Patri showing results of having applied shea butter on face experiment

Shea Butter for Face Before and After: A 21 Day-by-Day Journal [EXPERIMENT]

 

Does applying shea butter on face at night make a visible difference over the course of 30 days? Here’s my raw Shea butter for face before and after experiment for you all to see.

Is Shea Butter Good for Face? I’m Excited About this Experiment!

An earlier post on using shea butter on face at night covers the shea butter basics, benefits, how shea butter works on your skin, types of shea butter, what to look for and 5 of the best shea butters in the market right now.

What it doesn’t give you is a hands-on, day-in, day-out insight into what happens to the skin when using shea butter on face every night.

Some people don’t think it is a good idea to use shea butter on the face skin. Take a look at this quote:

“[…] it should not be used on the face. “It’s very rich and can make some people break out,” explains Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. […] In general, it’s a good idea to only use products targeted at facial skin on your face, as they are typically noncomedogenic, meaning they won’t clog pores ~ Source

It goes on to say you shouldn’t use pure shea butter on your face but use moisturisers that contain shea butter (and mentions L’Occitane Ultra Rich Face Cream with Shea Butter because it recommends “products targeted at facial skin on your face, as they are typically noncomedogenic, meaning they won’t clog pores.”

While I understand this I’m going to give it a pass. I REALLY want to test pure, 100%, unrefined, unfiltered shea butter on my face and see what happens.

Would there be any changes, and, if so, would they be visible? Would it feel more moisturised than with other methods/creams/oils/butters? Would blemishes go? Would it feel too greasy? Too slippery? Too smelly?​ 

Would it be noticeable after using it for a month or would the test be needed for a longer period of time? Will I break out as the quote above says?

The Perfect Candidate

When it comes to shea butter for your face I think I’m actually the perfect candidate for the test. I have a scar on the right side of my face from a sebaceous cyst removal operation I had done around 6 months ago and I also have ALWAYS had a yellow discolored patch on my lower right cheek, right below the scar, which looks like a faded bruise.​ [See pic below].

I don’t know how fair the experiment would really be since it’ll cover the period of 1 month (30 days) and also because I’m not sure about the benefits that are not visible without someone putting my skin under the microscope. Also there might be extra benefits from shea butter’s amazing properties that I’ll never know of.

But I’ll be able to test it out for any visible changes and I’m excited about this.

I have olive complexion from from my Spanish/Latin background and eat a fairly healthy diet. We are all different so I can’t say this experiment will work for every one in the same way (in fact, I’m sure it won’t!), but at least it’ll give me an idea if shea butter does make a visible difference over the course of 30 days or if it doesn’t. Simple.

I also felt 30 days is a fair length of time for a test. Let’s see what happens 🙂

Recipe for the whipped shea butter here.

My Current Routine

 

 

Please note that the info below has both info links and affiliate links. I won’t get a commission if you purchase from the info links, but the products are cheaper there!

In the mornings I wash my face with either a shea butter soap (mixed with olive oil and other oils) or just a cheap cleanser and toner. I then apply The Ordinary Marine Hyaluronics (info link // here’s the affiliate link for their hyaluronic acid), The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (info link // aff link) and their Buffet concoction (info link // aff link).

At night I cleanse my face with a shea butter soap or the cheap cleanser/lotion, then I’ll use either of these products from The Ordinary (just ONE A NIGHT, resting 2 nights a week – NEVER all of them in one night!): Retinol 1% in Squalane (info link, <<please note this is a strong product, they generally recommend the next one I’ll mention). Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane (info link // aff link), Lactic Acid 10% + HA (info link // aff link) or Vitamin C Suspension 23%+ HA Spheres 2% (info link // aff link) and I’ll finally apply the moisturizer (usually The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA (info link // Amazon affiliate link) or LaVera (aff link). **Lavera is a natural skincare German company.

Phew! Yep, a lot. With all the products and links out of the way, let’s get on with the experiment.

What I’ll be Changing

My daily routine will the EXACTLY THE SAME as above except for the moisturizer – I’ll swap it for my homemade whipped shea butter (the only ingredient is shea butter, nothing else!).

What I’ll be Looking at

Noticeable changes on the skin, what the skin feels like in general, what it feels like to the touch but, most importantly, if it has made any difference regarding the scar and yellow discoloration. On my list of shea butter benefits I also mentioned shea butter’s Vitamin A and E amongst other things so, in theory, things should get interesting.

Let’s get started.

Shea Butter on Face Overnight: Experiment Starts Here

Shea butter for your face might not be the most popular facial routine ever, but I for one am excited about this (and I have a good feeling). So, let’s see how this goes, below is my 30 day-by-day journal.

Week 1

DAY 1 – After applying the whipped shea butter on my face I got a bit apprehensive about putting so much grease (oil!) on my face. I had applied rosehip oil and argan oil (separately) on my face before at night but they were random one-offs. This was going to be an every night thing, which meant I couldn’t rely on any of my other creams for ‘support’. Anyway, done.

DAY 2 – I still found it a bit gross to apply so much oil on my face. Shea butter is a butter after all, and butters are pure oil. I thought I’d eventually pass this phase. Today I also applied it on my neck and put more amount of butter on my scar and discoloured patch. It felt greasy and looked really shiny but it is just SO SURPRISING that most of the oil is gone in the morning!

DAY 3 – I’m still finding it difficult to get excited about applying the shea butter on my face… it’s oily and heavy! I keep thinking the results will be good (although I don’t know if this is true). Having so much fat all over the face doesn’t feel great. I wonder if I’ll get used to it. I hope so. One thing I did today though was apply it with love and care.

DAY 4 – Not much change regarding not really looking forward smothering my face with grease… but better today. For the first time I massaged my face lovingly as I would do with any other face cream (rather than trying to get this done asap).

DAY 5 – Amazed at how the oil is virtually GONE in the mornings! That’s the first thing I do when I wake up: check! And, yep, without fail, every morning my face feels lovely (the forehead feels a little greasier, especially the top area closer to where the hair starts to grow).

DAY 6 – My girlfriend arrived yesterday from Devon and said my skin looked GLORIOUS. She couldn’t get over how good it looked. She really couldn’t. In fact, she hadn’t seen me before using ‘The Ordinary’ products (routine mentioned above) so not sure how much it had to do with this or if the difference points at both The Ordinary products + the shea butter or if it’s the shea butter doing most of the visual obviousness. My instinct says it’s probably both. Shame I can’t tell. Let’s see how I get on over the next few weeks.

DAY 7 – Oohh, yes!!! I’m applying the shea butter for the night and… my face looks AMAZING. Let me rewind around one hour. I washed my face in the shower and then applied The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% which leaves my skin feeling very smooth, especially around the base of the nose area. I let it sit on the skin for 30 minutes or longer, just because I don’t want to add more grease from the shea butter straight away since the Vitamin C feels already quite greasy on the skin. Once I felt it was time I put a bit of the shea butter on my hand and, rubbing it with my finger, applied it on my skin (I was excited about putting the butter on my face tonight, finally!). When applying the shea butter I was careful to add thin layers as opposed to the thick layers I was adding the nights before (tonight it felt more like I knew what I was doing). And then I saw… the skin… glowing… soft… even… just looking absolutely gorgeous! I then applied the shea butter with care; thinning the layers with my fingers and massaging the butter into the skin slowly and lovingly. Am I reaping the benefits from my nightly shea butter applications after just one week?

Results so far:

Week 2

DAY 8 – Looking forward to extending the butter as I go along. Interesting. The skin is looking lovely and even. No blemishes. No breakouts whatsoever.

DAY 9 – I’m getting used to having this amount of grease on my face at night and my skin sort of ‘asks’ for it. It is received in a welcom-y manner. I did put a lot on my face tonight! I think I’m over the too-much-grease-on-my-face phase.

DAY 10 – Definitely there’s been a difference regarding looking forward to putting the butter on my face. I have learnt how much is not too much but enough to feel I’m covered in it (not an easy thing because of the nature of the butter itself, it doesn’t glide like your normal face cream). Also I’m INCREDIBLY IMPRESSED with the fact that the lines around my eyes have sort of… disappeared! Have a look at the pic below:

** Today I noticed that lines/wrinkles around the eyes are fading, I can see on the pictures I took before they were already fading (believe me, those lines were a lot more pronounced a month ago). Also note the forehead, virtually no lines (there were plenty before). And, finally, look at the scar, it has a much softer ‘finish’.As mentioned before I’ve been putting hyaluronic acid from The Ordinary on my face on a daily basis but I couldn’t see these changes before. Not sure if the acid is helping, It’s been around 6 or 7 weeks I’ve been using the acid, but the changes in the wrinkles I noticed yesterday and today. On this link you’ll see other people agree that shea butter helps with eye wrinkles. Excited to see how my skin will look like when I finish the experiment.

DAY 11 – Since getting excited with the astonishing results I’m changing the way I apply the butter. Basically first I’m applying a thin-ish layer around the whole face to cover all areas. I then go back to my tub and take small amounts that will cover the following areas: around the eyes, lines on my forehead, scar and the yellow discolorated patch. I massage the butter in for a few seconds at least. It’s starting to feel great.

DAY 12 – Definitely starting to look forward putting the shea butter on at night. Every morning, the butter is gone! Just my forehead feels a bit greasier, but it’s so unnoticeable I’m not sure it’s worth mentioning. This time I massaged the butter nicely, I spent time pampering my face. I rubbed the butter in and enjoyed doing it slowly while understanding my hands have healing power. Nice!

DAY 13 – Still not 100% looking forward to having the shea butter on the face because it feels so greasy but I do forget about it after 30 seconds of having it on, so it is more the ‘thought’ of it than anything else. And this is getting better anyway. My idea is that by day 30 I either don’t find it a problem or I look forward to it. Also finding the right amount to put on has taken time, but getting there.

DAY 14 – So I put A LOT of product on my face tonight! Too much I’d say. I can’t believe I still don’t know how much product I need every night. It’s been 2 weeks already. Oh well. Also, it occurred to me that the reason why there’s no product left in the morning is not so much from the skin soaking it in but from rubbing against the pillows… Hence there’s more product on the forehead than the sides of my face (the forehead would not rub against the pillows as much). Oh well. Sometimes I take time for the obvious.

Week 3

DAY 15 – Getting the right amount to put on my face (finally!). Applied more on the ‘wrinkley’ areas because now I know it’s working. I might have forgotten to add the sequence here a couple of times, not sure, I’m losing track of time!

** There’s definitely signs of improvements: yellow discoloration not so prominent, the scar healing beautifully!

DAY 16 – Haven’t been able to add the info on this day and also day 17. Also I didn’t put it on last night. I suppose I needed a rest from feeling a little greasy at night, which means I’m still not used to it. I think eventually I’ll just add the butter on specific areas of the face, where most needed. It makes sense.

DAY 17 – I remember I was reluctant again to put it on but since I missed last night I am looking forward to putting the butter on my face tonight! Sometimes a rest is all that’s needed (this is for everything in life 🙂 )

DAY 18 – It was good to put the butter on the important areas last night; I felt I really wanted to do it. The truth is that even though I’m not finding it easy to put the butter all over my face, I am happy to apply to the most needed areas, as if they were ‘asking’ for it (those areas need their ‘medicine’ because they feel dry or tight – for example, my scar – so they’re very happy to be smothered in the butter!)

DAY 19 – Can’t remember much about last night, I think I’m applying the butter a little late, I need to bring the routine forward a bit. I’ll try next time.

DAY 20 – Yes, finding my way through finally! Can you believe it it has taken so long… But hey, good things to those who wait. I know the exact amount so it feels I’m adding the shea butter on my face without it being too overwhelmingly greasy. This has been my battle for sure!

DAY 21 – Yep, the amount feels right. I add a bit of the whipped shea butter to the palm of my hand and then rub it to soften it even more, dab on different areas of my face and then apply softly. I’ve stopped using it on my neck (it was too much!) so happy about that.

Results After 21 Days of Applying Shea Butter on my Face

I am very happy with the results (photo below). My scar has faded CONSIDERABLY and the yellow patch has also faded, a discoloured patch I was born with which I never thought would fade.

It wasn’t easy applying the butter to the whole of the face – it’s a lot of grease to add to the face area, especially if you’re used to the usual facial creams, which in general have a nice glide to them and are not greasy.

The lines around my eyes ALMOST DISAPPEARED! This was noticeable early-ish; I must say that I was a little shock about this as I wasn’t expecting it.

I’m writing this around 1 and a half months after doing the experiment, and the skin around my eyes is very smooth still. The lines have almost faded!

BEFORE

AFTER

Scar is less prominent, discoloured patch is not as strong, lines around the eyes have faded (not easily seen on the pic but they were a lot more defined before the experiment).

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Pros & Cons

PROS

  • Very fast results
  • Considerably reduced lines, faded scars, discoloured patch also faded
  • A natural option (as opposed to facial creams which can include preservatives)
  • Shea butter has a lot of benefits – see shea butter benefits

CONS

  • Feels very greasy on the skin
  • Takes time to prepare (I used my homemade whipped shea butter, you can buy shea butter ready for this)
  • Takes time to get used to the greasy texture (after 21 days I was still not getting used to it)
  • Can stain the pillow if you use yellow shea butter

Final Thoughts

Since the results have exceeded expectations I’ve decided to keep using shea butter on my face at night every now and then as a treatment, and only on specific areas (I couldn’t use to the shea butter covering all of my face).

So I’ve applied it around the eyes area, around my scar, around the lines on the sides of my lips and any other areas where lines are more prominent. This means the shea butter still covers quite a lot of my face but it still doesn’t feel like a greasy mask since I’m doing ‘spot treatments’.

I very much recommend you try this if you want to do your own experiment and see how it goes. There’s nothing like using products that are as natural as possible, and shea butter does comply with this simple, elegant rule.

Jane wrote an entry on what’s the best shea butter for your face at night here so you can have a look at the different ‘ready’ shea butters she chose if you’d like to give putting it on your face at night a try.

I bought myself L’Occitane shea butter [aff link] because I personally really like the brand. It is not a cheap butter and I LOVE the raw shea butter I got from Brixton market but the easiness of having it all ready in a lovely tub for me is nice. Also I’m not sure where the Brixton shea butter comes from in terms of area, community, etc; while L’Occitane is very transparent regarding where they source their products from (and the brand loves shea butter!).

I’ll leave you below with my choice of shea butters that I think are inexpensive and can do wonders for your skin. If you’d like to know more about shea butter make sure to check out this post, by the way.

My Recommendations

Shea Butter: Unrefined, Pure, Raw Ivory Shea Butter 16oz - Skin Nourishing, Moisturizing & Healing, For Dry Skin, Dusting Powders -For Skin Care, Hair Care & DIY Recipes

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39 Comments

    1. Hi Esther – I definitely got patience, I think I wouldn’t have been able to do it when I was younger. But it was well worth it! I know use shea butter for my skincare formulations.

      1. Wow your article and experiment is exactly what I was looking for. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try it on my face skin, but now I can see it works and I’m going to try it.

        1. Hi Lindsay – I’m well happy I could be of help! Yes, it might feel a little greasy at first but keep trying. Shea butter is truly a WONDERFUL, natural ingredient and we should most definitely integrate it a lot more into our skincare routine in some form or another. Good luck with your test.

  1. Thanks for this post! Before I read your post, I recently bought some unrefined Shea butter in supermarket (last week) and just started using it to see if it is works. I was wondering if it was just my imagination that my skin looks amazing! So I started looking online to see what other people have experienced and that’s when I found your blog! Your skin looks great! I hope we both continue to reap the benefits of this amazing butter!

    1. Hi Elaine – yes, I just made shea butter with lavender (by melting the shea butter slightly) to get ready for the winter. My skin looks even much better now, I’m eating really well and making my own skincare. Hope you enjoy your shea butter journey! Thanks so much for your comment, much appreciated. xx

  2. Thank-you very much for this article. It is the reason I got some pure 100 percent shea butter, I started using it on my face, small lines around my eyes, acne scars etc. I use a mixture of shea butter, vit e oil and sometimes tea tree oil. I am hoping over time I get similar results as you did. Again, thank-you very much for this 30 day experience.

    1. You’re very welcome! I stopped using shea butter on my face for the sole reason that I make all my own natural skincare and there’s always a new formula to try, so 1 face, many formulas! A lady told me the other day she mixes shea butter with one other product (I can’t remember but it could have been coconut oil) on a daily basis. You have to find what your skin loves which might take a little time.
      Regarding the tea tree oil it’s good you not always add it to your mix as we should use them sparingly (especially on our facial skin). Not more than 1% of the total product is recommended for the face, and I would use it on and off. Thanks for your comment!

      1. No problem, I think I read thru your article many times, i even showed my mom your results. I am have her use shea butter once a day in the mornings in addition to her nite time mild gylcolic acid treatment. What I have noticed with the shea butter is softening of lines, even’ing out of my complexion, I am waiting to see how it handles the scaring from acne over time. I think it is such a great natural product to use that is not full of chemicals and dyes, purfumes etc .. i think i need to read more of the articles you have on natural skin care, who needs to spend 1500 dollar for a jar of La Praire skin moisturizer.

        1. Yes, you can get incredible results from natural skincare and feel really good about yourself also. There’s a learning curve (you need to learn about preservatives and also essential oil limits, etc) but it’s well worth it. You can always keep it simple with anhydrous products (products that don’t use water so there’s no risk of contamination) like mixing shea butter with other oils, for example. Once you get started on the natural skincare journey though I find there’s no going back! Somehow nature calls us ‘back’ at some point and that’s when we’re ready to follow the natural journey I find. I’m hoping to write a lot more posts this year, particularly on natural skincare. My idea is to write entries that people can trust, as there’s a lot of misinformation on the web! I need to organise the content, which is pretty exciting for me. Thanks again for your comment!

  3. My cousin make Shea Butter moisture her’s is white.
    Also she make goat milk soap bars.
    I do this morning and night was face with goat milk soap bar rinse with warm water, Pat face dry then I use the Shea butter moisture rub it in good.
    You will see the difference it make and your face does look younger.
    If you do not believe this give it a try for 30 day.
    Contact me and I will give you the address were to buy both at.

    1. I’ve heard of goal milk soap bars but have never tried them. Do you not use a toner after cleansing with soap? It would help regulate the pH of your skin.

      1. Hi i’ve been using pure shea on my face and i noticed improvement too i dont break out either. Shea is non clogging of the pores i have not broke out at all even w pounds of oil on my face lol

        1. Yes, as I understand it shea butter is non-comedogenic. I wrote a great article on everything you need to know about shea butter here, take a look, see what you think. I love the stuff, so many people ask me for shea butter (I have quite a lot at home), someone even uses it for herpes and she told me that NOTHING worked, including numerable visits to the doctor and specialised treatments, and to her astonishment shea butter is getting rid of it within days of using it. Unbelievable. We need to go back to natural things!

    2. Hi Pami

      Thank you for such wonderful information. Am interested in where to buy the goat milk bars and products.

  4. Wow…this was the most well written and informative blog about testing out shea butter for the face that I have ever seen.you used various colors segments for the different weeks(that keep the reader from getting bored)all of the links of to the products along with before and after photos….i appreciate the time and effort you put into this experiment thank you for posting .

    1. Hi Pami, just bought some raw Shea butter from the market and I have just started applying it at night. My skin is already feeling soft.

    1. Hi there- Apologies, just saw your comment! I get a lot of spam so sometimes the good comments just don’t get seen, my sincere apologies again. Not sure about chubby cheeks, since this is something to with the muscles? Chubby cheeks refer to fat that shows up in a cute way. Not sure shea butter would do this 🙂 Thanks for your comment. Patri 🙂

  5. The next morning after you put the shea butter on did you wash your face or just put face cream and makeup?

    1. Hi – good question. I did wash my face every morning, yes, as part of my morning routine – wash with natural soap, tone and moisturizer. This routine has become a little more complicated nowadays, I wash with my natural soap (recipe on this blog), then use a spritzer toner I make myself as well with natural hydrosol (i.e. orange blossom and rose water with glycerin), add up to 3 different oil serums or a mix (maybe grapeseed oil, argan and rosehip oil daytime and a little denser/thicker oils at night like pomegranate, sea buckthorn fruit oil), moisturize with my own DIY moisturizer, etc. As you learn your routine gets richer and fuller! Anyhow, yes, I would go through my routine the day after 🙂 xx

    1. Hi; you mean ‘acne’? There are many factors that come into place when it comes to acne: age, diet, hormones, etc, etc. I wouldn’t just say ‘yes’ to your question because you’d need to find out first what is causing your acne. There’s a fantastic website just for acne that I like to read every now and then, I hope you find it helpful: https://simpleskincarescience.com/. I also like another site that has very good articles that are acne related; check out Andrea’s acne guide here: https://thebestorganicskincare.com/organic-acne-skin-care/. Read from both places and spend time learning about it, needless to say a dermatologist will help! But those two places are websites I very much trust. See what you think, come back with your takes from the websites, I’m curious to know if they helped : ) Patri xx

    1. Hi Jein, see how it goes, if you have ‘trouble areas’ you can apply the butter just there (in case it feels too greasy). Try for one or two weeks and take it from there… xx

      1. Thank you for sharing; this makes interesting reading. I have recently started using Shea butter for my hair and body and was not sure about using it on my face. I have discolouration on one side of my face, so will give it a try .

  6. Very well done Patri, I appreciate that time and effort you put into this. I literally just started using Shea butter on my face and it feels all shades of lush already. This is day 2 for me. I use black soap as my cleaner after which I leave residues of water on my face then rub tin – layered bits of shea butter in. Thank you for this detailed experiment.

    1. Hi! Ooh, nice you can already feel the difference. Yes, ‘lush’ is a good word for sure! Not everyone will like the feeling of greasiness but you can get used to it. Shea butter is just wonderful. I’ve written about its properties here, I find it a great article since I use my own blog as a helpful guide when I’m making my DIY skincare products. Hope it is helpful : ) xx

  7. I have tried shea butter with avocado oil and argan oil (premixed) for my face and after a few days, I always break out (and I’m in my sixties!). I always stop using when I break out but I wonder if I’m giving up too quickly. I love the idea of using something so pure and natural instead of expensive facial products. I may try again and stick to it and see whether I can get through the breakouts. Thanks for this experience, I enjoyed reading it!

    1. Hi. Hm, if your skin is not very dry the problem might be the avocado oil, with a comedogenic rating of 3 it could possibly be the cause of your breakouts. Argan oil should be fine (comedogenic rating of 0), it wouldn’t really cause you to break out. Shea butter has comedogenic rating 0 so I don’t think it’s causing you to break out either (but every skin is different). If you want to keep it simple just ditch the avocado oil for now (it’s wonderful for your hair if you still want to give it use) and just mix your argan oil with the shea butter and see how that goes. Let me know! Patri xx

    1. Hi Loius – yes it can! I’ve just applied some today as I’ve got some eczema between my eyebrows at the moment and from the one application I’m feeling my skin is a lot smoother and soft. I’d say test and see how much you would need and how often (you might want to add some to your moisturizer to bump up its emollient effect). Either way, do try Shea butter, it’s a wonderful product. My advice: apply at night. You might find that a tiny amount is enough. Keep us updated!

        1. Hi Christa! Ooh, great question. I don’t know to be honest. But Shea butter is harmless and very powerful at the same time. Do try it (patch test first!) and see if you get positive results. Remember that natural products can take longer than lab products. Sorry about not having responded straight away, I get a lot of spam, just saw your message. Sending good energies your way, hope you find a solution! Patri xx

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