Shea Butter For Skin: Benefits, How To Use, And Side Effects

Written by Anjali Sayee

Pamper your skin with the best moisturizer nature has to offer – shea butter! Shea butter is a common ingredient in many skin care products like lotions, moisturizers, and creams due to its moisturizing properties. It is also said to soothe eczema, reduce the signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines, and make your skin glow.

This article delves into the benefits of shea butter for the skin, how to use it to make skin care products at home, and its side effects. Keep reading!

Benefits Of Shea Butter For The Skin

Shea butter is a popular ingredient in skin care products because extensive scientific evidence proves its benefits for the skin. Listed below are some of its benefits:

Fights Skin Inflammation

Shea butter fights skin inflammation, redness, and irritation (1).

Moisturizes The Skin

Shea butter contains vitamins A and E, making it a good moisturizer for the skin and hair. Its buttery consistency also makes it a good emollient. That is why it can repair dry, inflamed skin effectively (2).

Strengthens The Skin

It increases the thickness of the skin barrier to protect and strengthen the skin (1)

Treats Eczema

This natural butter has been proven superior to mineral oil at preventing transepidermal water loss from the skin. This emollient property of shea butter makes it excellent for treating eczema (2).

Fights The Signs Of Aging

Shea butter helps in enhancing collagen production. This improves skin elasticity and keeps fine lines and wrinkles at bay (1), (2).

Heals The Skin

Raw, unrefined shea butter has healing properties that can treat skin rashes, skin peeling after tanning, burns, scars, athlete’s foot, frostbite, and stretch marks (2).

Treats Infections And Allergic Reactions

The high vitamin A content of shea butter aids healing and disinfection and soothes allergic reactions caused by poison ivy and insect bites (2).

Treat Skin Roughness

The vitamin F in shea butter helps in the healing process of rough and chapped skin (2).

Works As A Sunscreen

Shea butter is a good sun screening agent. It protects the skin from UV damage and sunburn, prevents erythema (redness), and reduces the risk of skin cancer caused by the sun’s rays (2).

Protects The Skin In Extreme Weather

In extreme weather conditions (both summer and winter), shea butter provides the extra moisture and nutrients needed to protect the skin (2).

A Common Ingredient In Skin Care Products

Shea butter gets absorbed by the skin easily and has water-binding properties. That is why it is a common ingredient in many skin care products (2). It is also used in the cosmetic industry due to its high percentage of triterpenes, tocopherol, phenols, and sterols, which possess potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (3).

It is clear that shea butter works wonders on your skin. So, check out how you can add it to your daily skin care routine in the next section.

How To Use Shea Butter

You can use shea butter to make your all-natural skin care products at home. Here’s how:

1. Shea Butter Balm

You Will Need

  • 1/4 cup grated shea butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon argan oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated beeswax


  1. Mix all the ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Microwave the ingredients for about 10 seconds. If the shea butter and beeswax have not melted, leave it in for another 5-10 seconds.
  3. Mix the contents in the bowl gently.
  4. Pour the mixture into a jar and let it cool down.
  5. Stir it before applying it to any dry areas of your skin.

2. Shea Butter Hand Cream

You Will Need

  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon almond oil
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa butter
  • 1 teaspoon shea butter


  1. Mix all the ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and heat the mixture for about 5-10 seconds. Make sure the ingredients are hot but not boiling.
  2. Let it cool down for a few minutes.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a clean jar.
  4. Stir the blend and apply it to your dry hands whenever you want.

3. Shea Butter Lip Balm

You Will Need

  • 3 teaspoons shea butter
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 10 drops of any essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon of honey


  1. Combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it for about 5 seconds.
  2. Stir the hot blend of ingredients, and add in 10 drops of your preferred essential oil.
  3. If you want to make the tinted balm, you can add a bit of your favorite lipstick while the mixture is hot.
  4. Pour the blend into a lip balm container or any small container.
  5. Let it cool for a few minutes.
  6. Apply the lip balm to your lips whenever they feel chapped.

4. Shea Butter Face Pack

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon grated shea butter
  • 2 scoops of mashed avocado
  • 1 tablespoon aloe vera
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 5-10 drops of your preferred essential oil


  1. Melt the shea butter in a microwave-friendly bowl for 4-5 seconds.
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix them thoroughly.
  3. Allow the mixture to cool down.
  4. Wash your face with warm water.
  5. Gently apply the pack to your face, massaging it in circular motions.
  6. Leave it on for about 30-45 minutes.
  7. Wash it off with warm water.

Shea butter is one of the safest natural moisturizers. It is added to many skin care products. But, there are some side effects that you should bear in mind. Learn more about them below.

Side Effects Of Shea Butter

If you have acne-prone skin, avoid using shea butter as it may clog your pores and cause more breakouts.

Also, like every natural ingredient, shea butter may cause an allergic reaction. If you are not sure whether you are allergic to shea butter, conduct a patch test on your forearm before applying it to your face.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that symptoms of an allergic reaction to shea butter may include:

  • Nausea
  • Rashes
  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Dizziness

Consult a doctor immediately if you experience any of the above side effects.

Shea butter can be a great addition to your skin care routine. It hydrates and calms dry skin and provides deep nourishment. It also helps maintain your skin’s youthful appearance by strengthening it and combating signs of aging. In addition, you can use shea butter to create all-natural skin-care items such as creams, lip balms, and face packs at home. It is time to take advantage of its many benefits and enhance the health and feel of your skin. However, don’t forget to perform a patch test before using it to avoid side effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply shea butter directly to the skin?

Yes, raw shea butter can be applied to the skin directly. It can also be used with oils, creams, face packs, and other organic ingredients.

How long does shea butter take to clear your skin?

Shea butter can only moisturize and soothe dry skin. There is no scientific evidence that it can clear up your skin completely. Consult a dermatologist if you are facing any severe skin issues.

Key Takeaways

  • Shea butter has great moisturizing properties and helps boost collagen production.
  • It easily gets absorbed into the skin, making it a go-to ingredient for manufacturers to make skin care products.
  • It aids in the skin-healing process besides offering protection from harmful UV rays.


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

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