Entertainment Fashion & Style Shea Butter vs. Cocoa Butter: Which One Is Better for Your Skin? Share PINTEREST Email Print Professor25/Getty Images Fashion & Style Skincare Advice Accessories Tops & Sweaters Dresses Skirts Jeans Pants Outerwear Lingerie & Swimwear Do It Yourself Shoes Makeup Hair Fragrance Tattoos and Body Piercings Kids and Teens Bumps & Babies Learn More By Gerrie Summers Gerrie Summers Twitter Contributing Writer Beloit College Gerrie Summers is a freelance travel and beauty writer who has more than 30 years of writing experience. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 04/01/19 After reading about shea butter, you might wonder if shea is better for the skin than cocoa butter. While shea butter seems to have been the popular choice over cocoa butter for a few years, and some people consider it to be superior to cocoa butter, the two kinds of butter have nearly the same beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants, though in different proportions. There are pros and cons. The quality of shea butter can depend on where it is harvested. If you have acne-prone skin, cocoa butter tends to be oilier and could possibly clog the pores. For a similar reason, shea works better as a hair conditioner, since some users find that cocoa butter can be greasy. Others find that cocoa butter has a more pleasant fragrance than shea and also works well as a massage oil and as a base for essential oils. But both shea and cocoa butter have a multitude of skincare benefits, so, for the most part, it's a matter of choice. Differences Between Cocoa and Shea Butter COCOA BUTTER SHEA BUTTER Origins Extracted from the seeds from the fruit of the cacao tree, native to South and Central America. Also cultivated in West Africa. Extracted from the nut of the karite tree, native to West and Central Africa. Shelf Life Up to 5 years. A natural preservative. Can help preserve the shelf life of cosmetics. 1-2 years. Will go rancid and lose potency quicker than cocoa butter. Absorption Melts at body temperature and quickly absorbs into the skin. Also melts at body temperature but with slightly better absorption. Skin Conditions Dry skin, rashes, dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis. Dry skin, rashes, dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis. Skin Type Oily. Could clog pores making it problematic for acne-prone skin. All skin types. Non-comedogenic (doesn't cause blackheads). Allergies Soothes skin allergies. Cocoa beans contain cocoa mass polyphenol, which stops production of immunoglobulin IgE (antibodies found in the skin, lungs, mucous membranes that cause the body to react against certain substances, which worsens eczema and atopic dermatitis. Possible reactions for those with nut allergies. Skin Benefits Improves skin tone, improves elasticity, promotes collagen production. Also promotes collagen production. Skin Healing Benefits Heals and fades scars, chapped lips, and skin, promotes healing to damaged skin. Heals chapped lips and skin, helps reduce acne scars. Anti-microbial properties to fight off infections. Anti-inflammatory properties of cinnamic acid. Skin Protection Rich in the antioxidant vitamin E, offering some protection from free radical damage from environmental pollutants. Acts as a barrier on the skin and slows water loss due to a high amount of palmitic acid, which is protective and locks in moisture. Vitamin E and A to strengthen and repair the skin. Provides slight UV protection (about SPF 6), due to caffeic acid. Linoleic acid helps seal in moisture. Anti-Aging Helps reduce wrinkles and fade age spots. Improves the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, age spots. Featured Video Face Mask Recipes for Oily and Acne-Prone Skin Petroleum Jelly Beauty Myths and Benefits Best Skincare Tips For Black Men How to Get Rid of Dark Pores on the Legs What Can I Do to Shrink My Pores? Review: Aveda Outer Peace Foaming Cleanser The Skin Benefits of Seaweed Plus DIY Skin Care Recipes Make Your Own Skin Brightening Turmeric Face Mask Skin Types: Do You Have Combination, Oily, or Dry Skin? The Best Ways to Exfoliate From Head to Toe How to Use Retin-A for Fine Lines and Wrinkles 6 DIY Epsom Salt Recipes to Spruce Up Your Skin Care Routine Try This Super-Simple Coconut Oil Hair Treatment Some of The Best Moisturizing Products for Black Hair How to Make Your Own Sugar Scrub What Is a Texturizer for Black Hair?