Cocoa Butter vs Shea Butter: Pros, cons, similarities and differences

Cocoa Butter vs Shea Butter: Pros, cons, similarities and differences

There is always a debate on whether cocoa butter is better than shea butter, or if shea butter has an edge over cocoa butter. But both, cocoa butter and shea butter are important ingredients for moisturizing our skin in every possible way. Shea butter is a great natural hair and skin moisturizer, while cocoa butter is mostly used as skin moisturizer.

Cocoa butter and shea butter are very similar in their benefits – they moisturize the hair, skin and are highly useful in the personal care industry etc. But they differ from each other right from their origin to production – cocoa butter is made from cocoa or cacao beans, while shea butter is made from the nuts of shea tree in Africa. This article will deal in detail on the pros, cons, differences and similarities of cocoa butter and shea butter.


What is cocoa butter? Cocoa butter is a natural fat extracted from cocoa beans. It remains stable at room temperature but melts at body temperature. This is why all natural chocolates carry a soft, smooth and silky texture and melt in our mouth.

Benefits of cocoa butter: Cocoa butter is a vegan food and is best for treating skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. Cocoa butter is a great skin moisturizer and hence goes deep into the dermal layer to treat skin problems. Creams made using cocoa butter protect sensitive skin from impurities and maintains skin color and glow. Cocoa Butter is rich in natural antioxidants which could provide long life for products up to 2 years. Cocoa butter is naturally rich in vitamins and minerals. Vitamin E which is available in cocoa butter  helps soften the skin,  hydrate and balance hormones, especially collagen which reduces wrinkles and aging. Cocoa butter is used in various health and beauty products such as face creams, lotions and pharmaceuticals.

Apart from this, cocoa butter is used to treat acne scars, stretch marks, skin disorders, burns, wounds and other skin damages. It is a major ingredient in chocolate-making.

What is Shea Butter? Shea butter is from the tropical regions of Africa, which are extracted from nuts of the shea tree. It has a high content of irremovable fatty acids which provide shea butter with its unique healing properties.

Benefits and uses: Shea butter is an extract from selected shea nuts which are cracked and grilled. They are then boiled for several hours until the shea butter is risen to the top surface. This is  followed by storage in a bottle and then cooling. Shea butter is solid at room temperature and melts at body temperature as cocoa butter. Also, like cocoa butter, it is completely a natural product with high quality, appearance and smell depending on the region in which it is grown.

Cocoa Butter vs Shea Butter:

Skin-energizers: Shea butter and cocoa butter are the two best ingredients that revitalize the beauty of our skin. The basic common thing in shea butter and cocoa butter is their ability to enhance skin tone and prevent skin dryness and aging.

Sun protection: Shea butter has  been used for thousands of years to heal burns, skin diseases and wounds. Shea butter has the great ability to regenerate skin aging and  also protect us from UV rays. Shea butter is composed of vegetable fats which definitely helps promote cell regeneration and also improve blood circulation, eventually preventing pimples.

Protection from skin damage:
Cocoa butter is more popular and has a wider scope of applications compared to shea butter. It is used as a drug which is found in several supplements or capsules. Cocoa butter is also used as lip balm which heals cracks or lips. Above all, cocoa butter is most commonly used as an additive in soaps, shampoos and cosmetics and acts as a natural preservative, as a fragrant,  healing agent and beauty to the skin.

The most important qualities of shea butter which cocoa butter lacks is the ability to protect skin from the sun. Several people believe that cocoa butter may accelerate and intensify the process of tanning while, in the sun protection factor shea butter has a slight advantage over cocoa butter.

To conclude, it can be said that cocoa butter and shea butter are on par with each other in several areas. Both are great moisturizers and are the best you can use for your skin. Keep your skin ever youthful with cocoa butter and shea butter!

Posted in Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Butter Benefits on Oct 5th, 2010, 6:04 am by jjones   

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