Butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter

What is it?

Butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter is the ivory-colored fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa).   

What does it do?

Shea butter has long been used as a moisturizer in personal care products. In fact, it is said to have been a favorite of Cleopatra and the Queen of Sheba. Our shea butter is used as a skin conditioner in some of our Baby Lotion, Body Wash and Bar Soap products.

How is it made?

Our Stewardship Model guides us to select ingredients which have been processed in a manner that supports our philosophy of human and environmental health.

Once the nuts are harvested from the shea tree, they are milled, cold pressed and boiled to extract the unrefined shea butter. The butter is then heated, filtered and steam injected for refinement and purification.  

What are the alternatives?

Other nut and seed based essential oils include argan, coconut, jojoba and safflower seed. There are synthetic alternatives to shea butter, but they do not meet our Stewardship Model standards for natural, responsible and sustainable.

Is this the right option for me?

Shea butter is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Tom’s of Maine recognizes that no two people are alike, and even with naturally derived
ingredients, some individuals may develop an allergic reaction that is unique to them. As with any product, be sure to discontinue use if you experience discomfort or other indications that the product may not be appropriate for your individual body chemistry.