The Body Shop Shea Body Butter Review – Beautiful With Brains


Review updated on 11/05/2024. The packaging has changed, but the ingredients and formula are still the same.

I have a love/hate relationship with The Body Shop Shea Body Butter. Shea butter IS the secret behind my smooth legs..

No kidding. My legs (well, my whole body) is drier than the Sahara. For years, I struggled to find a body lotion that can keep my skin soft and supple from morning till evening without having to reapply it 1000 times in between.

When shea butter entered my life, angels started to sing. I kid you not, this is the most moisturising thing I’d come across so far. I slather it on after a shower and I don’t have to worry about my skin for the rest of the day.

Needless to say, these days I rarely buy a body lotion, cream, or butter without shea butter. So, it’s a bit odd that I always neglected The Body Shop Shea Body Butter, especially because I love the rest of the range (my fave is coconut).

There was always something that held me back, but I didn’t know what. Now I do. Here’s what I mean:

Key Ingredients In The Body Shop Shea Body Butter: What Makes It Work?

SHEA BUTTER TO MOISTURISE SKIN

Shea butter is a godsend for dry skin. Derived from the nut of the Shea tree, this fat is rich in moisturising fatty acids and antioxidants.

Fatty acids are what makes it work so well: they create a protective barrier on the skin that slows down water loss. Moisture is now forced to stay into the skin, hydrating it from within.

FYI, shea butter is even more moisturising than mineral oil (what derms consider the gold standard for moisturisation). Its effects lasts for up to 8 hours, if not more!

Related: Why Shea Butter Is The Best Moisturiser For Dry Skin

GLYCERIN TO HYDRATE SKIN

Think of glycerin as a moisture magnet: this little molecule attracts moisture into the air, drops it into your skin and binds it there.

Your skin now has plenty of extra moisture to keep it soft and hydrated for hours on end. Pair it with shea butter and you’ve got a very moisturising combo.

Related: Why Is Glycerin In ALL My Skincare Products?


The Rest Of The Formula & Ingredients

NOTE: The colours indicate the effectiveness of an ingredient. It is ILLEGAL to put toxic and harmful ingredients in skincare products.

  • Green: It’s effective, proven to work, and helps the product do the best possible job for your skin.
  • Yellow: There’s not much proof it works (at least, yet).
  • Red: What is this doing here?!
  • Aqua/Water/Eau: The main solvent in the product, it helps to dissolve other ingredients.
  • Cetearyl Alcohol: A good type of alcohol (yes, really!), it hydrates skin and makes it softer and smoother.
  • Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter/Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter: It creates a protective barrier on the skin that deeply moisturises skin.
  • Cetearyl Glucoside: An emulsifier that helps water blend with oil.
  • Triethyl Citrate: A solvent and texture enhancer.
  • Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil: A non-fragrant plant oil that makes skin softer and smoother. It has antioxidant properties too.
  • Dimethicone: A type of silicone that gives slip to a texture, fills in fine fine lines and crannies so they look smaller, and makes skin velvety soft. Contrary to popular opinion, it does NOT clog pores or suffocate skin.
  • Oryza Sativa Bran Wax/Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax: A natural wax that makes skin softer and smoother.
  • Phenoxyethanol: A preservative that inhibits the growth of bacteria and other nasties in your skincare products.
  • Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate: An emulsifier that helps water and oil blend in a formula.
  • Parfum/Fragrance: The most irritating ingredient in skincare products, it makes them smell good.
  • Caprylyl Glycol: A humectant that hydrates skin and makes it softer and smoother.
  • Xanthan Gum: It’s a texture enhancer.
  • Tocopherol: A form of Vitamin E, it has powerful antioxidant properties.
  • Citric Acid: It adjusts the pH of skincare products.
  • Linalool: A fragrant component with a spicy, floral smell. It’s part of the fragrance, but must be listed separately because it’s a common allergen.
  • Coumarin: Another fragrant ingredient that must be listed separately because it often causes allergies.
  • Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone: A fragrant ingredient. It smells good, but can be irritating.
  • Limonene: Another fragrant ingredient that must be listed separately because it often causes allergies. It smells citrusy.
  • Caramel: Yep, the same caramel you get in sweets. Here, it’s used as a brown colourant.
  • CI 19140/Yellow 5: A colorant that gives the texture a yellow colour.

Texture

The texture takes some getting used to too. It’s not greasy and it absorbs quite quickly – as long as you don’t go overboard and apply too much. That’s totally unnecessary anyway. A little goes a long, long way. But it is quite hard spread easily on the skin. Warmed it up between your fingers for a couple of minutes first.

Fragrance

It’s both flowery and nutty. And strong. It’s one of those scents that a lot of people will either love or hate at first sniff. My main problem with it? Any fragrance always has the potential to irritate sensitive skin.

How To Use It

Easy. Massage it on your body after a shower. I like to use it every morning, so I know my skin is velvety soft all day. But you can use it as often as needed.

Packaging

Big brown jar. Not the most hygienic, but it’s the most practical packaging for such a thick formula.


Need help creating the best skincare routine for you dry skin? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the “Dry Skincare Routine Cheatsheet” (it includes product recommendations, too!).


Performance & Personal Opinion

I love what The Body Shop Shea Body Butter does for my Sahara-like skin. I just don’t like using it – and not just because it took me a while to get used to its strong, nutty scent.

I’m not too keen on the texture either. It’s not as grainy and thick as pure shea butter (phew!), but you still need to warm it up between your fingers to get it to glide smoothly onto your skin.

It’s a bit of a hassle, but the results are so worth it. The butter is super moisturizing and a real godsend even for the driest of skin, like mine.

The smallest amount leaves my skin soft, smooth and moisturised from morning till night. Heck, I even think it may be a tad too rich for summer. I’ll probably have to switch to something lighter then. Who would have thought?

the body shop shea body butter review

What Other Flavours Of The Body Shop Body Butters Are Available?

The Body Shop Body Butter is available in a gazillion flavours. If this one isn’t to your linking, one of the below may be a better fit. All The Body Butters have the same moisturising base (shea butter and cocoa butter), but the details, like scent, change.

  • The Body Shop Almond Milk Body Butters ($24.00): I’m not a huge fan of almond scents, but if you love their bitterness, this will be right up your alley. Available at The Body Shop and Ulta.
  • The Body Shop British Rose Instant Glow ($24.00): The classic and powdery scent of roses – so feminine! Available at The Body Butter.
  • The Body Shop Cherries & Cheer Body Butter ($24.00): I adore anything cherry, but not so much in a scent. This is only for women who love a sweet scent. Available at The Body Shop.
  • The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter ($21.00): If you love coconut, you’re in for a treat. This one smells coconutty, exotic, and delicious. And it’s super moisturising. Available at The Body Shop and Ulta.
  • The Body Shop Glowing Cherry Blossom Body Cream ($24.00): A blend of sweet Japanese cherry blossom, osmanthus, and masculine sandalwood. Lovely, but it’s one of the most irritating. Available at The Body Shop.
  • The Body Shop Hemp Body Butter: Jumping on the hemp bandwagon, this vegan formula has a lovely herbal scent. Available at The Body Shop.
  • The Body Shop Mango Body Butter ($24.00): This is one of the sweetest scents in the range. Tropical, fruity, sweet. Available at The Body Shop.
  • The Body Shop Moringa Body Butter ($24.00): A nutty scent in one of the most moisturising formula the brand offers. Available at The Body Shop and Ulta.
  • The Body Shop Olive Body Butter ($24.00): Fresh, herbal, slightly bitter. I’m not a huge fan of smelling like an olive, but if you can’t get enough of them, go for it. Available at The Body Shop.
  • The Body Shop Pears & Share Body Butter ($24.00): If you like the fresh and sweet scent of pear, this’ll smell like heaven for you. Available at The Body Shop.
  • The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Body Butter ($24.00): A fresh and tangy scent that’s sweeter than lime. Available at The Body Shop.
  • The Body Shop Strawberry Body Butter ($24.00): Fruity, sweet, and tarty, it’s almost good enough to eat. Available at The Body Shop and Ulta.
  • The Body Shop Vanilla Pumpkin Body Butter ($24.00): An autumnal, warm scent that gets you in a Halloween mood. Available at The Body Shop.
  • The Body Shop Vibrant Bergamot Body Cream ($24.00): I adore anything citrusy. It’s fresh, zesty, and summary. But citrusy are some of the most irritating scents out there. Don’t say I haven’t warned you! Available at The Body Shop.
  • The Body Shop Wild Jasmine Body Butter ($24.00): The creamy scent of wild flowers in a moisturising base. Not my fave but sweet floral lovers will adore it. Available at The Body Shop.

What I Like About The Body Shop Shea Body Butter

  • Very moisturising, makes even the driest skin softer and smoother for hours
  • A little goes a long way
  • Fast-absorbing, non-greasy
  • Big jar, lasts forever

What I DON’T Like About The Body Shop Shea Body Butter

  • Fragrance smells delicious, but can irritate sensitive skin
  • Hard to spread on the skin

Who Should Use This?

This body butter is a godsend for dry skin.

Does The Body Shop Shea Body Butter Live Up To Its Claims?

CLAIM TRUE?
Body Butter for dry to very dry skin. True.
72 hour ultra-rich moisture. It doesn’t last 72 hours on me, but it does last 24.
Replenishes skin with moisture. Yes.
Protects skin from dryness. True again.
Indulgently rich butter texture that sinks into the skin. True, but you have to warm it up first.
Non greasy and non-sticky. Yes. Once it sinks in, it leaves no residue behind.

Price & Availability

$36.00/£16.00 at The Body Shop

The Verdict: Should You Buy It?

If you have super dry skin and you don’t like the texture, you’ll like this. It works.

Dupes & Alternatives

  • Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter ($10.99): A rich body butter with shea and cocoa butter that makes skin softer and smoother. It’s not the easiest to spread either. Available at Boots and Target.

Aqua/Water/Eau, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cetearyl Alcohol, Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter/Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Glycerin, Cetearyl Glucoside, Triethyl Citrate, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Dimethicone, Oryza Sativa Bran Wax/Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Parfum/Fragrance, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol, Citric Acid, Linalool, Coumarin, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Limonene, Caramel, CI 19140/Yellow 5.” 

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