Raw (Unrefined) Shea Butter vs. Refined Shea Butter

In the world of skincare and haircare, where the choices seem endless, Shea butter stands as a timeless and natural treasure. It's been cherished for its nourishing properties for generations. But here's a little-known secret – not all Shea butter is the same. In a modern industrialized Western world where natural Shea butter is a rare find, at FairTale GHANA, we're passionate and strongly recommend Raw (Unrefined) Shea butter over its refined counterpart.

So, let's embark on a journey to uncover the subtle distinctions between Raw (Unrefined) Shea butter and Refined Shea butter. We'll do our best to keep our bias in check, although it won't be easy 😀.

What Is the Difference between Refined and Unrefined Shea Butter?

Raw Shea butter, also known as Unrefined Shea butter, is the purest form you can lay your hands on. This natural wonder is extracted from Shea nuts and retains its authentic scent and color, which can range from ivory to yellow. The painstaking handcrafting process, following age-old traditions, preserves all its precious vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. In Africa, where the Shea tree is deeply rooted in culture, this is the go-to choice for tradition and authenticity.

Refined Shea butter, on the other hand, goes through a refining process involving bleaching, deodorizing, and chemicals to remove impurities and its natural aroma.

But let's talk about Shea butter processing for a moment.

Processing often includes steps like "Bleaching" and "Deodorization." Bleaching lightens the color and reduces the scent, while deodorization eliminates any remaining odor. These steps are common in refining process of Shea butter and the result is a creamy, white butter with a milder to no scent at all. While unrefined Shea butter is easier to blend into skincare recipes, it has lost up to 90% of its natural healing properties along the way.

So, Is Raw Shea Butter Better Than Refined?

While refined Shea butter offers a neutral scent and a smoother texture, in our opinion raw Shea butter shines in its natural glory, offering you the full benefits of this remarkable ingredient. Why do we wholeheartedly choose raw Shea butter as the star of the show? Here's a snapshot of Shea butter's endless benefits:

  1. Nutrient-Packed: Raw Shea Butter is a treasure trove of natural vitamins, including A, E, and F, providing exceptional nourishment for your skin and hair.

  2. Deep Moisturization: Its intense hydration is perfect for dry, sensitive, or eczema-prone skin, leaving you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

  3. Natural Scent: Most people adore the authentic, earthy scent of Raw Shea Butter, finding it relaxing and grounding.

The Misconception: Refined vs. Raw Shea Butter

While a recent study revealed that roughly 80% of skincare makers prefer refined Shea butter, often for reasons of convenience and cost, there's some misinformation circulating. Many still believe that refined Shea butter is just as beneficial as raw, when in fact, the difference goes way beyond purity. In fact, up to 90% of the natural vitamins can be lost during the refining process. 

At FairTale GHANA, we exclusively carry raw Shea butter. This means that our Shea butter retains its natural color, aroma, and nutrient-rich properties, providing you with an authentic Shea butter experience.

We promised at the very beginning that we will never refine our Shea butter, we will stay true to the centuries-old tradition of how it's been used in Africa.

We understand that this decision may not align with conventional business strategies, but we're more than just a business – we are a passionate advocate for authenticity and ethical practices. Our mission is to bridge the gap between tradition and the modern world, ensuring that you receive the purest and most beneficial Shea butter while empowering the remarkable women-owned cooperatives who craft it.

We are so happy to have you with us on this journey to experience Shea butter in its most authentic form, where tradition and quality thrive together.



1 comment

  • Pamela

    I agree I prefer unrefined shea butter , it’s natural unrefined state. When I make my body butters I prefer pure unrefined shea butter with all of its nutritional value inside of what I sale.

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