There’s nothing more frustrating than finding out you’ve made a purchase thinking it was one thing, and then finding out that it’s actually not all you were told it was cracked up to be. It can get tiring when you feel like you always have to double and even triple check the quality and source of the product you’re buying, but unfortunately that’s the world we live in these days. Aside from finding a brand and product that you really like and feel you get the results you were looking for, there are a few simple things you can do to ensure that the Shea butter you’re buying is in fact raw.

One of the things to look out for is the term ‘refined’. If you are looking at different Shea butters and want to know if they are truly raw, read the ingredient label. If it says ‘refined’, then it cannot be raw. Real raw Shea butter is unrefined, and indeed if the label says ‘unrefined’ then that’s a good indication that the Shea butter has been kept in its raw and most beneficial state.

Another indication that a batch of Shea butter is not raw is the smell. Natural, unrefined and minimally processed Shea butter has a slight nutty aroma. If the Shea butter has zero smell, or has a plastic type of aroma, then it has either been deodorized or refined, two things that you do not want to have happen. While every batch of Shea butter is different and will not always smell the same from jar to jar, it should never be completely odorless or chemically smelling in any way.

While not something that can be measured from a product’s packaging, paying attention to the results (or lack thereof) that you get from using a certain Shea butter is another way to vet out the less than ideal, or not truly raw, brands out there. Because raw Shea butter is more therapeutic to the skin, it will naturally yield better skincare results than Shea butter that has been refined, deodorized and treated with chemicals and high heat.

Finding the kind of quality products you care about does not have to be complicated or stressful. Just checking for these three things alone will help you make sure that the Shea butter you are buying is truly raw, authentic and beneficial to your skin.