Your Cart

Double Sale: $15 off any 3 items + Free US Shipping +$50, CODE: "15on3"

Need help choosing the right kit?

Our Skin Profile Quiz can help recommend a kit that best addresses your skin’s unique concerns


Want to order by phone or have questions about our products?

Our skincare experts are here to help 7am-3pm PT Monday - Friday



Sign into your account to track & manage orders or update your account info below.


Facial Cleanser

Ultimate clean, no over-drying

Clearing Tonic

Instant skin rebalancing

Acne Treatment Serum

All-day Protection

Clear Pore Serum

All night pore clearing

Derm-X Cloth

Skin renewing exfoliation

Moisture Complex

Weightless oil-free moisture

Microderm Scrub

Instantly Smoother Skin

Clarifying Mask

Deep down skin detox

Probiotic Complex

Clearer skin from the inside


6 Reason Why Shea Butter for Acne Is a Bad Idea

Shea butter, extracted from the nuts of the African Shea tree, is often hailed as a remedy for various skin conditions. It's an excellent moisturizer for your skin, but the situation gets a bit more complex when it comes to shea butter for acne. While some rave about its many benefits, others question its efficacy in combating acne. Here, we present six reasons you might want to reconsider the application of shea butter on acne-prone skin.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Shea butter, derived from the nuts of the African shea tree, has numerous benefits for skin and hair but may exacerbate acne due to its rich, occlusive nature.
  • The statement "shea butter is non-comedogenic" is not universally applicable, and its pore-clogging potential largely depends on individual skin type and product formulation.
  • Despite the potential for pore clogging, shea butter can provide intensive moisture, soothe irritated skin, enhance skin elasticity, and potentially help reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
  • For those dealing with acne, alternatives like Exposed Skin Care offer a specialized acne treatment regimen, combining science-based and natural ingredients without the potential comedogenic drawbacks of shea butter.

Shea Butter products

Where Does Shea Butter Come From?

Shea butter is a natural product used widely in the skincare and hair care industry. It is made from the nuts of the Shea tree, which is native to West Africa. Making Shea butter involves several steps, from collecting the shea nuts to extracting the pure Shea butter.

Firstly, the Shea nuts are collected from the African Shea tree. These nuts are then boiled and crushed to release their fat content. This process results in raw, pure shea butter, a rich source of essential fatty acids, boasting various skincare benefits. Although it's called butter, it's not the creamy substance you spread on your toast. It's a form of shea that's more akin to a hard oil, gradually melting when applied to the skin.

While many argue that shea butter is non-comedogenic and won't clog your pores, it's crucial to note that the quality and form of Shea butter can play a significant role. It's important for acne sufferers to choose a high-quality, pure Shea butter product. Even so, it's recommended to test a small amount of product first before applying shea butter on the face extensively.

6 Reasons She Butter Is Not Great for Acne

1. Shea Butter Could Clog Pores

One of the foremost concerns with using shea butter for acne is its potential to clog pores. Though often touted as non-comedogenic, there's ongoing debate on whether or not shea butter clogs pores. The consistency of shea butter is thick and creamy, which could potentially create a barrier on the skin, trapping dead skin cells and leading to clogged pores.

2. Not Ideal for Oily Skin

Shea butter is an excellent moisturizer, great for dry skin, but for individuals with oily skin, this could be problematic. Shea butter is composed primarily of fatty acids, and this oil-based composition might exacerbate the oil production in acne-prone skin, leading to further breakouts.

Oily forehead of a person

3. Shea Butter May Not Prevent Acne

The root cause of acne is multifactorial, and while shea butter has anti-inflammatory properties, it might not be enough to prevent acne. It's critical to follow a comprehensive skincare routine, including proper face washing and the use of other non-comedogenic skincare products. Simply applying shea butter to your face and expecting a miraculous resolution of acne might lead to disappointment.

4. Varying Quality of Shea Butter Products

Shea butter comes in various forms: raw shea butter, unrefined shea butter, and refined shea butter. The healing properties of shea butter may be diminished if the product is raw or heavily processed, which, unfortunately, is often the case with many shea butter products available on the market. Not all skincare products contain high-quality shea butter, and your chosen types can significantly affect your skin.

5. The Effect on Acne Scars Is Unclear

The ability of shea butter to improve the appearance of acne scars is ambiguous at best. Although it has been praised for its potential to soothe damaged skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines, concrete scientific evidence supporting the application of shea butter on acne and acne scars is scant.

Woman sad because of her acne scars


6. Shea Butter Is Not a One-Size-Fits-All Remedy

Like many other skincare products, shea butter may not be suitable for all skin types. Despite its skincare benefits, it might not be the best choice for individuals with acne-prone skin. Therefore, even if a teaspoon of shea butter works wonders for a friend's dry skin, it might trigger a breakout in someone with oily, acne-prone skin.

The Silver Lining: Benefits of Shea Butter for Your Skin

While this article primarily focuses on the potential drawbacks of using shea butter for acne, it's worth noting that it's not all doom and gloom. Shea butter also possesses many benefits that can benefit various skin conditions and overall skin health.

Made from the nuts of the African shea tree, shea butter is a natural product loved by many in the skincare world. Whether in the form of shea butter or shea butter oil, it is commonly used in a range of products that aim to moisturize, nourish, and improve skin health.

The key benefits of shea butter include:

  • Moisturizing Effect: Shea butter is known for its moisturizing properties. It helps nourish dry skin and can be used as a natural moisturizer for both skin and hair.

  • Soothing Irritated Skin: With its anti-inflammatory properties, shea butter can help soothe irritated skin, making it a potential treatment for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

  • Skin Protection: Shea butter can improve the skin barrier function, which helps retain moisture and protect the skin from harsh environmental elements.

  • Anti-Aging Properties: With its antioxidants, shea butter can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, enhancing skin elasticity.

  • Stretch Marks: Regular application of shea butter can improve skin elasticity, potentially helping prevent and reduce stretch marks.

Bikini woman showing acne scars

Despite its numerous benefits, using shea butter for acne treatment remains controversial due to its potential to clog pores. The questions about shea butter and acne still linger: “Does shea butter clog pores?” “Is it suitable for treating acne?”

Although the benefits of shea butter are undeniable, if you are looking to use it specifically for acne, it might not be the most appropriate choice due to its potential comedogenic properties. As always, it's crucial to understand your skin's needs and how it reacts to specific ingredients. Ultimately, the best way to use shea butter will depend on your unique skin type and concerns.

Embracing Alternative Acne Solutions: Exposed Skin Care

As we've discovered, using shea butter for acne has its potential pitfalls, notably its ability to clog pores. If you're seeking an alternative, consider products like Exposed Skin Care, specially formulated to manage acne without the comedogenic concerns associated with shea butter.

Exposed Skin Care Basic Kit

The advantages of Exposed Skin Care include:

  • Specialized Formulation: Unlike products that contain shea butter, Exposed Skin Care is designed specifically for acne-prone skin. It aims to cleanse, treat, and prevent acne without clogging your pores.

  • Comprehensive Regimen: The Exposed Skin Care line includes a full range of products for a comprehensive skincare routine. You can effectively wash your face, treat existing acne, and prevent new breakouts.

  • Natural and Scientific Ingredients: While not derived from the African shea tree like shea butter, Exposed Skin Care combines science-based and natural ingredients to provide effective acne treatment.

  • Minimal Side Effects: With its gentle yet potent formulation, Exposed Skin Care minimizes the risk of adverse reactions commonly associated with acne treatments.

The question, "Does shea butter clog pores?" may remain controversial. However, with alternatives like Exposed Skin Care, you can manage acne without worrying about potentially pore-clogging ingredients. In the skincare world, there's always a practical solution waiting to be discovered.


Skincare is often an intricate journey, and the topic of shea butter for acne is no different. Made from the nuts of the African shea tree, shea butter has been widely used for its moisturizing, soothing, and anti-inflammatory benefits. Yet, the same properties that make it a beloved skincare ingredient for some might also contribute to its potential drawbacks for others, specifically those dealing with acne.

Shea butter can be used in numerous ways to nourish and care for the skin. It provides a hydrating and protective barrier, which can help combat dryness and skin damage. However, its intense moisturizing capabilities are a double-edged sword. While beneficial for some, they could potentially lead to clogged pores for others, especially individuals with acne-prone skin.

The question that lingers — "Does shea butter clog pores?" — is complex and depends largely on individual skin type and the product formulation. While scientific opinion is divided, the cautious consensus is that shea butter might exacerbate acne in certain cases due to its rich, occlusive nature.

The exploration of skincare should always be about personal understanding and experience. It balances potential benefits and drawbacks based on your skin's unique needs. While the advantages of shea butter are undeniable for some skin conditions, it may not be the ideal ingredient for those seeking an effective acne treatment. Understanding and listening to your skin remains the key to unveiling your perfect skincare regimen.

FAQs about Shea Butter for Acne

1. Is Shea Butter Comedogenic?

There is no straight answer. While some sources classify shea butter as non-comedogenic, others suggest it may clog pores due to its consistency. The effects of shea butter can vary depending on skin types and the product's specific formulation.

2. Can I Apply Shea Butter to Acne Scars?

While shea butter is often used for its moisturizing and soothing properties, limited scientific evidence supports its efficacy in reducing acne scars. As such, it may or may not help with acne scars.

3. How Is Shea Butter Made?

Shea butter is extracted from shea tree nuts. The shea nuts are crushed, boiled, and manipulated to extract a fatty, oil-rich substance - raw, unrefined shea butter. It may then be refined further to produce a more processed, often whiter, shea butter.

4. Can Shea Butter Cause Acne?

While shea butter itself may not directly cause acne, its propensity to potentially clog pores and its oil-based nature might exacerbate existing acne or lead to further breakouts in individuals with oily, acne-prone skin.

5. Are There Side Effects of Shea Butter?

Shea butter is generally safe for use. However, some people may have an allergic reaction to shea butter, though it's rare. If you notice any rash or irritation after applying shea butter, discontinue use immediately.