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What is a Shea Butter Body Scrub?

By Bethany Keene
Updated May 21, 2024
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Shea butter body scrub is a type of exfoliating body wash that includes the moisturizing ingredient shea butter. Shea butter comes from shea trees, and is a naturally occurring substance that works well as an emollient and moisturizer. It contains vitamins C and A, and does not leave a greasy residue on the skin when used as a moisturizer. For these reasons, shea butter is frequently found in cosmetic products for the skin.

Shea butter body scrub differs from traditional body wash because body scrubs contain exfoliating ingredients such as sugar, jojoba beads, salt, or oatmeal, just to name a few. These exfoliating ingredients slough off dead skin cells on the surface of the body, revealing fresher, softer skin underneath. In addition to the exfoliating ingredient, body butter often contains a moisturizer, which in this case is the shea butter.

It is not recommended to use shea butter body scrub every day, but rather once or twice a week. Body scrub can be used more frequently on troublesome dry areas, such as elbows or knees. It should never be used on the face, because the skin is more delicate there and the exfoliating ingredients could easily scratch and damage the skin. There are other types of exfoliating scrubs designed for use on the delicate skin of the face.

Shea butter body scrub can be applied at home or as part of a massage at a spa. The benefit to using a body scrub as part of a massage, is that the massage therapist can scrub more difficult, hard to reach areas such as the back. When applying shea butter body scrub, first dampen the area to be cleansed, and then massage the scrub into the skin in a circular motion for about a minute. After that, rinse off the scrub. Because it is a slower process, it is best not to use body scrub in the shower.

After using a body scrub, even a moisturizing one containing shea butter, it is best to apply a moisturizer to the skin. This will make the skin even softer, and help to prevent persistent dryness from recurring. As with using any product for the body, it may be best to test the body scrub in a small area first, to be certain there is no allergic reaction. If dryness or peeling occurs, switching to a different brand of body scrub will generally solve the problem.

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Discussion Comments
By candyquilt — On Jul 20, 2011

There are a lot of moisturizing body scrubs on the market. I prefer shea butter ones because they have a thick consistency. It's so hard and annoying to try to scoop out and apply a runny body scrub with your hands. But shea butter scrub is super thick and applies like a body butter. Exfoliating with it is easy.

By SteamLouis — On Jul 19, 2011

I am so glad I found this scrub. Usually scrubs are so drying that my skin becomes red, irritated and incredibly dry after I use it.

But I get a lot of stubs on my skin from shaving and if I don't exfoliate, it will become a serious skin problem. I've been trying to manage this by smothering my body with oil after I get out of the shower.

This scrub is like a two in one. I don't have to spend an hour moisturizing my skin after using it because it already does that for me in the shower. My skin doesn't dry out anymore and no stubs! Yay!

By turquoise — On Jul 19, 2011

I bought a huge container of shea butter a few weeks ago because it was on sale. I was planning on making body butter or body lotion of it but ended up making a body scrub. I didn't even know that there was such a thing as a shea butter body scrub.I added some almond oil, fragrance and coffee grounds as an exfoliater.

It came out pretty nice. I wonder how the store bought kind is? I might buy some to compare it to my homemade one.

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