Cocoa Butter Versus Shea Butter - Which is Best For Your Skin?

Cocoa Butter Versus Shea Butter - Which is Best For Your Skin?

Owing to the popularity of both shea butter and cocoa butter, you may wonder which the best option for your skin. Both shea and cocoa butter have immense skin benefits, and for those reasons, many skin care lotions and creams contain either one of them.

To put a rest on the cocoa butter versus shea butter debate, this article will explore different properties of the world renowned skin moisturizers. You can use the following comparisons points to determine which product best suits your needs. Let’s find out more.


Other than being a naturally occurring substance, cocoa butter is an extract of cocoa beans, seeds of the cacao tree. It is native to South and Central America, but is als also cultivated in West Africa.1

On the other hand, shea butter is extracted from the nuts of the shea tree and is known as karite butter. The shea tree, also known as karite, only grows in Africa, mainly in Central and West Africa.2 In Africa, shea butter is also referred to as “women’s gold,” due to its positive impact in terms of job creation for women.1

Appearance and Aroma

While unrefined cocoa butter has a strong chocolate scent, unrefined shea butter has a slightly nutty scent.2 Refined cocoa butter has a minimal scent as compared to unrefined cocoa butter, which makes it possible to incorporate it with other ingredients without worrying about changing the final product. Unrefined cocoa butter has a darker color with a brown tint to it, while shea butter has a light shade of ivory.3 Raw or unrefined shea butter may show a range of colors from cream, gray, and yellow.

Pure Shea butter has most of its natural ingredients intact, but due to high levels of solvents used in refining shea butter, refined shea butter is white and has less nutritional value. Some cosmetics stores actually sell refined shea butter at inflated prices by labeling it as raw shea butter.

Shelf Life

Cocoa butter has a shelf life of about five years. It is expensive due to its extended long shelf. At room temperature or during the colder season, the cocoa butter will form into a solid and melt slowly as the temperature rises.2 Shea butter has a lifespan of about one to two years. It loses its effectiveness with time in comparison to cocoa butter; however, storing shea butter in the fridge is unnecessary.

The loss of its effectiveness is due to the breakdown of its natural ingredients, but this does not mean you cannot use shea butter as a skin moisturizer. Store shea butter in an airtight and sealed container to increase its longevity and keep insects away.2

Skin Benefits

There is significant difference when you compare moisturizing properties of both cocoa and shea butter. They both have fatty acids that improve skin elasticity and moisture retention.3

The natural scent coming from cocoa butter is used in aromatherapy because it’s pleasant.   

Cocoa butter contains cocoa mass polyphenol (CMP), which plays a major role in easing dermatitis and rashes. In some cases, the CMP may reduce the growth of tumors and cancerous cells. Continuous use of cocoa butter will lighten stretch marks and may even prevent their formation.1

On the other hand, shea butter is rich with vitamins A and E and is beneficial for skin repair. Some studies indicate that using shea butter for skin adds cinnamic acid, which reduces skin inflammation and keeps tumors away.4   Shea butter also acts as a natural sunscreen, protecting you from the strong ultraviolet radiations and potential skin damage. You can also get rid of skin discoloration, rashes, and dark spots using shea butter.2

Skin Protection and Healing Benefits

Shea butter can relieve many skin issues ranging from dry skin to other dermatological problems, such as eczema. Shea butter can reduce diaper rash, blemishes, itching, wrinkles, and dryness. It can also be used as a shaving cream to reduce razor burns and maintain your skin’s even tone.

Essential vitamins that are needed by the skin, such as vitamins A, E and K, and shea butter helps to maintain a healthy and clear skin. Omega 3 fatty acid, also present in shea butter, is a skin protector and rejuvenator, which also helps to smooth rough or charred skin.4

Cocoa butter has high levels of antioxidants that neutralize free radicals formed as a result of cell metabolism. The high presence of radicals on the skin is the reason why you have damaged skin cells and more wrinkles.1 For issues like scars, acne, and stretch marks, shea butter seems to be the better choice, since cocoa butter tends to clog your skin pores. In addition, shea butter does not stick on the skin and may help reduce acne and appearance of stretch marks.3

People with dry skin problems can use unrefined cocoa butter because of the ease of absorption into the skin, and it quickly improves the appearance of the skin.

When Making That Decision

Shea butter definitely has more benefits as compared to cocoa butter; however, making the decision between cocoa butter versus shea butter should be approached with caution. In some cases, any of these products may have some ingredients that trigger an allergic reaction; therefore, when buying, get to know what each ingredient on the package will help solve your skin problems.

However, don’t rely on referrals to decide on cocoa butter or shea butter and assume that it will solve all your skin and hair problems. If you are treating a serious skin condition, consult your dermatologist, who can help you choose the best option to treat your skin with confidence.

If you have been searching for a source for shea butter you’re are at the right place.  We offer unrefined and organic shea butter that will give you full benefits that you have been looking for. Your search for quality products ends here at Mother Earth Products.


  1. https://www.livestrong.com/article/279993-shea-butter-versus-cocoa-butter-skin-care/
  2. https://www.liveabout.com/shea-butter-vs-cocoa-butter-which-one-is-better-for-your-skin-2442655
  3. https://bettersheabutter.com/shea-butter-vs-cocoa-butter/
  4. https://www.diynatural.com/shea-butter-vs-cocoa-butter-vs-mango-butter/






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  • Branden Evans
Comments 1
  • Skin Browse
    Skin Browse

    You did a great job there. The only thing I can suggest is a little bit larger post. I also tried to explain the difference between shea butter and cocoa butter. Let me know if you have any suggestions for me.

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