Cocoa Butter vs Shea Butter – All You Need to Know About Them


You must have noticed that a lot of skincare products contain cocoa butter and shea butter as active ingredients in them. They are skin hydrating ingredients that are often found in creams to use in dry weather. It’s their creamy texture and moisturizing properties that hydrate the skin from within and make it look less cracked or dry.

Both of these kinds of butter can make your skin heal from within, but that does not mean that they are the same. Shea butter and Cocoa butter have their own unique benefits and features that make them stand out. If you’re wondering what those differences are, then keep reading to find out more about them.

Differences between Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter

According to board-certified dermatologists, both cocoa and shea butter have wonderful benefits for the skin. They both moisturize the skin, but they are made up of different plant oils.

A lot of skincare products contain one of these kinds of butter as the hydrating ingredients, while others might have both of them.

Properties of Cocoa Butter

Coming from Theobrama cacao L tree, it consists of palmitic acid, stearic acid, and oleic acid. The trees are usually found in the tropical regions of South and Central America. Cocoa butter is rich in phytochemicals that are a natural plant compound.

This type of butter is high in fatty acids and is known to improve skin elasticity. Cocoa butter  is a form of vegetable fat that directly comes from the cocoa beans. The creamy cocoa butter is extracted after proper manufacturing and the remaining portion of the cocoa beans is turned into cocoa powder. It’s known to have several antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This is why cocoa butter is a great ingredient for making cocoa butter soaps.

Properties of Shea Butter

Shea butter comes from the African shea  tree called Vitellaria paradoxa. There are stored fats in the kernels of the shea tree’s fruit. These fats are extracted through manufacturing and are then converted into shea butter. Shea butter contains palmitic acid, linoleic acid, and arachidic acid.

Organic Shea butter is known to be the best source of Vitamin E and A for the skin. It also contains fatty acids that hydrate and moisturize the skin from within. Furthermore, it’s known to show great success in repairing skin and controlling inflammation.

Cocoa Butter vs. Shea Butter – Appearance & Smell

Shea butter has a mild, nutty scent and has a soft spreadable consistency. It’s because of its scent that it is often used in essential oils to enhance the smell. On the other hand, cocoa butter smells like chocolate, which is highly therapeutic as well. Moreover, cocoa butter does not melt at room temperature. It has a firm texture and a browner tint.

Cocoa Butter vs. Shea Butter Benefits

As different as they are from each other, there are significant uses of both as well. If you’re new to skincare, then these benefits will help you decide which one you need for your skin.

Benefits of Cocoa Butter

Cocoa beans grow in hot, humid temperatures. Cocoa butter is not only used in skincare, but it’s also one of the main ingredients in lip balms, dessert recipes, US-produced chocolate, and others. It’s safe to say that it’s versatile. Here are a few benefits of cocoa butter:

  1. It’s a great source of Vitamin E. It benefits the body by supporting skin, brain, and blood health. It further helps with reproduction and improving vision as well.
  2. Cocoa butter helps with treating dermatitis and eczema. Using oil-based cocoa butter can help in healing the skin and stopping flare-ups.
  3. Cocoa butter is good for cholesterol levels. It consists of stearic acid that is converted into non-saturated fat in the liver known as oleic acid. The main purpose of this acid is to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol and increase the level of good cholesterol.
  4. It protects against UV sun damage. Cocoa butter consists of phytochemicals, which protect the skin from UV damage and decrease the risk of skin cancer as well.
  5. It moisturizes the skin. Cocoa butter comes with fatty acids that hydrate the skin from within. Using it regularly can create a protective barrier on the skin that stops your skin from drying up.
  6. It consists of Vitamin K. This vitamin is responsible for maintaining bones and strengthening them.
  7. Helps in reducing liver disease symptoms. Cocoa butter consists of choline and its regular use can help in managing liver disease symptoms.

Benefits of Shea Butter

Shea butter comes in an off-white or ivory color. It’s native to West Africa and is known to have a lot of benefits. Here are a few benefits of shea butter that you must know of:

  1. Shea butter is great for all skin types. It comes with fewer amounts of proteins, which makes it tolerable for all skin types. Also, it does not clog pores.
  2. It does not make your skin oily. Shea butter is rich in oleic and linoleic acids, which balance out each other. It’s the first reason why shea butter is easily absorbed in the skin without making it look oily.
  3. It has anti-inflammatory properties. Shea butter triggers cytokines when it’s applied to the skin that helps in slowing the production of inflammatory cells. It helps in fighting multiple skin conditions including eczema.
  4. It’s rich in Vitamin A and E. These vitamins work as anti-aging agents that improve dull-looking skin, reduce free radicals, and stop premature aging. Shea butter boosts anti-oxidant properties.
  5. It helps in preventing acne. Shea butter produces moisture to your skin that is locked in the epidermis. It comes with different fatty acids that make shea butter’s composition very unique. It restores the skin’s natural oils, which prevents acne.
  6. It helps in regenerating skin cells. The antioxidant and moisturizing properties of shea butter promote the healthy regeneration of cells.
  7. It reduces the appearance of scarring and stretch marks. Shea butter helps in promoting the reproduction of scar tissue, which heals the skin and reduces the appearance of stretch marks and scarring.
  8. It’s known to be effective in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Shea butter promotes cell generation and boosts collagen, which eventually reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Cocoa Butter vs. Shea Butter – Which One Is Better?

It’s hard to come up with one answer because both kinds of butter are known to be highly effective for overall health. Although most of their benefits are associated with skin health, cocoa butter is widely used in eating items as well.

Regardless of which butter you use on your skin, both of them can show great results on your skin. Shea and cocoa butter are the perfect ingredient to protect your skin from UV rays and enhance its appearance. If you’re in search of a good moisturizer or lotion, then find a product that comes with either of these ingredients. Your skin will be in for a treat for the next winter season!  

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