Everything You Need To Know About Shea Butter For Acne

Does Shea Butter Cause Acne?
Is shea butter comedogenic?
Is shea butter for acne okay to use on oily skin?

We get many questions from readers asking about the use of shea butter for acne and acne scars. So in today’s guide, we will cover everything you need to know about Shea butter

Shea: A precious skin care commodity

Shea butter comes from Africa. It is the fat derived from the Vitellaria paradoxa tree. Africans have had a longstanding relation with this creamy butter. Many a great traveler, including the famous historian Ibn Batouta, has recorded the use of shea butter in their travelogues. In ancient kingdoms, the funeral beds of kinds were made using the wood of the Shea tree. Today, shea is known as ‘women’s gold’ as it helps women from poor communities earn a livelihood.

Amazing benefits of Shea

Shea has amazing healing properties. In the harsh African deserts, women use Shea butter to protect their hair and skin from the effects of the sun and wind. In earlier times, local healers used the butter obtained from the shea pits for their anti-inflammatory properties to heal rheumatism and arthritis. Modern science has now confirmed the use of shea as a healing, anti-inflammatory pharmacological agent for many health issues.

Shea butter for skin

Here are some of the best medicinal properties of Shea butter that can come in handy in skin care:

  • Due to its semi solid and buttery consistency, Shea is a wonderful moisturizer.
  • Fractionated shea butter contains olein fraction which is excellent for use in bath products, shampoos, hair creams and face and body butters.
  • Shea melts at body temperature and is easily absorbed by the skin.
  • Many dermatologists recommend Shea butter to counter winter itch. It is beneficial in repairing dry, inflamed skin and especially useful for dermatitis sufferers. Shea is an excellent night time moisturizer for hands and feet.
  • Tests conducted on Shea have shown that regular application maintained very good hydration of superficial layers of the skin.
  • Shea butter’s unsaponifiable fractions are shown to have good UV absorption. This makes it an excellent sunscreen.
  • Used in combination with lime juice, Shea is an excellent antiperspirant.
  • This wonderful skin emollient can even be used on pets to hydrate and moisturize their paws and protect them from the harsh effects of sand and salt.
  • Pregnant women can benefit from application of Shea butter on their abdomen to prevent stretch marks. Many new mothers actually squat over hot water infused with shea butter to ease pain of child birth. Moreover, in Africa, Shea butter is used for massaging infant’s skin post-bathing to keep it hydrated and glowing.

Shea butter for acne

Shea butter is excellent for adult acne. It is especially beneficial for mature skin which dries up due to age and environmental factors. Shea butter is often considered to be comedogenic for younger skin but it is excellent for mature, older skin.

Types of Shea butter

There are two types of unrefined Shea butter. Yellow Shea Butter is boiled for a shorter period of time during its formulation and is harder at room temperature. It also takes longer to be absorbed into the skin compared to the other type, Ivory Shea Butter. Yellow Shea butter is more suitable for dry skin and its color produces a tan, bronze look with a distinct smell. Ivory Shea butter is boiled longer during the formulation process. It is whitish in color with a less distinct smell. You can use either type when making your own shea butter for acne recipes. Whatever you use, avoid refined Shea as it is full of toxins including Hexane. Refined shea has also lost most of its healing properties.

Does shea butter increase pimples?

For adult acne, shea butter is actually beneficial. It penetrates deep into the skin to reverse scar formation. In younger skin, especially oily skin type, shea butter may be slightly comeogenic. That said, shea butter does not cause pimples. In fact, its anti-inflammatory effects are actually beneficial for acne sufferers. It is important to buy Shea in its purest form. You can use a slight amount on your skin first, so if you feel it makes you breakout, you can discontinue the use.

Shea butter acne recipe

Here is a simple Shea butter acne recipe. It contains two essential oils: Lavender and Lemongrass. You may also use any of the following essential oils for acne: Basil, Bergamot, Cedarwood, Caraway, Camphor, Chamomile, Garlic, Grapefruit, Sandalwood, Tea Tree and Juniper.


  • 2 oz. unrefined shea butter
  • 10 drops each Lavender and Lemongrass essential oils.


  • In a double broiler or microwave, melt the Shea butter.
  • Let it cool a bit before whipping it into a creamy texture.
  • Add the oils and whip it to mix them completely.
  • Cool and store in glass jars.

To use, take a required quantity in your palms. Rub them together and then gently massage the melted cream onto the acne. Use daily for best results.

Let us know how long it takes for Shea butter to show results in comments below.

Got acne? Here are 10 products that can help you get rid of it.