There are three methods for extracting butter from the kernel contained in the shea fruit:

  • The traditional method: the kernels are crushed, roasted, kneaded and then heated in a pan of boiling water. Traditional shea butter is produced. Heat can affect its quality to some extent.
  • Extraction by cold pressing: the kernels are simply crushed in a press at a temperature below 80°C. This mechanical method does not extract all the butter in the nut. However, it is the method that provides the best quality, since the active ingredients of the shea butter are preserved. SOPHIM now offers cold-pressed refined shea butter.
  • Extraction by solvent: the kernels are crushed and then a solvent, hexane, is used. The butter that remains in the kernels dissolves in the Hexane is then allowed to evaporate, and the shea butter is recovered. This method is the most profitable, but the shea butter obtained is of inferior quality.

After extraction, the raw shea butter is yellow-green in colour and has a strong odour. This raw shea butter is then refined, particularly for use in cosmetics, in three stages:

#1 | neutralisation, which removes fatty acids that can oxidise.
#2 | deodorisation, which removes the characteristic smell of shea.
#3 | fading, which makes it possible to obtain a white butter.


SOPHIM widens its portfolio of butters and offers the following butters in addition:

  • Cosmetic almond butter
    • Obtained from sweet almond oil, this rich and velvety butter is recommended for the care of dry skin and hair. Rich in natural antioxidants and phytosterols, it brings a nourishing and restructuring action to your skin care products and prevents the signs of aging. It blends remarkably well in your formulas of creams, balms, sticks, etc. It is perfect for “gourmet” treatments.
  • Cosmetic cocoa butter
    • Cocoa butter is obtained from the cocoa beans, contained in the pods that grow on cocoa trees. An antioxidant, it combats the effects of time by restoring the skin’s elasticity. Its fatty acids nourish, protect and soften the skin and hair.
  • Cosmetic mango butter
    • Native to India, the mango tree produces a highly prized fruit rich in vitamin C. Ideal for dry and mature skin with a tendency to dryness and devitalisation, mango butter maintains hydration, prevents skin ageing and is used as a soothing treatment when the skin has been ravaged by the sun and the cold. Its pleasant texture allows it to be used a lot in hair care, where it also demonstrates all its benefits: it repairs and nourishes the hair, while preventing the formation of split ends.

Shea butter is particularly recommended for the driest of skins, which it will protect and nourish in depth. In addition to its moisturising action, shea butter soothes the skin thanks to its calming and relaxing qualities. Rich in vitamins A, D, E and F, shea has many repairing properties as it softens, smoothes and moisturises the skin in depth. Excellent for skin care, it is beneficial for the elasticity, hydration and protection of the skin.

In case of pregnancy, applied on the affected areas (chest, hips, thighs, etc.), shea helps prevent stretch marks.
In winter, it can treat dry and dehydrated skin and be used as a repairing lip balm. Its ultra-nourishing properties make it an excellent ally for dry hands, healing them and moisturising them intensely. It is also an essential ingredient in natural hair care formulations: it intensely nourishes the hair and protects it from multiple aggressions.

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