Shea Butter Bath & Body
By Melissa Miller
Shea butter, although it's been around forever, is now a big
buzzword in the cosmetics world. Having been a fan for years
as it keeps my dry skin in complete check, I've tried every
shea butter product I could find.
Here's a bit about shea as
well as some glorious products that contain this magic butter.
About the Butter
Shea Butter is known to promote cell growth, improve skin
elasticity, prevent stretch marks and provide natural sun
protection against UV rays. Its healing and disinfecting
properties are largely due to its high content of unsaponifiable fatty acids.
These fatty acids treat and heal
eczema, psoriasis, chapped, chafed skin, razor burn, diaper
rash, minor cuts and scars. It also moisturizes and protects
the scalp, and revitalizes damaged and processed hair.
all these wonderfully therapeutic benefits it's not surprising
that shea has found its way into a variety of skin care items.
Lather Up the Butter
The first place to start on our shea shopping voyage? In the
bath, of course.
Honey Shea Butter Shower Cream ($15.00 for 8.4oz) is a warm, scentful
This rich emulsion will leave your skin clean and feeling like "buttah." The shower cream is available
in a variety of scents including Bourbon Vanilla, Chestnut,
Fig, Lavender, Milk, Sweet Lemon and Verbena at
An all-natural option is
the Butter Cream Body Wash from Chelmsford
Herbal Soap Company ($11.50 for 8oz). Containing mango, kukui nut, cocoa
and shea butters, seaweed extract and coconut oil, this
nourishing cleanser leaves out the sodium laurel sulfate and
other harsh detergents, making it ideal for perpetually
parched and sensitive skin. It's available in Shea and Vanilla
Sugar, Kukui Nut and Milk Chocolate, Mango and Grapefruit, and
Cocoa Butter and Coconut Suntan.
Frédéric Fekkai's luxe
Moisturizing Body Wash
with Shea Butter ($20 for 8oz). The wash has a clean Provençal fragrance that lingers on the skin.
with the matching Shea Butter Body Scrub ($27.50 for
6oz) and Shea Butter Body Cream ($34 for 6oz) for a
complete spa bath experience. The Frédéric Fekkai line is available at
Sephora.com and NeimanMarcus.com.
If you're a bar soap fan, you must try
French Soaps, Ltd. Doux Soaps
3 bars). These exquisite, creamy oval bars are
handcrafted in France and loaded with shea butter. Mimosa,
Jasmine, Thé Vert (green tea), Muguet, Fleur d'Orange and
Pepins de Raisin (grapeseed) are a few of the elegant
You can also opt for an elegantly
packaged box and gift card with Verveine (verbena), Miel
(honey) and Lavande soaps ($28.00 for a box). This makes a
beautiful gift with a European feel. Find these at
For your hard-working clappers try
Shea Butter Moisturizing
Liquid Soap ($19.50 for two 8.4oz bottles) from the lush
Italian line Elariia, made by Perlier. This
thick and creamy hand wash in a delicious white almond scent
is gentle on the hands, leaving them lightly moisturized after
The Elariia Shea Butter range is beautifully
packaged, making it a great gift pick. The line also includes
shower and bath cream, body lotion, shampoo and conditioner.
L'Epi Provence's shea
butter hand soaps ($9.75 for 3 bars) are an attractive and
fragrant addition to any bathroom. These superbly moisturizing
soaps are available in a variety of delightful scents including
Verbena, Tangerine, Honey, Linden, Lavender and Grapefruit.
Check out the rest of L'Epi Provence's line including Shea
Butter Body Crème ($15.50 for 8.4oz) and Shower Gel ($11.50
for 8.7oz) in their perfect Grapefruit scent. Find L'Epi
Scrub and Soak
A Zaftig Woman has created one
of the most lavish body scrubs I've ever had the pleasure of
using. Composed of shea butter, oils and turbinado sugar,
Sugared Shea Scrub ($14 for 4 oz.) leaves the skin smooth and
soft, without the need for any additional body lotion or
cream. Try this in the juicy Pamplemousse scent.
For the bath, drop in
Flower Peddler's fragrant Fizzing Bath Bloomers ($4 for 3 Bloomers at
"effervescent bath pills" fill the tub with softening olive
oil and shea and cocoa butters. They are available in a
variety of scents, including China Rain, Chamomile Bergamot,
Basil Lime, and Almond.
Slather on the Butter
For hands, feet, elbows, stretch marks, eczema and psoriasis,
100% shea works wonders.
Olive Tree Soaps
carries some of the best 100% shea butter I've
ever used. It's creamy but not grainy or overly greasy. Check
them out online at www.olivetreesoaps.com.
purchase it in bulk, so it's quite the deal ($5.85 for 1lb).
It arrives in less than glamorous packaging (a plastic bag),
but you're getting a fantastic wholesale price on high quality
Epicurean Soap Company 100% Shea Butter ($15 for 8oz) in seven lovely scent blends
including Beautiful, with essential oils of roses and
cinnamon, and Passion, a heavenly grapefruit, lavender and
vanilla mix. Epicurean's shea isn't the least bit greasy and
leaves the skin wonderfully scented all day.
A variation on
100% shea is
Little Shop of Beauty
Whipped Shea Butter in Strawberry Parfait ($13.95 for 4oz),
containing mostly shea with a bit of almond and vitamin E oils
mixed in. This glides on without any stickiness or oil,
leaving a delectable fruity fragrance on your skin.
For moisturizing that is somewhere between 100% shea butter
and body creams and lotions, you may want to try shea body
butters and balms. Body butters traditionally have a more
buttery texture and tend to be more thick and dense than
Cheri's Country Cottage Body Butter ($14.84 for 4oz) contains a
healing and softening mix of shea and mango butters, jojoba, vitamin E, carrot and calendula oils. This butter
leaves a light sheen on the skin, without any oily residue.
It's available in an array of scents including my favorite,
Summer Breeze, which is a soft blend of peach, pear, damask
rose, vanilla and green notes. Other popular scents include
Citrus Zinger, Ginger Fig, Exotic Jasmine and Vanilla Cream.
Prairieland Herbs recently
introduced their Shea Butter Body Balm ($9 for 2oz), with
olive oil and shea infused with plantain, beeswax and vitamin
E oil. It's perfect for any areas that need extra moisture. I
sampled this in both refreshing Lemongrass and soothing
Creamy, Less Buttery
For body creams that are more creamy and less buttery, try
($4.95 for 4oz) with a whopping 30% percent shea butter.
This thick cream is absorbed immediately, leaving you soft and
scented. Popular fragrances in the are Grapefruit
Vanilla, 7-Up, Winter Morning, Mandarin Vanilla, Lemon Sugar
and Mon Cherie (an exact duplication of Annick Goutal Petite
Little Shop of Beauty
carries another fine shea body product, Dreamy Whip Body Creme
($12.95 for 4oz) with olive oil and shea and cocoa butters.
This cream will definitely do the trick for dry, cold weather
skin; try it in the Lemon Creme Pie fragrance, a
mouth-watering vanilla and lemon aroma, or in Cinnamon Buns,
the exact scent of the scrumptious, freshly baked treat.
Simply Scents has expanded their range of body
moisturizers with a splendidly rich Body Butter ($6 for
6oz), containing shea along with sunflower and olive oils.
Yuzu (Japanese grapefruit), Perfect Love (a sexy, buttery
vanilla), Ginger Soufflé (a dead-on duplicate of Origins
Ginger fragrance), and Vanilla Caramel are all best-selling
For lighter hydration, try a body lotion with shea butter.
Body Lotion ($40
for 8oz) has a luxurious, non-greasy texture and is
available in two delightfully sweet scents, Au Lait and the
new Tarte au Citron at www.lauramercier.com.
Ignore the price and be decadent - you need
one of these gems after a hard day at the office. Your skin
and your senses will thank you.
For a moisturizer with a
delicate, pleasing fragrance, opt for
Revitalizing Lotion ($16 for 10oz). This quickly absorbed
emulsion is enriched with aloe vera, comfrey, shea and
vitamins A, D and E, and scented in Shea Blossom, a blend of
citrus, ginger, spice and jasmine.
unique shea experience, try
Shea Spray in Ocean ($12 for 6oz). This light hydrator
sprays on a fresh marine whiff and a healthy dose of shea
For those with extremely sensitive skin, Cheri's Country
Cottage Shea Butter All
Purpose Cream is a must-have. ($10.84 for 2oz). This heavy-duty treatment is gentle, unscented and rich
in shea (75%) and avocado butters, and flaxseed, rose hip and
Omega 3, 6 and 9 oils. It can be used all over the face and
body, as well as on babies' tender skin.
For a bit of glimmer and color - and who doesn't need
that - smooth on Yinka's
(pronounced Boo'tae Smõõth) Type II Bling-Bling Cocktail ($15 for 2oz). This chocolate-minty
scented mix of almond oil and shea and cocoa butters contains
mica, to give your "booty" a shimmery, bronze glow.
Give your hard-at-work hands a break with
Hand Cream, containing 20% shea
butter. Used at night under gloves, this treatment will
rejuvenate your over-worked hands.
Packaged in an aluminum
tube with European apothecary charm, this makes a gorgeous
($15.50 for .5oz) is my new favorite nail and cuticle
treatment. All natural with high amounts of shea and beeswax,
it softens and hydrates cuticles without being greasy or oily.
Also try Russo's Olive Lip Balm ($5.50 for .3oz), another
natural treat loaded with shea and olive, canola and almond
oils. It has the perfect texture for use as a lip gloss.
Available at www.mariorusso.com.
Chandler Soaps hand makes many
products with shea including their uplifting Lemon Hand & Body Cream
($8.95 for 2oz). All achy, tired tootsies must experience
their magnificent foot creams.
Invigorating Foot Cream ($8.95
for 2oz) is the great rejuvenator for my
exhausted-and-crammed-into-high-heels feet. Comprised of
powdered peppermint, spearmint and lemongrass, moisturizing
oils and shea butter, this miraculous balm will bring you back
to life, no matter what time of day.
Ideal for athletes,
ultra-thick and moisturizing Healing Foot Cream contains
antiseptic tree tea oil and shea to sooth and heal sore,
over-extended feet. Try them at ChandlersSoaps.com
Shea's buttery, emollient texture makes for a fabulous massage
product. So, as the song goes, "rub it in, rub it in" with a
($5.00 for 2.6oz). Containing sweet almond oil and shea and
cocoa butters, these bars liquefy when rubbed into the skin. A
popular scent is luscious Vanilla Sugar.
Terra Nova's softly scented
Shea Butter Massage & Body Oil ($16 for 10oz). This
light blend of shea and organic sunflower and vitamin E oils
is perfect for a relaxing rubdown or as an after-shower
And finally, for a gift package extraordinaire you must pick
System ($49.99). As the country tune goes (or rather a
variation of it): SheaMoisture was doing shea before shea was
They know their stuff and their formulations are
absolute perfection. This gift set is the ideal way to indulge
in all things shea without spending a fortune.
Packed in a
drawstring tote bag is African Exfoliating Black Soap (an
exotic, mild liquid scrub that can be used on the face and
body), Shea Butter Lotion (a super thick lotion
containing a high percentage of shea), Shea Butter
Moisturizing Body Oil, Shea Butter Lip Balm,
100% Shea Butter, two bottles of Shea Butter Body Wash, and a
Each product is
scented in a light, fresh mango. Because of the unisex
fragrance and package design, these products work well for men
So, as you can see, there's a fabulous assortment of shea
butter products out there for every part of your body.