During my interaction with my customers, a common question seems to be asked; what is the difference between Unrefined and Refined Shea Butter? I wanted to answer the question in detail.  In this article, will give you the information needed to make an informed choice when purchasing shea butter. 

 What is Shea Butter?

Shea butter is an extracted from the African Karite Nut tree.  It offers a number of healing properties. You can use shea butter as a moisturizer, salve and/or skin protectant.  

  • Shea Butter Properties
  • Anti-aging

  • Stretch mark treatment

  • Moisturizing

  • Sun-protection

  • Anti-microbial,

  • Anti-inflammatory


What the difference between unrefined and refined shea butter.

No matter the form, shea butter is extracted the Karite Nut tree.

Tip: Unrefined shea that is bright yellow includes the root of the African Karite Nut tree.  The root alters the color to a golden yellow hue.

Tip: Unrefined shea that is bright yellow includes the root of the African Karite Nut tree.  The root alters the color to a golden yellow hue.

Unrefined Shea Butter can either be extracted by hand or with the use of a mechanical press. There are no chemicals used to extract the shea from the nut.  Some regions uses lime juice as a preservative to extend the life of the butter.  The end product is unrefined shea.  Also known as raw shea butter, or virgin shea butter.  The unrefined shea butter produces the highest concentration of antioxidants, healing benefits and natural UV protection. The natural color will range from beige to a pale yellow with a nutty scent. 


Refined Shea Butter

Refined Shea Butter

 Refined shea butter is extracted using the same methods as above but it is processed with heat and chemicals.  The most common chemical used is hexane. It is possess a pure white color and contains no odor. Refined shea does offer moisturizing properties but the healing benefits were removed during processing. 


Which is better for you?

Both the unrefined and refined shea butter offers benefits to the body.  Unrefined shea butter contains healing and moisturizing properties.  Refined shea butter offers moisturizing properties.  You will just need to select the proper one to address your need or intended use.

 Which is more commonly used?

Unrefined shea butter is more commonly used in commercial products.  It is easier to manipulate and to fragrance.   

How do you know if your product contains unrefined shea butter? 

 The ingredients on the product label will indicate the same for unrefined and refined.  However, the product description will likely indicate which one it contains.  It should say so on the label. At Charlie Renee, we offer both options to our customer. Our products clearly indicate which butter is in the product.  

Are you interested in using shea butter?

Try Charlie Renee Unrefined shea butter from Mali, Africa