Cocoa Butter vs Shea Butter

Jergens® Skincare Team:
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Smooth Skin

Cocoa Butter vs Shea Butter

Learn the difference between these two top skincare ingredients.

Cocoa butter and shea butter are nourishing skincare ingredients that can help your skin feel healthy and smooth. Shea butter is an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin E, which are known to help moisturize your skin and help prevent signs of skin aging. Cocoa butter has a high fat content, which helps create a protective barrier over your skin. When deciding which ingredient is best for you, a few key factors may impact your decision.

Key Differences Between Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter

  • Smell: Shea butter has a slightly nutty and smokey smell while cocoa butter has a light chocolate scent.

  • Appearance: Unrefined shea butter has a creamy, ivory appearance, whereas unrefined cocoa butter tends to have a browner tint.

  • Origin: Cocoa butter is extracted from cocoa beans while shea butter comes from shea trees. Cocoa trees are native to South and Central America and shea trees are native to Africa.

  • Primary Benefit: Both shea butter and cocoa butter are rich and moisturizing ingredients. Shea butter contains a great source of vitamins A and E as well as fatty acids, so it is known to reduce inflammation and repair skin damage. Cocoa butter also contains fatty acids, so it’s known for nourishing your skin while also creating a protective barrier over your skin to prevent moisture loss.

How to Choose Between Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter

If you have dry skin, moisturizers infused with shea butter or cocoa butter are great options for improving the look and feel of your skin. Here are a few things to consider when deciding between shea butter and cocoa butter:

Shea Butter May Be Better for Acne-Prone Skin

If your skin is prone to acne and other blemishes, you may want to choose shea butter over cocoa butter. Cocoa butter is slightly thicker than shea butter so it may clog your pores. Although shea butter is rich and luxurious, it is actually non-comedogenic! This means that it won’t clog your pores. If your skin is extra dry, try a deep conditioning shea butter to nourish your skin and improve common dry spots like your knees and elbows.

Cocoa Butter for Aromatherapy

If you’re interested in adding aromatherapy into your daily skincare routine, cocoa butter might be for you! Cocoa butter is commonly used during massages because it has a distinct chocolate aroma that can be relaxing and comforting.

Shea Butter is Known to Improve the Appearance of Stretch Marks

Shea butter is also known to improve stretch marks and other scarring. Shea butter is a natural source of vitamin A and vitamin E, so it can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scars.

Sometimes You Don’t Have to Choose!

Some dry skin moisturizers use unique blends of cocoa butter and shea butter, so you can get the best of both these ingredients. Our body butters use a combination of Shea, Cocoa, and Mango Butters to create an ultra-hydrating formula to deeply nourish your skin. This combination results in a luxurious moisturizer that refreshes and smooths your skin.

Which Butter is Best?

When finding the best ingredients for your skin, the most important factor is your skin goals! If you’re looking to moisturize your skin and protect it against daily dryness, both shea butter and cocoa butter provide similar benefits. So, in the end, you can’t really go wrong!

Key Takeaways

  • Cocoa butter is made from cocoa beans while shea butter is made from the nut of shea trees.

  • If you have acne-prone skin, shea butter might be a better choice because it is non-comedogenic.

  • Cocoa butter is commonly used during massages due to its calming aroma.

  • Shea butter is known to improve stretch marks and other scarring.

  • In the end, both kinds of butter can help moisturize your skin.

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