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Shea Butter

Shea butter moisturizes and helps provide an anti-aging effect for your skin.

Learn about shea butter

Our ingredients are carefully selected to effectively support your unique skin needs. Learn more about the science behind Shea butter and how it can help you care for your skin.

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What is Shea butter?

Shea butter has extensive beneficial properties for skin and skincare and is found in the seed fat from shea trees. Shea butter has a long legacy of use as a cosmetic ingredient, as it’s been used for centuries. The high concentration of vitamins and fatty acids that it includes makes for a fantastic product for the skin by smoothing, soothing, and conditioning it.


Shea trees are found in tropical climates in East and West Africa. The seeds of shea trees contain oily kernels that the shea butter is derived from. After the kernels are removed, they are ground into a powder and boiled in water. The butter rises to the top and then becomes a solid ideal for topical use in cosmetic products.

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What does Shea butter do for the skin ?

Shea butter’s chemical makeup is what makes it so beneficial. So, what exactly does it contain?


  • Oils such as linoleic, palmitic, stearic, as well as oleic fatty acids, work to reduce the skin’s surface oil. 
  • Antioxidant vitamins and vitamins A, E, and F, all of which promote healthier-looking skin.
  • Triglycerides - which can be found in the fatty part of the shea nut - nourish and condition the skin.
  • Cetyl esters - found in the waxy part of shea nut butter - condition skin and lock in moisture.

Shea butter benefits for skin

Shea butter is typically used for its moisturizing effects. These benefits are tied to shea’s fatty acid content, including linoleic, oleic, stearic, and palmitic acids. This makes it an excellent ingredient for soothing dry skin.

By topically applying shea, its oils are absorbed into your skin. The oils work by “re-fatting” the skin, rapidly creating moisture and restoring lipids. Shea works by creating a barrier between your skin and the outside environment, locking in moisture and reducing dryness and flaky skin. Products such as Cetaphil’s Advanced Relief Cream with Shea Butter work to hydrate the skin daily, enhancing skin tone and texture.

The high levels of linoleic acid and oleic acid balance one another out, meaning that they are easy for your skin to absorb and reduce the risk of your skin appearing oily after application.

The triterpenes in shea butter (which are naturally occurring chemical compounds) help to minimize the appearance of fine lines and result in plumper, smoother skin.

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