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Shea Butter, an all natural product, comes from the nuts of the Shea Tree and is the darling of the cosmetics industry. It is a skin nourishing emollient applied to the skin either in its pure form, or mixed in soaps, lotions, creams or shampoos.

Unrefined Shea Butter nourishes the skin and hair with Vitamins A, E, F and K. It is an effective moisturizer as it contains many fatty acids, which are needed to retain skin elasticity and moisture. It can be used daily as a pure moisturizer or be used as a barrier against harsh elements. So what are the uses and benefits of Shea Butter?


Could Shea Butter Benefit ME?

Shea Butter has been known to help protect and repair damaged skin and hair. It has also been known for soothing irritated skin. So no matter what condition your skin is in, or what skin imbalances you may have, Shea Butter may be the answer. In addition to being a superior moisturizer, shea butter is used to treat various skin problems including:

  • eczema
  • dermatitis
  • stretch marks
  • dry skin and hair
  • insect bites
  • psoriasis
  • acne 
  • cracked skin
  • itchy skin
  • muscle fatigue and tension
  • rheumatism
  • arthritis
  • sunburns
  • skin allergies and rashes
  • scars and dark spots
  • skin blemishes
  • wrinkles

No wonder why it is the darling of cosmetic industry and is used world wide! It is a natural ingredient that can really help the skin radiate and heal!


How do I Use Shea Butter?

Shea butter is excellent to use in any skincare regime. It can be used by itself by warming a small amount in your hands and applying it directly to the skin & hair, or it can be used in cosmetic formulations for added nutrients. Here are some common ways to use Shea Butter:


  • Apply it to dry hands and cuticles

  • Rub a small amount into your hands and work through your hair to repair effects of styling

  • Use as a lip balm to plump, soothe, and protect against the elements

  • Rub into your legs to prevent razor burn

  • Apply around ‘problem areas’ to your face before applying coverup to reduce the signs of dryness and patchiness

  • Apply to acne scars to help repair skin 

  • For pregnant women, apply generously to your belly to help your skin stretch and reduce the chances of stretch marks

  • Add your favorite scented oil and use as a long lasting perfume.

  • Add 1 or 2 drops of a calming essential oil in for a relaxing massage balm

  • Apply to burns and scrapes to speed healing and reduce scarring

  • Add to your favorite bath salts, for extra moisture

  • Apply to skin for UV protection and to protect from harsh elements 


Is All Shea Butter The Same?

No! In fact there can be significant differences in the product depending on the region of its origin, production methods, filtering and storage conditions. One confusing thing about shea butter are the various sorts and shea butter attributes marketed by different producers and distributors, like ‘pure’, ‘refined’, ‘unrefined’, ‘grade A’ and ‘premium’. I will try to shortly describe how I understand it.

Unrefined shea butter simply means it is extracted and prepared without the use of chemicals or preservatives. That means it is produced the same way African people have been doing it for centuries. This really counts, because only unrefined shea butter keeps all of its natural healing properties. On the other hand, refined shea butter has usually been extracted with hexane or other petroleum solvents and some antioxidants or preservatives may also have been added. Unfortunately, the amazing shea butter moisturizing and healing properties are significantly reduced or completely removed in this process.

To cut it short, differences between unrefined and refined shea butter are the scent, color and benefits.  Unrefined shea butter maintains its nutty scent, beige color and its healing properties.  Refined shea butter has been chemically altered to remove shea butters natural scent, is bleach white in color and retains only a small portion of its natural healing properties. The end result of refinement is an odorless, white butter that may be aesthetically appealing, but lacks the true moisturizing, healing, and nutritive properties of true traditional shea butter.

The other meaningful term is shea butter grade. Commercial shea butter is classified into five grades: A – raw or unrefined, extracted using water; B – refined; C – highly refined and extracted with solvents such as hexane; D – lowest uncontaminated grade; E – with contaminants. Grade A shea butter retains the most natural vitamins, especially vitamins A and E, which are partially lost in the other grades.


Why Atacora Unrefined Shea Butter?

Atacora Shea Butter is pure, unrefined and Grade A. Our collaborators in this sector are personally selected by our CEO and team for the consistent high quality of their product, and their deeply held values of socio-economic justice, women’s empowerment and environmental stewardship. Our relationships with our Shea producer co-operatives are very personal. We visit them often to discuss quality, supply, methods, how to improve and how our collaboration benefits as many rural Beninese women as possible. The leaders of our partner organizations are well-known trainers of shea producers on the national and regional scale. They ensure that the quality of the product is perfect, and always consistent by holding workshops around the region on best practices. They control the quality of the product of of every small producer group before it ever goes to market. These relationships are a cornerstone of Atacora’s Fair Partnership model, and enable us to deliver the finest bulk shea butter on the market. Available in both small and very large quantities.

What Customers Are Saying About Atacora Shea Butter?

“It’s the best shea I have ever formulated with.”

“I love it, I love it, I love it! It whips up so easily and is one of the best I have ever tried.”

“Fantastic, symply fantastic.” 

“It is the only Shea I will ever use, truly!” 


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