Difference between raw and refined shea butter

The difference lies in the process by which shea fat, once extracted from the nuts, is further processed.

Unrefined shea butter

Manual, traditional extraction with water ensures that the maximum concentration of nutrients and, above all, vitamins remains in Shea Butter. Such raw butter is then… simply selected from the vessels and packaged. That is all. This is the shea butter you are buying.

Refined shea butter

Refining, on the other hand, cleanses the butter of its characteristic smell, colour and possible impurities. These impurities can be found in butter that is not of the best quality, and not everyone accepts them (they are dust particles, pollen that can find their way into the butter during traditional production, nut residues, sometimes even some insect tempted by the smell). Refining is done with hot steam, which risks losing some of the nutritional value. On the plus side, refined shea butter becomes soft, creamy to the touch and odourless.

To visualise the difference between refined butter and real Shea Butter, one can very aptly compare whole wheat bread to white wheat bread. Genuine Shea Butter may even be completely unrefined – full of the nut pulp produced during crushing – but it will be the healthiest butter.

Some people who use shea butter choose refined butter because they claim that, due to its hardness, lumps or sometimes characteristic fibres, such butter is unpleasant to use. The truth is, however, that such ‘bad’ butter is not a good quality butter!

– the fibres – which are perfectly natural, completely dissolve on the skin and have no effect on the butter itself – remain in the poorly filtered butter,
lumps appear in butter which, once made, is left to solidify in the heat rather than in cooler temperatures. Such lumps, soft, melt quickly on the skin.
– lumps in the form of wet snow appear in butter which, through years of storage, has melted in the heat and then frozen in the winter. Through such freezing, the light fractions separate from the heavier ones. Shea butter becomes quite unpleasant to use.
Hardness – the more saturated fatty acids shea butter contains, the harder it will be. This is absolutely not a disadvantage, but simply a peculiarity of shea butter. Shea butter is generally a hard cosmetic butter, but certain factors (season, extraction process), can cause the hardness of the product to fluctuate.

The DUAFE shea butter that I have selected for you is perfectly filtered during the production process using several-stage cotton filters – so only cold. This ensures that it retains its natural colour and fragrance. In my opinion – very pleasant and definitely more pleasant than other shea butters I have known so far. I associate it with spicy, nutty, waxy, honey and floral scents.