With the skincare market getting more and more saturated with Shea butter and Shea butter type products, you might find yourself asking what kind of things you should be looking for when making your purchase decision. Is it better refined, or raw? What about ivory, or yellow? Ghana, or Burkina Faso? All of these things are very good questions, and we’re here to point you in the right direction. Below are some things to consider when making your Shea butter skincare buying decision.

If you want to get the most bang for your buck, then you want to buy Shea butter that is completely raw and unrefined. This is because the refinement process takes with it a huge portion of the therapeutic compounds found in Shea butter. While the color and odor might change, so does the actual make up of the Shea butter, and it doesn’t change for the better. If you want Shea butter that actually gives your skin the benefits you bought it for in the first place, then buy it raw and unrefined.

You may have also noticed that some Shea butters come from Ghana, some from Burkina Faso, and some from other West African countries. Know that it does not really matter which African country your Shea butter comes from. While there will definitely be regional differences in the components and texture of the Shea butter, it’s not something of great importance. What is worth noting is the source of the Shea butter you’re buying. Make sure it comes from a source that ensures it is processed and packaged in the most integrity filled way possible, and that the people who do the harvesting are paid fair wages.

As for the color of Shea butter, that will depend largely on where it is from. Because no two Shea butter trees are exactly alike and will produce slightly different Shea butter, there will be some color variations no matter what. Instead pay attention to the quality and source of the Shea butter, and less attention on the color. The only time color is of importance is if it is a result of refinement. In that case, go for something less “ivory”, and opt for raw Shea butter instead.

Though there are a lot of options out there, it doesn’t take much to arm yourself with the right information to make the best decision for you. Just make sure your Shea butter is raw, unrefined, and comes from a high quality source. The rest comes down to you, and your personal preference.