shea butter
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If you’ve ever had a bad breakout, you know just how important it is to be careful about what you put on your skin. Especially if you’re in the 25% of people who have oily, acne-prone skin!

So, with all the recent hype on the transformative properties of shea butter for both skin & hair, it’s natural to have some skepticism. The thick, buttery consistency seems like a nightmare for oily skin…

You might be wondering about the comedogenicity of shea butter, whether it will clog your pores, and if you should invest in some for your skincare routine!

In this blog post, I’ve got all the answers on shea butter for your skin…

Shea butter benefits

Before we tackle the pore-clogging concerns, let’s highlight the numerous benefits shea butter brings to the table, especially when it comes to your skin.

Shea butter for skin

Shea butter is often hailed as a skincare superhero, and for good reason. It’s packed with a plethora of vitamins and fatty acids that work wonders for your skin.

Some of the benefits of shea butter for your skin include:

  • Moisturization: Shea butter is an exceptional moisturizer, deeply nourishing and locking in moisture. Whether you’re dealing with dry, flaky patches or just want to keep your skin supple and soft, shea butter has you covered.
  • Soothing irritated skin: Shea butter has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can calm redness and soothe itchiness. It’s a soothing balm for various skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis.
  • Anti-aging: Shea butter is rich in antioxidants like vitamin E, which helps combat the signs of aging and keeps your skin looking youthful.
  • Skin protection: Shea butter reinforces this barrier, making your skin less susceptible to damage from pollution and UV rays.
  • Scar fading: Whether you’re dealing with acne scars or stretch marks, shea butter’s healing properties may help reduce their appearance over time.

Is shea butter comodogenic?

Now, let’s address the big question: is shea butter comedogenic? To answer this, we need to understand what comedogenicity means in the world of skincare.

Comedogenicity is a term used to classify substances, mainly skincare ingredients, based on their likelihood to clog pores. The scale typically ranges from 0 (non-comedogenic) to 5 (highly comedogenic). Ingredients rated as non-comedogenic are less likely to cause pore blockages and breakouts.

Shea butter comedogenicity

So, where does shea butter fall on this scale?

Shea butter is generally considered low on the comedogenicity scale. It typically ranks around 0 to 2, depending on the source and processing method. This means it’s less likely to clog your pores compared to some other skincare ingredients.

However, it’s important to note that individual skin types vary. What works wonderfully for one person may not be as well-tolerated by another. If you have particularly sensitive or acne-prone skin, it’s a good practice to do a patch test before incorporating any new skincare product into your routine, especially if shea butter is a main ingredient.

Does shea butter clog pores?

Now, the million-dollar question:

Can Shea Butter Cause Breakouts?

The answer is a bit nuanced. While shea butter is generally non-comedogenic and less likely to clog pores, there are a few factors to consider.

  1. Grade and Purity: The quality of the shea butter matters. Pure, unrefined shea butter is less likely to cause breakouts compared to refined versions that may contain additives or fragrances.
  2. Skin Type: As mentioned earlier, everyone’s skin is unique. If you have exceptionally sensitive or acne-prone skin, what works for someone else might not work for you.
  3. Product Formulation: How shea butter is formulated within a product matters. If it’s part of a well-balanced skincare product with other non-comedogenic ingredients, the chances of it causing breakouts are significantly reduced.
  4. Application: How you use shea butter also plays a role. Using excessive amounts or not thoroughly cleansing your face might increase the risk of clogged pores.

In most cases, when used correctly and in moderation, shea butter shouldn’t cause breakouts. In fact, it can be incredibly beneficial for your skin.

What to look for in shea butter?

Now that we’ve cleared things up on shea butter, you might be ready to get your hands on some! But it’s not so easy of just picking up any skincare product that mentions shea butter on the label.

In fact, many products that mention shea butter may be full of fillers & other chemicals that actually do cause breakouts— which, is exactly what we’re trying to avoid! Here’s what to look for in shea butter for your skin:

Types of shea butter

Before we get into its potential pore-clogging properties, let’s understand the different types of shea butter available:

Pure shea butter

Pure shea butter is the real deal – unadulterated and packed with all the goodness shea nuts have to offer. It’s raw, natural, and often the preferred choice for skincare enthusiasts. Pure shea butter has a nutty aroma and an ivory or pale yellow color.

Unrefined shea butter

Unrefined shea butter maintains its natural state, preserving its unique aroma and color. It’s minimally processed, making it a top choice for those seeking the most authentic skincare experience.

African shea butter

You may be wondering if you need African shea butter, or what the difference is to other shea butters? In reality, the term “African shea butter” is commonly used because the shea tree grows primarily in Africa, and the majority of shea butter production comes from this region. But there’s no reason you need to look for this labeling specifically.

Minimal ingredients

Always check the ingredients list when buying shea butter in a product. The fewer the ingredients, the better. Ideally, shea butter should be listed as one of the first ingredients, indicating a higher concentration.

Processing Method

Understanding how the shea butter was processed is crucial. Look for products that mention cold-pressed or handcrafted methods. These methods preserve the integrity of the butter.

Ethical sourcing

Ethical sourcing is essential. Look for products that use sustainably sourced shea butter, supporting fair trade practices and local communities.

Free of fragrances & additives

If you prefer unscented products or have skin sensitivities, opt for shea butter without added fragrances or other additives.

The best shea butter on Amazon

Now, you might be wondering what is the best shea butter to get for your skin.

And I have great news for you! While many beauty supply and department stores will mark up the price of shea butter, you can get high quality, pure, unrefined shea butter on Amazon for relatively cheap.

This is the shea butter i swear by for both my skin and hair:

shea butter

This TikTok viral shea butter is real, pure, unrefined, and is sourced from Ghana. But what I love most about it is the affordable price point and simple packaging.

I use it just about every day on my skin and hair, and highly recommend it!


In conclusion, shea butter is a versatile and nourishing skincare ingredient with a wide range of benefits. While it is generally considered non-comedogenic, individual reactions can vary. It’s essential to understand your skin, choose high-quality shea butter products, and use them in moderation.

So, if you’ve been wondering whether shea butter clogs pores, the answer is more likely “no” than “yes.” Embrace the moisturizing, soothing, and anti-aging properties of shea butter and enjoy its benefits for your beautiful skin.

Remember, skincare is a personal journey, and what works best for you may require a little trial and error. With the right knowledge and a touch of experimentation, you can find the perfect skincare routine that leaves your skin radiant and healthy.