Uses for Shea Butter

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You may notice many DIY recipes call for shea butter but what is it and what makes it so good for you? Learn more about the benefits and uses for shea butter below.

You may notice many DIY recipes call for shea butter but what is it and what makes it so good for you? Learn more about the benefits and uses for shea butter below. #sheabutter #usesforsheabutter #naturalliving #diy #sheabutteruses

Shea Butter

Shea Butter is one of my very favorite beauty products to keep around the house. I use it for so many different things!

Shea Butter comes in a few different varieties. When choosing shea butter you want to make sure that you pick a good, unrefined butter. Any kind of filtering or refining suggests processing and when you are using shea butter you want to make sure that you are getting all of its original qualities, which you won’t get if it’s been processed.


There are also two types of shea butter – ivory and gold. Gold shea butter is given it’s color by the addition of Borututu Tree root, which is added during the boiling process. Both the Gold and Ivory are good, one is not necessarily more processed than the other. I usually keep both on hand and use them for different projects. (For example, I use ivory with my Diaper Rash Cream since I use it with cloth diapers and I don’t want it to stain.)

Uses for Shea Butter

Here are some of the many ways you can benefit from using shea butter:

  • Moisturize skin
  • Soothe sunburn
  • Heal dry skin
  • Stop a skin rash
  • Protect skin against cold weather
  • Stop insect bites from itching
  • Help with stretch mark prevention
  • Helps soothe burns
  • Soothes dry, cracked feet

Uses for Shea Butter

What to Make With Shea Butter

Now that we know all about shea butter and what it can do for us, let’s start with some fun projects! Since we use shea butter all the time, we’ve already got some great shea butter recipes up on the blog with various items you can make. Check out some of the things to make with shea butter below!

Easy Homemade Shaving Cream

This easy homemade Shaving Cream is a great way to start using shea butter! It’s so creamy and smooth on your skin. It’s also incredibly soothing if you have sensitive skin and have trouble with razors or other shaving creams.

Coconut Oil Lotion

Homemade Coconut Oil Lotion

This is another great one. My original recipe doesn’t call for shea butter but you could add a little in. I would add about 1/4 cup per recipe. That would give the lotion a smooth, creamy quality and help it be more of a protective lotion. It would be great for the winter!

The Best Diaper Rash Cream

This is my all-time favorite thing to make with shea butter right now! This really is a miracle cream and works for any rash within 24 hours of applying. You don’t have to just use it for baby either. If you suffer from any kind of rash this recipe should work really well for you!

Vanilla Lip Balm

Vanilla Lip Balm

Have chapped lips this winter? This recipe for homemade lip balm works great for that! It’s super easy to make with only 4 ingredients and you use very very little to make several pots or tubes worth. One batch could last you all winter! Add your favorite scents of essential oils as desired.

Homemade Hand Soap

This is another recipe that technically doesn’t call for shea butter but you can add it in instead of the coconut oil in the recipe. It would make a great soothing bar soap that would be very good for dry hands!

Shea Butter Lotion

Shea Butter Lotion Recipe

This super simple lotion recipe uses shea butter as it’s base. It’s not as greasy as other coconut oil based lotions so it’s perfect for hands.

DIY Body Butter

Body Butters are easy to make, even with just a few basic ingredients, and tend to be more cost-effective than store-bought lotions. Learn the basics to create your own body butter.

Homemade Deodorant

Learning to make deodorant at home isn’t as hard as you’d think and it is so much better for your skin! Check out this easy tutorial to learn how.

Peppermint Foot Cream

Peppermint Foot Cream

Refresh tired feet with this peppermint foot cream. The oils in this cream are both skin nourishing and healing, helping to prevent dry, cracked heels, or helping to heal those that are already cracked and dry.

Now that you know how to use shea butter, let’s find some uses for other items around your home:

Find even more Uses For Common Items on Little House Living.

Little House Living
If you love these Recipes and Uses for Shea Butter you will absolutely love my book, Little House Living: The Make Your Own Guide to a Frugal, Simple, and Self-Sufficient Life. It features 130 recipes just like these that are perfect for your household!

Those are just a few of my favorite uses for shea butter so far but I’m open to learning new ones!
What are some of your favorite uses for shea butter in your home?


This post on Shea Butter Uses was originally published on Little House Living in December 2013. It has been updated as of December 2019.

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  1. Love shea butter. I got some around Thanksgiving and I drove my family nuts while I was melting it down to strain it and rubbing it’s smooth creaminess onto my hands, elbows, and knees. I would chase down my kids and find their “dry areas” and rub on some shea butter!

  2. We love shea butter in my house!! For lotion, lip balm, and other beauty uses. I should try your shaving cream and see if my hubby likes it!

  3. I love the way Shea butter smells. Both my daughter and I have dry skin and this is about the only thing that helps us through the winter.

  4. Just remember that shea butter is made from a tree nut. I made lotion bars and lip balm for Christmas presents without realizing that and was prevented, just in time, from giving them to two people who had nut allergies. Oops!

    1. We’ve learned to ask though since even some with nut allergies don’t seem to have trouble with it, it just depends on their allergies. For some reason my entire family has nut allergies and we can all use it.

  5. I’m excited to try shea butter. I love to stretch our budget,while being a good steward with the blessings God has given us! Thanks so much for this post. I truly enjoy your site. 🙂

  6. Hi, could you tell me what other oil I could use instead of coconut, daughter allergic and want to make some of your recipes. Love your page…so much great stuff and comforting at the same time.

  7. Thank you, for promoting Shea butter, i want you to remember this every Shea butter you sell or buy provide an income to women from the villages where this Shea butter came from which is a great help to these women to support their families.
    I have seen Shea income transforming a lot of families in my village from very poor to being able to provide food and take their children to schools.

    I am also a producer and exporter of Bulk Shea butter from Ghana.

    Thank you all for loving Shea butter.

  8. This is a great collection of shea butter product recipes. I love working with shea butter! Based my whole company on it, lol – Maia.

  9. I want to try all of these things with shea butter in them. Where is the best place to get it at the best price.

  10. I use shea butter and coconut oil mixed and put on the ends of my hair, to use as a deep condition, or when used sparingly, as a leave in.

    I use it for face, hands, lips, feet…basically an all over moisturizer. I do mix it with coconut oil to make it easier to apply, penetrate and stretch the shea butter.

    II buy it in bulk at Amazon from a company called smellgood and I pay right around $30 including shipping for 10 pounds. I buy the white and the yellow.

    I love shea butter!

  11. I’ve had really good luck with using coconut oil as a natural moisturizer. How would you say it compares? Thanks!

  12. I use it on my skin and hair! LOVE it!!! I used an old deoderant container and filled it with shay butter, Now, I pull my deoderant tube out of the fridge. rub it on where I need, rub it in and go.

  13. I used one of the creams on my face and burnt my skin, can Shea Butter help to restore back to normal. What ingredients can I use to mix with Shea Butter to clear my face

  14. There are no two types of shea butter… there is only one – and it is cream or off-white. The Yellow colour in shea butter is because it has colour added to it, most of the time being by the addition of Borututu Tree root. If so, then the shea butter with the added “anything” no longer makes it a 100% Pure Shea Butter and should no longer be sold as 100% Pure and unadulterated shea. This additive to shea butter stains everything it lands on. So there you go…