7 Unique Facts About Shea Butter Skincare Ingredients!

bowl of shea butter

A body butter or lotion can’t be far from SHEA BUTTER! This ingredient derived from the seeds of the shea tree (West Africa) is famous for its ability to moisturise and repair damaged skin. Not only that, but it also works wonders for your hair and nails. The multifunctional nature of Shea Butter certainly makes it one of the most popular ingredients in the skincare world. 

One brand that uses this natural ingredient is Serenitree! Why did we choose this ingredient? Let’s learn the benefits and unique facts of Shea Butter first!

Despite the name “Butter”, This Ingredient is Not a Dairy Product!

Despite the word “Butter” in its name, Shea butter is not derived from dairy products. Shea butter is made by extracting oil from the seeds of the Shea fruit that grows in several countries in West Africa such as Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria. The process begins with the collection of Shea fruit which is then broken down, dried, and extracted from the oil through grinding and squeezing.

So why does it have the word “Butter” in the name? That’s because its texture resembles butter, is soft, rich in fat, and melts at body temperature. Similar to butter when we apply it to our skin!


One important thing we should also remember is that while the texture of Shea Butter is very moisturising, it is non-comedogenic. This means that it doesn’t clog pores, making it safe for all skin types. However, if you use too much at the same time, your skin may feel greasy and sticky. To avoid this, we can:

  • Use in small amounts or in moderation
  • Only use on areas that are completely dry and in need
  • Use as a moisturiser at night

Simple right? No need to worry about feeling uncomfortable after using Shea Butter! 

Beneficial for Relieving Nasal Congestion

Who says Shea Butter is only for the skin? It’s so multi-functional that it often appears in traditional medicine, especially in Nigeria. Nigerians have long used Shea Butter to help relieve respiratory problems such as sinusitis. The way it is used can vary, some people apply Shea Butter thinly around the nostrils to moisturise and relieve irritation in the nasal passages.

The nutrients in Shea Butter such as fatty acids, vitamins A and E, along with its natural anti-inflammatory properties, are thought to help reduce inflammation in the nasal passages and clear mucus that blocks airflow. Is anyone interested in trying this traditional remedy?

Has Natural UV Protection

Not only is it rich in nutrients that are good for the skin, Shea Butter also has natural SPF! Although Shea Butter has a relatively low natural sun protection factor, estimated to be around SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 6, it can still provide additional protection against UVB rays in small amounts. 

But we must remember that the SPF 6 contained in Shea Butter is not sufficient to fully protect the skin from the ill effects of intense sun exposure. So, you should still use sunscreen!

Similar to Animal Fats

Shea Butter is similar to animal fat because of its main content of stearic acid, which is around 30-50%. Stearic acid has emollient properties that can improve skin texture and maintain the skin’s natural moisture. 

This acidic content also allows Shea Butter to have a soft and dense texture at room temperature, but can melt and be easily absorbed when we apply it to the skin due to body temperature. Perfect for eczema sufferers and people with sensitive skin!

Safe for people with nut allergies

It comes from the nut family, so can we use it if we have a nut allergy? Generally, Shea Butter is a topical ingredient with a low allergy risk. This means that even if we are allergic to nuts, using this ingredient on the skin is still relatively safe/less likely to trigger allergies. But then again, minimal doesn’t mean impossible! Therefore, for Sereni-Trees who are interested in trying it, make sure to do a patch test and stop immediately if inflammation occurs.

Multifunctional Natural Ingredients

This magical natural ingredient is indeed one of the saviours of skin problems, from reducing wrinkles, stretch marks, acne scars, insect bites, psoriasis, inflammation, age spots, and other skin problems. Additionally, nail and hair/scalp health is also assured with Shea Butter. In fact, we previously discussed how this ingredient is often used as a traditional Nigerian medicine!

In addition to medical use, Shea Butter can also be used for cooking (only food grade), lamp fuel, and ingredients for making candles. Isn’t it cool how multifunctional this ingredient is!

Cleopatra’s Favourite Skincare

There’s a reason why this ingredient is still top of the line today. Even since ancient times in Egypt, Shea Butter has been a favourite. Egyptian ruler Cleopatra, known for her intelligence and beauty, used this ingredient in her skincare routine (known from historical records). It is highly prized for its protective capabilities against intense sun exposure and dry desert winds.

Queen Sheba and Queen Nefertiti were known to be big fans of Shea Butter. Indeed, we don’t need to doubt its quality anymore!

Has More Than One Name

The name Shea Butter is probably the best known of the bunch. But actually, this natural ingredient has other names such as Mangifolia, Karite Nut, Galam Butter and Bambuk Butter. The use of these various names depends on the geographical region and culture where the Shea tree grows. 

This is because the Shea Tree grows in 19 African countries, in the grasslands of western and central Africa.

So, there you have it, the unique facts about this natural ingredient! No wonder why Serenitree decided to use it in our moisturiser! For those who want to keep their skin moisturised, nourished and protected, you can definitely try Serenitree’s Hand Cream and Body Lotion!

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