If you’re a fan of shea butter, you must have noticed that this wonderful plant butter comes in different colors and shades. But the top two colors one can come across when buying shea butter is white and yellow. What’s the difference and does it matter? Find out in this post!
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The Real Color of Raw Unrefined Shea Butter
What is White Shea Butter?
Okay, so if you’re bought unrefined shea butter (Viterallia Paradoxa), the color is going to either be beige or ivory or ‘off white’. Some people just call this white.
This is what ivory or off-white unrefined shea butter looks like:
However, the real white color is when the shea butter is refined. It can sell as ultra refined shea butter even. Here, they process the shea butter through multiple filtering systems and bleach it, which makes it lose its natural ivory/beige color. This is what gives you the stark white shea butter.
This is what refined shea butter looks like – stark white:
Also Read: What is Color is Pure Shea Butter?
What is Yellow Shea Butter?
If you’ve purchased a yellow colored shea butter that really looks a deep yellow, then chances are the shea butter has been dyed. The locals color the shea butter using a natural dye from the Borututu tree. Why? Solely for the reason to make it look appealing – nothing more, nothing less. So for those of you who bought this kind of yellow shea butter and it turned white after a period of time, then that means the dye has faded. This is no cause for concern. Deep yellow shea butter is perfectly fine to use. Some people actually like the tan look this naturally colored yellow shea butter gives them.
Here’s what it looks like (notice the unnatural shade of yellow – that shows that some dye has definitely been added to it):
On the other hand, some shea butter extracted naturally has a yellow color. Though it’s not that deep yellow color as the one colored with the natural dye. It’s more of a pale or soft yellow. This color is usually seen in Shea Butter Nilotica (Viterallia Nilotica) and it’s all natural – not tampered with in any way. Check it out below:
White Shea Butter vs Yellow Shea Butter – What’s Better?
If you’ve read from the top to here, then you must know by now that white shea butter means it’s ultra refined and so it’s vitamin content and healing abilities is low. However, this only applies to the stark white shea butter. But if by white, you actually mean ‘off white’ or ivory, then this doesn’t apply. Because raw and unrefined shea butter (Viterallia Paradoxa) can be this color as I’ve shown you from the pictures.
Stark white (refined) shea butter is also useful. Because it’s stripped of its color and scent. So it’s good for people who don’t like the nutty scent due to personal reasons or skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis whose skin reacts to scent/perfume.
Deep yellow shea butter just has an natural dye added to it whereas Shea butter Nilotica naturally has a soft yellow color.
So which is better? The deep yellow shea butter still retains its nutrient content and healing abilities even with the dye added. So both of them have the same abilities – you can’t say what’s better than the other!
When buying shea butter, it’s important you buy from trusted sellers. You should also make sure what you’re buying is 100% pure unrefined shea butter. Here are my top sources of shea butter:
Deep yellow shea butter:
– from Better Shea Butter (where to get it)
The Final Word
Don’t forget the phrase, “Character, not color, is what matters to me!” 😉