From shea butter to cocoa butter, what are the differences and benefits of these skincare ingredients?

There are many articles out there about shea butter, cocoa butter and the differences between them. Although they have their pros and cons, these products have nearly the same skin benefits, fatty acids and antioxidants.

According to Real Purity, a skincare website, “…both shea butter and cocoa butter will enhance the beauty and elasticity of your skin. They each contain fatty acids, which allow your skin to retain moisture, and they can both ease common skin ailments, including eczema or psoriasis.”

Here’s everything you need to know about shea butter and cocoa butter and how they match up.

Characteristics Shea butter Cocoa butter
Origin Derived from the edible nut of the fruit from the Karite or ‘African Shea Tree’, which only grows in Africa. Rich, natural vegetable fat extracted from cocoa beans inside pods of the Cocoa Tree, native to the tropical regions of South and Central America.
Appearance Shea butter has a tan, pale yellow or ivory color with a distinctive and nutty odor. Cocoa butter has a pale yellow and oily appearance with a cocoa flavor and aroma.
Storage life The average shelf life of shea butter is 1-2 years from its date of manufacture. Cocoa butter can be stored for up to 5 years.
Absorption A fast-absorbing, anti- inflammatory and anti- aging moisturizer. Melts at body temperature and forms a protective barrier over the skin.
Skin Types It’s safe for all skin types and won’t make your skin oily. It offers good hydration but not for all skin types. As It is oily, it could clog your pores.
Treatment of skin conditions Shea butter can be used for acne, arthritis, burns, dandruff, skin rashes and irritations, eczema, insect bites and itchy skin. Cocoa butter is used medicinally as an anti- inflammatory moisturizer for swelling, skin irritations, redness, rashes and eczema.


Skin health benefits Shea butter soaks into your skin and it will:

●    Moisturize dry skin.

●    Reduce inflammation, stretch marks and scarring.

●    Treat acne and blemishes.

●    Restore the elasticity of your skin.

●    Provide excellent lip care.

●    Heal and protect sensitive skin.

Being high in fatty acids, cocoa butter can hydrate and nourish the skin leaving it feeling soft and moisturized. It will:

●    Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

●    Maintain the softness of skin and hair.

●    Eliminate dandruff.

●    Prevent inflammation.

●    Facilitate wound healing.

Vitamins A – Anti-aging properties. E – Protects against cell damage and a natural collagen booster.

D – Protection and rejuvenation.

F – Rich in fatty acids, excellent for moisturizing, and provides a protective barrier.

E – Protects against cell damage and a natural collagen booster.

K – Speeds up skin healing.


Both shea butter and cocoa butter have a number of skin healing properties and both are rich in antioxidants, however, due it’s non-comedogenic nature, shea butter does not clog pores, making it a great all-rounder. Not only does shea butter heal and protect the skin but it thoroughly moisturizes it too, without leaving any greasy residue to the skin.

Whether the skin is irritated by acne, eczema, or just generally sensitive, shea butter offers gentle and soothing nourishment, making it the best cream for everyone in the family, from baby to teenager, to adults looking for anti-aging benefits.