Shea butter good for acne

Shea butter for acne is a well known remedy for skin issues. It is derived and extracted from the African Shea tree. Not only is Shea butter used all over the world for its amazing moisturizing properties, but it is edible as well and used in food preparations, particularly in Africa.

What is Shea Butter?

Oil is extracted from the Shea tree and this in turn is made into Shea butter. The butter is actually extracted from the nuts which are similar looking to the cocoa beans. When raw, it is yellow in colour and when unrefined, or refined, or even ultra-refined, it is ivory or white coloured. Shea butter is a triglyceride, or fat, being derived mainly from oleic and stearic acids.

shea butters

Pure and unprocessed Shea butter comes with fountains of ingredients in them that are healing for the skin and which can benefit many kinds of skin conditions – acne being one of them. No one enjoys having acne; and there are a few disadvantages, such as being

  • Embarrassing: your ambitions, your love life, your confidence levels all drop when you have to face people and you have acne
  • Stressful: failure in the social world could bring inferiority and therefore stress, finding it difficult to take your mind away from your acne problem
  • Unhealthy: When stress levels are high, your whole body’s health situation can be undermined. You don’t sleep well. Not cleansing properly can bring about infection too.

Health benefits

Acne can be cleared, cleaned, and your confidence levels can soar again. There is an answer, and it is Shea butter for acne. It has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties as well as any-bacterial properties. It makes it a unique and healthy way of clearing up your acne. Using it for you acne, you will notice smoothness, health and elasticity to your skin returning.

Let’s look at some of the ’magical’ ingredients in Shea butter:

  • UV blocking agents such as octyl methoxycinnamate is in Shea butter. Its main use is as a sunscreen because it absorbs the UV-B rays of the sun, protecting skin from damage – and the added benefit is that Shea butter for acne scars is just what you need!
  • Vitamins A, D & E: We all know that vitamin A has always been outstanding as a skin rejuvenator and healer. Apart from these amazing acne benefits, it also aids in combatting wrinkles. When it comes to vitamin D, even though there is not a lot of vitamin D in Shea butter, the amount that is there helps with repair and skin cell growth, like giving your skin a bit of sun on it every day, which is extremely healthy and beneficial to acne. Vitamin E is essential for the health of the skin. Some studies have revealed that when you don’t have sufficient vitamins A & E in your body, you could be more prone to acne.
  • Lupeol Cinnamate in Shea butter is an acid. It has anti-inflammatory agents in it, reducing the inflation the acne causes to your skin, with its redness and irritation. Lupeol Cinnamate reduces that redness, adding soothing relief.

The history behind Shea butter

Year’s back, around 1978, some research done on Shea butter showed that combining it with salicylic acid, a treatment for acne, went a long way in improving the efficiency of the acid by at least 24%. By 1988, the researchers tested the moisture content of Shea butter on 30 participants who rubbed the butter on their skins whilst other participants rubbed a placebo cream on their skin. The research shows that after consistently applying the Shea butter or the placebo cream, those who had rubbed Shea butter on showed skin that was 40% more moisturised than those using the placebo cream. 

In 1990, French research used 30 participants to test Shea butter on their skin for 4-8 months and it was found to improve thinning skin in 100% of the participants. Their skin was brighter by 100% and there was a 50% improvement in the appearance of wrinkles. With the second study, 49 new participants used Shea butter twice a day, either in a 15% concentration or a 100% concentration. 70% of the participants showed their scars, burns and dermatitis had improved whilst 75% reported a reduction in wrinkles.

Fact of the matter is, Shea butter for acne prone skin doesn’t clog pores as it is comedogenic; it helps keep pores clean and open. Naturally, the oil in Shea butter might not benefit every skin type, but it is always wise to test any new skin product before using it on your body or face.

How to choose Shea Butter?

Shea butter used to be a sought after ingredient in lots of cosmetic products a few years back. But with the latest craze about health, many companies have jumped on this bandwagon, claiming to use the marvellous natural ingredients of Shea butter. If you really look, you might realise that the real thing might be there, but in tiny miniscule proportions. Real beneficial effects of Shea butter are lost when it becomes diluted and processed and refined. If you really want to get rid of your acne, and reap the benefits of glowing, healthy, sanitised, clean skin, you need to get the raw, unrefined, Shea butter, which looks a bit like cheese. You need to know precisely where your Shea butter comes from. If you don’t have enough information about the source of your Shea butter, it’s best not to purchase it.


Good quality African Shea butter for acne will do wonders for your acne. Shea butter doesn’t go bad easily, nor will it have a chemical smell. If you smell any kind of chemical odour in your Shea butter, the chances are it has some deodorizer in it or it has been refined, and that won’t do your acne any good at all. The real deal has a mild earthy nutty smell, but certainly never chemical- or plastic-like.

Your acne laps up the real Shea butter and you will instantly feel the soothing and protective oils working on your skin. If you don’t feel like it is doing that, it probably is not a very high quality Shea butter. You don’t want to read about the benefits of Shea butter and then discover it does not do anything for your acne, maybe even making it worse! Believe it – if is not the pure, organic Shea butter, your acne might even rebel.

Using for acne

You shouldn’t use Shea butter in place of your facial cleanser. Try and use a cleanser that contains salicylic acid, avoiding any chemical products, which can cancel the natural benefits of using Shea better. There are dermatologists who say wash your face two times a day, whilst others recommend only once. You choose what is more beneficial for you.

Shea butter can be used both for acne treatment and as an anti-aging agent. Here are some recipes that you can easily follow at home.

Anti-aging cream


  • Shea Butter – 1 cup
  • Geranium Oil – 10 drops
  • Lavender Essential Oil – 10 drops
  • Frankincense Essential Oil – 10 drops
  • Double Boiler
  • Hand Mixer
  • Wide Mouth Jar for Storage


Melt the seat butter on medium flame in a double boiler. Then put the mixture to your fridge and let it cool down (that will take up t0 20 minutes). After the mixture is cooled, whip it with a hand mixer. Add the oils and stir well. Then put the mixture into a jar. This mixture should be applied on skin after shower.

shea butter recipe

Soothing Shea Butter Mix 


  • Shea Butter – 1/2 cup
  • Coconut Oil – 2 tsp
  • Rose Water – 3 tbsp
  • Lavender Essential Oil – 5 to 10 drops
  • Double Boiler
  • Hand Mixer
  • Wide Mouth Jar for Storage


Melt the seat butter on medium flame in a double boiler. Put it in your fridge and let it cool for about 15 minutes. Add all of the oils and stir well with a hand mixer. You should get a nice, smooth cream. Use the mixture on the inflamed areas of your skin daily.

If you are using an acne medication that has salicylic acid in it 

You will find a lot of acne remedies have salicylic acid in them because it will open cells, it removes the acne bacteria and it is anti-inflammatory. Even though its actually a natural product, today, for commercial use in modern day cosmetics, the salicylic acid is now prepared by putting sodium phenolate with carbon dioxide at very high pressures and temperatures, then treated with sulfuric acid in order to create salicylic acid.

This solution is used to kill bacteria, encourage exfoliation, and unclog pores of acne. You have to use it on a continual basis and although it’s not a cure, it’s a daily tool in the fight against acne. It has been found that Shea butter enhances the release of the salicylic acid as noted above, making the salicylic acid even more effective at protecting and cleaning the skin. It also goes a long way in protecting the skin from the drying effects that salicylic acid brings.

Your skin will thank you for getting rid of its enemy, acne. If you want to show up at your next social gathering but you have acne, cheer up! Shea butter for acne is a natural and effective solution – it works!

Sources and References

  1. NCBI – Shea Butter
  2. Wikipedia – Shea Butter