Does Shea Butter Darken Skin?

Does Shea Butter Darken Skin

Does shea butter darken skin? No, shea butter doesn’t darken your skin. However, it tans your skin. Moreover, because shea butter is greasy in nature, too much application of it on dirty skin can make the skin look dull.

Shea butter is a true asset for skin care freaks, no? You may have come across shea butter flavors when you haunt moisturizer, body butter, lip balms and what not. 

Well, last month I was scrolling through my Facebook, and found a comment under some shea butter product post that “does shea butter darken skin?” I found that strange. Then, I tried looking for this question on different platforms. Strange! Many people frequently asked that same question.

To be frank, you may know that I am a bit of a curious personality and when it comes to beauty products no one can win from my DETECTIVE NATURE — LOL!

Next, I read many researchers and also tried shea butter for one month to find out the answer. The answers that I found will amaze you.

Do you want to know?

Let’s unlock the mystery. Read this post till the end!

What is Shea Butter?

shea butter

So, first things first!

What is shea butter? Is it really butter? Do you have to spread it on bread and eat it? Does it melt, if you put it in the frying pan? NO! NO! NO! I am joking…

Let’s be technical. 

Shea butter comes from the shea nut tree in Africa. People also call it Vitellaria. Traditional uses of the shea tree’s parts included treating skin conditions including acne, nasal congestion, and ulcers due to the plant’s anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving characteristics.

It’s basically saturated fat and has a very earthy gray tan pale color. The same goes for its smell, which is also earthy, like roasted nuts.  

Shea butter usually stays in a very solid form but if you pick it and rub it between the palms of your hands, you can melt it so yes, we can say, it’s very smooth.

Moreover, Shea butter is jam-packed with fatty acids and these fatty acids create a protective barrier whenever you apply it. It’s like a shield that protects you from the skin’s enemies.

As I said, shea butter is essentially a saturated fat, it’s shelf life is just awesome. It goes amazingly loooong! My classmate used only two tubs in 2 to 3 years, so you can guess its shelf life. It’s a pretty deal maker. 

Main Elements of Shea Butter

shea butter 1
  • Vitamins A, E, and F, antioxidant vitamins that encourage blood flow and good skin cell growth, and 
  • linoleic, palmitic, stearic, and oleic fatty acids, components that balance the oils on your skin
  • triglycerides, the fatty component of shea nuts that feed and moisturize skin, and cetyl esters, the waxy component of shea nut butter that hydrates skin and retains moisture

Does Shea Butter Darken or Tan the Skin?

Does Shea Butter Darken or Tan the Skin


However, it depends on how you use it. 

Your skin may look darker after applying shea butter if you were exposed to the sun.

Shea butter has many oils, so applying it and then spending time in the sun can undoubtedly give you a tan, particularly if you reside somewhere tropical like Nigeria. Yes, I do live here, and I noticed that whenever I applied shea butter and went for a morning walk, I noticed a very minor tan.

Maybe if I do it for a longer period, on a regular basis, it would make my skin tanner not darker. 

I found Shea butter does not naturally darken skin, however, it might make your skin more sensitive to UV radiation. 

Another thing, before using shea butter, make doubly sure your skin is clean because if not, the oil will trap debris and work to darken your skin. Saturated fats act worse when combined with dirt. 

How To Avoid Tan From Shea Butter?—Ways Of Using It

How To Avoid Tan From Shea Butter

If shea butter tans your skin in minor cases, it doesn’t mean to avoid using it. Be me! Don’t ignore its benefits. However, use it correctly in order to avoid any potential tanning or may be darkening. 

Look down at how I use shea butter after that tanning case and what the results are.

1. Mixing Shea Butter With Essential Oils

It is possible to successfully combine shea butter with essential oils to boost its effectiveness and give it a pleasing aroma. I normally include rose oil to tone and level out the skin, tea tree oil to purify and tone the skin, and lemon oil to obtain a stronger whitening effect. 

I haven’t gone like a bulb but I am getting my original tone back.

2. Apply Shea Butter On A Clean Face

It is very necessary to apply anything to your face after cleaning or washing your face. You never know the results.

When it comes to shea butter, it’s a BUTTER—it’s a greasy material, be aware. I always apply shea butter after washing my face with a mild cleanser. If you apply it to dirty sweaty faces, you may find your skin dull and dark. SORRY FOR THIS!

3. Don’t Apply Raw Shea Butter Overnight

Although you can use shea butter products for skin care for as long as you like, putting raw shea butter on your face at night will clog your pores.

 If you have no other option and have dry skin, only use a very small amount of  virgin shea butter overnight on alternative days to improve the state of your body skin to get the most benefit from shea butter. 

Well, I believe, Shea butter is best utilized in trusted brand lotions and moisturizers.

4. Don’t Apply It When You Have To Face The Sun

That’s the main point. Yeah, shea butter has very minor sun protective barriers, very very minor. So don’t use it when going. It will make you tan. 

Oh yes, if you want tanner skin so you can use shea butter for sun exposure. 

Whereas, if you are concerned about skin whitening then it’s better to apply SPF30 when meeting with Mr SUN.

What Benefits Did I Get From Shea Butter?

Benefits 1

Let me tell you some of the best sides of shea butter.

1. Moisturizes Skin

Shea butter has proven to be the best skin lubricant for me. Shea butter is rich in fatty acids. Well, it can be used alone but I use it with my favorite essential oils. And yes, I don’t only use it on my face but also on my hands and legs after a bath. Want sexy beach legs? Try it, girl!

2. Calms Itchy Skin 

If you have dry, flaky, itchy skin, the moisturizing properties of shea butter help in calming the rashy feel and any itchiness.  The antibacterial properties of shea butter fight the germs that cause itchiness and skin irritation. 

3. Skin Rejuvenation

Shea butter rejuvenates my skin whenever it gets dull and tired. Moreover, it also protects the skin from free radicals thus preventing premature aging. 

What else? Shea butter’s moisturizing and nourishing qualities help to produce better and healthier, long-lasting skin and, of course, a stunning natural shine.

4. Plumpy Kissy Lips

If you do not wish to suffer from dry lips later, it’s generally a good idea to apply a layer or two of moisturizing lip balm underneath any lipstick, even if those lipsticks don’t dry out your lips. Consider shea butter as your lip balm, and use it whenever you want to. 

The moisturizing ability of shea butter will give you pouty sexy lips anytime. 

5. No More Acne Scars

Because of its healing capabilities, Shea butter can make acne scars on the cheeks, forehead, and chin less noticeable than they can be with store-bought moisturizers. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does shea butter make your skin dark?

If you were exposed to the sun, shea butter may make your skin appear darker. Shea butter has numerous oils, thus using it followed by time in the sun will surely cause you to tan.

Does shea butter lighten skin?

Shea butter does not lighten your skin. However, it does bring back the original color of your skin. 

How long does shea butter take to lighten my skin?

Shea butter will take approximately 4 to 5 months to lighten dark spots, acne scars, and pigmentation if used regularly.

Why does shea butter burn my face?

Because the shea tree can produce natural latex, those who are allergic to latex may experience an adverse reaction. When using shea butter, anyone who is allergic to latex runs the risk of experiencing an allergic response.

Can I mix shea butter with body lotion?

Because it is inherently anti-inflammatory and extremely hydrating, it can be used in moisturizers, body butter, balms, and even soaps.

What’s More?

So, I hope you’ve gotten your answer. Don’t worry, shea butter will not make your coal. However, if you use it correctly and consistently you will notice some mind-blowing results. I said earlier, try to buy some quality shea butter products including lotions, balms, and body butter as they are safer and easier to use. Plus, don’t rely solely on shea butter if you are using it raw. Add some more ingredients to it and try shea butter DIYs. 

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