Unrefined Shea Butter Vs Refined Shea Butter
At Sheabliss Natural all our Shea butter products are made using only unrefined Shea butter. We do not sell refined Shea (also known as “white Shea butter”). There are several differences between raw and unrefined Shea butter.
Shea butter has become a very popular cosmetic ingredient recently. Both women and men alike are falling in love with it. And why not, it's completely safe and natural, hypoallergenic and absolutely delicious too (Yep you read that right. Shea butter can be used for cooking). It even comes in several different forms, including lotions, soaps, shampoos and body butters.
Shea butter is a monoclonal fat which has been used for thousands of years to heal many skin conditions including eczema and dermatitis. It is very similar to the fat in nuts and seeds, but is extracted from the seeds of the Shea tree. The nuts and seeds are very high in antioxidants and have a highly nutritious, high-quality protein and vitamin A content. It is extremely popular in all kinds of skin care products.
Types of Shea butter
The problem with using Shea butter is that not all forms of this highly refined butter are truly pure butter. In fact, there are two types of Shea Butter. One is called regular white Shea butter, which is largely hydrogenated and contains no nutrients of note. The other is called raw Shea butter, which has had the oil stripped of its Shea oils and is usually highly refined as well. Raw, unrefined Shea butter contains high amounts of essential fatty acids and is very healthy.
Refined Shea Butter
Refined Shea butter is extracted during a process which uses high levels of heat. Sometimes, the addition of chemicals such as hexane also come into play. During this process the colour of the butter is removed, as a result the unrefined Shea butter is white. Many people use white shea butter because of its lack of color and fragrance. Due to the high level of heat used in the proess alot of benefits are lost. Refined, hydrogenated Shea butter may seem cleaner and more convenient, but it is not as healthy. In addition, it contains only a small amount of the actual saturated fats and can be quite toxic, especially in large doses.
People usually opt for refined for Shea butter due to its colour and fragrance. However it is important to note that refined Shea, won't have the bioactive nutrients such as Vitamins A , D& E that raw unrefined Shea butter has. In fact, up to 75% of the bioactive ingredients are lost during the refining process. 75% is a pretty significant loss. White Shea is still moisturizing, you just do not receive the same healing and beautifying properties as raw unrefined Shea butter.
Unrefined Shea butter
In contrast, raw unrefined Shea has very high levels of nutrients and is highly nutritious as well. If you choose to use this form of raw Shea butter, choose organic, Shea butter.
Raw unrefined Shea butter contains an enzyme called propionyl-glycine, which actually helps your body produce its own collagen and elastin, which are essential for skin cell regeneration. Shea nuts contain an enzyme called tryptophan, which is important for skin elasticity. In addition, raw Shea is high in potassium, magnesium and calcium. It is also high in antioxidants and is a superior moisturizer and skin antioxidant.
Inconclusion the choice between unrefined and refined Shea butter is a personal one. We however recommend raw unrefined Shea butter as it contains all the benefits, vitamins and goodness of whole Shea. We know it has a scent, and the colour can vary, but it is better for your skin and hair. So, if you want to look younger, healthier and have softer and smoother skin, make sure you select the unrefined Shea butter and not refined Shea butter. Refined Shea butter is white and doesn’t have a scent, which some do prefer.