organics version from Whole Foods for about two months and my skin just drank it up. I have extremely sensitive easily scarred skin, and I think shea butter makes it much stronger. About a month into using shea butter, I went to get my eyebrows waxed at a new salon. The eye-brow lady, when pulling back the strip pulled off a HUGE portion of my skin too! Now this happens to me often (bc my skin is so sensitive, which is why I usually get them threaded) but never had I gotten such a huge portion pulled off my face. Like I said, i scar VERY easily so I was so upset that this would leave a huge dark mark on my face, as such traumatic events had in the past. I rubbed shea butter on the wound, even after it scabbed over. I must have re-applied every three hours for three or four days. The result: a barely visible scar that is fading daily. Not nearly as terrible as I had expected! I am positive it was the shea butter that saved this situation!

I recently switched from perfect organics to a less refined version from butters-n-bars. This new version smells a lot more "nutty" but I hear the less refined, the more the healing properties are retained. The smell isn't that offensive and it does go away.

All in all- I am a shea butter user for life.

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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