Shea Butter for Skin Lightening: Does it Actually Work?

Shea butter is a natural moisturizer for your skin. This is a reason why plenty of skincare products are containing shea butter as one of the main active ingredients.

It is ideal for softening your skin and has also anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Shea butter also has SPF, natural sunscreen protection. 

But does shea butter lighten skin?

Can you use shea butter for skin lightening? If you have this question, read this article about shea butter and its effect on the skin. 

What Is Shea Butter

Does shea butter lighten skin

Shea butter comes from the nuts of the Shea trees mainly located in West Africa. It’s fat that has been extracted from these nuts.

The extraction and preparation process of the shea butter is done without any added chemicals or preservatives.  

The final product has a high concentration of essential fatty acids and vitamins, which makes it perfect for UV protection and skin moisturizing. 

But the benefits of shea butter don’t end here.

Benefits of Shea Butter for the Face of Men



The natural shea butter is an excellent moisturizer. It has more than 60% of fat which helps it to easily penetrate your skin.

What’s more, shea butter has a high concentration of Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Vitamin F. Vitamins, ideal for promoting skin elasticity, sunscreen protection and protection against free radicals. 


Wrinkles and Aging

As mentioned above, shea butter is rich in vitamins from the antioxidant category. They are fighting against free radicals in your skin, boosting the circulation of the blood, and promoting the faster generation of healthy skin cells. 


Reducing Inflammation and Pain

The Vitamin F in the shea butter and other fatty acids are acting as a great anti-inflammatory element. They may reduce inflammation around scars while soothing and hydrating the skin at the same time. 

As a man, you may find how beneficial is the shea butter  for treating a huge variety of skin conditions:

  • Skin rash
  • Itching
  • Wrinkles
  • Rough skin
  • Stretch marks
  • Eczema
  • Razor irritation
  • Sunburn


Does Shea Butter Lighten Skin?

Vitamin E is a natural skin lightener. And the natural shea butter has plenty of Vitamin E. This vitamin also helps your skin to regenerate and promote recovery. With a combination of some essential oils, shea butter can be pretty effective for lightening dark areas or dealing with hyperpigmentation. 


Choosing the Right Shea Butter

When you are seeking shea butter, you may find two types: refined and unrefined. Here are the main differences between these two.

Unrefined shea butter is an extract from shea tree nuts without any added chemicals or preservatives. This has all the natural benefits you want and has a nutty smell and yellow or beige color.

The chemical process with petroleum solvents and other preservatives is used to extract the refined shea butter from the nuts. The final product comes with one scent (or has an added fragrance smell) and has a white color. 

Which is better? Unrefined or refined shea butter? To get the full benefits of the shea butter, you should aim for natural, unrefined shea butter. It has all the antioxidants and essential fatty acids so healthy for your skin, but a little bit unpleasant smell.


Shea Butter FAQs

Can Shea Butter Cause Acne and Pimples?

There are plenty of benefits of using shea butter on the skin, but is shea butter good for acne-prone skin? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. 

On one hand, shea butter can cause breakouts and clog pores if you have acne-prone skin. So, be aware of this fact. 

On the other hand, the natural shea butter might help you reduce bacteria that are causing acne on your face. The fatty acids also can help you to remove excess oil, and moisturize your skin simultaneously.   


How to Use Shea Butter on Your Face

The most comfortable way to use shea butter for your face is to buy a cream or moisturizer that contains shea butter as an active main ingredient. Always buy a natural variant of such a product. Apply shea butter directly on your face right before bed. Include this in your daily skincare routine.  


How to Use Shea Butter for Acne Scars 

If you want to use shea butter for acne scars, buy a moisturizer with shea butter extract. Then apply the moisturizer right after you clean your face with a sensitive face wash and dry it with a clean towel. Then use a small amount of shea butter, rub it between the palms of your hands and massage it gently in your face. 


Main image by James Barr