How Can you Tell if Shea Butter is Pure Grade A

How can you tell Pure shea butter?

Greetings! If you’re looking to become a connoisseur of shea butter, you’re in the right place!

Let’s break down what is and isn’t Pure Shea Butter so you don’t end up getting blemishes from irritation  when you use it on your skin.

 Most people buying pure shea butter don't know that there are different grades, and that the shea butter they are buying isn't that pure.  which are categorized by how much the shea butter was processed. This matters because the more processed your shea butter, the less nutrients it has to contribute to your Skin's health and glow.

shea butter pure

What Grade is your Shea Butter?

“The United States Agency for International Development have suggested a classification system that companies use for grading shea butter sectioned it into five grades:

  • A (raw or unrefined, extracted using water)
  • B (refined)
  • C (highly refined and extracted with solvents such as hexane)
  • D (lowest uncontaminated grade)
  • E (with contaminants)

Commercial grades are A, B, and C. The color of raw (grade A) butter ranges from cream (like whipped butter) to grayish yellow. It has a nutty aroma which is removed in the other grades. Grade C is pure white. While the level of vitamin content can be affected by refining, up to 95% of vitamin content can be removed from refined grades (i.e., grade C) of shea butter while reducing contamination levels to undetectable levels.”  (

shea butter diy


Now you understand that pure shea butter is in its rawest form, without using extraction methods with solvents. The difference is, with solvents like hexane in grade see shea butter, you might notice the smell is different, a chemical residue that you can't really get rid of from this type of processing. In the table above you'll noticed the lowest grade of shea butter is grade e, with contaminants. Contaminants maybe she'll pieces the Roasting and melting process of the Shea, and also residue from solvents that we're used to refine it faster than the traditional method.

 The key difference here is that pure shea butter takes a long time To process from nut, to clean shea butter. So, some companies will try to speed up the process and reduce the labor with things like hexane as a solvent, but the end result gives you a lower grade shea butter, with less nutrients, and possibly harmful additives that will have side effects when used on your skin. To make sure you're getting pure shea butter you might have to do a lot of trial and error by trying different sources, and putting their product to the test. 

There are some key things you can look for to identify the quality of your shea butter.


  1. Taste your shea butter- is a light nutty flavor or is it medicinal and bitter? 

Another reason to taste your shea butter is if it was overcooked, meaning heated too much where the nutrients break down. If your shea butter was cooked too much, you will taste the burnt flavor in the butter. I've also noticed that it spreads differently when it is over processed.

  1. Smell your shea butter- does it have a light scent to it, not very distinct but could be described as nutty. If your shea butter has a strong smell of chemicals or burned, this is a sign of over-processed lower quality shea butter.

  1. Look for contaminants and debris. Because shea butter is a natural product, you can expect, even in pure shea butter for there to be some bits of shells process. The better companies will put in the work to filter out most of these this so that you end up with nice clean pure shea butter. what you don't want is shea butter that looks grainy with dirt and debris. This is called lazy shea butter and should not have been sold without cleaning better. 

If you're looking to purchase pure shea butter for yourself or your business,  I'll share where I get my shea butter from that originates in Nigeria. The shea butter is the softest, cleanest, easiest to work with, and I've tried a lot of pure Butters in my lifetime. This one of course is grade a pure shea butter and like I said, once in a while I will find a spec or a bit of shell but it's never enough to complain about. And lets me know this pure shea butter is natural and touched by human hands. The whole process of making pure shea butter is long and laborious, that’s where the value is. So much energy is put into it from harvest, to roasting, cleaning, and churning into a nice whipped paste for our bodycare. 

pure shea butter


They call Shea Butter “women's gold” in West Africa because it allows them to make income by exporting shea butter globally. You'd be surprised which companies buy tons and tons of pure shea butter each year and put it into their products. Companies like L'Oreal and L'Occitane use  pure shea butter in their cosmetics. Not to mention places like Bed Bath & Beyond, and The Body Shop that sell millions of dollars in shea butter products each year. Unlike these companies, GreenBody Wellness  is a small business that is very Hands-On with our process and picky about using high-quality ingredients, even if they become more pricey, we never want to sacrifice quality.

Purchase your grade a pure shea butter in the shop right now, and enjoy an extra 10% off with this promo code: GREENBODY

pure shea butter

If you're a small business or even a big business looking for pure shea butter in bulk wholesale, please contact us at 

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