White vs. Yellow Shea Butter For Skincare

White vs. Yellow Shea Butter For Skincare

We all love Shea butter, it has saved a lot of us from different hair and skin emergencies and despite being a simple fix-it does an amazing job at nourishing the skin and hair.

Shea butter is a commonly used body butter that is a favorite of several persons.

It is gentle on the skin, and it does not irritate or cause allergies no matter how often it is used, it is great for all skin types and a game-changer for people with sensitive skin because it does not have any toxic ingredients that could trigger allergies.

The difference between white and yellow shea butter lies in the fact that yellow shea butter is raw and unrefined, so it retains all the nutrients in full as well as impurities, while white shea butter is refined and does not contain as many nutrients as yellow shea butter.

Shea Butter Explained

Shea butter is a creamy product from Africa. Shea butter is the fat that is extracted from the nuts of an African Shea tree. This is an all-purpose product that can be used for hair, skin, and food as well.

The Shea tree ( Vitellaria paradox) can be found in East and West Tropical Africa.

Shea butter could either be ivory or white color or yellow color. Shea butter is called butter because of its smooth and gentle consistency when used on the skin or hair.

White Vs Yellow Shea Butter For Skin Care.

Shea butter is a popularly known product that can be used in hair care, as a skincare product, and as an edible product. It is usually infused in a lot of cosmetic products, especially those that are organic.

It can be used in lotions, moisturizing creams, hair products, or cooking butter. The fact that Shea butter comes in white and yellow however tends to be somewhat confusing, below we have shared with you the reasons why;

1. Yellow Shea Butter Is Raw while White Shea Butter Is Refined

White vs. Yellow Shea Butter For Skincare
Source: Blossom Bulk

Yellow Shea butter is unrefined, it still has a lot of impurities present in it that make it take on the yellow color. White Shea Butter, on the other hand, has undergone several processes to remove the impurities and alter the color from yellow to white.

The fact that yellow shea butter is used without being cleansed of impurities is what makes it stay yellow, while white shea butter is simply yellow shea butter that is refined such that its color becomes white.

2. Different Fragrance

Because it is still in its raw state, yellow shea butter tends to have an earthy smell after being extracted from the nuts of a Shea tree. Several people do not like this earthy smell, it is unpleasant to them, so they would rather not use yellow Shea butter for this reason.

White Shea butter has no earthy or unpleasant smell because it has been thoroughly refined and is free of the impurities that cause yellow Shea butter to smell. Some hair care and skincare brands even add a fragrance to their white Shea butter to make it more appealing to customers.

3. Yellow Shea Butter Contains More Ingredient

Yellow shea butter is the most natural and unaltered form of shea butter so all the nutrients are rich and active because of this. It is also enriched with more vitamins than those present in white shea butter. Yellow shea butter also has more healing components than is found in white shea butter.

After going through a refining process that alters the original state of the shea butter, white shea butter loses some of its nutrients and healing properties as well.

White vs. Yellow Shea Butter For Skincare
Source: Sayidat

As a skincare product for supple, soft, and nourished skin, most people prefer to use white shea butter instead of yellow shea butter despite knowing that yellow shea butter is unrefined and packed with more nutrients than white shea butter.

People prefer white shea butter because it looks much better, it doesn’t have an earthy smell, it could be made with different fragrances, and it is packaged beautifully and appeals to persons with go want to use it for skincare.


Shea butter is a nutrient-rich butter that has no side effects attached to its usage, it is organic and gentle on the skin. However, people tend to wonder why it is yellow sometimes and white other times, this is as a result of a simple difference.

Yellow Shea butter and White Shea butter are different yet the same, the former is raw and hence it takes on a deep yellow color while the latter is refined, so it is white, however, they are both organic and healthy for the skin.

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