Chunks of shea butter before being used in one of our products

Nearly everyone has heard of shea butter’s amazing moisturizing powers, and by now it’s an ingredient often taken for granted. Most of us assume the best moisturizers, be they lotion, hand cream, or other, include it. But is that all there is to it?  Definitely not!

How is it made?

Shea butter is harvested from the nuts of the wild shea trees in Africa. There are no shea tree plantations, as it can take 20+ years for a tree to start bearing fruit. Women are most commonly the harvesters of this incredible butter, and with fair trade practices in place they support their families with this work.

A woman making shea butter
Photo by Thelastcelebrity on Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons license

Why we use it has a great article about shea butter and it’s top benefits.  To pull out a key few:

It’s safe for all skin types

Shea butter is technically a tree nut product. But unlike most tree nut products, it’s very low in the proteins that can trigger allergies.

In fact, there’s no medical literature documenting an allergy to topical shea butter.

Shea butter doesn’t contain chemical irritants known to dry out skin, and it doesn’t clog pores. It’s appropriate for nearly any skin type.It’s moisturizing

It’s moisturizing

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.

When you apply shea topically, these oils are rapidly absorbed into your skin. They act as a “refatting” agent, restoring lipids and rapidly creating moisture.

This restores the barrier between your skin and the outside environment, holding moisture in and reducing your risk of dryness”

It won’t make your skin oily

Shea butter contains high levels of linoleic acid and oleic acid. These two acids balance each other out. That means shea butter is easy for your skin to fully absorb and won’t make your skin look oily after application.”


Hand cream goes in hot, solidifies as it cools!

So you can see why we chose to make it a major part of most of our BeeOlogy products! It’s a natural ingredient harvested from shea tree nuts that has so many benefits for our skin (and even hair)!

How does it work? It all comes down to its chemical makeup:

  • inoleic, palmitic, stearic, and oleic fatty acids, ingredients that balance oils on your skin
  • vitamins A, E, and F, antioxidant vitamins that promote circulation and healthy skin cell growth
  • triglycerides, the fatty part of the shea nut that nourishes and conditions your skin
  • cetyl esters, the waxy part of the shea nut butter that conditions skin and locks in moisture


Shea nuts from the Shea tree
Photo by Amuzujoe on Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons license

Isn’t shea butter incredible? The next time you pick up your hand lotion/cream, you might want to check how prominent shea butter is on the label! In BeeOlogy products, it’s the first ingredient.