Preferences of professionals
Unrefined Shea - Shea butter was found to help to protect skin against climate and UV aggressions, reduce appearance of wrinkles, soothe irritated and chapped skin, and moisturize the epidermis. Unrefined shea butter contains the maximum amount of bioactive phytochemicals. The yellow tint of unrefined shea butter is due to the Vitamin E content. Remove this color, and the beneficial vitamins have also been removed.
Refined & Unrefined - Let's take for example one of the more popular ingredients in cosmetic lotions and creams which is shea butter. For years, you have seen shea butter Lotions and creams on the shelves of boutiques and departments stores globally. Lotions, creams and body butters that are white in color most likely have refined Shea Butter in them. Besides the white color of the product, the other aspect of recognizing this factor is the cost. If you are buying a quality product don't expect it to be reasonably priced at a discount, boutique or department store. Only a unrefined Shea Butter that is pure can offer the moisturizing and healing benefits that exist in Shea Butter and it usually bumps the price a little. Did you know that unrefined Shea Butter is yellow in color? Unrefined Shea Butter also has an different scent that may not be desirable to most cosmetic clients.
Here is a little insight on the the Difference [Fair Trade Shea Butter] only pure, unrefined shea butter offers the true beneficial and moisturizing properties. Most shea butter available to the general public outside West Africa is white and odorless, in other words it has been "refined" to remove the natural scent and color of natural shea butter. In the process, the majority of the effective agents are also removed. In addition, refined shea butter has usually been extracted from the shea kernels with hexane or other petroleum solvents. The extracted oil is boiled to drive off the toxic solvents, and then refined, bleached, and deodorized, which involves heating it to over 400 degrees Farenheit and the use of harsh chemicals, such as sodium hydroxide. Shea butter extracted in this manner still contains some undesirable solvent residues, and its healing values are significantly reduced. Antioxidants or preservatives such as BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) or BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) may be added as well. The end result is an odorless, white butter that may be aesthetically appealing, but lacks the true moisturizing, healing, and nutritive properties of true traditional shea butter. In addition, refined shea butter is often hard and grainy, not smooth and creamy like pure, unrefined shea butter. All that can be said for refined shea butter is that it has an extended shelf life, a white, uniform color, and no odor.